Wire Management

Can I get some opinions on cable management? Last year our wiring was a rats nest mostly because we had a last minute wiring issue and had to undo most of the wiring but honestly if wasn’t much better before. What are some wire connectors and wiring harnesses that most teams use? Are the wiring accessories on Andymark a good option or is there a different kind we should use? This is my first year as head of electrical and I’m trying to avoid any electrical problems this year. Thank you for all those who help.

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In the 12th post, I made some quick and easy recommendations for how to ensure you have sufficient space to place your control system parts with sufficient space to run all your wires. Without the wiring channels between components, it is very difficult to avoid a rats nest.

If you use the perforated polycarb sheet from AndyMark or Coroplast from Home Depot, it is pretty easy to secure the bundles of wires. Try to avoid putting more than 6-8 wires in a bundle. You can have multiple bundles in a wiring channel. Group the wires by similar function. Keep the signal wires and power wires in separate bundles. Labelling your wires near both ends will help immensely.

Do a search for “wiring” or “electrical layout” and you will find many threads with a lot of good photos.

Thank you very much. I did not see that until just now. thank you for all of the tips and recommendations.

The most important thing is to plan for the wires when you first start designing the robot.

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Rule 1: Label both ends of every wire. If you did everything else perfectly, this would not be necessary, but let’s be real.
Rule 2: Leave enough space around your components to clearly route wires so that they do not interfere with lights and other indicators, nor with other wires’ routing.
Rule 3: If at all feasible, make all of your control system LEDs visible from one location. If not, at least reduce the number of locations necessary to a small one digit number.

If you follow all three rules, you’ll likely be the most inspectable and maintainable robot at your event, or at least on the short list.

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In my experience I would suggest organizing your electrical so that you can know how much room you will take up. Our team also will get a sheet of normal poly carb so then we are not limited by the pre drilled holes that are pre drilled so we can place things wherever we want. We just drill the holes that we need to place things and then once we do that we will place and drill holes wherever we need so that we can secure the wires with zipties in bundles

This is the fundamental basis for most of the suggestions being made.

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