How to make your own Motorola "Factory Cable"

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MotoCache1

Senior Member
Aug 10, 2010
62
32
Over in this post Cellzealot opined that I might be willing to share the pinout of the "factory cable" clone that I worked up. I absolutely am, but needed to find several hours of free time to do the writeup, images, etc.

The other night I set aside the time and did the writeup. If you would like to make your own cable, you can read the writeup here.

To oversimplify it, here is the map:
attachment.php


The map is simple enough. The main problem (as detailed in the writeup I linked to above) is that since pin 4 is normally unused in a Mini/Micro B connector, there is no wire connected to it (to tie to), and in the case of the Mini B that I surgically dissected, the actual pin for pin 4 was nipped off at the back of the connector as well.

This doesn't preclude you from making a cable as you can always order brand new connectors and solder them up any way you like.

I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have in this topic.
 

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paravorheim

Senior Member
Mar 10, 2011
227
19
great guide

Thanks for linking this to us! This would be tremendously useful to many on this forum. My question is, since the docks Motorola sells basically do the same thing, could the process be applied like callen81 did to make USB host functionality? It seems like the same process is used, albeit simpler.
 

undisputedfb

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2009
300
31
ya i picked up like three for like 1.50 each. monoprice.com has alot of cables for super cheap, good quality too
edit, i also got the 10 footers so i dont have to be bounded to the 4 footer that comes with it
 

eval-

Retired Recognized Developer
Sep 24, 2008
228
330
Guys, a factory cable is not like the micro USB cables you buy, nor the standard "OTG" micro usb cables/adapters to become USB host.

Notice that PIN4 is tied to POWER, the +5V on PIN1, not to ground on PIN5 as in OTG cables (or left floating like on most mini/micro cables.)

This cable is essentially for being able to nvflash the phone, although perhaps it has other uses I am unaware of.
 

bearsfan172

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2011
135
40
Guys, a factory cable is not like the micro USB cables you buy, nor the standard "OTG" micro usb cables/adapters to become USB host.

Notice that PIN4 is tied to POWER, the +5V on PIN1, not to ground on PIN5 as in OTG cables (or left floating like on most mini/micro cables.)

This cable is essentially for being able to nvflash the phone, although perhaps it has other uses I am unaware of.

It can also be used to charge the phone while flashing SBF.

Sent from my MB860 using XDA App
 

banes

Senior Member
Apr 11, 2010
135
6
Westminster
www.quarknet.net
Guys, a factory cable is not like the micro USB cables you buy, nor the standard "OTG" micro usb cables/adapters to become USB host.

Notice that PIN4 is tied to POWER, the +5V on PIN1, not to ground on PIN5 as in OTG cables (or left floating like on most mini/micro cables.)

This cable is essentially for being able to nvflash the phone, although perhaps it has other uses I am unaware of.

isn't it also possible to use a usb keyboard with this method given that you have a usb powering hub in the middle?
 

the2dcour

Senior Member
Mar 17, 2011
464
587
Boston
The most useful thing to do at this point would be linking places that sell easily modified cables / adapters. As he said 99% of cables you find will not have the 5th wire connected or soldered on to the connector. Even if I had a cable or source of cables that had an easily solderable 5th pin this cable would be decently cheap to make. Most of the space cables I've hacked apart just have 4 solder points and a 'dummy' pin #4 (what, to look cool?) sigh.
 

cellzealot

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2008
1,362
917
Philadelphia, PA
Guys, a factory cable is not like the micro USB cables you buy, nor the standard "OTG" micro usb cables/adapters to become USB host.

Notice that PIN4 is tied to POWER, the +5V on PIN1, not to ground on PIN5 as in OTG cables (or left floating like on most mini/micro cables.)
They do indeed have many uses
This cable is essentially for being able to nvflash the phone, although perhaps it has other uses I am unaware of.

They do indeed have many other uses besides the nvflash interface which is strictly for Tegra based devices. They not only power the device without battery, but autoload the Motorola networking driver and other interfaces for diagnostic mode NV access with both Motorola and Qualcomm service ware as well as flash tools like RSD Lite.
The device is always initialized properly and identified by the applications for various operations.
Similar powered cables have been used for all P2K generation Motorola devices for many years in various configurations. The real factory cables are made with a Mini USB B end and come with an adapter so they are compatible across a much wider range of older devices.

We hope very much that getting this info out will generate a lot of outflow for the many ways to apply the unique properties of these cables for newer devices.
 
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MotoCache1

Senior Member
Aug 10, 2010
62
32
In another topic Kholk had an idea that does away with the "missing pin 4 on the micro" problem. You can sacrifice a Motorola Mini-to-Micro USB adapter (SKN6252) which is wired for all 5 pins. This makes it a heck of a lot easier for the average Joe to make one and avoid the expense of buying a custom-made cable.

For most folks that would try this, that tip is all they need to proceed. If you want more detail, I did a step by step here.

If you make one up, post up and let me know how it went.

Enjoy!
 

PixoNova

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2010
406
16
In another topic Kholk had an idea that does away with the "missing pin 4 on the micro" problem. You can sacrifice a Motorola Mini-to-Micro USB adapter (SKN6252) which is wired for all 5 pins. This makes it a heck of a lot easier for the average Joe to make one and avoid the expense of buying a custom-made cable.

For most folks that would try this, that tip is all they need to proceed. If you want more detail, I did a step by step here.

If you make one up, post up and let me know how it went.

Enjoy!

I'm working on making my own, just to see if it'll work. I think it's going to turn out more frankenstein-y than yours, however.
 

MotoCache1

Senior Member
Aug 10, 2010
62
32
I'm working on making my own, just to see if it'll work. I think it's going to turn out more frankenstein-y than yours, however.
Cool. I'd love to see it when you're done (if you wouldn't mind posting a pic). As long as you get the pinout right, it will work. Your attempt can't possibly be worse than my initial prototype was. If you have an SKN6252 lying around, you could actually make a pretty respectable looking cable.
 

ParrotSquawk

Senior Member
Aug 28, 2007
409
43
Jupiter, FL
They do indeed have many other uses besides the nvflash interface which is strictly for Tegra based devices. They not only power the device without battery, but autoload the Motorola networking driver and other interfaces for diagnostic mode NV access with both Motorola and Qualcomm service ware as well as flash tools like RSD Lite.
The device is always initialized properly and identified by the applications for various operations.
Similar powered cables have been used for all P2K generation Motorola devices for many years in various configurations. The real factory cables are made with a Mini USB B end and come with an adapter so they are compatible across a much wider range of older devices.

We hope very much that getting this info out will generate a lot of outflow for the many ways to apply the unique properties of these cables for newer devices.

Moto has been using nonstandard USB cables since they came out, many of which were dumb devices. The reasoning that they needed to be different so that they can do X Y or Z is bull. They want to lock you into Moto cables. No one has ever shown a logical reason for being different. You can flash phones with regular USB cables so the logic for a different format holds no validity.
 

uisgdlyast

Member
Mar 27, 2011
45
1
Does this mean we could make one of these cables and have the phone "think" its either docked in the car or in the HD dock? I assume for the HD dock you might need added power but why cant I make a USB cable, plug it into my phone and hook up a USB hub to it like the dock?

not to hi-jack but it would be interesting to see if anyone has made their own docks, somehow the 3.5mm audio is integrated into the dock and is played through the usb cable...
 

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  • 20
    Over in this post Cellzealot opined that I might be willing to share the pinout of the "factory cable" clone that I worked up. I absolutely am, but needed to find several hours of free time to do the writeup, images, etc.

    The other night I set aside the time and did the writeup. If you would like to make your own cable, you can read the writeup here.

    To oversimplify it, here is the map:
    attachment.php


    The map is simple enough. The main problem (as detailed in the writeup I linked to above) is that since pin 4 is normally unused in a Mini/Micro B connector, there is no wire connected to it (to tie to), and in the case of the Mini B that I surgically dissected, the actual pin for pin 4 was nipped off at the back of the connector as well.

    This doesn't preclude you from making a cable as you can always order brand new connectors and solder them up any way you like.

    I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have in this topic.
    2
    Guys, a factory cable is not like the micro USB cables you buy, nor the standard "OTG" micro usb cables/adapters to become USB host.

    Notice that PIN4 is tied to POWER, the +5V on PIN1, not to ground on PIN5 as in OTG cables (or left floating like on most mini/micro cables.)

    This cable is essentially for being able to nvflash the phone, although perhaps it has other uses I am unaware of.

    It can also be used to charge the phone while flashing SBF.

    Sent from my MB860 using XDA App
    1
    It can also be used to charge the phone while flashing SBF.

    I can't say for the Atrix, but for every other phone I've used the cable on, while it will power the phone while flashing, it will not charge the phone while flashing.
    1
    Guys, a factory cable is not like the micro USB cables you buy, nor the standard "OTG" micro usb cables/adapters to become USB host.

    Notice that PIN4 is tied to POWER, the +5V on PIN1, not to ground on PIN5 as in OTG cables (or left floating like on most mini/micro cables.)
    They do indeed have many uses
    This cable is essentially for being able to nvflash the phone, although perhaps it has other uses I am unaware of.

    They do indeed have many other uses besides the nvflash interface which is strictly for Tegra based devices. They not only power the device without battery, but autoload the Motorola networking driver and other interfaces for diagnostic mode NV access with both Motorola and Qualcomm service ware as well as flash tools like RSD Lite.
    The device is always initialized properly and identified by the applications for various operations.
    Similar powered cables have been used for all P2K generation Motorola devices for many years in various configurations. The real factory cables are made with a Mini USB B end and come with an adapter so they are compatible across a much wider range of older devices.

    We hope very much that getting this info out will generate a lot of outflow for the many ways to apply the unique properties of these cables for newer devices.
    1
    Well what can I say
    I was about to use my RAZR into the construction work as a brick lol.
    My phone was having kernel issues with very high battery drain and it wasn't connecting to any PC in any mode then a friend just used the factory cable and the phone was instantly recognized by his PC and he flashed the stock with rsd lite and all my issues re gone but still it connects to PC only via factory cable only.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
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