DIRTY CABLES: Cheap custom cables available now

Posted on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 in cables, components, by Ian


Dirty Cables is a drag and drop cable builder that gives you access to cheap custom cable services from China. Build a custom cable, get an instant quote, and checkout. Your custom cables should ship in 3 to 7 work days.

Huaqiangbei is full of cheap custom cable vendors with a big pile of samples on their booth. We tried to put the pile online so you can get cheap cables without making a trip to China!


We excavated the cable sample piles to see which connectors are common, cheap and readily available in the Chinese market. We bought bundles of everything and identified 17 common cable-to-cable and cable-to-board connector families to add to Dirty Cables. Read more about the different cable families here.

Cables are probably best understood by touching them yourself, so we put together a Dirty Cables Sample Kit that includes examples of each cable and connector. The kit is available in the store for $9.95.

In the coming weeks we’ll document a few more common and cheap connectors that didn’t quite fit in the first sample kit:

  • Crimp terminals: ring and spade ( M3/3.2mm, M4/4.2mm, M5/5.2mm, M6/6.2mm), two-part blades (2.8mm, 4.8mm, 6.3mm)
  • Coaxial power connectors (5.5×2.1mm, various)
  • LED strip connectors (3528/8mm, 5050/10mm, etc)

Dirty Cables is highly experimental. If pricing seems way off, if you find bugs, or if we’re missing your favorite connectors, please give us a shout in the comments or through the contact form.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 1:20 pm and is filed under cables, components, You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

10 Responses to “DIRTY CABLES: Cheap custom cables available now”

  1. Tom Keddie says:

    Hi Ian, Congrats on the launch. Suggest you name all the CHRO connectors you have as female. It’s not done often but you can insert the male pins into the CHRO shells to make plugs. Cheers, Tom

  2. Ethan Zon a says:

    Awesome new service! Any chance you could add support for JST PA connectors? We use JST ZH for most everything, but have recently switched to JST PA for higher-current needs.

  3. Parkview says:

    Another great idea! Be handy to be able to purchase the corresponding SMD and TH sockets as well.

  4. Jay says:

    Awesome! I can’t wait to try out the service in my next project. Last time I was in SZ I picked up bundles of terminated JST cables and housings, but they ended up staying with the company I was working for at the time. Once again, you guys are pushing the SZ ecosystem out to the rest of the world! Thanks!!! –Jay

  5. Jeffrey Pace says:

    Awesome! Please add toggle switches and 9v connectors as well!

  6. Awesome project. I suggest that you make a photo gallery of the different connectors. At a glance I can see all the connector types.

    Looking forward to using this. Thank you.

  7. MG says:

    Hi Ian, that’s great news!!! I had a lot of misunderstandings with the factory that made me PCBs.
    I guess that despite keeping the “dirty” word, the quality will be good/standard as the PCBs?
    Thanks again for this awesome tool, I still remember when you told me about that idea 2 years ago! :)
    Best wishes, Mastro Gippo

  8. Chip says:

    Great offering! Would like to see some 3.5mm plugs, option for stripped or stripped/tinned ends, and PVC jacketed cable with UV protection in twisted pair or 22/4.

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