This one should be obvious, but I'd rather ask here then get some unexpected surprises.

One of my friends fried a proprietary USB cable which has male USB A connector at one end and TRS connector at the other end. As far as we can see, only the USB A connector seems to be damaged (one of the pins melted). I'm thinking of removing damaged connector and replacing it with something like this. How would I assemble that connector?

EDIT: Results for future users with same problem: Step one was to cut off burnt connector in such way that there is a bit of cable remaining connected to it. Then I removed metal shield from old connector and found relation between pins on connector and colors of internal cables. In retrospective, I think it would have been better to remove shield and to see which pin is connected to which ring before cutting off the connector. Maybe some crazy product uses internal wires of same color?

After that I removed piece of insulation from the healthy part of the cable, placed heatshrink and removed pieces of insulation from individual wires. To me it looked like the black part of the connector was there to facilitate cold welding, but it turned out that I had to solder wires to white plastic part. After that I placed black part on the white part. I was surprised with big metal part as it turned out that the protruding metal part should go next to the black plastic part. To me opposite it looked logical, but plastic parts would go in in only one orientation. In the end, small metal part is just placed on the exposed area of big metal part and small metal jaws are tightened. After that I moved heatshrink so that it covers the jaws and applied heat.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could just buy an iPod shuffle connector :P \$\endgroup\$ – Nick T Nov 10 '10 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would strongly discourage splicing an existing cable if this is for a company and at all important (e.g. production). The connector you linked looks quite good, if you use it with shielded wire, it should be just about ideal. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick T Nov 10 '10 at 16:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nick, the connector he showed is just the insides of a connector - it needs an injection-moulded part on top which it doesn't include. This is for a 1-off repair anyway, by my reading of the OP. \$\endgroup\$ – user1844 Nov 10 '10 at 17:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nick T It was just a single repair, but I did do my best to make it as good as I could. @Will Dean I couldn't find an injection-molded part, so I had to do without. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Nov 10 '10 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andrejako - the injection molded part is something you would have to make, using an expensive tool and an even more expensive molding press. What you've done with tape/heatshrink is the right thing. \$\endgroup\$ – user1844 Nov 10 '10 at 20:06

I think you'll find assembling it pretty straightforward when you have the bits in your hand. It's the 'now injection-mould the body' stage which comes next that you'll struggle with.

For a one off repair like this, you can probably do something useful with heatshrink to keep it all together.

Alternatively, cut an existing USB cable in half, and use the 'A' end with some of its attached cable. Then you'll only have to join the cables - another heatshrink job.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll get some heatshrink too then. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Nov 10 '10 at 12:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for cutting up another cable. Terminating to a usb connector properly really requires the ability to do injection overmoulding. \$\endgroup\$ – Connor Wolf Nov 10 '10 at 12:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ How is splicing a USB cable that different? Acutally it's probably worse because you're not shielding it at the splice point, while the connector @Andreja linked appears to be metalized at the connection point \$\endgroup\$ – Nick T Nov 10 '10 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the end I couldn't find injection-moulded part, so I soldered connector shut and used lots of masking tape to since connector is very smooth and hard to unplug just by itself. I also used heatshrink at joint between connector and cable. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Nov 10 '10 at 19:30

No need to buy a connector, pick up another male USB cable then:

  • Cut the head off the broken one.
  • Cut the tail off the replacement (leaving some excess wire underneath the connector).
  • Strip about 1/2" both sides of insulation (including the 4 wires).
  • (Optional) Add heatshrink to one side of the wire (but don't heat).
  • Solder them together.
  • Wrap each wire in electrical tape or position and heat the heatshrink.
  • Wrap the whole join in electrical tape to reinforce.
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately, I don't have another useless USB cable at the moment. \$\endgroup\$ – AndrejaKo Nov 10 '10 at 12:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Be careful to note which wires belong to which pin in the connector and to connect the new connector accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ – starblue Nov 10 '10 at 12:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can also use some bigger heatshrink for the outer layer. I find that more durable and pleasant than tape. \$\endgroup\$ – starblue Nov 10 '10 at 12:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is a standard for USB cable colours. +5V should be red, D- white, D+ green, and ground black. \$\endgroup\$ – gorilla Nov 10 '10 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gorilla - I don't think it's a "standard" so much as convention. Manufacturers are under no requirement to obey a color scheme, and I've found a few that don't. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick T Nov 10 '10 at 16:01

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