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Custom USB cables for tight spacing routing?
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Custom USB cables for tight spacing routing?

by Prostheta on Mon May 04, 2020 12:05 pm

Hi everyone! I'm finishing up an Android tablet car install and I'm almost literally (ha) banging my head against the desk trying to get the final piece of the puzzle. That is, a USB C cable to the hub. The routing itself is pretty toit, more or less requiring a sharp 90° or even 180° turn from the end of the tablet's USB C, terminating in a female USB C connector. I need female so that I can connect the USB C hub since virtually all of them have a pigtail rather than a seperable cable....yeah....I've really gotten myself into a corner (no joke intended).

I really doubt that I can get anything off the shelf other than a 4-wire charging cable which doesn't do the trick. Whilst not the only option, the best one as I see it is to fabricobble a couple of USB C connectors together to form a 90°/180° adaptor that the hub can plug straight into.

Am I missing any other good options here? So here's a quick few photos of the routing.

Tablet in place, still fabricating the surround hence the primer and rough spots. Don't look.
IMG_20200504_184515.jpg
IMG_20200504_184515.jpg (128.79 KiB) Viewed 38 times

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Re: Custom USB cables for tight spacing routing?

by Prostheta on Mon May 04, 2020 12:06 pm

This is a cheap Ugreen charging cable which fits into the space, but doesn't have data function.

IMG_20200504_184727.jpg
IMG_20200504_184727.jpg (67.24 KiB) Viewed 37 times

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Re: Custom USB cables for tight spacing routing?

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon May 04, 2020 12:18 pm

Not sure if these extenders would be compact enough:
https://www.godspin.com/products/usb-c- ... 3750508597

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Re: Custom USB cables for tight spacing routing?

by Prostheta on Mon May 04, 2020 12:20 pm

Console surround removed, this is where the tablet sits against a bent acrylic bracket. It's pretty much edge to edge (2019 Samsung Tab A 10,1").

IMG_20200504_184647.jpg
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Acrylic bracket removed, space for routing the cable.

IMG_20200504_184755.jpg
IMG_20200504_184755.jpg (117.26 KiB) Viewed 36 times



Unfortunately, there isn't enough room for a straight cable out of the tablet. The closest I've found off the shelf are flat ribbon cable USB connectors (https://www.amazon.de/-/en/gp/product/B07Q2JBM79) however it is not currently known whether they are charging only or have full functionality as a USB cable.

Adafruit's stocks a USB C SMT board:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/4396

This would be an absolutely sweet answer if there was room for one connector and bending the cable:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/4198

Again, partial answer in a ribbon cable straight USB C connector:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/4108

Prostheta
 
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Re: Custom USB cables for tight spacing routing?

by Prostheta on Mon May 04, 2020 12:24 pm

adafruit_support_bill wrote:Not sure if these extenders would be compact enough:
https://www.godspin.com/products/usb-c- ... 3750508597


Thanks Bill. I'll have to suck it and see with one of those. My solution going into this was something built around the ribbon type connectors, which Adafruit stock a partial range of. If I'm lucky, the cable I have coming in from the usual scumbags will just work, however I'm very much suspecting that it will be shady at best. I need a backup. I'll try one of those adaptors, however I think the extension looks twice what I can fit in there. Perhaps more excavating with the Fein is needed!

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Re: Custom USB cables for tight spacing routing?

by Prostheta on Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:43 am

Alright, let's see where we stand with this one. I like to try and complete thread with updates and resolutions, even if I haven't quite gotten to that stage yet....

Well, I haven't found any cables off the shelf that fit the bill. All USB cables with angled connectors have a type A plug on one end, which is a total non-starter. The bottom line is that I need to fabricobble some sort of (correct my terminology if I'm inaccurate, USB C is a minefield and far from my area of expertise) extension cable that is a minimum of USB C 1.0 rather than essentially a "USB C to A adaptor" which commercial cables seem to be.

I also got in a couple of flat USB female to male extensions built around ribbon cable intended for FPV applications. As it turns out, these are pinned for power only, so no go there.

The best I seem to be able to come up with is to buy a couple of PCB-mounted USB plug/sockets and fabricate my own PCB. I'm sure that even then, this is not a simple A to B connection. Can anybody illustrate the requirements of a USB cable made up in this manner, as I certainly seem to be reaching the limited of autistic meltdown trying to pick apart the USB specifications.

If it helps, the tablet has a "USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0" port which I presume reduces the need for a fully-pinned cable. I'm thinking more around six lines, and that there wouldn't need to be negotiation chippery, maybe just a couple of resistors? I'm really hitting the limits of my mind today.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.