How to Make a VGA Cable How to Make a VGA Cable

What You'll Need
Wire stripper
Soldering iron
Cat 5 cable
VGA connectors

VGA cable is popular among gamers and computer users for transmitting video signals. Usually used to link computers to the display monitors, the video graphics array (VGA) cable can be used in high definition televisions, computer games and other electronic devices. VGA cables are part of the D-sub group that is a common type of electrical connector that has been around since computers were first produced.  At that time they lived up to their name of "subminiature" as they were small at the time, but today they are one of the largest common connectors and the name does not have much relevance.

VGA Cables

The VGA cable is characterized by 3 rows of 15 pins on the plug. There are various wires that get connected in the pins, but this is not relevant to your task. Two screws on either side of the pins serve to secure it into place in the socket and they have ridged edges. The screws should be manipulated by hand rather than a screw driver. You can make a cable in an emergency with a trip to the computer store and the following simple instructions.

Step 1: Buy the Shortest CAT5 Cable

Make allowances to strip off some of the cable and connect it to the television or computer product. Strip off about an inch of the CAT5 outer insulation and eight wires of different color will be exposed. These wires should not be re-arranged or tampered with but merely exposed.  Strip about 3 mm of the inner wire insulation with a wire stripper.

Step 2: Solder the Wires to the VGA Connectors

Keep in mind that the best connectors are male. The part of the VGA cable containing pin contacts is called the male connector, while the part containing socket contacts is called the female connector. The socket's shield fits tightly inside the plug's shield that is connected to the cable screens. Work carefully and wait a while before covering these with VGA connector housings to make it look better and safer. Some cables and connectors may not need extra covering but it is a good safety precaution.

Step 3: Repeat Steps 1 & 2

On the other end of the cable, solder the wires. This will ensure that both ends of the connection are able to send and receive signal and work properly.

Step 4: Connect the Cables

Make sure that the cable is secure and the wires are contained. Check the graphic card settings otherwise the cable will not transmit images at all and you could be watching a blank screen when the video graphics are absent.

Making your own VGA Cable could be useful if you cannot purchase a cable while on holiday or in a certain area. Although it will not work out too much cheaper, it will be a fun project that will not take too long. When you complete this project, you will have a better understanding of how the first computer engineers coped with making cables that were “subminiature”.

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