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Thread: Cable Sleeving Guide

  1. #1
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    Cable Sleeving Guide

    Well after a few requests on OCAU I put together a rough guide to cable sleeving - now before you get too critical I did say rough .

    PLEASE NOTE that you do this at your own risk - I take no responsibility for burnt out psu's, mobos etc

    Now before we get started there is one thing I MUST point out and that is that most power type cables tend to inter-twine - in other words the cable that is in the left most hole at one end may not be in the same position at the other end. I HIGHLY recommend that you take your time and do each cable one at a time (if you are grouping cables make sure you label them accordingly so you do not forget their order) because if you get the order incorrect when you go to power up the next time there is a very good chance you will see the magical black cloud!!

    Recently the guys over at MurderMod have release two sleeving kits that I believe are the absolute Cats Pajamas of sleeving. Nothing comes close to the quality of the MDPC-X sleeving and they have made it so easy for the end user to get all the various sizes you need for you to sleeve and entire system. There are two different packs that contain various lengths of sleeve with the Psychopack being the better of the two.

    MurderMod Sleeving Kits


    However I should mention that the sleeving used in this guide is all 1/8" Techflex PET like this (due to having done this all a few months before the MurderMod sleeving was available)
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...roducts_id=122

    or for the Aussies
    http://www.gammods.com.au/store/inde...ath=7_20_18_28

    The majority of the heatshrink was 1/8" as well.
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...roducts_id=206

    again for the Aussies
    http://www.gammods.com.au/store/inde...ath=7_20_21_51


    First thing first and that is you need to decide what exactly do you want to sleeve. Are you going to just do the 24 pin cable? Or are you going to do the pcie, fan, molex and the whole shebang. Next step is to work out if you are going to be doing them individually or in groups. This then helps you work out what size sleeving is going to suit your needs. For individual power cable sleeving and fan sleeving I find that 1/8" sleeving is perfect. But once you start moving into groups it all comes down to how many per sleeve you are trying to do.

    Now there are many different types of sleeving out there as well as kits that give you different lengths/sizes with their appropriate sized heatshrinks as well. These are good but you may end up only using one size and the rest will just sit there. The other option is to buy it in the size that you want and the desired quantity. For sleeving in Aus its hard to go past gammods as they have a large range of sleeving in all sorts of sizes and colours as well as the heatshrink to go with it. Or the more expensive (but oh so worth it) option has arrived with the launch of the MurderMod site which now sells the mdpx sleeving (of Million Dollar PC fame). This sleeving is slightly thicker and is less likely to show the colour of the cable it is hiding. Again as mentioned previously there is no better sleeving available on the market at this time (My Opinion).


    Now that you have selected your sleeving size/colour options you are going to need some tools to remove the pins from the various plugs.

    For all non molex type plugs you can use tools like the ACRyan one below but I found that they have a tendency to break fairly easily. Actually the easiest thing to use is some standard staples....yes staples



    I find that two together once bent into shape are a perfect fit for removing those pesky plugs and if you break them...simply get a couple more:thumbup:



    What you do is simply place either the pin remover or staples in the end of the plug like so



    and then push them in as far as they go (this is where you are likely to break the tools) and then pull on the cable. You shouldn't need too much force but some are a little harder to remove than others.

    example of two removers one broken


    Just pull on the appropriate cable




    To demonstrate your goal at this step Moogle drew up the below diagram to better help explain the process (image courtesy of Moogle @ Hexus.net)



    At this point you can measure up and cut the sleeving to cover the length of the cable - NOTE - that you will need to allow slightly more sleeving than what appears to be needed as when you slide the sleeving over the cable it looses some length as it expands to fit the sleeving.

    The next step from this point is you take some heatshrink cut to an appropriate length so that when you heat it up it will cover both the end of the sleeving but a section of cable as well. You take this and slide it onto the cable followed by the sleeving.



    Once you have moved the sleeving almost to one end guide the heatshrink over the end of the sleeving so that there are no stray wires sticking out.



    Now this part will require some nimble fingers and patience if you are using 1/8" heatshrink with 1/8" sleeving as it takes a little bit to get the heatshrink on. But once it is on there it is less likely to come off than if you had used a larger size that doesnt shrink enough to get a firm grip.



    Once you have done this end you can either use a heatgun or the missus hair dryer to heat the shrink up so that it keeps the sleeving in place. Do the same at the other end and once that cable is done simply click it back into place within the plug like so.



    Now trust me when I say that at first you will probably find it a little difficult and you will probably get frustrated. But if you persist you can get some excellent results.


    Here are some quick examples of some I have done recently.....















    Last edited by Dangals; 08-25-2009 at 01:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    Now what about those Sata Cables that have plugs at various intervals along the cable??? No Problem

    An example of the plug most power supplies use




    Now what you do is use something thin but sturdy - standard tweezers do the trick nicely - you slide the edge of the tweezer under the rim of the plug and simply pop the top off like so...




    Once you have done that the cables simply come out and you end up with this




    Now all you need to do is work out how far apart the plugs need to be in order to get the cleanest lengths of cable and arrange the plugs appropriately. Then while the cables are still detached from the plug simply apply your sleeving as demonstrated in the post above and try and get them as close to the plug as possible to avoid and "colour" of the cable showing.....

    To get the cable back into plug requires a little force as when you put it back in it actually cuts the exterior of the cable (which is great as it saves you from having to buy wire strippers!!!)



    Now here is one I did earlier






    Ok another thing that is relatively simple to sleeve are fans. Now there are two types of connectors for fans. You have the three pin and the molex. Three pins are more common on your after market fans as opposed to stock fans that tend to come with cases which are usually molex.

    I will start with the three pin:
    What you will need is something thin that can push in the pin of the little connector at the end of each cable. Since breaking the pin remover I have been using it but you could also use a paperclip, tweezers, really anything which as a thin but fairly sturdy end.

    When you press in gently using you selected tool - simply pull back on the apporpriate cable and it should come straight out.

    Now excuse the hands




    To give you an idea of what it is that you are trying to achieve Moogle drew up the following diagram which illustrates the above step (Picture courtesy of Moogle @ Hexus.net)







    Once you have removed all three cables you can apply your chosen sleeving + heatshrink combo. Now it is possible to use 1/8 sleeving on the cables for fans - but it is next to impossible to use 1/8" heatshrink. You need to use the next size up for your sanity (trust me I did 2-3 fans with 1/8" and I nearly lost my mind )

    Before you reinsert the cables into the plug you will need to raise the tab you pushed in when you removed it. Easiest thing to use here is a good old stanley knife, just gently easy it in and bend it back out again. But remember to be gentle as they can break off if too much force is applied.




    again here are some that I prepared earlier










    EDIT:

    SATA Data Cables

    Ok well I finally got my hands on the sleeving I wanted to use for my Sata cables (big to Charles_h for getting these for me) so as I was doing them I took a few pics to help explain what to do. The sleeving that I am using is 3/8" Techflex.

    Ok so first thing is first determine how long you want your heatshrink to be and cut 2 pieces the same length. Feed both of them over one end of the cable like this




    Now you may just make out that the corners of the plug have been shave to stop them from catching on the sleeving as I pass it over. To do this I simply used a razor blade and shaved a little bit of the point off.

    Then the next step is to guide your sleeving over the end. Now this bit is a little tricky I found that the best way was to place the sleeving at the end of the connector and then bunch it up which stretches it enough to go over the plug and from there you can guide it down the rest of the length of cable.





    Then guide your shrink down to the desired point on the connector like this





    Then using your favourite heating device (hairdryer ) heat the shrink till it grips. Now the shrink I am using here is 3:1 gluelined which gives it an excellent grip and I dont think it will be coming off anytime soon.

    Last edited by Dangals; 08-25-2009 at 02:01 PM.

  3. #3
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    Nice Guide dangals, this will be great for beginners and folks that ask about sleeving jobs and stuff.

    Some additions might be to link some of the various types of sleeving in your first post and perhaps heatshrink as well. Another suggestion would be to mention some standard sizing depending upon the job that you want to do. Oh, and a very big warning "try at your own risk, not responsible for burnt psu's mobos etc etc".
    With those added in, I could see sticky in your future!!!!!
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  4. #4
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    Nice sleeving guide!! I've sleeved a bunch of cables but picked up some new tricks from this. Thanks Dangals

    Do you use a hot knife to cut the sleeving? I don't have one but was wondering if it was worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LogAn'sRun View Post
    Nice Guide dangals, this will be great for beginners and folks that ask about sleeving jobs and stuff.

    Some additions might be to link some of the various types of sleeving in your first post and perhaps heatshrink as well. Another suggestion would be to mention some standard sizing depending upon the job that you want to do. Oh, and a very big warning "try at your own risk, not responsible for burnt psu's mobos etc etc".
    With those added in, I could see sticky in your future!!!!!
    Thanks for the compliment.

    Changes made to first post.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueAqua View Post
    Nice sleeving guide!! I've sleeved a bunch of cables but picked up some new tricks from this. Thanks Dangals

    Do you use a hot knife to cut the sleeving? I don't have one but was wondering if it was worth it.
    Thanks BA

    I have no experience with a hot knife - I just used a regular razor blade (changed blades after a while so it was still sharp.)
    Last edited by Dangals; 09-24-2008 at 01:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    Very nice guide. Should definitely get a sticky. Maybe finish the guide with a miniguide on various ways to shrink the heatshrink, and how to do it. Examples may include an open flame, heatgun, I've heard people using a hairdryer.
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  7. #7
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    Nice. I'm having hell with my TX750 on the 24pin. stapels, pins, needles, etc, no dice.

  8. #8
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    Fantastic Guide Dangals!


    Most of the Weller Soldering Gun Kits come with a cutting tip.

    I find them more of a PITA tho... you tend to get honkin' long goo-threads when using them to cut. I find the cutting tip useful after I've cut sleeve with scissors - you can use the flat side of the tip to gently sear the end of the sleeve which is usually enough to prevent fraying.

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    Nice guide Dangals

    Cheers

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    Hey nice work Dangals, i saw this back home at OCAU too.

    I'm sure it'll be of use to many people

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    Quote Originally Posted by charles_h View Post
    Fantastic Guide Dangals!


    Most of the Weller Soldering Gun Kits come with a cutting tip.

    I find them more of a PITA tho... you tend to get honkin' long goo-threads when using them to cut. I find the cutting tip useful after I've cut sleeve with scissors - you can use the flat side of the tip to gently sear the end of the sleeve which is usually enough to prevent fraying.
    Thanks Charles! you are the one that inspired me to give this a go with the build you did for FC so it is you that should get the

    Quote Originally Posted by .Logic View Post
    Nice guide Dangals

    Cheers
    Thanks mate

    Quote Originally Posted by twwen2 View Post
    Hey nice work Dangals, i saw this back home at OCAU too.

    I'm sure it'll be of use to many people
    Yeah figured that it should be here as well. There will be a few additions to this one though....more to come.

    Quote Originally Posted by BreeSpree View Post
    Very nice guide. Should definitely get a sticky. Maybe finish the guide with a miniguide on various ways to shrink the heatshrink, and how to do it. Examples may include an open flame, heatgun, I've heard people using a hairdryer.
    Is now stickied!!! YAY - my very first sticky sorry couldn't help myself.

    I will add a section on heatshrink to the guide - I indeed use a simple hairdryer....my partner kept wondering where hers kept dissappearing too

    Quote Originally Posted by BoogerB View Post
    Nice. I'm having hell with my TX750 on the 24pin. stapels, pins, needles, etc, no dice.
    PM me if you wish.

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    Nice job I'm not a fan of sleeving each individual wire on the 6/8 pin connectors myself but it still looks great!

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    Thanks gives me good idea how these pins work got a fair bit of custom sleeving coming up soon on my custom case

    custom case
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  14. #14
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    awesome idea with the staples m8, Im going to sleve all my cables when i get some funds and time thanks a million for the guide !

  15. #15
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    @ dangals

    I noticed you use a very small amount of heatshrink at the end of you sleeving, do you find (as I have in the past) that the sleeve easily pulls out of the heatshrink??? or is it a different situation when sleeving single wires compared to 2-4 at a time?

  16. #16
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    With 3:1 (or better) Shrink of the right size, this is not a problem. Get a diameter that just goes over your "victim". About adhesive-shrink there are different opinions by everyone. I prefer non-adhesive shrink. With 2:1 shrinkrate shrink you will rarely get a tight grip on the sleeve. Avoid 2:1 is true for all I guess

    Dangals: Nice job you are doing here for the english speaking community

    My friend Charles: It is nice to celebrate cables, make them a design element and not to hide them anymore ... after how many years of ugly colored cables? 30 ... 40 ... ? Thank you for having brought individually sleeved wires to the screen with the murderBox back in December07 (?) when you did the 24pin-ATX.

    Here is my addition to the trend that already became a massive one in Germany:
    Last edited by dualbrain; 09-25-2008 at 09:46 AM.

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    Nice guide for the newones Dangals It's very handy when you never sleeved something in your modding career :P

    Maybe I try to sleeve my sata powercables but I think that isn't so easy as it looks.
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    Nice job, Dangals! Grats on the sticky!

    The one line note on my "Project Plan" that used to read "Sleeve PSU cables - Red" has been moved to its' own page and is now many, many lines thanks to you.

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    Yea i would like to sleeve some Sata cables but i cant find the right Sleeving and Heatshrink to use.

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    I'm going to be linking a friend here ... he almost b0rked his PSU after narrowly avoiding a big sleeving error on his 24pin ATX connector. Looks like the OP knows what he's doing ... xD

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    Yeah, showing us how to sleeve SATA cables would be nice. I myself can't figure out how to fit the dang heatshrink and sleeving over the big connectors. I've seen it done though, just don't know hwo they do it. The sleeving possibilities are endless. Other sleeving curiosities I have include how to sleeve liquid cooling tubing, as I have also seen that done before, but again, have no idea.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluc View Post
    Thanks gives me good idea how these pins work got a fair bit of custom sleeving coming up soon on my custom case
    Quote Originally Posted by elite.ire View Post
    awesome idea with the staples m8, Im going to sleve all my cables when i get some funds and time thanks a million for the guide !
    thanks for the kind words guys

    Quote Originally Posted by SNiiPE_DoGG View Post
    @ dangals

    I noticed you use a very small amount of heatshrink at the end of you sleeving, do you find (as I have in the past) that the sleeve easily pulls out of the heatshrink??? or is it a different situation when sleeving single wires compared to 2-4 at a time?
    Quote Originally Posted by dualbrain View Post
    With 3:1 (or better) Shrink of the right size, this is not a problem. Get a diameter that just goes over your "victim". About adhesive-shrink there are different opinions by everyone. I prefer non-adhesive shrink.

    Dangals: Nice job you are doing here for the english speaking community
    @ sniipe_dogg - as mentioned by dualbrain it is all about getting the shrink in the right size - now for the ones that I did nearly everything with done with 1/8" sleeving and 1/8" heatshrink - so therefore it is a really snug fit when you heat it up. Also as DB mentioned you can get glue-lined heatshrink as well which helps minimise the chance of a "blow out".

    @ Dualbrain - wow another legend popping in - I love the work you do with MDPC - hopefully one day I will have a machine worthy of joining

    Just out of curiosity what is that thing that you showed??

    Quote Originally Posted by Zw_Roodbaard View Post
    Nice guide for the newones Dangals It's very handy when you never sleeved something in your modding career :P

    Maybe I try to sleeve my sata powercables but I think that isn't so easy as it looks.
    It is actually not that bad - just remember to take your time and you will be fine

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazBoy357 View Post
    Nice job, Dangals! Grats on the sticky!

    The one line note on my "Project Plan" that used to read "Sleeve PSU cables - Red" has been moved to its' own page and is now many, many lines thanks to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by JaYp146 View Post
    I'm going to be linking a friend here ... he almost b0rked his PSU after narrowly avoiding a big sleeving error on his 24pin ATX connector. Looks like the OP knows what he's doing ... xD
    thanks guys - makes this all worth while

    Quote Originally Posted by Scubar View Post
    Yea i would like to sleeve some Sata cables but i cant find the right Sleeving and Heatshrink to use.
    Quote Originally Posted by BreeSpree View Post
    Yeah, showing us how to sleeve SATA cables would be nice. I myself can't figure out how to fit the dang heatshrink and sleeving over the big connectors. I've seen it done though, just don't know hwo they do it. The sleeving possibilities are endless. Other sleeving curiosities I have include how to sleeve liquid cooling tubing, as I have also seen that done before, but again, have no idea.
    In regards to the sleeving of sata (data) cables that will be covered in an upcomming section to this guide - just have to finish off some other things first and then it will be added

    In regards to the sleeved tubing - the only person I have seen pull that one off is Charles_h but that is something I will probably never do as working out where a leak is coming from would be nearly impossible due to the tubing being completely covered.....plus I tend to use black tygon anyway - no need to cover that up.

  23. #23
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    Awesome guide and just in time for me to do this for my new build! I was feeling somewhat daunted by the process, but this breaks it down nicely!

    Thanks!
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    Great Guide.

    One thing that I will do to prevent "blow-ups" (ie the heatshrink pulling off the end of the sleeving), especially if you cannot get perfect tight fits with your heatshrink:

    At the end of the sleeving, I'll add a little collar of electrical tape--only about 0.5cm in width, and only 2 times around the sleeving. The heatshrink goes over this collar--when shrunk down it will grab it, and not slip off.

    This really isn't necessary for cables not under any particular movement stress--like the individual wires depicted above.

    But if you are doing multiple wires within the sleeving, like the classical 4-wire molex cables, that are often jostled or moved, generally a collar of some sort is necessary.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangals View Post
    @ Dualbrain - wow another legend popping in - I love the work you do with MDPC - hopefully one day I will have a machine worthy of joining

    Just out of curiosity what is that thing that you showed??
    Hey Dangals No problem to get on MDPC (soon I have time for it again). I will have no choice if you have a perfect system up to the smallest screw, superb color balance, nice shapes, dynamic "flows" of shapes ... and of course - no cable uglyness. The photos are an issue too. I love beautiful computers and so I will not hesitate to take a perfect one online. Thank you for your very nice words

    The sleeved thing on the photo:
    It is just something that I gave to some friends as a surprise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8lnN...eature=related


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