What to do with broken cables?

Technology often comes with the "What do you do with broken cables?" When using Makey Makey and Microbits you often work with cables referred to as Alligator or Crocodile clips. The metal clips on the end do break with age and after seeing a post by Colleen Graves using clothes pegs I started experimenting with different ways to repurpose the cables.

I have tried both timber and plastic pegs. This post shows plastic clothing pegs that are freely available in Australia.

  1. Cut off the broken alligator clip.
  2. Strip the end of the cable to be about 5 cm of exposed copper wire.
  3. Pull the plastic peg apart.
  4. Wrap the wire around the metal centre of the peg and reassemble the peg.

  5. Run copper tape down the metal centre of the peg and over the end of the peg that is used to clip clothes on the line.









  6. Fix the lose cable in place with non conductive tape.
    I have used duct tape but you could also use electrical
    tape.
  7. The cable below shows the completed cable.


Damaged cables can be used to create extension cables. 
This first cable is made of 2 cables. The green cable has kept the original clip on one end. On the other one end the original clip is cut off and the wire was stripped about 4 centimeters. The white cable had both ends clipped and stripped. After adding a peg on one end of the white cable. The other bare ends are twisted tightly together. You could also use the wires to tie a double knot. Then slide the insulating plastic over the join and secure with duct tape.




This clip shows 2 cables that have been joined to create an extension cord. This will allow students to have a longer distance from the makey makey to the model without having to clip the metal clips together which often creates a poor connection.







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