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Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?
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Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by rizla420 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:59 pm

Are there any special tools you need for crimping ribbon cable onto the IDC Headers? Specifically i'm looking into these kind of headers:

https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&productId=854671

on the specs for that part it doesnt list the accepted gauges. The ribbons i'm picking up are 28awg, but i have some loose cables that are 24awg that i'd like to also be able to put into these if possible. Anyone try that approach?


These are female headers with 2.54mm pin spacing. Im assuming i could use them with the typical 2.54mm male headers:
http://www.ladyada.net/images/parts/headerm36_t.jpg

Am i correct?

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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by rizla420 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:01 pm

Shortly after the post, i found this tool:

http://www.jaycar.com/productView.asp?ID=TH1941

Is it necessary or can pliers suffice, or is it more about apply even pressure along the whole ribbon?

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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by chelmi on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:16 pm

Depends on the width of your connector. For narrow connectors (e.g. width <= 8) you should be fine with regular pliers. It might be trickier for wider connectors but not impossible. The tool you mentioned is to apply uniform pressure, as you guessed.

And it will work fine with "standard" male headers.

Chelmi.

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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by rizla420 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:31 pm

chelmi wrote:Depends on the width of your connector. For narrow connectors (e.g. width <= 8) you should be fine with regular pliers. It might be trickier for wider connectors but not impossible. The tool you mentioned is to apply uniform pressure, as you guessed.

And it will work fine with "standard" male headers.

Chelmi.



Will that last one that i mentioned accept regular 24awg cable rather than the 28awg ribbon?

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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by franklin97355 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:31 pm

I use a small vice like the PanaVice.

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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by rizla420 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:13 pm

franklin97355 wrote:I use a small vice like the PanaVice.


Thats good, i should be able to make due with my vice as well, one less thing to purchase..

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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by rizla420 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:36 pm

These look like the ideal sweet spot for me.

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Tyco-Electronics-AMP/3-643814-7/?qs=VKrXD49J9EpCaHGcKK8ogA%3d%3d

I dont know how you actually "crimp" the wire in, not sure if thats the proper term for these. It looks like from the drawing you put the wire in from the top and then it goes into the corresponding "socket" for the wire, but not sure how it pierces the insulation and holds in place like the typical IDC ribbon housing.

Any ideas?

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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by chelmi on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:41 pm

http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/solder.html

Look at the bottom of the page, it will become all clear :)

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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by rizla420 on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:53 pm

chelmi wrote:http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/solder.html

Look at the bottom of the page, it will become all clear :)



Haha, yep. I've used those before, but i'm looking for a different route rather than using ribbons. I want something like a molex connector that i can connect to standard male headers in a single row, but without having to do that crimping stuff, its so tedious and time consuming (I have to make like 80-100 connections..)_. Thats where IDC type connectors look promising because all you do is crimp it and it pierces the insulation. The last one i linked isnt like the kind you have to squeeze with a pair of pliars/vice. Thats my conundrum. I think thats what I want, but i have no idea how i'm supposed to get the wire in place..

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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by Agent24 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:04 am

rizla420 wrote:can pliers suffice, or is it more about apply even pressure along the whole ribbon?


Pliers might work but might not. I wouldn't recommend them.
I have never used special tools, just my standard bench vise - works perfectly and very easily too.
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Re: Tools needed for working with Ribbon Cable?

by alex_dubinsky on Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:05 pm

The last one i linked isnt like the kind you have to squeeze with a pair of pliars/vice. Thats my conundrum. I think thats what I want, but i have no idea how i'm supposed to get the wire in place..

I looked at those Tyco's too, and got stuck same as you. I think the "real" tool costs hundreds of dollars. (The tool in post 2 is not correct.) I ended up going back to the "IDE cable" route with the squeezing of the two halves like in the usbtinyisp link.

The "IDE cable" connectors are good, but, again like you, I sometimes want to have just a single neat row, or a small jumper. The practical solution I've seen is to use "PC front-panel buttons/leds" jumper connectors with pre-crimped wires. Like these: http://www.pololu.com/catalog/category/72 used with these connectors: http://www.pololu.com/catalog/category/70 I've used them and they're a joy to snap together. The problem is I haven't been able to find a cheap-enough source. 20-50 cents per wire adds up. Frankly, pololu's price is ridiculous. In China those 50 cents will buy you a pound: http://www.flickr.com/photos/miserychick/317109425/ Surely there must be a source.... Even a chinese one. I haven't been able to find one at all (except these two links).
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