How to reuse a USB mouse cable

Written by barry index
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How to reuse a USB mouse cable
A USB mouse cable can be reused by removing the broken wires. (usb mouse image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com)

USB mouse cables that go bad typically have a broken wire near the mouse body. This is due to the constant rotating and twisting motion the cable receives during normal use. Eventually, the wire snaps and the mouse is useless. The solution is to open the mouse body and reuse the USB cable inside after removing the broken wires. The procedure will save you money, especially if your mice keep breaking down and you end up replacing them.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Small Phillips screwdriver
  • Standard screwdriver or wide blade knife
  • Utility knife
  • Wire cutters
  • Soldering iron
  • Rosin-core solder
  • Electrical tape
  • Epoxy cement

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the rubber pads on the bottom of the mouse and unscrew the small screws that hold the mouse body together. Unsnap the top cover of the mouse from the bottom. Follow the USB cable entering the body of the mouse to where it plugs into the circuit board inside the mouse. Unplug the white connector at the end of the USB cable.

  2. 2

    Open the protective plastic sheathing around the internal USB wiring with a utility knife, being careful not to damage any of the wires inside. Sometimes you can locate the broken wire inside the USB cable and make a cut directly below the damaged portion and save the rest of the cable. If you are unable to find the broken wire, cut the cable four inches from the end where it connected to the mouse body. Retain the rest of the good cable and reuse the USB connector that plugged into the circuit board.

  3. 3

    Examine how the separate wires are connected to the USB circuit board connector. On the left is a thick black wire that connects into the first slot; the second, thinner black wire is the ground; the red wire is a +5 volt power cord; the white is D- and the green is D+, the two data cords. Strip back an inch or two of the plastic sheathing from the five separate wires attached to the USB circuit board connector, enough so you can work with them, and cut off the rest. Strip an inch of plastic protective sheathing from the end of the good cable you just salvaged, and separate the five wires so you can match them up to the USB circuit board connector: the thick black wire to the thick black wire, the thin black wire to the thin black one, the red to the red, the white to white, and the green to green.

  4. 4

    Remove the colour-coded insulated coating from each wire, one at a time, and solder the two ends together. Heat the soldering iron and apply a small amount of solder to one wire at a time, then join the wires. Heat the joint where the wires connect, and allow the solder to melt onto the wire while holding it on the opposite side of the joined wires. Wrap the new joints in electrical tape after they have completely cooled.

  5. 5

    Reconnect the USB plug into the circuit board, and reassemble the mouse. Use epoxy to glue the rubber pads back onto the bottom of the mouse.

Tips and warnings

  • Some mouse brands may require a standard screwdriver or knife with a wide blade to snap the mouse apart. In this case, the mouse will need to be glued back together at the conclusion of the procedure.

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