My morning project!

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Topic/Postby Shevron » 09 Sep 2017, 16:45

My morning project!

So I always struggled with a certain problem while playing Elite Dangerous after purchasing a HOTAS Flight Stick. You need to have the stick and throttle on both ends, with mouse and keyboard in the middle - and with my stick that's always been a problem due to cable length:

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So this morning I woke up and was hellbent on solving it, so I decided to peel away the wire, and see what I am dealing with here.

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So 16 wires to cut and make some kind of extension. I don't like messy jobs, so it had to be something that was a) neat b) stable and secure and c) able to remove.

At first I thought I'd use a 25-pin serial connector, but it's too bulky, and finding a cable would be a pain. Then I thought .. 16 pins is exact number of an oldschool VGA cable!

So I pulled out my trusty soldering iron, hopped in the car and payed a visit to the electronic hobbyist shop for 2 female VGA connectors, and €6 later I was ready to go!

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"Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit."
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Shevron
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Topic/Postby Pepple » 09 Sep 2017, 16:48

Approve. Looks real fancy too!

Nice touch using the connector, I might step up to using them instead of just TAPING WIRES TOGETHER AND PLUGGING IT INTO THE MAINS.
Shevron wrote:(that came out larger than I expected)
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Topic/Postby Shevron » 09 Sep 2017, 16:58

There is still a slight problem inherited from using a VGA cable, but can fix it later this week.

Seems all VGA cables have 3 pins shorted to ground out of the factory, so it's keeping button 5 permanently on. I'll buy 2 male connectors, snip off the ends of the cable and resolder my own to eliminate the short.
"Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit."
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Topic/Postby Serendipity » 10 Sep 2017, 15:06

Wow, that's good going!
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Topic/Postby Shevron » 10 Sep 2017, 15:49

Mini-update.

The shorted pins on a VGA cable are nothing but trouble, so until I can build my own cable with 2-male connectors and a 16-core cable, I botched a temporary solution.

Stripped 2 CAT5 cables (8+8=16) and stuffed them in the connectors mirroring eachother.

Looks like shit, but the flight stick working like a dream now. I'll buy the stuff tomorrow.

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"Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit."
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Topic/Postby Shevron » 11 Sep 2017, 18:39

Stripped a VGA cable, and turns out the problem is the cable itself, not the connector.

The ground pins are connected to exposed shielding wire that are all wound into one mesh.

Found 16-core cables on eBay but they're like £30 for 2 metres. Too expensive for my liking.

Bought 2 male connectors and will neatly solder two CAT5 cables to it, and maybe use a neat spiral thingy to keep them together. Maybe try and find black CAT5 so I get a nice finish.
"Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit."
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Topic/Postby Gergel » 12 Sep 2017, 07:43

Have you tried looking in online electronic components stores? A quick peek into some of my favourite local stores shows me 18-core cable at something a bit more than 2€ per meter. Don't know if you have any similar shops available in Malta.
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Topic/Postby Shevron » 12 Sep 2017, 08:15

Only one shop available, and the only cables they had between 16 and 20 cores were way thicker than I need.
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Topic/Postby Pepple » 12 Sep 2017, 16:18

Two CAT5's are likely the way to go. Could always heat shrink them in a few places, or put the wires themselves in some nice thin and flexible conduit.

I've known people use black hosing to make their own wires to spec. Even stuff like fuel line and pump hoses, then just shrink the wires together and pull them through with a bit of string.
Shevron wrote:(that came out larger than I expected)
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Topic/Postby Shevron » 12 Sep 2017, 18:20

Yeah seems the way to go. I just stripped a faulty HDMI cable I had to see how many core there are, and it's just 13 usable wires.

Might try a 25-pin serial cable as a last resort, before settling for the dual CAT5.
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