Hi guys, did alot of sleeving and braiding before and made a guide for it on another forum but decided to bring it here so that you guys might see how easy it is, plus it'll put the forum higher up on the list if anyone googles this
Sleeving your wires makes for neater insides and better airflow. Less things to get caught on when for example 3 fan wires are merged into one.
Take care when putting the connectors back as if you do it wrongly you could risk your PSU, Components, Fans getting damaged by SHORTING IT OUT and it could cause a fire. Please note that you do this at your own risk, I take no responsibility if anything goes wrong, this is just a guide.
It's not a big risk if you know what you're doing but I must give a warning.
Braiding simple things like fans or molex cables it's just a simple job of remembering where which cable goes. For 3 pin fans if you're facing the fan plug from above (where you can see the metal pins, orientate it so that the cables are at the bottom) there should be a Number 1 stamped onto it on the leftmost pin (stamped like a VIN number is etc). That #1 is the Ground (Negative -) pin or where the black cable goes. The middle is the +12 (Positive +) pin and the last one on the right is the Sensor (RPM) pin.
Here's a diagram I made just for the 3 pin fan and a male pinned molex cable (The main ones I sleeve/braid)
Also here's a little PSU cable pinout diagram from http://pinouts.ru/
If you're going to be doing PSU cable sleeving you'll be needing some numbered stickers (so you can label each cable with reference to the diagram above) or you can make your own with some clear tape and some paper. Once those wires are out it'll be pretty hard to manage them and you don't want to get this one messed up
Anyway heres the tools/parts I used
But you can also use flathead screwdrivers like these instead of the Molex Toolkit I have. The small one is a 1.4mm one which can be used to press down on the fan pins, the larger one can be used to push the molex hooks in one at a time.
Pin Extractor Tools or Jewellers Screwdrivers and you can even use Bent staples (If they're long enough) for removing your 24-Pin ATX motherboard power cable pins.
Heavy Duty Scissors (Braid is tough to cut as it's all bundled up)
Heat gun, Hairdryer or Lighter*
Braid/Sleeving (Using 5mm - Expands to 8mm)
Heatshrink (Using 6mm 2:1 heatshrink - Contracts to 3mm past temperatures of 70c)
*Only use a lighter if you're doing black braiding/sleeving and heatshrinking as using it on anything else will turn it dark also.
Basically what I did was stretch out my cables that were going to be braided over a tape measure and took measurements of how long it was. For example my DDC's cables were 50cm long but I know that the cables aren't exactly straight so I added 1-2cm onto the cut length. I then proceeded cut 51cm of sleeving off my roll.
When they're cut they'll fray easily so I used the lighter again to melt the ends which keeps the strands of braid together when I push the cables through.
Here's how it looks before.
After the melting
I melt both ends so that neither side frays as much as it would if you didn't melt it. This does also restrict the expansion at the hole though so if you're going to sleeve a sata cable do it after it's on.
Now you take off the pins so you can slip the sleeving on
For 3 pin fans you just need to press on the little hook on top to release a pin. I got the special tool which does all 3 at once but you can use the screwdriver or something like a fork or anything that has a blunt sort of end and fits in between the holes.
Here's a pic of it in action
After pushing down you just slip the pin out.
Here's another one of my diagrams to help you guys visualise it if you still don't understand how it's locked in.
1) Push the locking hook down (actually compresses the pin so don't worry about pulling it up after)
2) Slide the pin out.
Here's how it looks when it's out
I also had to remove 2 molex pins from my DDC so what I did was use my molex extractor too and push on it so it squeezed the hooks in to let the pin slip out. If you're using the screwdriver just press in each hook (don't push it too inside or it'll go inside the molex pin as it's hollow). More pics and diagrams below!
Here's the tool in action
Another one of my Laymans Diagrams if you still didn't understand how it's locked in
Now we got the connectors/plugs off lets do some sleeving!
When putting the sleeving on just pulling it over the cables can get it snagged. What I do is, once the cable is inside, I pinch the sleeving with my right hand and pinch the sleeving and cable (futher fromt the pin so you're holding more of the cable, 2-3" should be fine) in my left hand and slide my left hand until the pin is in between my right fingers. I then pinch the pin and let my left hand go and it slides onto the cable. I repeat this until the pin comes out the other side. You can do this with many pins too as when you compress the braid horizontally it expands in diameter (vertically) allowing large pins to pass through. Check the picture below, if you look closely you can see the pin and cable inside the braid. Alternatively you can put a bit of masking tape over the pins/hooks of the terminals and slide it through easily.
My sleeving is on and it's looking sort of short right? (Bare wires showing) Well I left a few cm's of bare wire for the heatshrink to cover. Also the braid might still be compressed so what I do is pull in opposite directions on each end to straighten the braid out and tighten it around the cables nice and taut
Now to put the heatshrink on. I usually cut about 2-3cm but it could be shorter or longer depending on how you want yours to look or how bad you've cut your sleeving
In my picture below you can see some stray strands of braid not wanting to fit in. This is only because I've got real tight heatshrink and braid. If you buy 3:1 ratio heatshrink (9mm diameter sized heatshrink would shrink 3 times smaller to 3mm) then you won't have this problem. My braid is 5mm in diameter and the heatshrink is like 6mm. The way I get around this is by pinching the heatshrink so it opens up like your mouth would and it can gobble those extra strands. If it doesn't I prod them in with my finger and it's not really hard to do
Stray strand piccy below
Once the heatshrink is over if you're having a tough time like me pulling it onto the sleeving try twirling it and pushing it on. It helps me get it on the braid. Once you're done it'll be looking something like this. Now it's time for the shrinking.
I only shrink one end by putting my lighter on low and hovering it below the heatshrink. Sometimes I also hover it past the heatshink swiftly so it doesn't get too hot. Once that's done it'll look like the heatshrink in the background of the next picture.
Now that's done I won't shrink the other end yet. I'm gonna put the molex plug back on. But the hooks aren't sticking out anymore so the pins wont stay in the molex connector. This is where the scalpel comes in (sharp jewellers screwdriver can be used for this too). I use the scalpel to get underneath the hook then slightly lever it upwards. Repeat on all of the hooks but don't bend them too far out. Pictures below.
Here's how it looks when done. It's all ready to be connected to the molex connector. They look like rockets/missiles or even a plane sort of. It reminds me of a Super Banana Bomb from Worms World Party :haha:
Anyhow once in you should hear a click so tug on the cable to make sure it's in and fitted properly. Do the same for the fan plug. In my case the blue fan plug cable goes in slot #3 (RPM)
Now before shrinking the other end, I stretch out the braid by holding the braid at the shrunk end and stretching it out. This should shorten the distance or length of visible cable and should give you enough room to shrink the last heatshrink.
After all that is done you should end up with something like this
It really does look better in real life as quite frankly my DSLR camera skills are crap.
Hope this guide helps you better understand how to braid/sleeve your cables should you want to or if you were unsure of trying it.
Here's a link to PV5150's PSU Sleeving Guide
incase you wish to sleeve your PSU cables.
Below is a list of recommended sizes (diameters) of sleeving for different cables. A majority of it was found by the users of the WCUK forum and Marcus000 searching the net so a major thanks to them. Original post here
- Individual Wires - 3mm or 4mm
- SATA Power Cable - 6mm or 3/4mm for single wires
- SATA Data Cable - 6mm (Make sure it's expandable to 12mm or if you have 10mm you can try but it might be a tight fit.)
- 24 Pin MB ATX Connector -12 mm or 3/4mm for single wires
- 6 Pin PCI Express Cable - 6mm or 3/4mm for single wires
- 8 Pin PCI Express Cable - 6mm or 3/4mm for single wires
- 4 Pin For CPU - 6mm or 3mm/4mm for single wires
- 8 Pin For CPU - 6mm or 3mm/4mm for single wires
- 4 Pin Molex Power Cables - 8mm or 3/4mm for single wires
- 3 Pin Molex / Fan Power Cables - 5mm/4mm/3mm
- Individual Wires - 1/8" or 1/6"*
- SATA Power Cable - 1/4" or 1/8"-1/6"* for single wires
- SATA Data Cable - 1/4" (Make sure it's expandable to 1/2")
- 24 Pin MB ATX Connector - 1/2" or 1/8"-1/6"* for single wires
- 6 Pin PCI Express Cable - 1/4" or 1/8"-1/6"* for single wires
- 8 Pin PCI Express Cable - 1/4" or 1/8"-1/6"* for single wires
- 4 Pin For CPU - 1/4" or 1/8"-1/6"* for single wires
- 8 Pin For CPU - 1/4" or 1/8"-1/6"* for single wires
- 4 Pin Molex Power Cables - 1/4" or 1/8"-1/6"* for single wires
- 3 Pin Molex / Fan Power Cables - 1/8"-1/5"*-1/6"*
*Not sure if these sizes exist but it's the nearest fractional conversion.
For the record I used 5mm-1/5"* diameter sleeving for my pumps and wires. When choosing a heatshrink size remember if you're doing it for a sata data cable then you'd definately need a 3:1 so it can fit over the end.
I sat in my freezing room (12c) for a few hours doing this and firefox crashed and left me from square one so I may have rushed it but if you spot any mistakes (wrong hyperlinked pics or confusing wording) then let me know I'll edit it for the better of the readers.
I also sat here (still freezing) using a faulty mouse (clicks randomly losing my selection of words) trying to edit the guide so the pictures are on OC3D incase my photobucket images ever dissappear and render the guide useless.
Hope you appreciate it double now