Where to buy cable suitable for USB connections.

Thread Starter

ColinT

Joined Aug 5, 2020
21
USB was intended to be a universal data connection protocol and hardware standard, and has been passably successful in so becoming. However, the more I see of USB C the less I like it, especially solely as a power connection for SBCs such as Rpi. It's like using a steam-shovel to hammer a nail: way over-specified. Even worse, although I've not attempted it, I'd guess that USB C connectors cannot be hand soldered. As a result, I've decided to adopt my own workbench standards.

The first step is to find a reliable supply of suitable cable. This would have a light-gauge twisted pair for data, a single thicker cable for power positive, optionally another for power negative, and a wrapped (not woven) outer shield for shielding and optionally power negative. Does anyone know where such cable can be purchased in hobbyist quantities and pricing?
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,606
Contact Belden and speak to one of their product engineers and explain what you need. They will either have it in stock or make it custom.
 

Thread Starter

ColinT

Joined Aug 5, 2020
21
Thanks for the suggestion. However, one of the required fields for an email to Belden is "Company". I'm a hobbyist. I doubt that a company of that size would have the least interest in providing info, much less a quote, for a $50 purchase by a mere hobbyist.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,606
Not email, dial them up and ask for a field engineer. They can at least point you in the right direction. Amazon does not carry bulk "USB" cable, but the USB standard should tell you the wire specification, termination requirements and maximum run distance. Or else buy a long USB and chop it up.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
17,242
Thanks for the suggestion. However, one of the required fields for an email to Belden is "Company". I'm a hobbyist. I doubt that a company of that size would have the least interest in providing info, much less a quote, for a $50 purchase by a mere hobbyist.
The answer will always be no if you fail to ask. What's the problem? They have phone numbers for a reason and people to answer them. Investing in a positive image for the company is always to their benefit. I just hope you don't get someone having a bad day, so what could it hurt.

If you really want to create an illusion, go down to your county clerk, pay a nominal fee, and get a dba. they you can fill in the "Company Name". In a pinch you can use mine and just be a new division.
BMA Development
 
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Thread Starter

ColinT

Joined Aug 5, 2020
21
> Or else buy a long USB and chop it up.

Have you cut open a USB cable recently? If you're expecting something reflecting responsible engineering standards you'll be dumbfounded. The conductors are so thin that I wouldn't dare even WAVE a soldering iron near them; and by the time you got them up to soldering temperature, they'd have conducted the heat back far enough to melt all insulation between the wires, since it's the cheapest thermoplastic available. Even worse with the "shield" which is often no more than a token.

It's even worse with mains cables. How about Live and Neutral wires (no Earth) that are not even 7/0.2 - just a SINGLE strand of thin, untinned copper. You're obviously not up with the highly developed Chinese practices of extreme economy.
 
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