Keep It Simple Stupid

OBD-II wire harness with UTP

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Hello there, welcome back!

I happen to work with OBD-II, CAN, and OpenXC at the time. And I needed to create a cable harness (aka, adapter) to access different CAN buses on the same OpenXC translator. The basic idea is explained here, plus some photos:

The example cable there uses rather thick wires, which makes sense if you see the OBD-II crimp connectors. However, I didn’t have such wires, so a brilliant idea flashed in my mind: use the UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair, used for Ethernet). Very convenient: 8 wrapped wires, exactly what is needed. Although I don’t have much experience in electronics and making hardware, I managed to make this harness. Take a look at the photos:

Here I want to warn you not to repeat this, because these are the downsides of this UTP-based cable:

  1. UTP cable has solid wires, which means they can be bent and broken relatively easy. I had a few such occasions during the assembling.

  2. UTP cable is rather rigid, and so the ends can’t be rotated independently.

Don’t repeat my mistake, get the appropriate wires first.