First of all: If you’re not familiar with DeadDrops, visit!

You surely know these new type of USB sticks which are very thin because they don’t have the classic-iron USB connector. I had a bunch of them at home and wanted to use them as DeadDrops, but in my opinion the plastic connector is not solid enough for a DeadDrop’s life of rain, physical stress, and vandalism. I solved this problem by soldering an end of an USB cable to them. I think that’s really easy, so get your slim USB stick and an old cable or connector and get started!

Project Steps

What you’ll need:

A slim USB stick

A male USB connector with or without a cable

Soldering iron

A pair of scissors or any kind of nipper pliers

Hot glue (optional)

Heat-shrink tubing

And some plumber’s tape or any kind of waterproof tape (not in the image)

If your stick has got any kind of a non-solid plastic casing, remove it.

Removing the plastics can be done using a knife, a screwdriver or a Dremel-kind-of-tool.

You should end up having the circuit board (as in my case) or the elemental plastic part with the connectors.

Be sure that you are opening only the outer plastic casing and not the inner one!

To get ready for soldering, you have to prepare your USB cable / USB male connector first.

If you are using a cable end:

Gently remove about 1-2 cm of the outer plastic insulation of the cable.

Remove the tinfoil shielding by peeling it back and cutting it off. (Sometimes the shielding consists of many small wires. Don’t worry, cut ’em off too!)

Now strip the four colored wires.

If you are using a male connector:

Remove any plastics that are covering the inner parts of your connector using a knife.

Now it is time to solder the USB stick and the connector or wire together.

Be sure to solder the connections right and stick to the image if in doubt. (Oh, and sometimes the green wire is blue.)

If you like you can use heat-shrink tubing and/or hot glue to secure the solder connections.

After that you just have to wrap the finished USB stick with some tape to make it waterproof and you’re done!

A finished Dead Drop can be seen here at the Dead Drops Database