Step 6: Making the cables

I have made a mini cable that I will be using to show you how I put it all together. I bought a 20 connector ribbon cable, and then ripped it into strands of 4. If you are going to be using the sensors, you will need to rip them in strips of 5. I am not using the sensors, so I am only using 4. On one end of the cable, it has a header that plugs into the controller boards, and on the other end, it has the LED. I'll be showing you the various parts I used to create the cable. You can find the part numbers listed in my BOM.

1. Separate and strip each strand of the cable. Strip off about 0.25' of the casing. Solder on the metal pins.

2. Insert the metal pins into the housing. You should have no metal exposed when they are all the way in.

3. For the LED end, I soldered a SIPP connector to the wires. However, you can't solder them in order. The controller boards are oriented VSBGR and the LED's are VRBG. To see how to wire it, take a look at the pictures.

4. For the SIPP connectors, the pin side is what is soldered to the cable. The other side has holes where you can "plug in" the LED. Make sure the polarity of the LED is correct. I also used heat shrink tubing, because the braided ribbon cable can get a little messy, and it keeps it neat.

All of my cables range between 3' and 1' depending on how far away they are from the controller boards. My initial decision was to just use the same length for every cable, but I scratched that idea because I had SO MUCH extra cable. It's better to measure the length for each cable.

5. Then, the final step is to indicate which side is +5V so it's easy to connect to the controller boards. I colored the +5 side with a blue permanent marker.