Introduction: Make Straight Cable Into Coiled / Pigtail Cable
Here is a super-easy way permanently coil a cable such as a USB, Lightning, or similar data / charging cable.
I recently upgraded my iphone and had to upgrade all my cables too. I like the coiled type for plugging my phone into my car stereo. For some reason, the coiled cables cost about $12 a piece, but you can by 5 straight ones for $10. Being cheap, I bought the straight ones and decided to coil one myself.
Step 1: Stuff You Need:
Straight Cable - I'm using a $2 36" long lightning cable from Amazon. If you plan on doing this to some crazy, high-end, expensive cable, proceed at your own risk. I can't guarantee you won't ruin it.
A round object - I'm using a piece of threaded tube meant for a lamp. It's about 3/8" diameter. You can use a dowel rod, pencil, metal bar, etc. Whatever you use make sure it is something than can take a little heat and moisture.
Cable ties - You can use wire twist ties or other fasteners if you want.
Step 2: Boil Some Water
Hopefully you have access to a stove, a pot, and some water. Boil that stuff up. Move on to the next step while you are waiting. For God's sake man, don't watch it!
Step 3: While You're Waiting...
Start coiling your wire. Secure one end to the rod with a cable tie or other fastener.
Step 4: Coil It Up
Wrap the wire tightly around the rod. Secure the other end with another cable tie.
Step 5: Take Care of Some Loose Ends.
Trim your cable ties to get them out of the way.
Step 6: Quality Control Inspection
Let the boss check over your work.
Step 7: Submerge in the Boiling Water
Use some tongs or other utensil to keep it off the bottom of the pot. The bottom is hotter and could damage the cable. Keep it submerged for a good 60 seconds to soften the plastic in the cable.
I read somewhere else that you could do this with a hair dryer. I tried it with mine and did not get good results. The coil relaxed too much and was very loose. I checked the temperature when I heated it with the hair dryer and it was only bringing up to about 130 degrees F. This might work for you if you have a more powerful hair dryer or a heat gun. I think the boiling water is good because you get a nice controlled 212 degrees F.
Step 8: Finish Up
Remove the cable from the boiling water and let it cool off. You can run it under cold water to speed this up. Clip off the cable ties and slide it off the rod. Make sure everything is dried off good before using. Enjoy your springy, coiled cable.