# IDC Socket and ribbon cable

#### vick5821

Jan 22, 2012
700
Hey guys, I know what is IDC socket now. To install this socket to the ribbon cable does it involve soldering ?

Thank you

#### Raven Luni

Oct 15, 2011
798
No soldering required. The plugs have 'teeth' which line up with wires in the ribbon. These bite through the insulation to make a connection. All you need to is insert the ribbon cable and press the thing together.

#### vick5821

Jan 22, 2012
700
No soldering required. The plugs have 'teeth' which line up with wires in the ribbon. These bite through the insulation to make a connection. All you need to is insert the ribbon cable and press the thing together.

OMG, that is so easy and cool !!!! Gonna get one IDC socket tomorrow !

Aug 13, 2011
1,114
IDC (insulation displacement connector).

#### (*steve*)

##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
"Pressing" it can mean using a special tool, or (as I have done in the past) judiciously using a hammer.

#### Raven Luni

Oct 15, 2011
798
I don't recommend foot and floor - it can slip that way and get destroyed - I lost a few that way

#### davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
14,040
"Pressing" it can mean using a special tool, or (as I have done in the past) judiciously using a hammer.

or even better a small vice so that the crimping remains even pressure along the connector

Dave

#### (*steve*)

##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
or even better a small vice so that the crimping remains even pressure along the connector

Far better! Judicious use of a hammer involves things like a piece of wood between the connector and the hammer and a very close eye kept to ensure that you're getting the connector to "close" evenly.

If you have a vice, I would certainly recommend one, however, I have been in the position of having to repair IDC cables in the field with nothing except the broken cable, a screwdriver, and a hammer.

I wouldn't recommend it as normal practice.

#### davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
14,040
Far better! Judicious use of a hammer involves things like a piece of wood between the connector and the hammer and a very close eye kept to ensure that you're getting the connector to "close" evenly.

If you have a vice, I would certainly recommend one, however, I have been in the position of having to repair IDC cables in the field with nothing except the broken cable, a screwdriver, and a hammer.

I wouldn't recommend it as normal practice.

I have to admit to wrecking more than one IDC connector using a hammer or pliers ---

I know, I know ... cant take me anywhere haha

D

#### (*steve*)

##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
Pliers... shudder...

The key thing, Vick5821, is to ensure that:

1) you have the cable the right way around -- not that this may involve not only correctly orienting pin 1, but also deciding which side the cable exits the connector.

2) ensuring the 2 halves of the connector are around the right way. Typically the connections are offset and the little blades fit into recesses in the cover holding the cable. Get that cover around the wrong way and you'll seriously mangle things. Just check it's the right way around (if it matters for that connector).

3) make sure the crimping is even. Don't force one side down before the other. This may place an excessive load on the connector or on clips which may hold the cover in place.

The correct tool is always best, but unless you're doing a very large number it is unlikely you will want to splash out for one.

edit: I have made mistakes in 1, 2, and 3. They can make you say bad things

#### vick5821

Jan 22, 2012
700
Pliers... shudder...

The key thing, Vick5821, is to ensure that:

1) you have the cable the right way around -- not that this may involve not only correctly orienting pin 1, but also deciding which side the cable exits the connector.

2) ensuring the 2 halves of the connector are around the right way. Typically the connections are offset and the little blades fit into recesses in the cover holding the cable. Get that cover around the wrong way and you'll seriously mangle things. Just check it's the right way around (if it matters for that connector).

3) make sure the crimping is even. Don't force one side down before the other. This may place an excessive load on the connector or on clips which may hold the cover in place.

The correct tool is always best, but unless you're doing a very large number it is unlikely you will want to splash out for one.

edit: I have made mistakes in 1, 2, and 3. They can make you say bad things

What do you mean by this ??--> edit: I have made mistakes in 1, 2, and 3. They can make you say bad things

#### (*steve*)

##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
1) I have placed cables around the wrong way (there are often 4 ways of inserting the cable, 2 are acceptable, 1 is right. If you get it wrong (as I have) you might get annoyed with yourself.

2) Sometimes the connector seems to kinda go on both ways, but one way is right and the other way can destroy the connector. Put it around the wrong way (as I have) and you might get annoyed with yourself.

3) if you're using an "unconventional" crimping method, beware of overstressing something and breaking it. Do this (as I have done) and you might get annoyed with yourself.

When I get annoyed with myself, I sometimes say things that this forum will replace with asterisks.

I am simply telling you that here are some mistakes I've made. Learn from my experience, and don't make them yourself.

#### vick5821

Jan 22, 2012
700
No soldering required. The plugs have 'teeth' which line up with wires in the ribbon. These bite through the insulation to make a connection. All you need to is insert the ribbon cable and press the thing together.

I am still blur about the working principle for this things. I need an even force to press it and the insulated wired will being cut ?

#### (*steve*)

##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
Yes. Look closely at the connector (where the wires attach) and you will see pairs of blades which poke through the insulation between wires, then slice the insulation around one wire, forcing the bare wire to make contact with them.

#### CocaCola

Apr 7, 2012
3,635
The crimp tools are cheap and they make it nearly painless to do, I just have a cheap 'Ebay' pressing tool and even it works fine... You just need to make sure the ribbon is in 'straight' and 'centered' in the connectors and crimp closed... It's really hard to screw it up, the only real advice I have is get a good sharp pair of shears or even a decent pair of scissors to cut the cable, you want a clean fast cut so that you don't have wire strands hanging out that might cause shorting...

The only issue I had with my cheap press tool is the IDC anvil kept moving and falling off since it's interchangeable for other connector types... A little silicone glue to hold it in place and the tool is flawless now...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/IDC-IDS-Rib...lectrical_Equipment_Tools&hash=item4ab835a0c7

I have made 1000s of cables by hand over the years, as it's stupid expensive to have a custom sized run made...

BTW to avoid the connector issues Steve brought up, I have a short double ended SAMPLE cable that stays with the tool, I reference this cable every time I make a new one to verify that I placed the connectors on correctly and don't make a bone head reverse of polarity, because trust me you will

Last edited:

#### vick5821

Jan 22, 2012
700
The crimp tools are cheap and they make it nearly painless to do, I just have a cheap 'Ebay' pressing tool and even it works fine... You just need to make sure the ribbon is in 'straight' and 'centered' in the connectors and crimp closed... It's really hard to screw it up, the only real advice I have is get a good sharp pair of shears or even a decent pair of scissors to cut the cable, you want a clean fast cut so that you don't have wire strands hanging out that might cause shorting...

The only issue I had with my cheap press tool is the IDC anvil kept moving and falling off since it's interchangeable for other connector types... A little silicone glue to hold it in place and the tool is flawless now...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/IDC-IDS-Rib...lectrical_Equipment_Tools&hash=item4ab835a0c7

I have made 1000s of cables by hand over the years, as it's stupid expensive to have a custom sized run made...

BTW to avoid the connector issues Steve brought up, I have a short double ended SAMPLE cable that stays with the tool, I reference this cable every time I make a new one to verify that I placed the connectors on correctly and don't make a bone head reverse of polarity, because trust me you will
USD 20.69 is not a small amount for me as a student

#### CocaCola

Apr 7, 2012
3,635
USD 20.69 is not a small amount for me as a student

It is if you have to do a lot of cables, the time saved and near zero failure rate pays for itself quite quick... Many of the IDC connectors can exceed $1 or$2 a pop, when you start wrecking them trying to do it with another hacked method that \$20 doesn't look so bad...

For one or two here and there, you can of course make a simple vise to do it, or use a vise for that matter, but if you have large volumes trust me the proper tool will save you much aggravation...

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