DIY Mouse Paracord Kit Guide

Making your own paracord can be lots of fun and can help save you a little bit of money in the process. When purchasing a DIY kit from us, we give you everything you need to make your own cable, provided that you have the tools required for the job.

Tools Required

  • DIY supplies (paracord, wiring, heatshrink, applicable JST connector, JST crimping pins, USB terminal and housing)
  • soldering iron, solder
  • method of heating heatshrink to secure it (heat gun, blow dryer, etc.)
  • scissors, tweezers, pliers
  • 28-32awg wire stripper
  • precision JST crimping tool

If you purchase a DIY kit from us, we give you all of the "DIY supplies" listed above.

 

Written Guide

General Tips

Never use a lighter or open flame directly on the cable, mouse, or other components.

Make sure to place the USB hood and the heat shrink on the cable before you secure both ends.

Wires must be kept the same length to ensure proper connectivity and speeds. Wires must also not exceed 15 feet in length, the maximum supported range for USB 2.0. If you cut/trim your wires, make sure you keep them all the same length.

Always test the wires for bridges and continuity before using it on your device. A soldering mistake can easily damage or even completely break your device. Every good soldering station should have a multimeter.

 

Our DIY Kit

The DIY kit comes together in one bag. The wires are measured and cut to exact length, then placed in blue tape to hold them together. You can just cut the ends with the blue tape off. Everything else you need should be included in the bag.

 

1) Routing Wires through the Paracord

Routing the wires through the paracord can be pretty frustrating and time consuming. In our opinion, the best way to route the wires through the paracord without any external tools would be to use some blue painters tape, the blue/beige thin tape with weak adhesive.

Tape the 4 wires together with 3-4 of the inner nylon strands of the paracord, and lightly pull the nylon strands on the other end of the paracord to route the wires through the paracord sleeving. With one hand, hold the nylon strands on the other end of the paracord. With the other hand, push the paracord on that end towards the blue tape. It should create a small "air pocket" and allow you to continue pulling the blue tape.

 

If the wires are not pulling through easily, do not tug hard or force it, it will separate! Routing the wires through the paracord takes much much longer without using the inner nylon strands - and it will not be fun - so don't rush and risk separating them.

 

  

2) Finishing the USB Side

Once you have the wires routed, you need to strip around 2mm of wire insulation on both sides of the cable to expose the copper strands. Pick the lucky side of the cable for the USB end and place the hood on it before you start to solder the terminal.

 

The wires are color coated for distinction. With our terminals, the wires must be soldered in the following order from left to right: +5V | D- | D+ | GND - this is depicted as the colors red | white | green | black.

 

Red = VCC | White = Data- | Green = Data+ | Black = Ground

If you are not using our USB terminals, make sure to use the correct wire order specific to your terminals, because they are not always the same.

 

At this stage, we recommend using an ohmmeter to test for continuity of the wires if you have one on hand. You can also use it to test for any bridges between each wire after you finish soldering. You can easily brick your device if you bridge any of the wires together, better safe than sorry.

  

 

After you finish soldering, place the black plastic cap onto the terminal. This cap helps protect the solder joints from moisture and debris.

Next, place the terminal into the metal housing. Ensure that the terminal is placed correctly. The white part of the terminal should be placed on the side with a split down the middle of the metal housing. The side with the copper contact pins should be placed on the solid side of the metal housing.

  

 

Once completed, you can slide the paracord sleeving up into the terminal cable holder, and tighten the notches with pliers. Try to get them as neat and flat as possible, to make sure the hood slides on without issues.

  

 

After securing the paracord with the wings, you can complete the housing by clipping the final smaller piece on. Place the top half first, then close it down until it clicks into place.

After that, you can slide up the hood (make sure to slide the USB indicator is on the correct side) and your USB terminal is complete!

 

3) Paracord Tightness and Stopping Fraying

Before finishing your cable, you may need to slightly trim the wires or paracord depending on your device. Make sure that you are happy with the flexibility of the cable you make any cuts or changes to the paracord, as you can loosen or tighten it around the wires. This part is personal preference, how flexible or how loose you would like your paracord to be.

Paracord will fray on each open end when put under stress. To combat this, you can trim the frayed edges, and then use a lighter to "freeze" the ends of the paracord as you work on each side. It will stop the threads from fraying as you mess around with the paracord.

Do not place the cable directly into the flame. Place the cable near the flame, and rotate it around to burn the threads down, never directly into the flame. The threads will easily burn off without needing to be directly in the flame.

 

Before and after burning the end of the paracord to stop fraying.

 

4) Placing Heat Shrink

Before finishing both sides of the cable, make sure your heatshrink is placed onto the cable. If you forget, you wont be able to place it later without disassembling the JST connector, so make not to forget to place it before you start crimping.

You can use up to two pieces of heat shrink on the cable. One piece is mandatory for cable stress relief at the exit of the mouse, and one piece is optional towards the JST connector, if you feel the cable needs stress relief at that point. We typically only use one on our completed cables.

 

 

5) Crimping Wires

Before placing the wires into the JST connector, they must be crimped with crimping contact pins. The crimps ensure the wires cannot come loose from the JST connector and that the wiring makes proper contact with the male connector on the circuit board inside the mouse.

To complete the crimps, you need to use a JST contact crimping tool (we personally recommend the Engineer PA-09). If you have experience crimping, some people like to get creative and use a tool such as pliers instead, but we definitely recommend the crimping tool itself, especially if you don't have extensive experience with crimping.

For the JST 2.0 connector pins, we use 1.6mm for the inner wings. Then we slightly close the outer wings with the pliers on the front of the tool, and use the 1.9mm crimp to close the outer wings. Crimping can be annoying sometimes, so we always include some extra contact pins for you in case you mess up as much as we do.

  

  

If you mess up the outer wings, you can usually just use pliers to close it together. As long as the inner wings are crimped well and the outer wings fit inside the connector, you should be fine.

 

6) Configuring the JST Connector

Before placing the crimped wires into the connector, you need to ensure you place them in the correct order into the connector. Every mouse is different, there are many different types of connectors and layouts.

If you don't know what pin layout you need, please see our pin layout guide.

You place the crimped wires directly into the slots on the connector, and the "hooks" on each crimp will automatically lock them into place in the housing.

This specific pinout is Ground (empty) | Black | Green | White | Red, for our Zowie S2!

 

If you place them incorrectly, you can remove them and rearrange them - you need to slightly lift the "tabs" on the JST connector to unhook the crimp pins, and gently pull the wire out of the connector. It should easily come out, so if your wire is not coming out, make sure the tab is pulled back enough. Once you have the wires out, place them in the correct order and set the tabs back into place. Be extra careful not to bend the tabs too far, because they can bend too far and break off.

 

7) Securing Heat Shrink

One heatshrink should be used near the JST connector, and one should be used on the cable exit of the mouse. If you have a tiny clear piece of heatshrink with your cord, it goes on top of the heatshrink exiting the mouse, to prevent the cable from being pulled out of the mouse.

  

 

Completed!

The paracord should now be completed and ready to install in your device. Installation is different on every device, so we aren't able to show specific installation for each one. However, there are plenty of great guides out there to follow, and the general process is usually the same for every mouse. We believe in you!

 

Be sure to share your completed cable in our Discord, and to ask for help in there if you need it along the way.

Good luck!