Using the V5 Crimping Tool to Make Custom Length V5 Smart Cables

Assembling your own custom length V5 Smart Cables provides a great deal of flexibility for the location of sensors and/or motors, plus allows for efficient cable management.

Required supplies

The required supplies to assemble custom length V5 Smart Cables include:


A marker or other writing utensil used to mark the cutting location on the cable.

Note: Some string is useful but is not required.

Measuring and cutting the V5 Smart Cable


Layout the V5 Smart Cable between the Smart Port on the V5 Brain and a Smart Port on a device.

The cable may be stiff and difficult to lay out. If so, an option is to use a piece of string to measure the distance between the two Smart Ports.


Once the length of the cable is measured, leave a little extra space on each end for the connectors. Then, using the marker or other writing utensil, mark the location on the cable where it should be cut.

Another option is to cut a piece of string to the required length that the cable should be. Then, place the string next to the cable to measure the distance, leaving a little extra on each end for the connectors before marking the cut location.


If your crimping tool is locked, squeeze the handles together or pull up on the lock pin.


Insert the cable to the desired length into the cutter section of the tool and align the cable so the cut will be square across. Squeeze the handles together until the cable is cut all the way through.

Stripping the ends of the black casing from the V5 Smart Cable



Insert one end of the cable into the stripper portion of the tool. Ensure you are inserting the cable on the correct side of the Crimping Tool.



Align the cable so it is flush with the end of the depth gauge on the back of the tool.

Do not push the cable all the way back. Be sure to stop at the stopper, or you will strip off too much casing.

Once the cable is inserted and up against the stopper, squeeze the tool’s handles together.

It can be helpful to wiggle the cable around while the handles are pressed. This will help loosen the black casing.


Gently work the outside black casing back and forth until it becomes loose and can be removed.

Be careful not to pull the inside wires out further when you remove the black casing.

Repeat the previous two steps for the other side of the cable.


Once both sides of the cable have been cut, ensure that all colored wires are flush.

Proper alignment of the connectors


Insert one end of the cable fully into the cable connector. Be sure all four wires (yellow, green, red, and black) extend to the end of the connector.


Flip the cable over 180 degrees and fully insert the four wires on the other side of the cable into another cable connector.

Be sure the locking tabs are aligned so they are on opposite sides of the cable.


By having the locking tabs aligned so they are on opposite sides of the cable, this will ensure the order of the colors of the wires will be the same from left to right on both ends.


Make sure that the black casing is inserted into the clear connector. The colored wires should not be exposed.

Crimping and checking connection


Place the cable connector into the crimping section of the tool. Squeeze the handles together very firmly until they are no longer moving.

You should be able to feel the connector’s metal prongs seating into the wire. Now repeat with the connector on the other end of the cable.


After crimping the connectors it is important to inspect the connector to make sure the prongs have been crimped down flush.

This is very important. If the prongs are not flush, your new Smart Cable will damage any Smart Port it is plugged into.


Once you have finished crimping and inspecting your cable, check for a good connection.

Plug one side of your new custom length V5 Smart Cable into a V5 Robot Brain’s Smart Port and the other side into a V5 Smart Motor.

Turn on your V5 Robot Brain, if the V5 Smart Motor Smart Port lights up red the connection is good.

Once you are certain the new cable's connection is good, the cable may be used with any V5 Smart Motor or other V5 device.

For more information about proper cable management, view this article from the VEX Library.

For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus

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