Thursday, 17 September 2015

Make A Flip Side Zif Cable

You're dealing with small wire and connector sizes when you make your own flip side ZIF cable. ZIF stands for zero insertion force, and is a means of connection used with IC sockets to avoid problems caused by force upon cable insertion and extraction. ZIF cables are multi-ribbon cables with tiny header pins. The ZIF socket into which they connect has a lever or slider on the side of the socket. The lever's movement pushes the wire contacts apart so that the IC can be inserted with minimal force. The lever is then moved back, causing the contacts to close and grip the pins on the cable.


1. Cut a length of flat wire ribbon cable and carefully strip the insulation from one-eighth inch of the wires on each end.

2. Attach the pins to a wire end by gently pushing the pin headers onto the wires. It's easier to use multi-pin headers than individual pin connects. Be careful to insert just one wire lead into into each header socket.

3. Crimp the header onto the cable using a crimping tool or a vice grip.

4. Repeat the pin assembly on the opposite end of the ribbon cable and crimp to secure the header pin connection.

5. Fold the ZIF cable as necessary to attach any small form hard drive or other hardware and to accommodate the limited space.

Tags: ribbon cable