Instructables

Connect USB with other devices by short Wire

Featured
While I am glad to see digital cameras, cell phones, MP3 players and other portables are getting tinier and tinier, their designers forgot one simple thing - the cable.

These modern designers have no respect to industry standard and create any special connectors they like. Whenever I add a new USB device into my portable collection, I have to carry one more lengthy and stiff cable.

Can you believe it, I have to carry a bag just to hold these stupid 6-feet cables. Let's do something about this mess.

These are currently available: USB A-to-A, USB A-to-mini, and all the Sprint cell phone cables that Radio Shack carries.

Please specify the cable type in the message field of the online order form.

To be honest, Zip*Linq has all the standard USB and Firewire cables and you don't need to buy those from us.

However, that retractable wheel is still too thick to me and I don't want to carry too many of them but one extension.

Zip*Linq really should remove the two white plates to make it thinner.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 2:

Cut the wire tips like this: the longest one at the left side is the shortest one at the right side, vice versa.

This way, the to-be-soldered contacts will not touch each other.

Don't forget to put on the heat shrink tube to one side before you start soldering

Step 7:

I did this to all my cables, including one for my Canon camera and a standard A-to-mini USB for my Odessey 1000 MP3 player.

Add a Zip*Linq A-to-A retractable extension cable, you are all set.

Now kiss your bags good buy!
js57522 years ago
This article is stolen directly from www.fixup.net. I'll admit that the original article was a few years old, but that doesn't give anybody the right copy somebody the work of somebody else and not give credit!
The author didn't even bother to remove the line that says "Please specify the cable type in the message field of the online order form", he's a pretty lazy

I'm surprised that this got featured
I know, the fact that the second half of the intro is advertising for a store on the site that this has been taken from
terrabite32 years ago
Since not everyone has a heat gun, I have an alternative method. Turn your electric stove top on high. After it heats up, hold the heat shrink tube a couple inches over the burner, turning it like a rotisserie chicken until it has shrunk.

I once insulated wires on 60 LEDs with this method.
R.A.T.M2 years ago
heat shrink not sink a heat sink is for cooling hight voltgeTransistors  
Nutters2 years ago
The only issue I have is that you have failed to continue the shield around the cabling at the join.
This can effect data throughput rates and add the possibility of interferrance from other devices that emit any RF or EMF. (WIFI, BT etc)
It would be better to completely cover the cable with the "shield" as it was intended.
A bit more fiddlier I know, but you will get closer to the equivalent result of the manufactured cable.
This project makes good sense, (and I have done simiar) but you need to be careful that you don't lower the specification of the cable (and cause yourself heart ache) with less attention to the join.
Nice post.
Those retractable cables are terrible, I have one and it only works with USB 1.1 devices (low speed), high speed devices won't work.

I don't suggest you ever get them. Think about it, usually good USB cables are shielded and the wires inside are twisted. That retractable cable is a thin film like cable with thinner wire gauge and no shielding, I'm not surprised that it doesn't work with high speed devices.

Just a warning to consumers.
i second that, when i had a ipod i had a retractable cable but the read/write speed was incredibly slow compared to my old mp3 player, which was usb 1.1, while the ipod was 2.0.

but i have since moved on from ipods to mp4 players, more versatile in my opinion, plus i know how to fix it for cheap.
If you can " Fix it for cheap", then It probably isn't very high quality. One of the few cases where spending money will actually result in a positive outcome.
not true, i have a ipod touch lookalike, and for $40 it has 2gb of internal storage plus the ability for an additional 8gb with a memory card.
then, it had the camera before the ipod, and not a bad quality one either.
it has a decent 3" touchscreen, and unlike ipods, it uses the usb mini type B cable, so no paying bick bucks for a cheap specialized cable, $1 is certainly better than $7, and you get better quality with non ipod cables since more devices use them.

oh, the built in speaker, how could i forget? the one in my lookalike is not only louder than the ipods, but it has a better quality sound than the ipod too.
i will admit the quality of the front half of the case isnt the best, since the plastic is quite flexible, and although the touch screen isnt quite as sensitive as the ipod, it keeps other people from messing with my music.

and had i not broken the touch layer by attempting to see the XY orientation (by removing it) i would still be using the player, but i can still use it for music, i just cant use the calendar function i never used in the first place.

and by "fixing for cheap" i mean it uses recognizable chips, a regular lipo battery, and average wiring, theres unlimited warranty and to replace even a cracked touch layer costs about $100 less than sending your itouch into apple for repairs.

what im saying is just because you didnt pay a lot for something doesnt mean it has bad quality, it just means that, well, you paid less for it, maybe because you are paying the true value of it or it was made with cheaper but equal quality parts, i upgraded the 550Mah battery to a 1200Mah one and now it lasts longer than a ipod, whereas it lasted just as long as a ipod before.
"Zip*Linq really should remove the two white plates to make it thinner."
peel it off....
vishalapr2 years ago
Good job on the instructable but I have 2 questions...

1) But usually most of those connectors are not USB applicable so they will not work on USB ports...( Sorry if I am being stupid or talking without knowledge)

2) I am a little confused on the connections as according to this diagram below...
It says that:

Red-5V
Brown or Black-Gnd
White-RX(Recieve)
Green-TX(Transmit)

So could you please answer my questions because as soon as you do then I will need to try this out with 2 of my connectors as I would really love it if they worked with USB.

Thx and sorry if I am being silly...
1296002897-34.png
Indiana67 (author)  vishalapr2 years ago
Hi Vishal, Here in image you can see that Red (USB Vcc(+5V) and Green (USB Data -). And you can remove the black (Ground) and White wires. In my Step 2 you see that all 4 wire shown(Check once again !!) and See Step 3 where i remove white and black wire. For making connector you need only two wires(Red and Green). Any more queries ......
Oh ok..I guess I misunderstood Sorry ^_^
Ranie-K2 years ago
There are "USB-to-everything" cables, but they may be changing only (no data transfer). An example is Ebay item no 200489318942
That item is ridiculous looking... And would get tangled up easily.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!