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IDE Ribbon for 12v Power

Hi Everyone,

I'm not too good with electronics but I am currently doing a DIY RGB LED setup for my computer and I wanted to know if I used an old IDE cable to transfer power between the broken strips.

The reason I ask is that i do not have any proper cables around and wasnt sure if it would be an issue to string them together with the old IDE Ribbon.

Thanks in advance
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about ide ribbon 12v power
  1. Should be fine, but parallel up a couple of pins for each connection.

    Also, consider finding one of the old 20-pin cables that have thicker conductors.
  2. If you are thinking of separating the ribbon cable into individual conductors, a lot will depend on how clean the conductors separate as to the insulation left on each wire. Another thing is the voltage and current that will pass through the conductors. Ribbon cable is designed for signal level voltage only. I'm not sure what the insulation quality is for that low end cable.

    Low voltage wire is quite economical if you look in the right places. Unless you are really hurting for funds, it would be wiser to just pick up some new wire. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_in_-2_p_n_feature_keywords_1?rh=n%3A228013%2Cn%3A495266%2Cn%3A495310%2Ck%3Awire%2Cp_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin%3A3605521011\c5908401011&bbn=495310&sort=price&keywords=wire&ie=UTF8&qid=1390519612&rnid=3605491011
  3. thanks guys.

    I was thinking that it might burn through but like I said I'm not too knowledgeable about it.

    My issue with buying cables is more that I have no way of getting them at the moment... Would you be able to suggest a good alternative with older common household stuff?? old keyboards mice, old powersupplies, power bricks or anything like that?
  4. Best answer
    Almost any insulation is adequate for 12V. And I don't imagine the current will be much for an LED lighting system. If you have any old electronic power cables you could strip, those would be more than sufficient. Or keyboard cables. Stuff like that. I presume this is just going to carry LED light current?
  5. thats right yes. it connects to the yellow 12v line on molex.. thats perfect.. thanks so much.. ill start on some old keyboards haha =)
  6. I have to interject here.
    The gauge of wire in an Ide ribbon is to small to carry a current of 12v.

    AWG rating relates to the amount of copper strands in each cable.
    The thinner it is the more electrical resistance. Also the length of the cable produces electrical resistance.
    Electrons buch up because they cannot flow fast enough. causing heat.

    You also have to factor in the amount of amps passed with voltage.
    Even Led lights have a resistance in a circuit.

    So you may find that wire heats up, or feels hot. You may need a thicker gauge of wire.
    Or its fire.
  7. Shaun o said:
    I have to interject here.
    The gauge of wire in an Ide ribbon is to small to carry a current of 12v.


    12V is a voltage, not a current.

    The question of whether the old IDE / PATA cable will carry the current depends on how many Amps the LEDs draw.
  8. And paralleling the wires (because there's a lot more than two conductors in an IDE cable) shares the current between them.
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