Computer Cable Solution (IDE)





Introduction: Computer Cable Solution (IDE)

Problems getting IDE cables connected? - Then this is the solution for you.

Cables in Computer Cases are wired. Here you will learn to make a flexible cable.

Step 1: Preparation for Normal IDE (gray Cables, 34 Wires)

Check what cable you have.
Some are with very thin wires. For hispeed, I think (EIDE?) and not that flexible. As shown here (the yellow one).
Some are just grey as "nomal".

Here the instruction for the grey/normal cable.
Do this very carefully.

1. Every 2nd wire is ground. So best will be to cut between every 2nd wire.
2. Cut one or two centimeter with a cutter. Be very careful doing that!
3. Then, you will be able to pull the cable along the wires. As shown in the picture.
4. Repeat that every 2nd wire.

Step 2: Preparation for Hispeed IDE (yellow Cables)

It's basically the same as for the normal gray IDE cable.

But it's really harder to do. And be very carefully!

Take every 4th wire. As shown in the picture. Do this very slowly and without force. Just to make sure that the isolation of the wires will not be removed.

Now you have very flexible IDE cable witch fits exactly to your devices.

Step 3: Plug in - Use It!

Now you have very flexible IDE cable witch fits exactly to your devices.

So you can plug the cable and use it. It is very easy to plug in the IDE cables right now.

Optional: You can also put the divided wires in a shrinkdown plastic tubing or in a plastic spiral.

I just used it without any problems for many years without a plastic shrinkdown.



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    18 Discussions

    3 connector, 80 Wire Ribbon Bulk Cable if add 1 IDE connector in same wire as fabricated this is possible to working or no.

    Please help to resolve this issue in expert.

    If your local electronics store carries it, try using some braided wire sleeving. It acts like a Chinese finger trap where if you push it together, the diameter expands. This stuff will snug up to the cables, but will fit over the connectors too. Use cable ties or electrical tape on the ends and it looks really professional. I did this with my cables, and you don't even have to cut anything, it just slides right over. Just fold the ide cables lengthwise so you have a round-ish shape.

    2 replies

    Get a roll of correctly sized heatshrink tubing(or heat shrink tape) to tidy up the ends of the wiremesh. Or for a real slick look, use UV reactive heatshrink under the mesh, and 2 short lengths on the ends. Glow-through mesh. it MIGHT be cheaper than buying them pre-made, if you can buy in bulk, and divide between friends. Simple trick, if you're having trouble is, rotate the end connectors 90 degrees, then slip the tubing over, straighten, and shrink tight. The cable will lose some flexibility, but will look great, and effect airflow less.

    I personally think that this is a good and a bad idea good: if you use it on your own computers because its you who uses it and you are OK with its looks but... bad: If you sell PC's because it gives bad presentation to the customers and because its easier to brake the cable now. but Its a good and easy idea to use the cables thanks

    Instead of cutting them, use a needle or pin to poke into the cable near the plug and slide along a bit. I did this with mine years ago and the cable should then easily pull apart by hand, stopping the issue of accidentally cutting into the sleeving.


    11 years ago

    thisEvery other wire in an IDE cable can't be ground. Since the wires in an IDE cable switch between the bottom row of pins and the top row of pins as you move across the cable, that would mean that every pin on either the top or the bottom row of pins would be ground.

    Not trusting my little "thought experiment" here, I gooogled "IDE pinout" and came up with this.

    It is ok, however, to do what you're doing, as long as you don't mess up the cable by ripping the insulation away from a wire. I'm not trying to say "DON'T DO THIS!" just that every other wire isn't ground.

    5 replies

    there are 2 types of pata ribbon cable; 40 wire cable is a basic pin for pin cable like the layout you link to. 80 wire cable uses the same connector but the wires are much thiner and the cable has 80 of em(obviously) every 2nd wire is connected to ground at the same pin.

    Not true. On a 40 pin cable, both connectors share the same wires and have to be set as Master or Slave. These cables should only be uses on ATA/60 or slower systems. On an 80 pin cable, each of the two connectors (normally black and grey) use their own set of 40 wires, while the wires are connected together at the main (blue) connector. The 80 pin cable is used for Cable Select drives but Master and Slave still work. These cables are required for anything faster than ATA/60.

    This is a very common practice among home computer builders. You can even buy cables with this pre done. You are correct about breaking the insulation, but after a small cut, the wires can easily be pulled apart without cutting them.

    Ignore the first "this". I'm an idiot who can't work cut and paste.

    The only time that I use this technique is when two drives in close proximity have connectors that aren't aligned. Then if the cable's connectors are too close to each other, there isn't space to stretch the ribbon between the drives. Separating the conductors allows a bit more flexibility. Any other time, right angle bends are the neatest and safest configuration.

    I remember talking about serial cables in networks class and if I remember right they can have crostalk problems because of the wires laying parallel. So this should help (not that it's a common problem) giving the bundle a twist would help even more. Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong about this.

    1 reply

    its possible that this might lower cross talk between cables but I would doubt it. the problem with this is that the individual pairs or quads of wires cross each other so you end up having cross talk between the wires in the cable, which can cause the bus to be much slower and can even cause data corruption :-( in the end its not usually worth the effort and risk, a much better solution if you have a windowed computer is to fold the cable and rap it as mothflav suggested. BTW these cables use parallel protocols, serial cables are like sata and typically have much less wires and usually aren't ribbon cables.

    cable folding > cable rounding take a look in a case from a good OEM company like dell. all the cables are folded into 90 degree angles to be almost invisible in the case


    11 years ago

    Haha! That last picture on step 3 looks like a noodle maker! Lol. Cool instructable. :D

    And you could always then use electricians tape to wrap it up into a roundish shape. Neater, colour coding (!) and better airflow for cooling nerds.