Introduction: All the Link Wire You'll Ever Need . . . for FREE!

Picture of All the Link Wire You'll Ever Need . . . for FREE!

 Did you know there's 50 metres (160 feet) of high quality stranded multicolour electronics link wire sitting in your "Computer Things Which Will Come In Useful One Day" box at this very moment?  It's that old parallel printer lead which you junked when you got the new USB printer.

To get to the wire, all you have to do is cut off the connectors and cut along the length of the cable enough to get a good grip on the wires inside, then pull the cable and insulation apart.  You now have 25 x 2 metre lengths of link wire in all the colours of the rainbow (and a few more) which tins easily and doesn't shrink when soldering.  That's enough for a fair few projects.

Some laser cutters and 3-D printers use a parallel connection so it may be wise to hang on to a lead if you're thinking of getting one. 


jensenr30 (author)2012-11-17

Thanks for sharing!

I tried this and had similar results.

I had to strip the plastic coating, take off the braided wire sheilding, take of the tinfoil-ish shielding, and take off some sort of wax paper covering.

at long last I got down to the beautiful wires.

all in all, about 10 minutes to go from serial cable to wonderful wires.

High(ish) Resolution Picture:

jensenr30 (author)jensenr302012-11-17

as a side note, I counted 36 wires in my coil and it was 2 meters long

jensenr30 (author)2012-11-17

I like it! great idea!
keep up the good work!

scraptopower (author)2012-08-18

I get all of my wire this way! I never have to buy wire :)

mdog93 (author)2012-08-17

Old PC PSUs also have many wires inside, I've reused some of these before too. However, the wire is fairly heavy gauge so it isn't great for squeezing down into small project boxes as it isn't particularly flexible.

Great tip though, these cables are probably more widely available.

AndyGadget (author)mdog932012-08-18

I've used a PC front panel loom of wires with the connectors on the end in a larger project. The connectors fit onto a 0.1" pitch pin header.

AptPupil (author)2012-08-16

Very cool! I've got 4 or 5 in 1 or 2 of my many my "Computer Things Which Will Come In Useful One Day" boxes. Now I'm going to get some of these
Jumper Wire Cable Housings - Male
Jumper Wire Cable Housings - Female
Thanks for pointing this out! It was so obvious that I missed it. 

sunshiine (author)2012-08-16

It helps to explore doesn't it? Great tip! Have a nice day.

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