Introduction: How to Properly Finish PC Cables
I just figured out an INSANE method for properly cleaning up those ugly cables we all have to use. You've probably seen these on your front I/O connectors, or internal USB headers. Finally, no more pesky little bits of ketchup and mustard ruining your otherwise immaculate new build!
When I figured this out, I couldn't believe how easy it really was. It looks advanced (I mean c'mon, the manufacturers can't even do it!) but just trust me - follow the instructions carefully and you'll get by no problemo.
Step 1: Step 1: Acquire Your Parts.
1. An ugly cable you want to make not ugly
2. Heatshrink tubing. You can get this at pretty much any hardware store or on Amazon. Or even Wal-Mart. I'll show you how to pick which one you need later, but this stuff is pretty handy to have around and cheaper than AMD components so I recommend just grabbin' yourself a nice variety pack.
3. A heat source. I used a heat gun, but I know those are some pro-tier tools, so a lighter would work just fine. Heck, you could probably even just like hold it over your toaster or something
4. Maybe a sharp cuttin' thingy like a scissors or knife but really that's pretty much optional if you don't care how long the finished heatshrink bit is
5. More than 3 IQ (sry anybody who pre-ordered RTX)
Step 2: Step 2: Perform Analysis
Grab your cable and look at it, I suggest using your eyes. Look real close. Pay particular attention to what the ends look like (make sure you check both) and where the bad part is.
Remember this info for the next step, it might be helpful to jot down some notes in case you forget. But you can always come back to this step if you need to.
Step 3: Step 3: Pick the Heatshrink
Using the data you gathered during your analysis in step 2, you'll now want to pick out the heatshrink tube you're going to use. This is probably the longest step, and does require you do a hard think.
First you have to pick a size. You want one that will fit over the end of your cable. Don't forget the cable has two ends! Even if the bad part is on one side, you can put the heatshrink on over the other side if that's easier and then slide it down into place. Start smaller and work your way up until you find one that's big enough. Once you have the one that's big enough, you also want to make sure it's not too big. It can only shrink to a certain shrinkage level. Make sure you set aside the one you found before looking for a different one though. Just in case it is the one you want, that way you don't lose it and have to find it again. Wouldn't want to have to think more than once!
After figuring out the right size you might need to pick a color, depending on what heatshrink you bought. I prefer black for this purpose, but you can use any color you want if you want to add some personal flair! VERY IMPORTANT: if you do pick a different color, it does still need to be the same size as the one you found that was the right size. I know red paint makes cars go more faster, but heatshrink does not use car logic.
Step 4: Step 4: (Optional) Cut the Heatshrink
This again depends on what heatshrink you have. But you might want to cut it to length so you don't waste it, and also I think it looks a little better. If you do decide to cut it, it's very easy.
First just put your carefully selected piece of heatshrink next to the part of the cable you want to cover up and use that to measure your length. I eyeballed it, but it's better to be sure. Always remember: measure twice and cut once. Or just be ready to try again (it's good practice). This is another spot where you might want to jot some notes so you don't forget.
After you have your measurement, you'll want to use your sharp thing to cut it. It's very easy to cut. If you're having difficulties, maybe refer to the manual for whatever you are using for cutting. It shouldn't be hard, so you might be doing that wrong. I can't help you there though.
Step 5: Step 5: Apply the Heatshrink
Now that you have a perfect piece of heatshrink, you want to apply it to the cable. All you have to do is put the cable through it. Don't forget you can use the other end of the cable if one doesn't fit good.
After the cable is in the heatshrink, you want to slide the heatshrink to the spot of the cable you're fixing.
Step 6: Step 6: Shrink the Heatshrink
The final step is to shrink the heatshrink. You do this with heat. I used a heat gun for this, but I'm a pro so I wouldn't expect everyone to have such fancy tools, so you can use a lighter if you don't have a heat gun.
First you need to make your heat source hot. With a heat gun you just push the button to turn it on. If you're using a lighter than you'll want to light it. If it has those child lock things you might need to ask for help with this step since those are hard.
BE VERY REALLY CAREFUL!!!! Heat is hot and can burn you. So make sure you don't touch the heat part or put your hand or hair or anything in the hot. If you do burn yourself then make sure you heal it, then also check on WebMD to make sure it's not super bad. Some burns can have really bad effects.
After there's heat then all you have to do is put the cable with the heatshrink over the heat. Make sure the heatshrink is still positioned where you want it. You should see the heatshrink start to shrink once its in the heat. If it doesn't then you might need to get it closer but be careful with a lighter not to get to close or you could burn or melt it which looks really bad so you'll probably have to start over. Once it starts to shrink you'll want to move and twist it around in the heat until it's all shrinked evenly.
Step 7: Conclusion
Now you have a very good looking cable! You can repeat this same thing on any other cables that are ugly. Admire your beautiful product, then go and use the cable for whatever you use it for. Good job!!!!