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Unread 11-03-2017, 06:31 PM
jwhite jwhite is offline
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Tips for storing premade wires

We're making a push to get all of our inventory buttoned down and organized. We're focused on getting most 'smallish' things into containers like this this harbor freight parts storage box.

We have one tub that is full of premade wire. Even after purging it of bad / useless / easy to remake wires, we still have a lot of wires that are useful to hang on to. Things like wires with barrel plug output for going into cameras and/or switches, solenoid control wires, 3 wire pwm cables, things like that.

I wouldn't say it's a lot, but it's enough that the tub is a pretty nasty jumble.

I've tried twist ties and velcro ties. I find you still get a fair bit of jumble with that. I've tried ziploc bags, and that's my current go to strategy. I think our default is to get a few of the harbor freight boxes and a bunch of ziploc bags and go with that. All the students and other mentors look at me funny when I suggest this, though, so I'm wondering if I'm missing a better strategy.

Anyone have better practices that work well for managing premade wires?

Thanks,

Jeremy
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Unread 11-03-2017, 09:51 PM
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Re: Tips for storing premade wires

I would recommend rolling them (like electrical cord) and then securing them with something like velcro or zip ties.

here is a youtube video that shows you how to roll one!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIHW4oj-NcI
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Unread 11-03-2017, 10:46 PM
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Re: Tips for storing premade wires

It won't help when you're traveling, but if you have an open wall in your workspace you can hang your pre-made wires on rack like this one. They're typically used for leads on test equipment, but I've found they work just as well for robot wire harnesses.
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Unread 11-04-2017, 05:04 PM
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Re: Tips for storing premade wires

For smaller cables, you could roll then, place them in zip-top bags of the same size (possibly with a piece of cardstock to hold the shape, and perhaps labels) and store them in a box like a stack of file cards.

OBTW, by this you do mean COTS wires/cables, right? Unless the rules on this are quite different than recent years, a team pre-made cable may not be used on the competition robot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2017 Game Rules
R13. Physical ROBOT elements created before Kickoff are not permitted. Exceptions are:
  • A. OPERATOR CONSOLE,
  • B. BUMPERS (a protective assembly designed to attach to the exterior of the ROBOT and constructed as specified in Section 8.5 Bumper Rules),
  • C. battery assemblies per R04-B,
  • D. FABRICATED ITEMS consisting of one COTS electrical device (e.g. a motor or motor controller), connectors, and any materials used to secure and insulate those connectors
Unless, of course, you could convince the LRI that a piece of a wire cut to custom length was a COTS electrical device..
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Unread 11-04-2017, 06:10 PM
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Re: Tips for storing premade wires

Cards in the bags; that's an interesting change; we haven't tried that yet.

And yeah, I'm not talking about fabricated cables; it's more like cables like this: http://www.andymark.com/product-p/am-0874.htm and COTS PWM cables assemblies. You've then got things that aren't 'fabricated' - the cut off end of a wall wart so you can wire up a switch, for example. All useful cords to keep on hand. And having a card that clearly identifies what it is a clever addition to the strategy, thanks!

Cheers,

Jeremy
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Unread 11-05-2017, 12:05 AM
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Re: Tips for storing premade wires

This is how I store all my computer related cabling at home. Never tried it on a robotics team but a similar concept should work (maybe a different size tube for smaller wire) It works best when you leave both ends showing on top for quick identification.

http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets...3bfxr6vpt9.jpg
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