Robo Rio Header issues

Our team used 2 encoders that connect to the DIO pins on the rio. We had problems with the connectors popping out constantly. We are looking at using a REV More Board to improve the connectors. Is this the right way to go? Are there any better options?

Many teams 3d print little brackets that hold the plugs into the DIO ports. You can find them on thingiverse.

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In a pinch we used a piece of tape along the sides of connectors and on the face of the RIO. Then a second piece to hold the wire harness down for relief. While I’d look into the 3d print, we couldn’t because we didn’t have the right one/room for it, and we didn’t have another problem the rest of two competitions.

We make most of our own sensor and PWM cables. We use high retention force female contacts, and although the RIO headers aren’t the latching type, our DIO cables never just fall out. The Molex part number for the high retention force contact is 16-02-1114.

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We use hot glue.

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Hot glue works very well as well

We haven’t used it, but I’ve been eying this piece of kit.

Seems like it would solve this problem relatively well.

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if we have this problem we will just tape over the port/connectors with duct tape and it holds in well and it looks like the color of the rio

Which one did you use?

I haven’t personally used one, however we don’t particularly have issues with cables coming out.

Keeping your cable routing nice and clean will help a LOT

I think that in the past our team may have used this

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We, too, have used those in the past. They seem to hold really well, especially when the brackets are hot-glued to the case.

That looks like a very robust version that adds protection in addition to preventing them from coming out. I like it.

hot glue for electrical connections is not a good practice, for several reasons:

  • it can give you false confidence in a connection that can still come apart under strain
  • it can flow into unwanted places, like between the pins and the PWM header, potentially causing connectivity issues
  • it introduces difficulties when something goes wrong/needs to be changed

Home-grown solutions: I’ve seen many 3D printed solutions work well. For even easier alternatives, introducing proper cable management and strain relief has been a long standing practice (Since the days before 3D printers) that works well - fold the PWM cable over and secure it next to the RoboRio, managing a proper amount of slack so the header can’t be pulled out without cutting the zip tie securing it.

Purchased solutions: The REV More Board can work well, but is only MXP, it doesn’t solve the problem with the other outputs. The Swyft NI RoboRio JST board provides solid connections for the other outputs, but can interfere with the use of some NXT boards (disclaimer - Swyft sent my team a package to evaluate their offerings, including this board. We played around with it, but due to space constraints with our design did not use it this year).

I would pick any of those options before hot glue.

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Thanks for all these helpful suggestions. I will look into them