Introduction: Custom and Cheap USB a Plug

Picture of Custom and Cheap USB a Plug

I know that this shouldn't be in the robot competition, I have tried to remove it but the FAQ pretty much say that the only thing I can do is sit it out.

How to make a USB A plug (the one that goes into the computer/hub) from a piece of veroboard, you can also use this method with you own etched PCB.

This is my very first instructable, so wish me good luck :)

I got the idea from a USB flash drive I saw, I thought it was quite novel.

Firstly lets get the boring/important bit out of the way:
If you do not check you sizing and connections of every step you could possibly short out you motherboard/hub which can have disastrous effect (see picture of hard disk)
By constructing this instructable you hereby agree that any damaged caused by carelessness or faulty wiring is responsibility of the person who is constructing the device that causes the damage. I take no responsibility :)

The position and spacing of the veroboard strips is very important, you need to make sure it sits perfectly centre and doesn't short connections. Also keep in mind the sides of the USB socket will be ground connection.

Make sure you have the tools you need:

a sharp knife
A file
some veroboard
some bulking material (veroboard, copper clad, plastic, etc. something that is fileable)
soldering Iron
glue gun (and glue sticks) - Optional
super glue.

you should also have a pair of safety glasses too.

edit: I now realize that it was a mistake to put this in the robot contest, but I don't know how to remove it from the competition.

Step 1: Preparing You Pieces

Picture of Preparing You Pieces

To prepare you will need to file down your veroboard piece so it is slighly wider than the USB socket. do the same for your bulking piece (mine is a piece of copper clad board).

Step 2: Refining and Glueing

Picture of Refining and Glueing

you can choose which order to do these steps in as I don't think it really matters.

You will need to trim back the 2 centre strips as these are the data lines and should make contact after the 2 power lines (outer strips) make contact. this is for the hotswap functionality and allow the device to start its USB interface up and steady itself before connecting to the data lines.

You will then need to glue the 2 pieces together to bulk it up so it will be a snug fit.
once it has dried, you then can start filing it down to fit into the USB socket.
Make sure you chamfer the leading edges.

Step 3: Adding Wires and Hotglueing

Picture of Adding Wires and Hotglueing

First things first, triple check the wiring, then check it again, beeping it out with test meter using a USB extension cable would be the best idea.

its up to you how you attach the wires, I soldered to the strips directly as opposed to putting them through the holes, but thats my preference.
the 2 inner strips are the data lines and the 2 outer lines are power.

When you are happy with your wiring, it is time to hot glue it, if you want to encase it with another method then thats up to you, i usually prefer heat-shrink tubing but I'm all out of that.

When the glue is dry you are left with a custom designed USB A plug.

I hope this is helpful to people and have fun!


gb78 (author)2010-06-09

I used to make these too, with some similar boards. Nice instructable, 5 stars.

chilll2009 (author)2009-04-05

Look awesome! I rated you 5 stars.

ratgod (author)chilll20092010-05-25

sorry for the late reply:
  thanks, much apreciated

chilll2009 (author)ratgod2010-05-26

yeah, im a big fan of computer stuff

GWJax (author)2008-06-28

Very nice yet simple, But what are you going to do about an outter ground sheild devide for the internal post or will this not have that much effect on most MCU that are connected to it while programming them? Good Job!

ratgod (author)GWJax2010-05-25

Sorry for late reply,
The outer shield is only usually grounded on the host side, which in turn makes the braiding of the USB cable ground and thus the outer shield of the devices connector ground, but the standards say that you should not connect to ground on the device.
The lack of shield should have no effect on a MCU, the flash-drives I pictured above have no shield connection and they work fine.

Artificial Intelligence (author)2008-07-18

This is cool. I've used it to make a USB powered LEGO guy. Thanks to this instructable and to <a rel="nofollow" href="">Evil mad scientist labs</a> for the idea of <a rel="nofollow" href="">hacking LEDs into LEGO figures</a>.<br/>

That looks pretty cool. The most I've done with mine so far is make a USB - Serial adapter. I was thinking of making an instructable of one as a temperature sensor

ti112 (author)2008-08-23

Could someone use this instructable to create another for making your own USB/flash/thumb drive or explain here?

ratgod (author)ti1122008-08-23

Hi ti112, Thats something I'm looking into right now. I'm trying to get the MASS Storage stuff from Microchip working under the CCS C compiler. As soon as I get that mastered then I will post an instructable and let you know. Anyone had any experience with this?

yourtubemeera (author)2008-07-10

does anybody has the circuit diagram of this robot
i really wanna make this
n don hav money to buy d book or the PCB

You can find a simpler and cheaper line follower schematic here. I've made 2 line following robots with this and I haven't experienced any problems so far.

littlechef37 (author)2008-05-18

Leave it in the contest.... POOOOF ! (light bulb appears on littlechefs head....) I am making an instructable which I call THE RED BOX.... and this might be useful..... Good 'ible

ratgod (author)littlechef372008-05-19

What would THE RED BOX be? sound interesting, It would be nice to see how you use the USB idea.

littlechef37 (author)ratgod2008-05-25

Oh you'll see.... I have yet to add Speakers to THE RED BOX....... and then I can deconstruct, then instruct while I recontruct.......

oskay (author)2008-05-19

This is very clever. I like it.

p996911turbo (author)2008-05-06

So obvious and yet I never even thought of it. Nice work!

ratgod (author)p996911turbo2008-05-19

They usually say, the most obvious things are the things we see least :)

ratgod (author)2008-05-05

I'm unable to remove it from the competition, I looked in the help and only go this:
Remove an instructable from a contest FAQ which is basically telling me to just sit it out and ignore it.
I tried to unpublish the instructable and re-publish it, but you cannot unpublish an instructable thats in an active contest.
I shall be more careful next time.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-05-04

Sweet! I like the idea, it's great. Would this work (well, the board part) with 1up's The World's Smallest USB LED Light Instructable? Something like that. Nice job. +1 rating, but I don't think this should be in the Robot Contest...

ratgod (author)GorillazMiko2008-05-04

I hadn't seen that before you mentioned it, but its the exact same principle except mine doesn't do the "bulking" with solder, but rather adding extra pieces to the board. I wasn't sure if it was right for me to go into the Robot contest, I thought maybe someone could have a use for this in a robot project. thanks for the reply.

Itsgoofytime (author)ratgod2008-05-05

try to unpublish, then republish, but this time don't enter it in the competiton

Itsgoofytime (author)2008-05-05

How would this be a robot? Robot's are not just a USB Plug.

ratgod (author)Itsgoofytime2008-05-05

I'm now starting to feel it was a mistake to add it to the the robot competiton, I don't know how to remove it from it. thanks for your reply

Itsgoofytime (author)ratgod2008-05-05

Robots are rare to use USB for direct communication. USB can be difficult for any hobbyist, unless you have a dedicated solution. Great idea though, just not in the robot competiton :)

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