DIY Raspberry Pi Breakout Cable

Suprisingly enough, a lot of people have asked me how I made the breakout / expansion cable for my Raspberry Pi. It's so easy! So if you don't want to wait on some online order, and want to get started as soon as possible doing epic stuff, you can follow the simple instructions below. A cable like this can be extremely useful for connecting the Raspberry Pi to a breadboard and doing some prototyping!

The following things are needed:

  • 2x13 flat cable
  • 2 times 1x13 male header with 2.54 mm (1 inch) spacing
  • Electrical tape with a nice color
It's also necessary that you know how to solder and have the right equipment for this.

The first step is cut the flat cable nicely in two pieces. If you have a flat cable from an old computer that is 2x13, you can definitely use this! If you don't have one (my case), there are a lot of stores where you can find it. We will continue working with one half of the cable as shown in the figure below.

The second step is to split the cable in 2 pieces, so that you have 2 parts that each contain 13 wires. Then you need to seperate the individual wires a little bit (not too far!) with a knife. Now you should be able to strip them, and solder them to the 1x13 header. You will have to do this for both parts of the cable. Note that it might be useful to make the wires in the middle a little bit shorter than those at the ends, because the header is a lot wider than the half flat cable. The result should look like shown in the picture below. Make sure that you don't make short circuits! If you are in doubt, double check with a multimeter.

Because the above result does not look good, and having unstripped wires is a bit dangerous, I decided to tape this in with some electrical tape. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to the wires so that the pins of the header don't bend!

You should end up with a nice looking cable ready for action!