USB ports are out of control, can I splice USB devices?

it seems that most USB devices come with an excessive amount of cords which clutter my work area. I have a laptop and it gets very annoying. Some of the USB devices that I have could really use a shortening of their cords.

speakers and most cables can be shortened… but what about USB? would any of the devices lose their effectiveness? I have the Microsoft fingerprint reader which has about an eight-foot cord and really just requires half of an inch. if I were to cut, solder, tape, make it look pretty, would I lose anything? is it? even possible

You can cut the USB cable and splice it. Just make sure you match the wires up correctly. Hopefuly they’ll be differently-colored.

Just make sure you splice it well, or it will become unreliable.

What would that change?

Why don’t you just coil the cable and secure it with a cable tie?

Because I have six USB items which I use. I tried that and it became even more of an annoyance than just being able to push the cords behind the computer. Instead, I had five (the 6th is a wireless plug) coils I would be constantly moving around.

USB cables are pretty universal and many are SHORT. I was just cleaning out my desk drawer that was only 7 inches long and wondered what I was going to do with it. I would just buy ones with the size that meets your needs.

Coil it, hide it or pay six bucks to put it inside this.

Don’t cut it.

You can cut and shorten USB leads, but it isn’t always easy; there are four insulated conductors inside; +5v, 0v, Data(+) and data(-); the two data cables are often very, very thin multi stranded conductors and stripping them without severing the individual cores (even using a proper wire stripping tool) is difficult. Furthermore, the four insulated wires are usually packed in a grounded sheath; made either from foil or braided metal wire - both of these are hard to reconnect properly.

But if you have the technical ability to do that, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work; lengthening USB cables is problematic even if you do the job perfectly, shortening them shouldn’t ever be.

Lazy man’s alternative if willing to spend the money: buy a 7-port hub and a whole bunch of short (or appropriate-length) cables. Run everything thru the hub, using the shortest viable cables, and only the hub’s cable to the computer.

You can buy short USB cables from Cyberguys

This ones 12" long.