Simpleton's Guide: What Is A Custom Coiled USB Cable?
Black Paracord, Carbon PET, Black heatshrinks, SA12 connector
Looking at custom coiled USB cables is overwhelming for someone buying it for the first time. Too many terms, too technical and definitely not suited for simpletons like us. We hope to simplify this, and give you an idea on how to pick your own USB cable.
What is a custom coiled USB cable?
A custom USB cable is a handcrafted cable containing a coil that connects a USB port to another USB port. If you are reading this, you are probably thinking of getting one that connects your keyboard to your PC. Make no mistake, you can even connect this from your PC to your USB fan to blow yourself. But if you're going to spend that amount on a USB fan cable, we would like to trouble you to take a photo and send it to us because we would like to see how the super rich live their lives. Custom USB cables are another way to take your aesthetic game to the next level, with cables made to your preferred colour, length and accessories.
Where do I start?
To start conceptualising your own cable, you would first need to identify which USB plugs you need. There are mainly 4 different types of plugs: USB Mini, USB Micro, USB C, USB A. The standard PC end, which is the bigger rectangular shape connector, is USB A (because it looks like a big Ass). The keyboard end may use any of the 4 connectors, and USB C is probably the most common of the bunch (yes, that is why it is also called USB C). Before you start taking our ground breaking theories seriously, we would encourage you to look at the specifications or instruction manual of your keyboard to confirm which USB connector your keyboard uses. Once you have identified the 2 USB connectors for your cable, we can now get to the crux of the matter.
What is your effective length?
Next, you need to see where your keyboard USB port is. It could be on the left side, center, right side or somewhere else. What is most important is where the cable fits in with your whole setup. It connects to your PC, so you need to chart the path of where the cable will go, to get an idea of where the coiled portion of your cable will fit, and the overall length that your cable needs to be. You don't need pinpoint accuracy, just a reasonably good estimate. As long as you think that 1.2m is a significant difference from 1.8m, we would say that you're in a good place, both in life and for this. You now know how long your cable should be, and that would be your "effective length". We often recommend customers to take a piece of dental floss, chart the expected route, and measure the floss accordingly.
You now just need to decide how long you want your fancy coiled portion to be. To provide a better idea, if the coiled portion is 15cm in length and the effective length needed is 150cm, 135cm will be in straight cable while the coiled portion will be 15cm. To clarify, you don't need to calculate the actual length of cable that is needed for the coils, because it's 3.142 here and there, so why bother? All you need to do is decide how long your coiled portion should be.
This is a sample custom USB cable with white paracord and carbon (white/transparent weave) PET overlay, white heatshrinks with aviation connector.
What are sleeving options?
The cable can be sleeved up with paracord only, PET only, or both and this gives the cable it's colour and rigidity. PET stands for Penile Erectile Tissue (just kidding, it does not). Paracord with PET overlay is the most common option as it provides the most rigidity and durability. Now for our usual simpleton analogy, Paracord is you wearing tights and PET overlay is your fashionable jacket with cut outs so that you can see some of the underlying tights. The PET overlay will reveal the paracord colour underneath, which in this cable's case, was white. Choose your ideal colour combination with the limits of your imagination.
What are the optional connectors for?
Hang in there soldier! We're almost there. The optional connectors are mostly for aesthetics. Available options for connectors include aviation, SA12 and tubby. Aviation connectors, as the same suggests, resemble connectors used in the aviation industry. All these connectors actually have a practical function however, in that they are detachable. This allows you to split your coiled portion from the straight potion of the cable. It is purely optional as an add on.
What are heatshrinks?
Last but not least, heatshrinks are the outer coverings that cover the end plugs. Heatshrinks come in a variety of colours as well. While it adds to the aesthetics, it is also a protective layer to ensure that your cable is as durable as it can be. With that, you have all the options you can choose for your cable, with a ton of combinations and possibilities.
Custom USB cables are not cheap, let's be real honest here. The cost is mainly for the handcrafting, tedious process and skill required to make the cable to a customer's specifications. Now that you are armed with this knowledge, we hope it helps in getting a better picture of what custom USB cables are and the various ways of how you can customise your cable.
At Kwertie Keys, we make our own cables. Yes, simpletons can also make great artisans. We are driven by pleasuring other people, so this picture is from a recent customer who wanted to show us how much pleasure we gave him.
Maroon Paracord, White heatshrinks, Aviation connector