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Keyboard building blog

Alarm cable as custom keyboard USB cable?

All the parts to build a custom cable are already on their way from Aliexpress and MDPC-X except one: the 4-wire USB cable itself.

Zapcables uses an USB 2.0 rated 4x28AWG cable with double shielding, but I couldn't believe I can't find a common cable in my home city and have to order it from China. Also, the ones I've found on Aliexpress were relatively expensive, about 1 USD/m. It would be much cheaper I guess, but the bulky cable's shipping fee has to be incorporated in the final price.

I was pretty sure there must be a local shop where I can buy something similar for much cheaper and my first trip led me to a shop for electricians. One clerk kept scratching his head as I presented him a scavenged USB cable, but an other guy led me into some kind of temporary storage room to choose. Oh man! Rolls of cables and wires everywhere up to the ceiling. And this was their "small" temporary storage room to have all the frequently sold types of cables near the shop.

He cut me 2 meters to try it at home and I've paid 99 HUF, which is 0.33 USD nowadays. This means if this type of cable works well, I can source 1 m of it for 0.16 bucks any time, close to my home.

The color of the cable is white/light gray and its diameter is 3.8 mm. This is a bit thicker than most of the USB cables I have laying around with a diameter starting at 3.2 mm. But for the paracord and MDPC-X sleeving it's still perfect.

However, this cable feels more rigid than my other USB cables. I'll have to test if this is an advantage during sleeving and coiling or a handicap. I would guess it makes the sleeving easier and the PVC shell makes baking it more reliable, but I can't be sure until I test it.

Just for the record here are the writigs on it:

SUD CAVI - ALARM CABLE CEI 20-22 II - 4 X 0.22 - CEI UNEL 36762 C-4 (Vo=400V:) 354/2019- 0.9758m: Eca: