Anyone use molex flat/ribbon jumper cable?

I'm talking this stuff:

I need to know two things:

How flexible is it? Does it bend like standard ribbon cable? Does it hold it's shape? Does it not like to bend when in short lengths? (I'm looking at getting 2" lengths.)

Is it easy to seperate? Could I take a 9 conductor cable and just tear it to make a 7 and a 2? Or will I need to use an exacto blade?


Actually, one more thing. This is solid wire right? Is it sturdy enough/suitable for plugging straight into a header like those found on the edge of some Arduinos?

I'm rubbish at reading spec sheets, so this is a bit of guesswork til someone with decent answers turns up...

It looks similar to IDE cable in PCs. If it is, it'll bend like any wire but only across the width of it.

You should be able to separate the strands without any problem, but you'll probably need a knife to cut a notch to give you a starting point but then it'll pull apart. I have no idea if this will stress the wire, but I suspect the chance of damage is less than trying to cut down a length using a wire.

You know, you can probably get hold of IDE cable for free. It's going out of fashion - computers tend to use SATA. Ask around.

I'm guessing you don't live in England, otherwise I'd offer to send you a couple to play with.

The cable you linked to is stranded, so you'd probably need to solder the end to stick it straight into a header (though I've managed to get stranded wire into a breadboard without a problem).

This isn’t exactly like IDE cable - those are 0.05" pitch, designed to mate with a 2 row 0.1" pitch IDC (insulation displacement connector).

This cable is 0.1" pitch, so it’ll mate up will with the arduino single row headers (or breadboards, etc). There is a flat web between the wires (unlike the IDE style ribbon cable).

My worry would be the 2" length - that doesn’t leave a lot of room for termination which, as cowjam points out, you’ll need because it’s stranded wire.


I use stuff like it, and love it!

it may not hold up to repeated flexing but yes you can bend it, and it usually holds its shape (considering its the same thickness as a component lead

I have never bought any though, I find it usually connecting boards together in older consumer electronics (vcr, clock etc)

you can cut off the extra wires you do not need, but since the space tween them is all plastic you cant just zip it like an ide cable (it tears funny and before you know it you have a exposed wire), but its trivial to cut with a art knife

also most of it is stranded wire that is tinned with solder, so it wont instantly break after a few bends, but still be ridged enough, and yes it fits fine in a bread board

[edit]you can get these in 4 inch and 6 inch segments too at digikey[/edit]

To the fellow that suggested using an IDE cable...

The point of using cable like this is to avoid the need to strip the wires.

I just went through the process of stripping a ribbon cable and it's way too much work for the number of boards I need to build. I spent an hour to get the exposed wires into the holes on my boards, until I realized I could tin the ends to keep them from fraying. But even then it was still a pain in the ass, partly because it's impossible to get the wire insuation to all be the same length.

Btw, I also just found this:

It's called AMP flat flexible cable by Tyco Electronics. And digikey will attach the connector to it for you.

Unfortunately, they don't offer it in the 7 conductor variety I need.

I have some similar (possibly the same) stuff that I got surplus. It had already been stripped and tinned for assembly in some discontinued product or other.

It's not quite as flexible as .05" pitch, but close to it: the insulation on the .1" is a bit thicker.

But what you're looking at is definitely stranded, not solid. Says so right on the catalog page. So no stuffing into breadboards.

Radio Shack used to sell solid ribbon cable in 4-wire widths. I think they had 10-conductor, too, but I'm not sure about that (this was many years ago). It's definitely stiffer and harder to work with than stranded.

But it is tinned isn't it?

What I need is something I can just pop right into the holes on a PCB and then solder without stripping, and preferably without having to tin it either.


I found this picture of it. It sure looks like its tinned:

I have yet to see any that is not tinned, even the bits I have now, you can score it with a razor pull off the insulation (all at once, thats a handy way of stripping any ribbon) and its tinned

I have some from old keyboards here at the shop, a sony vcr and some random no name alarm clock (about 6 foot of the stuff in total) and all of it is the same way

That stuff does look better than the IDE cable I suggested. Might pick some up myself.