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Advice on Custom SATA cables

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by WantoN, 31 Oct 2018.

  1. WantoN

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Jun 2003

    Posts: 10,651

    Location: Hampshire

    I’m sorting all the cabling and connectors for an upcoming project. For most of my custom cables I use MDPC-X sleeve and black silicon wire, generally 18AWG (I tend to re-use wire when making custom fan cables).

    So I’ve got a few LEDs I’d like to power via SATA, a connector I’ve never worked with before. It seems the power connector is 15 pin, with a two part plug that either snaps on or needs gluing. Connectors coming from the power supply are female, and components tend to be male. Please correct me if any of this is wrong!

    None of the PSU cable will be visible, so I can use one of the standard daisy chained ones with four of the pass through connectors.

    Where the hell do I find two-part male connectors with solder terminals? I’ve looked everywhere, and OCUK don’t seem to do any connectors of any sort these days.

    So questions:
    • Is my thinking sound?
    • Have I gotten anything wrong that’ll cause me trouble when making these?
    • Where the hell do I find the appropriate connectors?
    • Is there an alternative I’m not considering?
    If I need to make custom wires for the PSU that’s not a problem, I would really like to avoid the traditional 4 pin molex as I think it’s garbage. I suppose I could use fan connectors, though I think they’re less appropriate.
     
  2. LuckyBenski

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Dec 2017

    Posts: 4,923

    Location: London

    Fan connectors are at least a standard, and can be crimped and sleeved easily.

    I've never seen SATA components available for sale which allow proper custom assembly. I've seen SATA connectors on fan controllers etc which can be PCB mounted. So you could get those and solder on but it won't be super neat.

    Maybe it's easier to buy the plugs for your PSU and build custom cables with fan connectors? I've just used a 7-pin DIN to connector a battery charger to a box so I feel your pain.
     
    Last edited: 31 Oct 2018
  3. WantoN

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Jun 2003

    Posts: 10,651

    Location: Hampshire

    Maybe you’re right fella. I’ll see if I can find male and female housings and crimps. It’ll be more compact too.

    Any suggestions?
     
  4. LuckyBenski

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Dec 2017

    Posts: 4,923

    Location: London

  5. Journey

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,622

    Location: West Midlands

    Have you looked at Digikey?
     
  6. WantoN

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Jun 2003

    Posts: 10,651

    Location: Hampshire

    Good idea. I tried the usual electronics suspects. I was just genuinely surprised that more of the modding sites don’t do them.

    I’ve picked up some male and female fan housings and pins, off the good ol’ bay in the end. Doubt the quality will be epic, but worst comes to worst and I’ll pick up something from work.

    Thanks for the help lads, genuinely surprised there’s not a bigger selection out there, maybe my google skills are not on point.
     
  7. Journey

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,622

    Location: West Midlands

    Digikey, Mouser, and few others are what most of the electrical engineers I work with use for low volume projects when needing reasonably quick delivery. They are not cheap, but you get access to all the datasheets and RoHS certification etc. which is important for industrial/commercial use.

    I guess there just isn't the market for it any more at the enthusiast level, and places like Maplin don't exist anymore so that doesn't help. At least you have found a solution, I hope it works out well for you. :)
     
  8. WantoN

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Jun 2003

    Posts: 10,651

    Location: Hampshire

    Yes these plus a couple of others are what I’ve used for work. So much of it these days is surface mount that we don’t even use them that often anymore. I did find another couple of pc specific sites though, I don’t want to breach rules, but they could be useful in the future. I use an excellent connector for external components, but they’re very expensive, so I’d rather avoid them for this.

    It’s all a shame really as it’s a part of my projects I really enjoy. Coming up with wiring solutions, busting out the soldering iron and trying to make them look good. I don’t get my hands dirty at all with work these days, and honestly I miss it.

    I’ll be starting the project log soon, just want to finish some of the processes that don’t look exciting and take ages, so it’s not one of those threads that takes months to conclude. Won’t be at all as impressive as some of the lovely stuff that goes on here, but I’m looking forward to it. Going for a clean industrial aesthetic.

    Thanks for your help man.
     
  9. LuckyBenski

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Dec 2017

    Posts: 4,923

    Location: London

    Relate so much to this. Looking forward to seeing the build :)
     
  10. WantoN

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Jun 2003

    Posts: 10,651

    Location: Hampshire

    Thanks man. Manage your expectations though, I’m no @davido_labido :D
     
  11. davido_labido

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Sep 2012

    Posts: 4,193

    Location: Nottingham

    aaah, I have pretty much all connectors and pins here I think dude!
     
  12. WantoN

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Jun 2003

    Posts: 10,651

    Location: Hampshire

    Haha, typical mate. Don’t worry I’m all sorted, I’ve decided not to light some of the hardware anyway, and stick to a couple of light sources plus any illumination on the components. I’ll use the 5v RGB header for a strip, and a fan connector for a small light bar.