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Shorten Power Supply Cables?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have a Corsair RM650 in a SG09 mATX case. Fits great and has more than enough power but the cables are longer than I would prefer. I plan on cutting the cables to length (in the middle between both connectors) and soldering them together and placing some shrink wrap ontop. Curious if I should use any particular solder for the wires?
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBoyNYC View Post

I have a Corsair RM650 in a SG09 mATX case. Fits great and has more than enough power but the cables are longer than I would prefer. I plan on cutting the cables to length (in the middle between both connectors) and soldering them together and placing some shrink wrap ontop. Curious if I should use any particular solder for the wires?

I would use a non-acid core solder. Some of the rosin cores would be perfect for you... like this Kester: http://www.amazon.com/Kester-Pocket-Pack-Solder-0-031/dp/B00068IJNQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1394493523&sr=1-3&keywords=kester+44+rosin+core+solder

If you solder the wires, you need to heatshrink them under any sleeving... not just on top of the sleeving where you cut it. Sleeving can slip... and that could cause a short.

Personally, I think it would be better if you were to cut the wires and reterminate them. You could use your existing plugs... and would just needs some pins and a crimper. Not difficult to do, and would be better overall. they would be flexible in the middle.. and not have a lump!wink.gif

Very inexpensive crimper that makes beautiful connections: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JLN93S/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You can get pins here: http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l1/g51/Connectors.html
Edited by cgipson1 - 3/10/14 at 4:39pm
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post #3 of 12
If I had to go through all the trouble of shortening cables, I wouldn't make splices in the middle of wires but instead would either crimp new metal ends to the shortened wires (if a modular PSU) or solder them directly to the PSU circuit board (non-modular). If you try the latter, do not plug in the AC power cord without the PSU being fully reassembled, including its cover completely fastened in place, as there's way too much exposed high voltage in a PSU for safe operation often even on the big heatsinks.

Use rosin core solder that's either 60% tin, 40% lead (the most common type for electronics work) or 63% tin, 37% lead (slightly better). Avoid lead-free solder because it needs much higher temperature, and some types make the joints always look bad, meaning you can't tell whether they're good or bad. Try to make your solder splices so no sharp strands or solder needles stick out, which can pierce through any heatshrink insulation and cause a short. Cover the splice with 2 layers of heatshrink, each at least 1.5" longer than the splice. You want good mechanical reinforcement because soldered stranded wire becomes brittle, and PVC heatshrink is the stiffest. Most heatshrink is instead polysulfone, which is the softest (but is available in a stiff type). Teflon is in between. The only drawback to PVC is that you can't shrink it with the barrel or tip of a soldering iron because it will melt.

Don't cut all the wires of a cable in a single chomp. Instead cut one wire and splice it. Then cut another wire so its splice is 2" away from that splice. By staggering the splices apart you avoid creating a fat lump in one spot of the cable. You're by doing just one splice at a time, you're less likely to mix up wires, especially if they're all the same color.

There's also something called "Solder Splice", made just for splicing wires. It's clear heatshrink tubing with a ring of solder in the middle: (how-to video -- skip to 00:30) . You can use a soldering iron instead of a heat gun, but a hair dryer won't get hot enough.

Before reconnecting the PSU to the computer, measure the voltage of each pin with a multimeter, in case any wires were crossed, especially if they're all one color (many modular Corsairs) or not standard colors.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
If I re-crimp can I use the previous plugs or would I need newer ones as well?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgipson1 View Post

I would use a non-acid core solder. Some of the rosin cores would be perfect for you... like this Kester: http://www.amazon.com/Kester-Pocket-Pack-Solder-0-031/dp/B00068IJNQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1394493523&sr=1-3&keywords=kester+44+rosin+core+solder

If you solder the wires, you need to heatshrink them under any sleeving... not just on top of the sleeving where you cut it.

Personally, I think it would be better if you were to cut the wires and reterminate them. You could use your existing plugs... and would just needs some pins and a crimper. Not difficult to do, and would be better overall. they would be flexible in the middle.. and not have a lump!wink.gif

Very inexpensive crimper that makes beautiful connections: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JLN93S/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

You can get pins here: http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l1/g51/Connectors.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBoyNYC View Post

If I re-crimp can I use the previous plugs or would I need newer ones as well?

You can use the plugs you have.. just need to remove the pins from them... shorten the cables / sleeving, reterminate the cables with pins.. place the pins back in the plugs... and you are good! Just be very careful to get the right cable / pin in the right socket on the plug! wink.gif

They make special tools for removing pins from plugs... http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l3/g44/c133/s257/list/p1/DIYMod_Parts-PC_Tools-Crimping_Pin_Removal-Page1.html but you can also do it with a small screwdriver, bobby pin, etc.... just not as easy. I did list a good crimper in a previous post... and pins also.
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Are gold plated connectors worth the extra change?
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBoyNYC View Post

Are gold plated connectors worth the extra change?

they ensure no corrosion, and better connectivity... but I doubt that I would bother... except for bragging rights, lol! tongue.gif
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I think I'll be going the crimping route. The IT guy at work seems to have a crimper so I'll be borrowing when I do it. I'm curious about the connectors though. Male/Female? Which end goes where?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBoyNYC View Post

I think I'll be going the crimping route. The IT guy at work seems to have a crimper so I'll be borrowing when I do it. I'm curious about the connectors though. Male/Female? Which end goes where?

This should help!

http://www.dazmode.com/_forum/showthread.php?381-Making-your-own-ATX-PCIE-cables-for-modular-P-S

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1599965

http://en.mdpc-x.com/mdpc-crimping.htm

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/guide-make-and-sleeve-your-own-extension-cables.115492/

http://forum.sleeve-modding.com/showthread.php?15-Crimping-Tutorial

http://lutro0-customs.com/collections/all

You can see here the pins on the cables themselves are ATX Female...



Good site... if a bit dated http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnectors/connectors.html
Edited by cgipson1 - 3/13/14 at 7:34pm
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBoyNYC View Post

If I re-crimp can I use the previous plugs or would I need newer ones as well?
You need to use new metal tips but can use the original plastic shells. OTOH a lot of people have found it's difficult to remove the metal tips from those plastic shells, so maybe you should buy them, too. SATA power connectors that crimp onto the cables (i.e., are either in the middle of a daisy chain or at a right angle at the end) can be reused, but molded ones have to be replaced.

Don't pay extra for gold plating.

Radio Shack #276-1595 crimping tool, about $10-12, is pretty good, if it's the right size.

Sometimes the best sources for computer parts and tools are not computer dealers but electronics dealers.
Edited by larymoencurly - 3/13/14 at 10:51pm
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