How to Find the Correct IDC Cable

You have your perfect IDC connector, now what cable should you use? When choosing the cable the biggest factor you need to look for is pitch. The cable of a 2 row+ connector needs to be half the pitch. The reason the cable needs to be half is that this type of IDC connector has staggered pins.

Here is an example on Digi-Key part number 1658526-4-ND (TE part number 1658526-4, the best place to see the staggard pattern is on the strain relief part:

Below is a quick cheat sheet for common pitches:

Connector Pitch Cable Pitch
.079" (2.00mm) .039" (1.00mm)
.098" (2.50mm) .049" (1.25mm)
.100" (2.54mm) .050" (1.27mm)

If you have a single row cable you can use the same pitch cable, making things much easier. With any number of rows, the proper cable pitch is on the manufacturer datasheet.

Here are some other helpful articles for IDC connectors: