"Any sufficiently extra technology is indistinguishable from a Barbie-Oppenheimer crossover meme" - Glittering USB Cables

A project log for Jumperless

a jumperless (solderless) breadboard

kevin-santo-cappuccioKevin Santo Cappuccio 09/29/2023 at 20:260 Comments

So Jumperless has a pretty specific color scheme, and it would be a shame to ship them with boring USB cables. 

I figured I had to include a cable because USB Mini is pretty uncommon nowadays, even though it's the best USB port ever made, and I refuse to change my mind on that.

Why not USB-C?

I like USB-C, but sending regular USB 2.0 over a USB-C port feels like lying to me. It just comes off as janky if you're not using any of the extra functionality. 

And also, I'm scared. If the Raspberry Pi Foundation screwed it up, I'm worried I might too. It's just unnecessary complexity that isn't really needed here.

Why am I wasting time doing this?

Because I came up with the idea while I was drinking, and decided that I should announce it publicly right then so I couldn't back out. 

"Any sufficiently extra technology is indistinguishable from a Barbie-Oppenheimer crossover meme"

I'm drunk and therefore decided that every Jumperless will come with a pink glittery USB Mini cable, and now I'm committing to it publicly so I can't change my mind.
— Kevin Santo Cappuccio (@arabidsquid) July 8, 2023

Anyway, I'm glad I did. I think it adds to the experience of opening a Jumperless. Every one I box up, I do it with the mentality of "I can't wait to see the look on their  face when they open this, they're gonna get so many retail-based endorphins shot right into their friggin' brain." And I hope they throw this box in the closet with all the Apple boxes everyone refuses to throw away. 

If you want to do this yourself

I tried a bunch of way more complicated ways to do these in batches like this

and this

But as it turns out, it's much easier to just do these one at a time. 

First I mask off the metal ends of the cable with masking tape, then stretch them for a few days so they're less "kinky" with rubber bands. 

This is the paint I'm using. It's the kind that bonds to plastic.

Then I just hang them up and spray them, and while they're still wet, I dip them though my glitter pile. If you don't have a huge pile of glitter in your workshop at all times, what are you even doing with your life?

Then I let them dry for like an hour, so the paint isn't fully cured. And go along and squish the glitter into the cable with my fingers really hard so the glitter lays flat and isn't so rough. Then rub all the extra glitter off with my fingers for a while. This gives them a nice smooth finish that kinda feels like a snake, instead of sandpaper. 

Here's a long video of that whole process. 

Woo, gittery USB cables. Now here's what all the stuff inside a Jumperless box looks like: