I keep half of my computer repair tools on a USB Flash Drive (the other half I keep on bootable CDs). I found myself often losing the flash drives or otherwise destroying them in my pockets. I came up with a great way to make a cheap (or free!) holder for these keys out of things you should have around the house anyways. You could even use it to hold other USB dongles you frequently work with, such as a USB bluetooth or wifi dongle.
- Any USB cable with a female end on it. I just cut mine off the USB extender cable that came with my flash drive. Most flash drives come with these extender cables, so being a packrat, I naturally had dozens of them.
- Eyelet. I’m not even sure if this is the right term for this little screw. I got mine from a half-used picture frame hanging kit. You should be able to find them otherwise at any craft or hardware store.
- (Optional) Any strong glue like super glue or epoxy
Click the link below to catch the rest of the instructions after the fold!
- Cut the cable off the end of the USB connector.
- You may choose to leave it like that, or if you are a little overzealous like me, you can choose to “clean up” the cut by hacking even more away.
- At this point, you can choose to place a few drops of glue where the multicolored USB cables start to come out of the connector, as this is where our eyelet will go. It will make for a more secure fit, so it can’t hurt to add it. I just didn’t have any on hand when I wrote this up, or else you would find glue in there. It’s really up to you.
- Now twist the eyelet all the way down into the connector, and you’re done! Wasn’t that easy? Now you can slip it onto your keychain and simply plug any USB device you wish to carry around into it. Since it’s a regular USB plug, it will hold as well as anything other USB connection, which should be pretty snug. Here’s an action shot of one I made last year that is on my keychain currently. Over a year and it’s still going strong!
Why not just buy one already with the keychain?
You definitely could. The idea here is that usually the cheap drives (That 4gb drive was $15 at Microcenter) are rather bare-bones don’t come with keychain holders. The other thing is that I have yet to find a drive with a keychain endcap that actually stays on. My drive above has never fallen out of the holder. Additionally, the holder will work with any usb device: bluetooth and wifi dongles, hardware security keys, card readers, etc.
WoW i could use one of those when I’m on call for phoenix computer repair.
Great idea! Thanks.
great idea, as i am in habit of losing the cap of usb drive this a great thing
One other thing you can do is use Kydex ( it’s used for knife sheaths and gun holsters ). It’s easy to work with, and can be made in just about any shape. Here is a quick tutorial via NorthCoast Knives:
Good idea for a personal thumbdrive.
We’ve gotten away from carrying our tools around on a thumbdrive, as the latest crop of malware jump right on ’em. We burn a non-rewritable cd with all the latest tools so as to avoid “cross contamination”. Great fix for the cap loss problem though.
I can’t believe I can find a commercial version of this. I’ve been looking for one entire day.