NEO JSL 6 Pin Cables snapping

We have been using NEO Motors and SPARK MAXs and been facing this problem for a while. Our JSL cables from our NEOs would snap and we had to solder them with encoder cable heads. The cables with encoder heads wouldn’t snap, but it wasnt reliable enough.



Any fixes/recommendations? (We’re from Turkey so it’s really hard to access US products mid-season. Also, any solution is expensive for us, so we try to find the most affordable one.)

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Only basic advice
Propper strain relief for the cable near the spark max and hot glue on the back of the connector where the cables go in.

These are a common failure mode on the neos. The best thing is buying the break out board that rev offers and then using the extension cable they offer which is much sturdier. While this solution isn’t the greatest for your team since it may take a while for these items to come in. Maybe if you have access make the PCB break out board yourselves. JST PH 6-pin Breakout Board - 4 Pack - REV Robotics here is the break out board

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The best cheap-and-simple fix (in addition to the hot glue already recommended) is to zip-tie the encoder cables to the power cables, a few centimeters away from the SparkMax. This provides strain relief to the fragile JST terminal crimps (where they usually break) and supports the cable.

I made this same recommendation to another team recently. There’s a picture in that post showing what we’ve done with the zip ties and hot glue on a previous robot.

I recommend doing this to the CAN cables on the other side as well, since those JST connectors are equally prone to failure.

Plus, of course, route and tie down all your cable bundles to minimize the potential for damage.

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One thing to think about, is how much repeated flex the cable is exposed to. Repeatedly bending wires at the same point makes them brittle and work hardened. If possible, in addition to the restraint advice given here, treating the wires in a way where they are minimally handled and flexed will likely extend the life.