Surface mount Dsub connector in TE cable bay?

Zero1_Zero1_ Combo fraudJoined: Posts: 635
Hey guys
I'm modding my stick to work with 360/PS3, Dreamcast and also supergun, which means I need a Dsub connector as the supergun stuff requires 15 wires. What I'm actually doing is using a DA-26 connector (26 pins but in the same size as what most people call DB-15) and running everything to that and making up individual system cables.

This will help explain (since people often get the names of the connectors wrong)
http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/5233/dsubref.png

And here's my wiring diagram to show how it should work.
http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/3642/wiringo.jpg

I've thought about how I could go about this, and I've got a few options

My preferred method was to surface mount a DA-26 connector inside the cable storage compartment of the TE stick, and make up system cables, such as DA-26 to USB, or DA-26 or DA-15 using a low profile Dsub backshell like this:
http://uk.farnell.com/te-connectivity-amp/5745652-2/backshell-d-diecast-15way/dp/1098385

The end result would be that once you've connected the cable for the system you are playing on, you can close up the cable compartment door and it would look pretty much like a stock stick, just with a different console connector on the end.

My concern with this method is the quality of the plastic inside the cable compartment. A friend of mine said he would be worried that it would crack, but it seems strong enough to me. Also it would be rather fiddly to mount or cut out the connector shape into the cable compartment, but looking at it, it looks like you might be able to tear the stick down and remove the cable compartment box completely to be able to work on it?


Another method might be to remove the existing USB cable and get some 20-something core cable and have it running out of the stick with the DA-26 connector on the far end (instead of where you imagine the stock USB connector to be), near the console, and then just make a short DA-26>console cable. Obviously it wouldn't look as nice, but it might be easier.


Finally, if I'm going to take my DIY skills to the cable compartment, does anyone have any tips on cutting the shape? I'm going to buy a dremel soon, so I guess the idea would be to drill some small holes in each corner and use the cutting disc, then sand it down after. I had contemplated getting some MDF or something first and making a template, so when I use the sanding head I can just grind away until I start sanding the template.

Any ideas?

Comments

  • Icy Black DeepIcy Black Deep Still training... Joined: Posts: 961 ✭✭✭
    You almost certainly want "panel mount," not "surface mount."
    The right-angle strain relief only saves you about 0.25". It doesn't look like you need that extra space, but a regular strain-relief will be cutting it close, so maybe you do. It's tempting to say be safe and use the right-angle connector, the only drawback is that those connectors have a funky sliding latch that I've never quite figured out instead of just having screws to secure them to the mating connector.
    The only other thing I'd note is that you probably want to make sure you get solder-cup connectors, but if you do get ones that use crimped pins remember that high-density d-sub connectors use different pins (and different crimpers) than normal d-sub connectors.
    New Jersey
  • DarksakulDarksakul Your lack of faith disturbs me Joined: Posts: 11,120 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You almost certainly want "panel mount," not "surface mount."
    The right-angle strain relief only saves you about 0.25". It doesn't look like you need that extra space, but a regular strain-relief will be cutting it close, so maybe you do. It's tempting to say be safe and use the right-angle connector, the only drawback is that those connectors have a funky sliding latch that I've never quite figured out instead of just having screws to secure them to the mating connector.
    The only other thing I'd note is that you probably want to make sure you get solder-cup connectors, but if you do get ones that use crimped pins remember that high-density d-sub connectors use different pins (and different crimpers) than normal d-sub connectors.
    Agreed. Panel mount is the way to go.
    You also want to get the solder cut over the crimp pins, as it requires you to buy a crimp tool.

    I used a DB 25 on a stick so I can use project boxed PCBs with a stick.
    You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.
    there is a unwritten rule that every Full Moon some clueless poster has to stumble into this forum and tout their own perception as hard fact.
  • Zero1_Zero1_ Combo fraud Joined: Posts: 635
    Thanks guys. I'm going to get solder cup as a matter of course.

    Could someone explain the difference between panel mount and surface mount? Would one be on top of the plastic (eg mounted externally in effect) and one be mounted internally (from the inside of the stick)? My intention was to cut a Dsub shaped hole in the case and seat the connector inside the case and secure it by bolting through the case and using some washers to spread the pressure. I don't intend to use the locking feature of the Dsub connectors (the right angle backshells don't have the locking screws anyway).

    As for the size, you probably could get away with a standard straight exit backshell. I think when I measured the inside of the cable compartment, it's about 45mm deep. These right angle backshells are 33mm which is a nice fit. I do have a 45 degree exit backshell which is a similar size to a straight exit one, and the fit is a bit tight.

    Also this connector I ordered to check it out doesn't have any securing features. No latches or securing screws. That doesn't bother me much, but the fact it's die cast means it's pretty heavy, so I'm going to have to look around for a plastic alternative I think.
  • DanAdamKOFDanAdamKOF Joined: Posts: 979 ✭✭✭
    I'm actually doing a similar thing to yours, I have a RJ45 cable for my TE Kitty in the cord compartment, which is where the old cord compartment cord entrance was so that the new cord goes straight out of the little hole. I'm also installing a DB25 jack for supergun use and for external dualmod (I guess triplemod since I have the Kitty) padhacks (I'll just leave the cord compartment door open for when I use this).

    The plastic is strong, I wouldn't worry about the plastic itself.

    I found this guide for drilling nice DSub holes: http://www.mmmonkey.co.uk/fitting-switches-sockets-etc/
    I'm yet to do this myself but I have an old DB25 PCI bracket and some screws, so I'm ready for it. And yes, you can remove the cord compartment entirely, but you'll need to fully disassemble the stick. There's a bunch of holes in the bottom half of the TE, three or so don't have screws in them and all screws are the same size, so when taking it apart note which holes don't have screws in them and you won't be confused when putting it back together.

    Panel mount means you mount it on the case and the soldered part is just floating in midair, surface mount is supposed to be soldered to a PCB and held in place by it (and usually also panel mounted so you don't strain the PCB). In theory you can use a surface mount in a panel but soldering to it can be a bit fiddly due to pin size and spacing (use a fine tip and fine wire and you should be OK), and it's possible that it won't be as secure if it's not designed to be held in place only by the panel (versus a panel mount which is purpose made for it). Just my $.02.

    Your method of mounting it looks solid, I scrapped some DSub screws and washers from some old PCI cards for when I'll install my DB25 jack and you've basically described how the jacks are held in place on the PCI bracket. The washers I scavenged are those weird ones with teeth, I figure screwing those tightly into the stick compartment's plastic will bite into it a bit and help make things more solid.
  • Zero1_Zero1_ Combo fraud Joined: Posts: 635
    That's some real good info bro, thanks for that. Using the PCI bracket as a template is genius, since it saves me having to make a template in the first place and it will be easy to tell once you've sanded away enough plastic and you start hitting the metal. I've got 3 TE sticks now, so I'm going to practice on my beat up R1 first.

    Now it's just a case of finding a backshell I like. I think I'll do the mods first as I know there are at least 2 models available to me that will do the job, but if possible I'd like a lighter weight plastic one.
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