I know that this shouldn't be in the robot competition, I have tried to remove it but the FAQ pretty much say that the only thing I can do is sit it out.
How to make a USB A plug (the one that goes into the computer/hub) from a piece of veroboard, you can also use this method with you own etched PCB.
This is my very first instructable, so wish me good luck :)
I got the idea from a USB flash drive I saw, I thought it was quite novel.
Firstly lets get the boring/important bit out of the way:
If you do not check you sizing and connections of every step you could possibly short out you motherboard/hub which can have disastrous effect (see picture of hard disk)
By constructing this instructable you hereby agree that any damaged caused by carelessness or faulty wiring is responsibility of the person who is constructing the device that causes the damage. I take no responsibility :)
The position and spacing of the veroboard strips is very important, you need to make sure it sits perfectly centre and doesn't short connections. Also keep in mind the sides of the USB socket will be ground connection.
Make sure you have the tools you need:
a sharp knife
some bulking material (veroboard, copper clad, plastic, etc. something that is fileable)
glue gun (and glue sticks) - Optional
you should also have a pair of safety glasses too.
edit: I now realize that it was a mistake to put this in the robot contest, but I don't know how to remove it from the competition.
Step 1: Preparing You Pieces
To prepare you will need to file down your veroboard piece so it is slighly wider than the USB socket. do the same for your bulking piece (mine is a piece of copper clad board).
Step 2: Refining and Glueing
you can choose which order to do these steps in as I don't think it really matters.
You will need to trim back the 2 centre strips as these are the data lines and should make contact after the 2 power lines (outer strips) make contact. this is for the hotswap functionality and allow the device to start its USB interface up and steady itself before connecting to the data lines.
You will then need to glue the 2 pieces together to bulk it up so it will be a snug fit.
once it has dried, you then can start filing it down to fit into the USB socket.
Make sure you chamfer the leading edges.
Step 3: Adding Wires and Hotglueing
First things first, triple check the wiring, then check it again, beeping it out with test meter using a USB extension cable would be the best idea.
its up to you how you attach the wires, I soldered to the strips directly as opposed to putting them through the holes, but thats my preference.
the 2 inner strips are the data lines and the 2 outer lines are power.
When you are happy with your wiring, it is time to hot glue it, if you want to encase it with another method then thats up to you, i usually prefer heat-shrink tubing but I'm all out of that.
When the glue is dry you are left with a custom designed USB A plug.
I hope this is helpful to people and have fun!