I was salvaging the connectors from a fraying micro usb cable (that came with an LG G4 phone) and found that the connectors have a unique construction (see image below, Source: https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Micro-USB-B-Crimping-Type-Connector_60483560958.html). Instead of the wires being soldered to pads or pins on the connectors, the wires are inserted into a plastic housing (white piece in the image below) with thin slots on one side. The housing is then pushed down onto the toothed pins, which pass through the thin slots, displace the insulation on the wires, and contact the copper within.

This design requires no tools besides wirecutters, obviously does not require any finicky soldering, and is robust and disassemble-able. So I was surprised that these are pretty obscure parts. I found a couple of ebay and alibaba listings, but none on aliexpress or DigiKey. Do these have a standard name? Are they available from Hirose or other brand names?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wild guess here, but maybe it has poor high-speed performance? USB 2.0 and especially 3.0/3.1 operate at speeds where impedance matching is critical. \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Mar 10 at 23:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Er, I meant that to answer the implied question of "why aren't these common", which my sleepy brain apparently interpreted as an explicit question. Oops. \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Mar 10 at 23:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mike, those are a form of Insulation Displacement Connectors (IDC). You may need a special and expensive tool to make use of them. They work by keeping the wires rigidly in place while sharp "teeth" bite into the wire to make contact. Then a cap is put on to trap the wires in place. Wires are stranded and have a very limited range of diameters. Nickle plated RoHS wires can be used. \$\endgroup\$ – Sparky256 Mar 10 at 23:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good points, this design would probably be impractical for the extra pairs in USB 3. @Sparky256 actually in the connectors that I salvaged, it's the cap itself that holds the wires: no expensive crimper needed, just some pliers to squeeze the cap onto the connector. \$\endgroup\$ – Mike Mar 11 at 3:38

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