1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Guide Custom Modular Power Cables

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Captain Slug, 16 Jan 2005.

  1. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    7
    I did something unique and a number of people have asked that I describe the process used to make the cables in my current project.
    http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=850586#post850586

    Be warned however. This project takes a considerable amount of time and is extremely tedious. You will need the following tools to accomplish this.

    + Forceps or miniature pliers
    + Power Drill or Drillpress (preferred)
    + Accurate cutting tool (dremel will NOT do if you want to make spacers)
    + Soldering iron
    + Wire Cutter/Stripper
    + Accurate ruler, hopefully with metric units since you're working with parts made under them
    + Rubber mallet or hammer
    + Sharp implement for punching hole centers

    Before starting you need to source parts. The only source I could find that had everything I needed was http://www.performance-pcs.com
    Hopefully someone will know of other sources for materials in the US and UK.

    1. Cut 20 identical lengths of wire (18awg)
    2. Strip 3mm off one end of each wire
    3. Crimp on correct pins and solder/heatshrink if required
    4. Plug crimped pins into matching connector
    [​IMG]
    5. Measure connector to find outer dimensions and wire spacings
    ((The wire spacings for Molex connectors are roughly 5mm, and ATX and ATXP4 spacings are roughly 4mm))
    6. Mark measurements onto the edge of a sheet of plastic or aluminum
    7. Use an awl, ice pick, center punch, or nail with a rubber mallet or hammer to punch each hole center. Allow some spacing betwen marked connectors on the material so that you can cut them apart. Make sure to double check you measurements. something I forgot to do and subsequently ended up making spacers with 22 holes instead of 20.
    [​IMG]
    8. Drill out all the holes. 18awg wire will fit snugly through a hole drilled with 3/32-inch bit.
    9. Use a scroll saw, jigsaw, bandsaw, or table saw to cut inbetween the marked spacers
    10. Cut the spacers from the sheet
    [​IMG]
    11. Sand the edges of the newly cut spacers as desired
    12. Remove the contact paper
    13. Thread the wire through the all the spacers
    [​IMG]
    14. Straighten the cable and double check the lengths of the wires. Cut ends to match as needed
    15. Strip 3mm off the end of each wire
    16. Crimp on correct pins and solder/heatshrink if required
    ((If you are wiring a simple molex connector, skip ahead to step #19))
    [​IMG]
    17. Twist-tie one end of your stock cable. This will represent your unfinished custom cable end
    18. Using the stock cable as a template, use the resistance measurement feature on a multimeter to figure out where each wire crosses over from the connector on the other end. Make the same cross-overs on the end of your custom cable and plug the pins into those connector sockets.
    [​IMG]
    19. Plug remaining crimped pins into matching connector
    20. Double-check cable voltages with a multimeter by plugging a standard color-coded extension into the end of your custom cable. Compare your voltage results with a stock cable or another power supply with the same pinout.

    Average time to complete
    ATXP4 cable: 2+ hours
    Molex 4-pin cables: 4+ hours
    ATX cable: 6+ hours

    As always, measure twice cut once. And more importantly double-check that you're putting the pins where they belong. They're a real booger to get back out if you screw them up.
     
  2. Shadowcaster

    Shadowcaster New Member

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice, I wonder if that same concept could be used on old style IDE cables. That would be pretty nice.
     
  3. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    7
    You'd simply need to take apart the heads and replace the wires.
     
  4. Wrigley1

    Wrigley1 New Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    275
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice cable! Sooo...

    Basically what we're making here is a replacement cable for a modular power supply that isn't color coded and has spacers between the wires to make them neater? This is pretty simple for a standard molex connector... 4 hours seems like overkill. 4-6 hours for the ATX-20-pin connector, now, I could buy that, but, for the molexes... did you take breaks or something? :eyebrow:
     
  5. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    7
    Here's a better picture of the finished ATX cable
    [​IMG]
    I'm slow and methodical and that's not a measure of time per cable. It does however takes alot of time to machine that many spacers.
    Your results will vary depending on what tools you have access to.

    The guide could very well be applied to a regular power supply if you were adventurous enough to completely rewire one. You also DO NOT have to use the same shape of spacers that I did. On another forum someone suggested round spacers or bundled/clear sleeved wired. That would also be very attractive. I didn't try it because the wire I'm using is rather stiff.
     
  6. Wrigley1

    Wrigley1 New Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2004
    Posts:
    275
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ahh. I understand. I was thinking, "gee, replacing the wires shouldn't take 4 hours..." hehe.

    That blue cable looks so much better than my multicolored blob! I am planning on doing "extensive" modding on my next project, and this might be a solution to sleeving the wires. I might try the rounded spacer look though. Good guide.
     
  7. Tech-Daddy

    Tech-Daddy New Member

    Joined:
    8 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    869
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ooo.... oooo...

    Thankyou... thank you.... thank you.... OOoooo
    Master Cable Craftsman! (Sounds like a bad pr0n movie...)
    ;)
    Kidding....

    Inspiration comes in many forms, and you my friend have inspired me!
    Looks like part of my christmas gift cert to Home Depot is going to fall onto a drill press!
    ;)

    Been looking for a good excuse... now I have one!
    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
     
  8. nothingtrend

    nothingtrend New Member

    Joined:
    19 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    I actually did this to my psu at one point and in the process of testing some led lighting, one of the cats knocked my forcepts into the psu and fried it, havnt had the patience to redo it yet on a new psu, im really diggin the spacers on this though, may have to borrow the idea =)
     
  9. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    7
    Drillpress = Best tool ever

    My drillpress sees more use than any other tool in my workroom and it's also the safest and easiest to use. Last month I got a 4" sanding and buffing wheel for $8 now and my drillpress doubles as a power sander.
     
  10. Pelihirmu

    Pelihirmu New Member

    Joined:
    2 Jan 2005
    Posts:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow :baby: That PSU looks really nice now :thumb: :p

    [​IMG]
     
  11. mediacoretex

    mediacoretex New Member

    Joined:
    28 Feb 2005
    Posts:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    eww a ultra power supply :D
    jk good job
     
  12. MrDT

    MrDT fapfap

    Joined:
    14 Jun 2002
    Posts:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    0
    any idea if the gauge of wire used is important on ide ribbons? also, does the length of each wire in a ribbon have to be exactly the same length, or is there room for minor mistakes?

    sorry, i know this thread is for psu's, but this might just help me out quite a lot :thumb:
     
  13. emesdee

    emesdee New Member

    Joined:
    13 Feb 2005
    Posts:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm pretty sure its 28awg.
     
  14. ehrnam45

    ehrnam45 New Member

    Joined:
    5 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    480
    Likes Received:
    0
    i'm assuming that there is very little tolerance for length differences. I'm not too current on ATA133 cables, but from what I know, the reason they used ribbon in the first place is because every other conductor is a ground/earth line, to assist in shielding and crosstalk issues. I'm assuming that you intend to wire your own rounded IDE cables? I think that might require a jig or something to hold the wires in place while you apply the connector. If i'm not mistaken, you can use .100 pitch wire-to-board connectors. See if you can find a measured schematic of a HDD online somewhere to verify.

    I'm in the same boat for my newest monstrosity (custom power harness) but i'm not sure i will go all out with new wires. I just want to make it modular.
     
  15. MrDT

    MrDT fapfap

    Joined:
    14 Jun 2002
    Posts:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok thanks :) i actually want to make a cable that will allow me to relocate a laptop drive (still using the laptop mobo). i think the best option is to hack apart a set of appropriate connectors and try to solder on a regular ribbon. i was just wondering how much problems a few mm difference in length would cause, as my soldering skills aren't all that good, and the contact points are tiny.
     
  16. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    7
    You just need a 44-pin IDE cable
    http://shop.store.yahoo.com/cablesonline/2544pinidela.html
     
  17. ehrnam45

    ehrnam45 New Member

    Joined:
    5 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    480
    Likes Received:
    0
    hmm, yeah, that's prolly a lot safer :p thanks for the assist. I'm always trying to make things more complicated than they really need to be. :D
     
  18. MrDT

    MrDT fapfap

    Joined:
    14 Jun 2002
    Posts:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    0
    it's not that straighforward sadly :( if you take a look in this thread, you'll see that compaq's stupid custom connectors are causing me a bit of trouble.

    again, i'm sorry for hijacking your thread :worried:
     
Tags:

Share This Page