Making wine in Shenzhen: Single row cable kit


Often it’s not clear exactly what connector, button, switch, or part is the best choice for a project. We end up making a last minute order of 1 or 2 of any likely candidate from Mouser or Digikey. That sets the project off by about a week while we dig through datasheets and websites, make CAD footprints, and wait for the order to be delivered.

To banish this annoying time sink we’re working with Oomlout to release complete kits of parts. Each set will be nicely labeled, well organized, and have open source datasheets, renderings, and CAD footprints for Eagle and KiCAD. We call it wine making because Ian hand plucks each part from Huaqiangbei in Shenzhen. We’re posting now to get your feedback, the final kit will be available in a couple weeks.

First up is a single row cable making kit. We never have the right cable, nor enough cables. Picking the correct connector and crimp pins is a pain, and crimping the ends is a nightmare without mega expensive tools. This box has everything needed to make custom cables for connecting up standard 0.1″ pitch stuff like pinheaders.

Head below to check out the contents, then please let us know what we forgot or what you find useless!


Single row female connectors in a bunch of sizes. These use standard 0.1″ spacing you find on Arduinos, many development boards, and bog-standard pin header:

  • 26x  1 pin (1×1)
  • 10x  2 pin (1×2)
  • 10x  3 pin (1×3)
  • 10x   4 pin (1×4)
  • 10x  5 pin (1×5)
  • 10x 6 pin (1×6)
  • 10x 8 pin (1×8)
  • 10x 10 pin (1×10)
  • 5x  12 pin (1×12)
  • 5x 14 pin (1×14)
  • 5x 20 pin (1×20)


Unless you have a mega expensive crimp tool, putting pins on the end of your cable is a major pain. We were originally going to include a crimp tool and pins for a more DIY approach, but then we actually tried to do it over BBQ and beer in Shenzhen. No way! Too difficult, too expensive, too heavy to ship!


Our solution is to include three lengths of high-quality rainbow ribbon cable with machine crimped ends. Tear off what you need, poke them into the connector. Sorted!

  • 2x 40 wire rainbow ribbon cable with crimped pins (100 mm)
  • 2x 40 wire rainbow ribbon cable with crimped pins (180 mm)
  • 1x 40 wire rainbow ribbon cable with crimped pins (300 mm)


Jumper wires get used up quick around here. Rather than waste making a bunch of 1:1 cables, we picked up a bunch of 40 wire rainbow ribbon cables with all end combinations.

  • 1x 40 wire rainbow ribbon cable with Male:Male ends (180mm)
  • 1x 40 wire rainbow ribbon cable with Male:Female ends (180mm)
  • 1x 40 wire rainbow ribbon cable with Female:Female ends (180mm)


It includes pin header to mate with the connectors. No need to order separately!

  • 10x 0.1” pin header male with 40 contacts (1×40)

For tidying up rainbow colored zip ties are added to the mix as well.

  • 60x rainbow colored cable zip ties

Forgot something useful? Included the wrong stuff? Please let us know and we’ll update the contents before the kits are finalized.

UPDATE: 2 types of double length header that we could include.


Join the Conversation


  1. have been looking for those with crimped ends like that, only found those with complete housing, can remove that of course, but still.
    Have bought several hundreds crimpends, housings, and a plier, but managing to actually crimp it?, not so far.
    the cables should come as: female-female, male-male, male-female, so one have all options.

    but still, learning to use the crimper, or find better tool would be interresting, still for making various jst connectors and such also. (or maybe get those leads readycrimped in one end)

    Regarding female pinheaders, does it exist this stackingtype for arduinos, but with thicker pins?, those stacking types seems to have very thing and flimsy pins compared to the normal male pins.

    (And I guess saying that the pinheaders need to be goldplated?, those tinned headers are bastards to use)

  2. Nice – yesterday I started looking to restock my cables – these would be just what I need!

    Only suggestion ATM is to add about 5 10x 0.1” pin header male with 40 contacts (1×40), but DOUBLE height as these are really useful – for PCB connections (gives you breadboard and connections above the PCB) and for as gender changers or joiners on cables.

    1. I found two in the market and added a picture to end of post. One has two spacers, the other has one. Neither are in the middle though. Is this what you were thinking?

      1. Yes the lower ones with just the single plastic support are what I use – you can slide the plastic support to the height to meet different uses!

        It is easier if you cut to length first, but still doable on longer lengths.

      2. There is also a type which has only a single spacer, with it already pushed so that 33% of the pin length is on one side, and 66% is on the other. It is used for wire-wrap. However, in the past I’ve only found them with gold on one side, and tinned on the other. Today, I can’t find them anywhere (since less people do wire-wrap!).
        Those headers are ideal for several purposes, connect up female-to-female boards or to convert female wire into make wire, and they also leave enough space for test probes to be hooked on the side too.
        If it is not possible to onbtain the ones with the spacer already pushed to 33% position, then the ones on the bottom of the photo would be ok, and we can manually push it into position (although I’ve not tried that).

      3. I got them from the supplier we got the crimpplyers from. I can lookup the receipt for a partnumber.

  3. This looks like a brilliant idea, although I’m not sure how much I’d use the zip ties. How much are you thinking of selling these for?

  4. Awesome, making cables is a pain. Can you get LCD connectors? That’s prolly my biggest cable use.

  5. I use these crimping pliers:

    It took me a few tries to get the best way to handle it (you put the crimpend without the wire in the pliers, and close the pliers one ‘tick’, then you insert the correctly stripped wire, and close the pliers all the way), but ever since I’ve done 100’s without failure.

    They do require you to manually close the bit around the isolation material a little extra, because otherwise they won’t go into the header fully. Off course this might just be a slight mismatch between my headers / crimpends / pliers…

    Most of the crimps I do like this tend to be motor wires (think reprap), or other existing cables, so a set like you’re proposing wouldn’t be too helpful to me.

    That said, I really like what you’re doing with this concept, and I’m very much looking forward to the next wine sets you’ll come up with!

  6. I’d second Spanner888’s comment which if I understand it correctly, is to have SIL header which is double length, so it can convert a female into a male. It is also useful to leave a bit of room for test probes when a board is plugged in. I can’t find such a SIL header anwhere, yet they used to be popular in wire-wrap days

  7. Note that there is another solution for female 0.100 connectors on ribbon cable.
    Instead of strip and crimp connectors use an IDC style single row connector like
    the TE connectivity MTA-100 series. I’m sure someone makes a special tool but
    you can just use the correct width screwdriver to seat the (unstripped) wire end
    into the connector. Search digikey for it.

    You still have to split apart the ribbon cable unlike the 2xN IDC connectors used for
    PATA/EIDE applications.

      1. Ian and I bought a reel of crimpconnectors (10k pcs) at the market. We still need to split them up :)

  8. i’d love to see the same kit but for the locking polarised molex connectors often used for power supplies. I have tons of the connectors but can’t crimp the pins so I solder them with mixed results and little strength.

  9. The 40 wire cable is different but otherwise Pololu has something similar to make quick cables. I have used them and the pre made wires were well crimped. When I have made my own I have soldered them to get them to have some strength. Also I like using shrink wrap instead of single ends because you can then do some color coding to make sense of the cable.

  10. What do you think about the possibility of doing this sort of thing in 1.27 mm or 1mm? That is, is it possible — even if you don’t plan to do it, I might. I’m starting to shift to those pitches in my designs, and away from 2.54mm.

    1. Yea, I’ve been thinking of abandoning the 2.54 headers for something sleeker for a while now. They look ridiculously clumsy next to modern SMD parts.

      When I started to toy with computers back in the late 1970’ies a connector pitch of 3.96mm was considered decent pitch, even if the S100 bus was at 3.175mm. So 35 years it might be high time to move on to something that is better than the just slightly tighter 2.54 we all use and (love?) today.

      1. I am quite fond of 1mm pin headers. They are not so difficult to solder, although maybe too small for someone doing his first soldering job. 1.27mm is somehow quite a lot easier to solder, but I also believe it is time to get silly English units out of engineering. So, to hell with 1.27. :)

    2. 1mm almost sounds too tiny. I’d imagine that the contact elements are rather short as well – so would it be possible to attach a any kind of single-pin jumper wire to it (like the ubiquitous M/M M/F jumpers we use today?)

  11. What gauge wire are the cables going to use? My hope is that these can be had with 26, 24, and 22 gauge. Stranded. 22 gauge is the hard one to find now.

  12. this looks totally cool if you can deliver for a fair price. I’d dump the cable ties though, everyone has them or can pick them up at there local home center….

  13. It would be nice to have the option of getting the entire ribbon cable in one neutral color, like gray.

    Assume you’re trying to color code your connections. For single-conductor jumpers, the existing rainbow jumpers you can get any number of places now are fine. Just select and tear off the appropriate single color.

    But you’re developing this kit with a different intent, making multi-conductor jumpers. If you want to make a four-conductor jumper, and want those conductors to still be attached to each other in a neat ribbon cable instead of four individual wires, the four you tear off together will be essentially random colors; which won’t match the color coding scheme. In which case I’d prefer the wires simply be uncolored, rather than falsely colored.

      1. Sure, if you don’t mind crimping the pins on yourself. Avoiding that is the whole point here.

  14. Can we have some of the ones for polarised header connectors as well? I can’t find a source for those machine-crimped.

  15. Hmmm, having a choice of ribbon cables at hand would be nice, but I think many of the connector sizes would go unused, at least by me. It would be nicer if they made break-away connectors just like they do break away headers. I don’t know if they exist, but if they did you could have the 40 wire ribbon with 40 pin connectors, and do away with the gazillion of different sizes of connectors. I’d probably buy something like that.

    As for all the 1x jumpers, headers, and cable ties, I wouldn’t be interested. Everyone already has a stock of those on hand.

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