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Vectrex cable milling contraption


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For anyone out there who, like me, has been hand-filing DB9 cables to get them to fit into the Vectrex ports, here's a solution that really works.

     This is a cheap Harbor Freight power belt sander (3X21).  The added fixture is easy to make out of junk angle iron and flat steel stock.  The two angled slots in the guide plate provide the 45 degree cuts, and the straight slot is for flattening the curved edge on the style of cable end that has a teardrop shape.  I prefer the ones that are already flat, but sometimes there's good deals on the teardrops.  The nuts and fully-threaded carriage bolts allow the guide plate to be adjusted and locked into place easily for the correct length of the cut and to compensate for belt wear.  Use a fine-grit belt, with light, easy passes, and it won't gum up with molten plastic.  The slots in the guide plates are just wide enough for that narrow trapezoid-shaped tip to fit into, so as long as the shoulder below the tip is held flat and firm against the guide plate, you'll get clean, precise cuts every time, in a lot less time.

     My hat goes off to those who already have their own semi-automated alternative to filing cables by hand.  I wish I'd thought of this about 300 cables ago.






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Good to see you back around these parts! It's been a while. :)


Clever solution! I've always just used an exacto knife to lob off the bulk of the corners, followed up by a flat file. I've had excellent results at times, then other times, not so much.. It just depends on how much time I ended up investing trying to make it "perfect". Though not super consistent, it's generally good enough for my personal controllers. However, if I was doing this on a bigger scale and selling controllers to the public, I'd definitely want it to look as clean & professional looking as possible, so getting consistent results by using a jig/sander setup like you've got there is a great idea. If it works, it works! Anyways, glad to see you back at it! I'd still like to get one of your driving/pedal controller adapters. :)

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