Bread Board From IDE Cables

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Today we are going to be building a bread borad for protyping circuits. Most of the parts you have lying around. The idea here is not to replace large store bought bread boards but, to construct small units that could be part of a larger project.

Step 1: Gather Your Components

You will need

-IDE cable
-small amount of copper wire
-soldering iron and solder
-small piece of plastic
-small screwdriver to take apart the IDE Cable

Step 2: DIssasemble the IDE Cable

Using a small screwdriver pop the backs off ouy your IDE jacks. Then carefully remove the ribbon cables from the pins. Care should be taken to not pull the pins out as each one that is removed will be a dead socket on your bread board. This is also a good time to sand down the nubs on the jacks so they wil be easier to glue together later.

Step 3: Bridge the Pins

I know that bridging pins is usually a bad thing but, here its a good one. A store bought bread board does just that, it bridges the connection between components. Use a small piece of copper wire to bridge four pins. Soldering this can be a bit difficult so I advise heating up the copper wire a bit with your soldering iron and letting it melt into the jack just a little bit. This will help to hold it while you solder. You can bridge as many or a few pins as you like but four seems to work well for me. The good news is that you can customize the board to your needs. Once you bridge them test them. Use a continnuity tester to make sure that you have only bridged the terminals that you wanted to. Test here to avoid failed projects later. Then glue your IDE jacks together to form the board. You can glue as many of these as you need to together to make the board that suits your project. I also noth out a mark every four holes on the top with a needle file so I can see which pins have been bridged without counting.

Step 4: Spit and Polish

The board works now but, its ugly. Using epoxy I gluded my new board to a small piece of plastic. This makes the board look better and protects the back from shorts. I used a small piece of metal (strap from shipping bricks great stuff and free) to form a 9V battery holder and glued it to the board as well. I soldered a couple of wires to the back of an old 9V battery top to form a 9V battery clip. I covered it with epoxy to prevent shorts as well. For style points I dye my epoxy for battery clips with a drop of black acrylic paint. Not too much or it will get all jacked up and not cure properly.

Before someone says it: yes it will fit in an Altodis box and I know that the solder job wasn't the best.

That being said my I constructed my first project on the board!

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    67 Discussions

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    Reys8

    3 years ago on Introduction

    can it be done with a 24 pin serial cable port?

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    newbeatle

    5 years ago on Introduction

    WHAT AN AWESOME IDEA !!!! i have LOTS of IDE cables, those with 60 pins, and i never thought about using them in this aplication..... thanks for sharing your idea!!

    best regards from mexico

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    yoyology

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Couldn't you leave part of the ribbon attached, strip the individual ribbon wires, and solder those? Might be easier than soldering the pins.

    No matter what, great upcycle. I'm going to give this a try!

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    laxap

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea, smart and useful!
    I'm making some ASAP!

    Awesome! One of the better, practical projects I have seen on here in a long time. Well Done!

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    iamsinned06

    9 years ago on Introduction

    i want to make a homemade ide to usb cable. can you give me schematic or diagram or how to do it yourself?

    1 reply
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    cottoniamsinned06

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    u need qa whole circut so goto a computer store and get a ide to usd adapter there round 20 buks to 60 bucks k

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    rommel543

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Ah crap.. I just moved and threw out about 10 old IDE cables because (insert wonky music here) I thought I wouldn't use them for anything. Time to start savaging parts at work again.

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    oh. ok lol a good use for your ide cables, haha. .....damn the ide!! oh ya they actually make SATA dvd and cd writers now!! so you can go 100% ide free!!! woot.. lol nice instructable

    6 replies
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    Derin!Andrew_Modder!

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    haha. .....damn the ide!! oh ya they actually make SATA dvd and cd writers now!! so you can go 100% ide free!!!
    Invalid.
    Correction:
    haha. .....damn the sata!! oh ya they actually make IDE dvd and cd writers now!! so you can go 100% sata free!!!
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    tinkerCDerin

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I like SATA. The SATA Hard Drives have more room than an IDE one. CDs and DVDs can't keep up with SATA speeds, but SATA is easier to wire.

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    DerintinkerC

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    OK,I agree now after having to hook up an IDE HD to my PC.The drawback of IDE is Master/Slave.

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    tinkerCDerin

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Meaning that there is one drive selected to boot from and you need to move the jumpers to change it? That is a flaw in the OS to need that.

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    DerintinkerC

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    No,if you put it on the wrong jumper it won't work.And it is a pain to put them on Cable Select.

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    Davetech

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I thought this might be even better than sliced bread, so I put 4 IDE connectors together and soldered them up. I was happy with the result in general, but a bit miffed when I plugged in an IC. It seems that the springy contacts in the connector are just a little too deep for an IC's leads to be securely held and the IC would pop back out when I let go of it. The same happened when I tried an IC socket. Otherwise, it works great for long-leaded discrete components. So I'll just use it as an "add-on" breadboard. ps: I guess you could solder on lead extentions to an IC socket and keep that socket handy to use with the breadboard.