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It's a good idea to use sockets and header pins when working with ribbon cable.  They make your projects more modular, portable, and able to be assembled and disassembled rapidly.  You can get 16 stranded ribbon cable, sockets, and male header pins at Jameco:

16 conductor ribbon cable Jameco 28RC16-10VP
16 pin right angle connector Jameco 746285-3
male header pins Jameco 103393

Thread the ribbon cable into the socket and push the socket together with your hands until the metal pins start to touch the ribbon.  Check the alignment of the socket's metal pins, make sure the ribbon cable is centered under the pins properly.

Use a bench vice to clamp the socket onto the ribbon cable.  Line up the socket in the vice as shown in fig 3 and make sure the socket stays straight as you slowly crank the vice shut.  If you do not have a bench vice do not use pliers to do this, you will clamp the socket on sideways and mess up the connections.  You're better off using a hammer to tap the clamp shut, just make sure you are always applying pressure evenly across the socket.  If the socket clamps incorrectly you might short some of the wires in the ribbon cable.

Once the socket is clamped cut off the excess ribbon cable with scissors.
<p>Nice! </p>
I know that it's not the point of this instructable, but the quality of those photos is incredible!
If you have a small Panavise it excels at this and is much more portable than the large bench-type vise.
Ha, just realized how long it's been since I last crimped a ribbon cable. I think the last time I did this I had used pliers. A vice is a much smarter way about it.

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Bio: I'm a grad student at the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT Media Lab. Before that I worked at Instructables, writing code for ... More »
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