USB Switch Cable

The Problem

When working on Arduino projects, it is often necessary to plug and unplug the USB cable repeatedly. This is especially true with the Digisparks when need to be unplugged and then plugged in every time you program them. This certainly isn’t hard, but it is a nuisance.

The Solution

To make this process more pleasant, I wanted a way that I could disconnect a USB connection with a switch. I figured that if I used a double pole, quadruple throw switch, I could virtually unplug the USB cable.

The Build

The construction was really quite simple. I had the switch left over from some previous project. The female end actually came out of a printer that I disassembled. The male end of the cable was from an extra USB cable, which are easy to come by.

I cut the cables and exposed the wires. Using a multi-meter, I figured out which wire needed to be connected. I also determined which pins needed to be used on the switch and soldered the wires to the switch.

A Tic-Tac case was just about the perfect size. I used a utility knife to carefully cut out the holes that I needed. Then I riveted the switch and the female connector to the case.


The cable works as expected and is very useful for Digispark projects. It is also useful for projects where the Arduino simulates a keyboard or a mouse. The build could have been prettier if I hadn’t only used parts I had laying around.

At the end of the day, it is a quick, cheap and easy project. Most importantly, it is useful.

September 8, 2013 |
Tags : Projects Arduino

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About Me

Eric Potter My name is Eric Potter. I have an amazing wife and 5 wonderful children. I am a Microsoft MVP for .Net. I am a software architect for Aptera Software in Ft. Wayne Indiana and an adjunct professor for Indiana Tech. I am a humble toolsmith.

Microsoft MVP Award