Music keyboard wire question

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by masada, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. masada

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Hi there. Quick history: I pulled the housing off of a couple of MIDI keyboards that are specifically designed to hook up to a personal computer, MIDI to USB. (I basically created my own housing so they'd fit my space better.)

    Having said that, I ran into a problem - the circuit boards need to be positioned in an area that are too far for some wires to reach. Here's what they look like (click links to view images):

    A. Side view

    B. Top view

    C. The area on the board the wire / cable plugs into (highlighted for clarity)


    There's actually two questions:
    1) What is this wire called? It's terrible that I ask a question about something I don't know the name of.
    2) Since it cannot reach (to where I'd like it to go in relation to the keyboard), is there such a thing as an extension cord for this? That is, a male / female cord that I could extend this connection with?

    Thanks for reading, any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    you can call them 'ribbon-cables'.
    the connectors might be referred to as 'male or female disconnects'.
    there is a seemingly limitless variety of specific kinds. i don't personally know the type you show there, i mean i've seen them but i wouldn't know the name. a company called 'molex' makes many varieties, but there are other companies also.
    i can't tell if "female1y.jpg" cable is rated at 300 or 500 volts. 300 is a value which i have seen around quite a bit.

    you have several options:

    1) make an extension cable... find the right connectors and some wires which are rated within the needed spec. you might browse some supplier catalogues, but be aware, there can be minute differences which make all the difference... and some connectors are almost useless without a special crimping tool.... sometimes you can cheat and just use a bench-vice... not sure what you have there though.... looks like special tabs which are crimped or soldered on the end of each wire and then 'clicked' into the housing... i don't know.

    2) cut the existing cable and extend it by adding individual lengths of wire or a length of ribbon cable. strip the ends and solder together. use shrink-tubing to isolate each connection.

    option 2 would be the least hassle i think.
    if you've never done this kind of 'splicing' before, i'd recommend practicing a bit. just buy a length of ribbon cable... it should ideally be the same as the keyboard's cable, or maybe a higher specification in terms of how much volts, heat, amps it can handle... buy more than you need and practice joining the ends together with a soldering iron and solder, then heat-shrink the tubing over the joints. sometimes it's easier to use a 'third-hand', 'helper claw thing', or just anything which might hold one cable end for you... is a fairly simple operation, but a bit of experience makes it easier.
     
  3. masada

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Thanks for that.

    Would it be necessary to use solder for the connection? I'm thinking that if I bought some 14-way ribbon cable and some heat-shrink tubing I could just cut the wires, separate them, strip them a bit at the ends, twist each of the bare wires to their respective connection, then place a heat-shrink sleeve over it and shrink it up.
    Would there be a problem with that?
     
  4. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

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  5. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    no problem, but put the tubing around the wire before you make the connection ; )
    ....well, no real problem except that the connections might come apart.
    soldering would be far far more reliable i think.

    oh, and don't forget, it might be much easier to buy 16 or more stranded ribbon-cables and just peel off the unneeded extra.

    ah.
    but those IDC's work by piercing the ribbon-cable.
    the cable end in the photo is a different variety. the PCB does look like it would accept some kind of a 28pin IDC style connector... if there is such a thing, and if the hole spacing is the same... and if the key fits or can be made to fit... and i suppose if the current requirements of the equipment aren't beyond the spec of the connector.
     
  6. masada

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Thanks for that.

    On numbers 1, 5, and 9 the wires state 90°C, 300V, and — LF —. The rest have long bars, short bars, and dashes all in red.
    Would this give any insight as to what wires I would need?

    It does seem easier to extend the current cable, but I would REALLY hate to mess it up. I'd feel a lot better if I had an extension cable to connect instead. Maybe I'm reading too much into the difficulty. I manged to find this video here and it seems to be what I'm after. Is it really that simple?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  7. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    Are the hole spacing 0.1"? This is a standard (not the only one).
     
  8. masada

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    The distance between the pins on the circuit board connector are 2.5mm from point to point.
     
  9. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    wrong connectors.

    soldering iron. seriously.
    if you don't already have one, you'll be glad to have one if more modifications are in your future. they don't have to be expensive. last one i invested in was €35. observing proper use and upkeep, has been going strong for years (5 years i think).
    just read up on how to go about it... or (way) better yet, get an experienced practitioner to show you the ropes.
    soldering skills are as important as tying your shoe-laces before walking.
    in fact, soldering is easier than walking, though slightly more difficult than driving a car...
    it's all just a bit of timing and getting a feel for the materials.

    just practice practice practice until you get the technique down on some scraps of cable.
    cut the keyboard cable in the middle, you'll have plenty of service line on each side... if you screw up, no big deal, cut a little bit more off and have another go.

    incidentally, what kind of keyboard?
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    You do realize 1" = 2.54cm? And a lot of electronics, old chips especially, do not use metric? It sounds like standard ribbon cable connections, which is the best way to go. Always double check pin spacing though, there is also a lot of real metric out there.
     
  11. masada

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    I own a soldering iron and I know how to use it. I'm not afraid of soldering for this project, but that's not the issue. The important thing is to find out what parts I need to create such an extension cord for my needs.


    If it's too confusing, 2.5mm is 0.09842519685039369 inch. (lol) I just prefer to keep it simple.
    Incidentally, here's a map of metric system usage (green = metric).
     
  12. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    Could be, there actually are two standards, one as 0.1" and the other as 2.5mm. The difference is small, but for example on a 20 pin connector it starts to matter.
     
  13. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    ah well, then you're set. if you know how to solder, i really don't understand what there is to 'screw up'

    as explained, you need only cut the cable in the middle and extend with lengths of wire. needn't even be ribbon wire, just whatever stranded hookup wire will do the job.

    antarctica isn't metric yet? wtf? lol.

    but don't let the map fool you. the english still weigh themselves in stones, and canada is largely dual-system... lumber and people are quite generally measured in imperial.
    oh, and canada's conversion to metric wasn't without the odd accident (see 'gimli glider' incident)

    oh, haha:
    http://www.stevegarufi.com/antimetricholiday2005.htm
    lol
     
  14. masada

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Yes, there seems to be emotions involved with measuring for some reason. I fail to see the identity factor.

    Back to the issue, are these types of connections so strange and hard to figure out that I've managed to stump the entire electronics community? What I know thus far is that:
    - they are 14-pin connectors with a 2.55mm pitch.
    - 300v 14-way ribbon cable

    If I went to an electronics store to ask for this in order to create an extension cord, would this be enough information for them to help me out?
     
  15. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    well i think what you have there is called a 'crimp receptacle socket housing'. if you actually find a wire-to-wire plug that perfectly fits what you have, i'd think you lucky or crazy-persistent. there is a huge variety of connector types out there, as mentioned earlier.
    i did ask you the make/model of the keyboard.

    2.54mm i'd say.

    if you go to a shop. bring them a photo.
     
  16. masada

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Persistence shouldn't have anything to do with it. Either these parts exist or they don't. That basically what I'm trying to find out, as well as how to get my hands on them...whatever they're called.

    The keyboard info: M-AUDIO - Keystation 61es which is a 61-Key Semi-Weighted USB MIDI Controller. Is that type of connector really exclusive to the product it's in?
     
  17. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    This KIND of connector is pretty standard, but the dimensons of the space around the pin and the pin size vary wildly, especially the "lock" areas of the connector, so finding the exact tyxpe is not easy.
    Anywayut I think that male plug like this http://www.ges.cz/-bls-06-ges06614041.html should fit most of them, so that would by my first try if you can´t easily find anything similar.
     
  18. masada

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 28, 2011
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    Is that the same as this here?

    That's only one part of what needs to be made. The plug on the circuit board has pins that are 2.55mm apart. I think it is this here. (?) Not sure if that will work.
    The ribbon cable needs to be a certain grade, I'm guessing. That it says 300V on the side isn't enough information to determine which to get? Would the first entry at the top of this page here be what I need (grey flat ribbon cable)?

    I'm shooting in the dark, here.
     
  19. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    No those won't work. Try these at this store; http://www.connectworld.net/cgi-bin/hello-cables/L2814 To make sure email or call them to see if they will fit.

    Contrary to what Bribri said, almost all of the ribbon cables use the IDC type connectors. The company I linked you to sells cables to hook up almost anything, if they don't have it they'll make it for you.
     
  20. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    I never heard about 2.55mm pitch, it has to be 0.1" which is 2.54mm.
    Check what kind of signals go through the cable, but I doubt there would be anything that actually needed the 300v voltage rating, so both the cable and the connector should work.
     
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