Step by step how-to to pick up some nifty supplies by recycling an old cable using only a utility knife and wire cutters.
My garage is an electronics graveyard at the moment, filled with outdated/redundant/incompatible DB connectors of varying pin numbers that will in all likelihood, never see a signal again. All the DB-x connectors have pretty much been replaced by the ever popular 4 pin USB. So if you have any Serial, Parallel, or whatever connectors lying about and your into electronics, this may be handy. (I found a 40 pin connector in my garage buried under the mountains of floppy discs containing tax records of previous years)
Dont let your serial and parallel connectors go to waste. Just to put things into perspective, with 5 minutes of work and a dead cable, I got 200 ft of color coded hookup wire. Online the prices that come up for this quantity of hookup wire is around $50.00.
Step 1: Dissassembly
First youve got to take apart the cable obviously. Using a pair of heavy duty wire clippers, cut off the two heads of the cable, like the male part or the female part. I guess this sub-step could be called the castration. Anyways, next you make a long incision down the length of the cable. Sometimes there is a layer of teflon looking paper under that, which can be cut and disposed of. Next you should see a braided metal shield. Slide the wires out from the braid.
Step 2: Recycle Ideas
The wire can obviously be recycled into hookup wire for electronics projects. The nice part about this is that the wires come color coded and twisted for reduced noise and crosstalk. Nifty eh.
The braided shield cable could be recycled as solder wick, which sucks up solder like a paper towel when you are desoldering.
Any other ideas out there? Comment them.