Written By: Americanfreak
Introduction: Here’s a simple tutorial explaining how to build your own round cables. While rounded cables are not real expensive they are not always in the length, color or style that you want.
Round cables not only look cool through a case window, but they actually help keep your computer cool by allowing better air flow. Give it a try you just might like the results.
- IDE cable
- Knife or exacto blade
- Spiral tubing, convoluted tubing or braided nylon sheathing
- Tape or heat shrink
- Plastic wire ties
Step 1: Pick the IDE cable you wish to round. Personally I would start with a short floppy cable like below for my first attempt. (Note: Always use an extra set of cables, not ones you are relying on to run your peripherals.) Clean it up a tad and remove any stickers that might be on the cable. WARNING!!! On the cables make note of the motherboard side of the cables and mark them before proceeding as you do not want to install them in reverse order. (The twisted end of floppy cable always connects to the drive. The CD/DVD/HD cable should already be marked if not mark them.)
Step 2: Take some electricians tape, preferably near the color of your new sheathing or tubing, and next to the IDE connector wrap two layers evenly around the cable, being sure to keep it flat. Essentially, you are making a stopping point for splitting the wiring.
Step 3: Now, you need to separate the wire strands to make a “spaghetti like” workable mass of wiring. So, take your knife (or exacto blade) pick a 1-4 wire span and carefully press down (don’t cut) between the wires in the cable making a deep indentation, being careful not to cut into the separate wire insulations with your blade. Now, gently pull the wires apart, starting at the point you pressed into the wiring. Pull gently and slowly all the way to the tape stops you made in step 2.
Step 4: Take your sheathing material (I will be using braided nylon sheathing for this example) and lay it along side of your wiring, without stretching the nylon braid cut it to the length between the tape stops (roughly a 1/4” before the connectors) you made in step 2. A little more will not hurt as you can trim it. You are now ready to insert your wires into the sheathing.
Step 5: Take your cable and wrap the wire at an angle to one side of the connector (like in the image below), now slide your braiding carefully over the IDE connector and onto the wiring between. This can be a bit of a pain, but just remember to try to keep the braid pushed together slightly to relax tension on it and it should go on easily. Note: if you are planning on using heat shrink, be sure to slide that onto the sheathing at this point because once you snug up the sheathing it will be hard to get it on.
Step 6: Once you have the braiding between the two connectors, take a wire tie and compress the braiding snugly around one end next to the tape stop not the connector. Then pull the braiding towards the other tape stop, stretching it to take most of the slack out of the braiding. Now, put a wire tie snugly around this end next to the tape stop to make sure it stays in place. At this point if you see that you have too much sheathing on one end simply trim it back to the tape stop and you are good to go.
Step 7: Now you are ready to finish up. For this example I am going to use electricians tape instead of heat shrink to finish up the connector ends of the braiding/cable. Simply wrap the tape evenly around the ends being sure to make it as neat as possible and cover up your braiding ends and the wire tie.
Step 8: Install your new braided cables into your system and enjoy.
Really, just switch over to SATA already... but if you want to re-use those old IDE drives, this is the way to go.
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