How to Wire a Standard VGA Cable
Wire a standard VGA cable on location with a few basic tools and supplies in less time than it takes to go to the store to buy one. Avoid delays caused by a missing cable when installing computers or monitors on location by simply creating a standard VGA cable on the spot, or wiring a new connector on the end of a damaged cable. Custom length cables of up to 15 feet are easy to make to suit a particular requirement, eliminating the long coils of extra cable and allowing the monitor to be moved across the desk if desired.
Things You'll Need
- Male HDD 15 D-Sub solder connectors
- 15-conductor cable
- Soldering iron
- 60/40 tin/lead solder
- Helping hands soldering tool
- D-sub hoods
Cut the cable to the desired length up to 15 feet.
Strip approximately one inch of the outer insulation from each end of the cable, being careful not to cut into the insulation on the inner conductors.
Separate and straighten out the individual conductors on each end of the cable, aligning them side by side in the same general order on each end.
Preheat the soldering iron.
Strip approximately a quarter-inch of insulation from each conductor on each end of the cable.
Mount one D-sub connector into the helping hand soldering tool so that the solder connections are facing up and the connector is level.
Place a conductor in the center soldering pin of the connector and insert it to the full depth of the socket.
Apply the tip of the soldering iron to the point where the wire meets the socket, and after approximately one second, apply the tip of the solder to the wire while holding the soldering iron in place until solder fills the cup and coats the conductor. Then remove both the iron and the coil of solder at the same time.
Continue to add conductors to the D-sub connector until all fifteen conductors are soldered into separate pins. Inspect each pin as it is completed to ensure a good solid connection.
Repeat the process for the other end of the cable, being sure to use the exact same color conductor for each pin so that pin 1 on one end of the cable has a direct connection to pin 1 on the other end, and the rest of the pins are wired straight across in a similar fashion.
Attach a D-sub hood to each end of the cable and connectors.
Tips & Warnings
- When determining how to wire a standard VGA cable, it is important to keep in mind that this cable has two male HDD 15-pin ends that are interchangeable. Some VGA monitors require special 9-pin connections or use RGB coaxial connections, which are beyond the scope of this article.
- Monitor cables should not be longer than 15 feet unless being used with long-range video cards that can provide the additional signal required for the distance or a video signal extender is used. Using longer cables can damage the video cards or the monitors and may degrade the image quality significantly.