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off topic- how to hand terminate ribbon cable

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  • Ben Greenfield
    Hey All, Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on this list maybe the finest on the internet for answering this question. I have 10 pin ribbon
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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      Hey All,

      Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on this list maybe the finest on the internet for answering this question.

      I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will only need to do it 10 times so if its's laborious.

      I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a hammer and block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if anyone has got some.


      Ben
    • Mr Ian Primus
      ... I d say this is exactly on topic - this is something that pretty much everyone has to do at some point with vintage computers. ... Don t use a hammer and
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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        --- On Fri, 12/14/12, Ben Greenfield <ben@...> wrote:
        >
        > Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on
        > this list maybe the finest on the internet for answering
        > this question.

        I'd say this is exactly on topic - this is something that pretty much everyone has to do at some point with vintage computers.

        > I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will
        > only need to do it 10 times so if its's laborious.
        >
        > I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a
        > hammer and block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if
        > anyone has got some.

        Don't use a hammer and don't strip the wires. These are IDC connectors, Insulation Displacement Connector. The teeth puncture the insulation on the cable.

        Place the ribbon cable into the connector and line it up with the teeth. Then use a clamp, vice, or other object to slowly squeeze it together. Personally, I use a quickgrip type clamp (the kind you squeeze a handle on, rather than a C clamp), and clamp the connector down to the workbench. This works so well I've never found the need to buy a real ribbon cable press, despite doing this very frequently.

        -Ian
      • Mike Hatch
        Hi, I usually split it into it s individual cores, and then use an old pair of cutters with a small nick in the jaws to strip each core, gently !. Or do you
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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          Hi,

          I usually split it into it's individual cores, and then use an old pair
          of cutters with a small "nick" in the jaws to strip each core, gently !.

          Or do you need to strip it as a ribbon of 10 in one go ?, then I use a
          proprietary wire stripper with the multi section jaws that "form" around
          a wire, in that case they just strip all the cores at once. This type
          (line wrap) -

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0001K9W58/?tag=hydra0b-21&hvadid=9557926269&ref=asc_df_B0001K9W58

          Mike.


          On 14/12/2012 15:24, Ben Greenfield wrote:
          > Hey All,
          >
          > Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on this list
          > maybe the finest on the internet for answering this question.
          >
          > I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will only need to
          > do it 10 times so if its's laborious.
          >
          > I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a hammer and
          > block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if anyone has got some.
          >
          > Ben
          >
          >
        • Brian Schenkenberger, VAXman-
          ... I was going to suggest poison or a gun! :) ... I d second Ian s suggestion of the quickgrips clamps. I have several of these with hard-rubber padding, so
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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            Mr Ian Primus <ian_primus@...> writes:

            >--ow9T4tDefjBl9BSokPaTRIVC-WJSZy43yt0BDKc Content-Type: text/plain;
            >charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
            >
            >--- On Fri, 12/14/12, Ben Greenfield <ben@...> wrote: > > Not
            >exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on > this list maybe
            >the finest on the internet for answering > this question.
            >
            >I'd say this is exactly on topic - this is something that pretty much
            >everyone has to do at some point with vintage computers.
            >
            >> I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will only need
            >>to do it 10 times so if its's laborious. I have tried 3 variations
            >>of stripping the wires and using a hammer and block of wood. I'm now
            >>ready for some advice if anyone has got some.

            I was going to suggest poison or a gun! :)



            >Don't use a hammer and don't strip the wires. These are IDC connectors,
            >Insulation Displacement Connector. The teeth puncture the insulation on
            >the cable.
            >
            >Place the ribbon cable into the connector and line it up with the teeth.
            >Then use a clamp, vice, or other object to slowly squeeze it together.
            >Personally, I use a quickgrip type clamp (the kind you squeeze a handle
            >on, rather than a C clamp), and clamp the connector down to the workbench.
            >This works so well I've never found the need to buy a real ribbon cable
            >press, despite doing this very frequently.

            I'd second Ian's suggestion of the quickgrips clamps. I have several
            of these with hard-rubber padding, so they don't scar the connector.
            Use of a vice, without some sort of similar guard, can leave teeth
            marks in the connector. You also risk crushing the connector if you
            are too overzealous when you close the vice. The only time I used my
            vice was when making 50 conductor cables for early SCSI connections
            because there was too much force needed to completely compress the
            connector on the cable.

            --
            VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

            "And though it seems they smile with glee, I know in truth they envy me
            and watch as my befuddled brain, shines on brightly quite insane"
          • B. Degnan
            There is a press to terminal cables, I have one, but it s for drive cables. Each cable type has a different die. ... cable ... the finest on the internet for
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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              There is a press to terminal cables, I have one, but it's for drive cables.
              Each cable type has a different die.

              -------- Original Message --------
              > From: "Ben Greenfield" <ben@...>
              > Sent: Friday, December 14, 2012 10:53 AM
              > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [midatlanticretro] off topic- how to hand terminate ribbon
              cable
              >
              > Hey All,
              >
              > Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on this list maybe
              the finest on the internet for answering this question.
              >
              > I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will only need to
              do it 10 times so if its's laborious.
              >
              > I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a hammer and
              block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if anyone has got some.
              >
              >
              > Ben
              >
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
            • Richard Cini
              Ben -- I actually use the wood block and machine vice method. While not terribly elegant, given that it s a non-production environment, it works pretty well
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                Ben --

                I actually use the "wood block and machine vice" method. While not terribly elegant, given that it's a non-production environment, it works pretty well so long at everything is square (jaw of the vice and the wood block). This ensures even pressure on the IDC connector as you clamp down. 

                Rich

                --
                Rich Cini
                Collector of Classic Computers
                Build Master and lead engineer, Altair32 Emulator


                From: Ben Greenfield <ben@...>
                Reply-To: "midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com" <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                Date: Friday, December 14, 2012 10:24 AM
                To: "midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com" <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: [midatlanticretro] off topic- how to hand terminate ribbon cable

                 

                Hey All,

                Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on this list maybe the finest on the internet for answering this question.

                I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will only need to do it 10 times so if its's laborious.

                I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a hammer and block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if anyone has got some.

                Ben

              • Mike Hatch
                Ben does not mention termination to an IDC connector. If it is a vice with smooth jaws is the easiest. Mike.
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                  Ben does not mention termination to an IDC connector.
                  If it is a vice with smooth jaws is the easiest.

                  Mike.


                  On 14/12/2012 15:24, Ben Greenfield wrote:
                  > Hey All,
                  >
                  > Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on this list
                  > maybe the finest on the internet for answering this question.
                  >
                  > I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will only need to
                  > do it 10 times so if its's laborious.
                  >
                  > I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a hammer and
                  > block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if anyone has got some.
                  >
                  > Ben
                  >
                  >
                • Ben Greenfield
                  Hey all, It is indeed an IDC connector and I will proceed with non stripped slow pressure termination method. I though all the answers had some quality except
                  Message 8 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                    Hey all,

                    It is indeed an IDC connector and I will proceed with non stripped slow pressure termination method. I though all the answers had some quality except for Bill's. Sorry Bill but that was a straight forward answer that could have written by guessing that a proper tool existed :)

                    This list is pure gold.

                    Ben


                    On Dec 14, 2012, at 11:22 AM, Richard Cini wrote:

                     

                    Ben --

                    I actually use the "wood block and machine vice" method. While not terribly elegant, given that it's a non-production environment, it works pretty well so long at everything is square (jaw of the vice and the wood block). This ensures even pressure on the IDC connector as you clamp down. 

                    Rich

                    --
                    Rich Cini
                    Collector of Classic Computers
                    Build Master and lead engineer, Altair32 Emulator


                    From: Ben Greenfield <ben@...>
                    Reply-To: "midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com" <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                    Date: Friday, December 14, 2012 10:24 AM
                    To: "midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com" <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                    Subject: [midatlanticretro] off topic- how to hand terminate ribbon cable

                     
                    Hey All,

                    Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on this list maybe the finest on the internet for answering this question.

                    I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will only need to do it 10 times so if its's laborious.

                    I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a hammer and block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if anyone has got some.

                    Ben



                  • Dave McGuire
                    ... Assuming it s an IDC connector... One does not strip or separate the wires before attaching the connector. The action of the connector depends upon the
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                      On 12/14/2012 10:24 AM, Ben Greenfield wrote:
                      > Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on this list
                      > maybe the finest on the internet for answering this question.
                      >
                      > I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will only need
                      > to do it 10 times so if its's laborious.
                      >
                      > I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a hammer
                      > and block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if anyone has got
                      > some.

                      Assuming it's an IDC connector...

                      One does not strip or separate the wires before attaching the
                      connector. The action of the connector depends upon the wires' webbing
                      not being separated. When you crimp one of these connectors closed, the
                      pins cut through the insulation and make contact with the conductors.
                      IDC == Insulation Displacement Connector.

                      There are crimpers specifically designed for doing this. For years I
                      used a machinist's vise (non-serrated jaws), then I dropped nearly $300
                      for the crimper. It was then stolen, which really pissed me off. It
                      was only marginally better than the vise, though, so I just went back to
                      the vise.

                      The important thing is to maintain orthogonality to the axis of the
                      connector...straight down, as even the slightest angle can cause
                      problems, either bad crimps or broken connectors. Crank it down until
                      the pressure only just begins to increase dramatically, looking around
                      the perimeter constantly to ensure orthogonality.

                      If you do this a few times, it will just become automatic and you
                      won't even think about it any more. (or worry about it, for that matter!)

                      -Dave

                      --
                      Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                      New Kensington, PA
                    • jack99rubin
                      The only thing to add at this point is to suggest that you spend the extra few cents and add a strain relief clip across the back. If you really want to go
                      Message 10 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                        The only thing to add at this point is to suggest that you spend the extra few cents and add a strain relief clip across the back. If you really want to go whole hog, you also include a pull tab when you snap on the strain relief.

                        Jack

                        --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Ben Greenfield <ben@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hey All,
                        >
                        > Not exactly on topic but I feel the skills represented on this list maybe the finest on the internet for answering this question.
                        >
                        > I have 10 pin ribbon cable that I want to terminate I will only need to do it 10 times so if its's laborious.
                        >
                        > I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a hammer and block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if anyone has got some.
                        >
                        >
                        > Ben
                        >
                      • joshbensadon
                        ... I usually use the Vise to squeeze the IDC connector. I had one of the professional tools, and they do the same thing. Best to put a smooth surface inside
                        Message 11 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Ben Greenfield <ben@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I have tried 3 variations of stripping the wires and using a hammer and block of wood. I'm now ready for some advice if anyone has got some.
                          >

                          I usually use the Vise to squeeze the IDC connector. I had one of the professional tools, and they do the same thing. Best to put a smooth surface inside the vise to even the pressure and not mark the plastic.

                          Good luck.
                          Josh
                        • joshbensadon
                          ... Good point. The Vice can destroy your connector. Only close until you see there s no more movement in the clip. You ll hear a click on some of the 3M
                          Message 12 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                            --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Schenkenberger, VAXman-" <VAXman@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Use of a vice, without some sort of similar guard, can leave teeth
                            > marks in the connector. You also risk crushing the connector if you
                            > are too overzealous when you close the vice. The only time I used my
                            > vice was when making 50 conductor cables for early SCSI connections
                            > because there was too much force needed to completely compress the
                            > connector on the cable.
                            >


                            Good point. The Vice can destroy your connector. Only close until you see there's no more movement in the clip. You'll hear a click on some of the 3M connectors. Further, don't worry about pushing more of the wire through the other end, you can always trim it with a sharp knife. But if you don't push enough wire through, then that's a problem.

                            Great advice everyone!

                            J.
                          • joshbensadon
                            ... I ve used them at work. The various die s snap in place. This press is very expensive for home use. I think they cost $300 up to $600. A vice with some
                            Message 13 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                              --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > There is a press to terminal cables, I have one, but it's for drive cables.
                              > Each cable type has a different die.

                              I've used them at work. The various die's snap in place. This press is very expensive for home use. I think they cost $300 up to $600.

                              A vice with some flat hard wood or aluminum strips to cushion the connector works equally well.

                              Josh
                            • evan@snarc.net
                              ... Yay, us. (Seriously: thank you.)
                              Message 14 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                                >> This list is pure gold.

                                Yay, us. (Seriously: thank you.)
                              • urrossum@att.net
                                ... For smaller (up to 34-pin) connectors, I found that a pair of ChannelLock pliers, and a bit of care, worked just fine. The ones I had kept the jaws
                                Message 15 of 17 , Dec 14, 2012
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                                  > I usually use the Vise to squeeze the IDC connector. I had one of

                                  For smaller (up to 34-pin) connectors, I found that a pair of ChannelLock pliers, and a bit of care, worked just fine. The ones I had kept the jaws more-or-less parallel as they closed, so it squished all of the wires reasonably uniformly. Fast, too!
                                  ~~
                                  Mark Moulding
                                • Mike
                                  I use a drill press, with the jaws in the chuck moved fully back into the chuck. I ll mount the connector in a way that it is not going to be damaged.
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Dec 15, 2012
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                                    I use a drill press, with the jaws in the chuck moved fully back into the chuck. I'll mount the connector in a way that it is not going to be damaged.

                                    Regards,
                                    Mike W

                                    --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "urrossum@..." <mark@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > > I usually use the Vise to squeeze the IDC connector. I had one of
                                    >
                                    > For smaller (up to 34-pin) connectors, I found that a pair of ChannelLock pliers, and a bit of care, worked just fine. The ones I had kept the jaws more-or-less parallel as they closed, so it squished all of the wires reasonably uniformly. Fast, too!
                                    > ~~
                                    > Mark Moulding
                                    >
                                  • B. Degnan
                                    Next workshop bug me, I would be happy to make cables using the press for anyone who wants them, I have a large box full of parts, ends, cables, etc for (I
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Dec 15, 2012
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                                      Next workshop bug me, I would be happy to make cables using the press for
                                      anyone who wants them, I have a large box full of parts, ends, cables, etc
                                      for (I think) 40m, 34, 25 pin needs. I have never gone through any of it,
                                      needs to be experimented with and cataloged.
                                      Bill

                                      -------- Original Message --------
                                      > From: "Mike" <mike@...>
                                      > Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2012 3:32 PM
                                      > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: off topic- how to hand terminate ribbon
                                      cable
                                      >
                                      > I use a drill press, with the jaws in the chuck moved fully back into the
                                      chuck. I'll mount the connector in a way that it is not going to be
                                      damaged.
                                      >
                                      > Regards,
                                      > Mike W
                                      >
                                      > --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "urrossum@..." <mark@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > > I usually use the Vise to squeeze the IDC connector. I had one of
                                      > >
                                      > > For smaller (up to 34-pin) connectors, I found that a pair of
                                      ChannelLock pliers, and a bit of care, worked just fine. The ones I had
                                      kept the jaws more-or-less parallel as they closed, so it squished all of
                                      the wires reasonably uniformly. Fast, too!
                                      > > ~~
                                      > > Mark Moulding
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ------------------------------------
                                      >
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
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