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How to get started with custom cables ?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I want to make custom wiring harnesses for a couple of things: Power supply chains instead of a cascade of Y adapters; modify my 3-PWM-fan cable as it didn't reach without a quick hack of a modification already; another fan cable is too short; etc.

Meanwhile, one of the front-panel connectors was given as [x–x] in three positions, instead of [xx] as two adjacent positions. I was able to release the terminal from the plastic and insert it into the center position, so it connected the pins of interest.

That got me thinking, I'd like to make cables that have the correct length and morpology, with the standard connectors on them. For a fan cable, I saw (at Fry's) the plastic ends and various kinds of terminals, but no instructions as to which terminals fit or what tools to use to crimp (or solder?) and insert them.

I'm not interested in "sleeving" in the sense of putting a decorative wrapper around each individual strand of the cable. But I do want to use that material for its original purpose of bundling the several wires into one cable.

I recall seeing for sale somewhere a getting-started kit for sleeving. So I'm looking for something like that now. What all do I need to do all that? Any pointers?

—John
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Mercury
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post #2 of 4
Hmm... there probably are starter kits for custom cabling. An internet search might find a few. The custom cabling I've done involved using spare parts I had already. To get a new fan to work in a proprietary socket I cut the plug off the new fan and stripped the wire ends. Then I attached the small pins from the old proprietary plug to the newly stripped wires, crimping down with needle nose pliers (perhaps I should have put a dot of solder on each, but it worked without it). Then I inserted the small pins into the proprietary plug, being sure to get the wire position/order correct.
I've replaced other custom plugs in the same manner. As far as sleeving, I took that off an old power supply. The mesh kind will expand as you push the ends together, then you can install it on your new wire and stretch it back out. If you want shrink tubing, it's mostly a one-time use once installed, so you'd have to buy it.
Best advice I can give is: always make sure you get the wire orders correct. If it's wrong, something will fry. Another tip is to route wire toward hiding spots and coil it up and tie it there. A good hiding spot is between the hard drives or optical drives and the case wall. There may also be a lip along the roof of the case you can use to run wires behind.
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I looked again at the local Fry's, and their selection of Molex parts was mismatched and there was no guidance as to what I need exactly. Does anybody know exactly which Molex part numbers are used to make the female peripheral power connectors in a PC? Likewise, what gauge of wire is correct?

As for the sleeving material, other than buying a "kit", if I just want a basic color like black or red, I could get a roll from an electronic supplier of just the size I wanted. But, what is it called? I could look it up in Advantage or DigiKey or someplace.

—John
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Mercury
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ST2000DL003 WD25EZRS Asus BW-12B1ST Win7 x64 
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Here is one example of what I want to make.

The cable like this one, with "T" SATA power plugs, won't reach through the SilentStar enclosure cut-out and plug into the drive. That's the case with the ones that came with the power supply, and I assume these in-line connectors are the same.

I'll make a cable with 4 terminal style SATA power plugs. The three that are not on the end will be on very short wires, just long enough to solder without messing up the plastic. Perhaps I'll cut the ends off some Y connectors I already have, if I can't find SATA ends the same way I can by other connectors.

The other end of the cable will be a female Molex connector, which I'll plug into the power supply feed.

The spacing between the connectors will be just right for the stack of drives.

—John
Mercury
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition MSI 890FXA-GD70 GeForce GTX 560 GeForce GT 430 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8GB PC3-12800 OCZ Vertex EX2 ST33006 51AS Addonics HPM-XA System Version Hardware RAID 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
ST2000DL003 WD25EZRS Asus BW-12B1ST Win7 x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2711 etc. original "Das Keyboard" Seasonic X-Series 650 W Xigmatek Elysium 
MouseAudio
Kensington Trackball X-Fi 
  hide details  
Reply
Mercury
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition MSI 890FXA-GD70 GeForce GTX 560 GeForce GT 430 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8GB PC3-12800 OCZ Vertex EX2 ST33006 51AS Addonics HPM-XA System Version Hardware RAID 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
ST2000DL003 WD25EZRS Asus BW-12B1ST Win7 x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2711 etc. original "Das Keyboard" Seasonic X-Series 650 W Xigmatek Elysium 
MouseAudio
Kensington Trackball X-Fi 
  hide details  
Reply
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