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I've got a little usb drive that I keep in my wallet, just in case. It obviously didn't stand the test of time. A saturday moring, looking for something new to do, I've remembered someone getting a usb drive inside a broken usb plug. This one is my second and I tell you, the face of people seeing this is priceless! Here's how I've done it. By the way, it's my first instructable and I've got a new camera with new unknown options, so be indulgent ^_^
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Step 1: Tools 'n stuff needed

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What you'll need for the surgery:

- lonely USB cable (doesn't matter which as long as it's USB type A male)
- insert-type USB drive (other type may be too big to fit)
- cutter
- knife
- Glue
- optional: Key ring

Step 2: Surgery of Usb thumb drive

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The casing of the USB drive started to crack at some places, so I was planing to make a case replacement anyway. It doesn't matter really how you put the circuit board out, as long as it's intact for transplant. Also, verify the length and width of the circuit board to make sure it fits inside the USB connector. I've cutted along the side of the casing to break the glue joint, then pried it off by hand. It should come off easily. Mine got a kind of shim casing to make it fit right in the USB socket, you'll need to get it off so it fit inside the USB connector.

Step 3: Strip off the plug

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You'll need to prepare the USB Type A male plug to get the thumb drive circuit. Cut the cable at the desired length, too long make it kind of bulky; too shot make it too easy to lose. Then cut a splice on the both side of the plug or on one side, if you got enough place to work...

Step 4: Remove useless stuff!

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Once opened, the metal shim of the connector will go off easily. I didn't need any tools for this. Measure you Usb thumb board to cut the glue blob at the right length inside the plug, preventing the thumb drive to get further in when you plug it. Yours may don't have glue at the end. 

Step 5: Glue it back together!

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Glue the thumb board inside the metal shim. Super glue isn't the best for that, but it works for now... Insert the shim inside the connector and verify that everything closes before gluing it back with super glue. Adding a blob of hot glue at the end of the connector might be a good idea as it will help holding the thumb drive in place.

Step 6: Conclusion

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You might want to use a clamp to let the glue set correctly as the plastic plug might retract sightly.

I've added a keyring to the end of the cable to add to my keyset, or you can add it to a zipper, or let it hang on your car mirror. You can have many ways to show your geekiness.
It's always fun to see the reactions of people when you lend your thumb drive, I think it's priceless ^_^ Keeping the idea of the cutted usb cable would be of making a wireless mouse with the wire coming out, cutted then having the corresponding cable cutted on the computer, this would make a nice prank (note!) without thinking of the office technical support seeing this ^_^

smegoid5 years ago
After seeing this I looked around for a spare usb cable. Found none. But I had a bunch of old XBOX 1 controllers lying around.  Figured I'd give that a whirl. Was pretty easy just had to snap open the plug, take out the proprietary xbox 1 connector, pop a stripped usb drive in there and snap it back. Use the plastic shield that went over the XBOX connector to shield your usb circuit board (slipped on perfect for me).  No glue, no fuss, looks great. If I did it again,l I'd probably add a little padding in there since it has a tiny bit of play on the usb end, but the circuit board is tight! Cheers for the idea.

 Ooo would you mail/sell me the controller you stripped that plug off of? I had an original xbox controller rigged up to usb for my computer and I lent it out, stupid bugger never gave it back to me....
sgchr5 years ago
Great gadget. Really useful Tutorial?
le-Sid (author)  sgchr5 years ago
not really, but sometimes it's only to get a rough idea to make another project.
Groxx5 years ago
 haha, awesome.  I may have to do this now, I've got a few super-small USB drives that should fit :)
maxpower495 years ago
 hey man love the instructable i just finished making one i'll post pics when i get my camera back
InvaderDig5 years ago
This is really cool. Have you thought about making these and selling them on ebay? People would really dig these. Good job! :) *looks inside desk drawer for broken USB cables*

Kryptonite5 years ago
*gives usb*

"Why did you give me some random cut usb cable?"

hellbent3455 years ago
 yes, cutted = bad grammar 
nickodemus5 years ago
I think I've used that same kind of super-glue. It is awful. Takes forever to dry and won't even hold properly once it does. But enough about the glue. Nice 'ible.
trailleadr5 years ago
I love this!  I'm always up for a project that makes something unassuming much more than how it looks.
bertus52x115 years ago
 Nice idea!
randofo5 years ago
You should make your own image for the main image of the project.
le-Sid (author)  randofo5 years ago
Thought so at first.... Got a new idea, got a new pic ^_^
gmjhowe randofo5 years ago
 I agree, I almost prefer the nice silver cable you used, and I like the addition of the keyring on the end!
AndyGadget5 years ago
I love the concept.  I'll be making something along these lines.
(BTW, I AM the tech support for many offices so lots of people should get to see it #;¬)