RoboRIO wires insecure

Our roboRIO wires are insecure, and continue to be loose and fall out. Ive browsed 3d printable things on Thingiverse, but I would like to maybe have sone knowledge of how other teams overcome this hurdle. Did you machine something, 3D print something, or maybe buy specially made clips?

Which wires are you talking about? I’d assume it’s the power wires, but I just want to make sure.

PWM / DIO wires

Our team hasn’t had any trouble with keeping them secure, I would make sure
there’s enough slack so they aren’t yanked out, but beyond that I’m not sure how else I can help. Sorry.

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Hot glue is your friend. Just don’t glob it everywhere. Typically a drop on each side does the trick.

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Secure the wires to the “electronics board” (or whatever else is supporting the Rio) near the Rio, so there is no strain on the wiring at the plugs. It will take a bit of planning so there’s something to secure the wires to, but it should eliminate the problem. Perhaps drill a few holes in the board and use zip ties to secure the wires.

Something I can actually help with :wink: . Get a box of these (or something similar) and a Ferulle crimper for any of pin connectors on your robot.

https://www.amazon.com/Assortment-Connector-Terminals-Insulated-Terminal/dp/B07BJ74L53/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=ferrule+wire+tips&qid=1582784515&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFKTVlIWkM4UkVKTlomZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAyNzQwMzM5VEEyT0Y5VjVGRDImZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDUwMzAwNFFYVDRPQ0pWUTI1QiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

And because, I saw to many freshman making this mistake this year, you crimp the metal, not the plastic (doh!).

If it’s actual connections on the Rio, hot glue is your friend. Pro-tip, hot glue is isopropyl alcohol soluble if you ever need to remove it.

A dab of normal bathroom caulk on each side of each plug worked great for us. It keeps them from flying out, and it’s easily removable later.

The cleanest solution is to provide strain relief/securing of the cables so there is no tension on the connector and make sure to use new cables, when you push the connector onto the pins you should feel some resistance - as the connector gets older it tends to loss its “spring” and will slide on too easily and not grip the pin.

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Totally with @bohdand here - new cables, strain relief.

One of our problems is one specific PWM wire falling out - in hindsight we probably should replace it, sometimes people look for complicated solutions to a simple problem. Securing the wires to advert the tension to a zip tie is probably our best bet. Hot glue sounds a little too janky for me, but it may work for some teams. Thanks for all the replies, this really gave me some ideas to sift through to find the most viable and permanent solution to our problem.

If any connector feels loose, yeah, replace it! It will still be loose electrically, even if it stays attached.

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I know hot glue sounds dumb, but that’s something we picked up from 254. Like I said, you can remove it pretty easily with isopropyl alcohol. You don’t want to loose a finals match because a cable came out.

Some sort of strain relief to prevent direct pulling on the connections to the RoboRIO is very important.

Another thing I’ve done is instead of using a 1x3 pin housing for each connector individually, I glue together multiple connectors to plug onto multiple pins at once. The individual pins in each set are at .1" spacing and each set is .3" from each other (2 empty pin positions between each). If you are using 3 adjacent connections, use 3 1x7 housings glued into a 3x7 block which now has 9 pins holding the entire block in place.

So instead of 3 connectors like this:

X X X

You have one connector like this:

X x x X x x X
X x x X x x X
X x x X x x X (with each X corresponding to an actual pin connection)

There is a downside, you end up “burying” the center pins to where the can no longer be removed. These are all the 5v line for any of the DIO, Analog, or PWM connections so it’s not that big of a deal - you can put empty pins in there and run things off of one connection to the 5v bus or you can connect to all and tie them together for redundancy.

There are times when I’ve only needed one port and done this to tie to a pair of headers (using 1x5 pin housings) to get a very solid connection.

if you have a single specific pin falling out, you need to probably replace it or the housing .

– Chris Herzog - Joliet Cyborgs #4241