Hello! This guide will show how to make a custom USB to JST XH 4-Pin cable, so you can directly wire your Raspberry Pi or other USB device to a Geeetech 2560 rev 3 board on a Geeetech printer, like the A10. This cable plugs into the convenient parallel JST socket directly behind the normal USB port on the circuit board. Some basic soldering skills are required for this guide, please plan accordingly.
To make this cable, you'll need a USB cable with 4 wires (some only have 2 for power, for data transmission, you need all 4 wires).
You will also need the JST XH 4-Pin female cable. I used this Amazon listing, and got waaaay more than needed for a good price of under $8.
You will need solder and a soldering iron, as well as 2 sizes of heat shrink tubing for the wires. You can get away with electrical tape too, but that's a disgusting way to do it. If you don't have heat shrink tubing, sub it for this tape during the step after the soldering.
You need some type of wire stripper, or a knife to strip the wires on the USB cable.
A wire cutter will make it easier to do several steps, and is recommended, but not required. A knife will do just fine.
If you have any doubts about the correct wiring as shown in this instructable, you can use a multimeter to verify the correct wiring.
Step 1: USB Cable Prep
First cut the USB cable to the length you want. The total length of the finished cable will be the USB plus the JST cable, minus about .25 inch for the soldering.
Next, strip the USB cable to expose the 4 wires. Strip back about 1 inch, so you have some room to work with. The wires should be color coded as in the stock photo. Peel away and cut any excess insulation, like a bare wire, or a bit of foil wrapped around the cable, so only the wires remain.
Lastly, carefully strip each of the 4 wires by about .25 inch.
Step 2: Soldering Prep
Cut some heat shrink tubing slightly larger than the diameter of the wires to about .5 inch length, make 4 of these. Cut one that is larger than all 4 wires, and can slide loosely over all the wires. Put this heat shrink on the JST connector as pictured, all the way away from the wire ending.
Step 3: Soldering the Cable
Here is the important step: actually making a cable. Get your soldering iron heated up and get the solder ready.
Very important to solder the colors to the correct matching color. On the JST extension from the board, black is all the way on the left, and the wires are in the same order as on the USB cable. Solder the wires with the pairing as follows:
U: Black----->Black :J
S: Green---->Red :S
B: White---->White :T
The first pic shows the correct way to solder the wires.
Next, slide the small heat shrink up to the soldered connection, and cover it completely. Use the soldering iron or other adequate heat source to shrink the tubing as shown in the second photo.
Lastly, slide the larger piece of heat shrink to cover all of the other pieces, and a bit on each side of the two joined cables.
Step 4: All Finished!
All done! you can now take your completed cable, and plug it into the JST port just behind the USB type B connector on the GT2560 rev 3 board. The other end, a USB type A, can be hidden inside the cage with the board, and plugged into any USB port. It will make your printer look clean, and have no external wire connections jutting out of the front of your printer.
Note: the awesome lighting you see in my otherwise pitch black room in my printer enclosure is from a kit. If you have a Geeetech printer, or literally any other printer that uses 2020 extrusion rail, I highly recommend getting a LED lighting kit from this link:
I have a 24v V-Slot Rail Kit installed on mine, which I can switch on and off, and it provides great lighting for seeing everything I want to, without washing out the webcam feed with glare.
I'm not being paid to advertise this, it's just an awesome product I recommend getting.
Congrats on your new cable and better looking 3D printer wiring!