I saw this thread on the forum and it shows a small 3d printed box that could be potentially used for wiring. As said in the thread it is not legal, however I think that this idea would be useful. My proposal is that VEX design something similar to it or that does has the same function. I know that I have have had a few problems with the pins bending and almost on the connectors while Zip-tying, this would be a simple and easy fix.
This type of thing already exists (although not VEX and therefore still not legal).
A couple of random links.
I do agree that it would be a useful accessory for VEX to sell.
I would no longer have to tell countless Middle School teams at competitions to zip tie their connections because I’m positive they’ll come undone. I like the idea as a product for VEX to sell.
I second(third?) this. I would really like this. PLEASSSEEE VEX
Yes, for sure, something like this would be amazing. The ones linked to above would be good and look like they would fit VEX wires. This way IFI can use a current product and doesn’t need to make new molds and what not.
If they do end up custom making something, I would like to see some sort of hard plastic covers, one on each side that are solid. When you put two together and zip tie it, it will prevent them from bending and have a piece over lap over the end so they can’t pull apart. This way it would prtect the connection and prevent you from having to do the zip tie around the two plugs that may damage it.
We’ve already broken the pins off two motors, so these would be helpful. After the season I will see if something can be done out of the polycarb.
Make it unanimous!
me too. The night befor the last competition(we are really good at procrastinating) we were wiring our robot and two motors had the pins break off inside a 2-3 wire converter, a real problem considering we had to get a new motor and converter. PLEASE VEX, give us something better, even if only a better motor connector, perhaps something where the plastic and metal both interlock, so that it is harder to break.
we could also take a small piece of Plexiglas(legal) and zip tie it in place
Some thing I think is legal is to wrap electrical tape around the connected to hold them together. Although I’m not sure if it is legal because it isn’t a vex part. I have seen teams do it, and not break the pins.
Yes, that’s legal. I’ll find the rule eventually.
The thing is that they can still bend and possibly break, not to mention it isn’t necessarily very neat. Some part to put around the connection that’s solid would be much better.
EDIT: Here’s the rule:
g. A small amount of tape may be used for the following purposes:
**i. For the sole purpose of securing any connection between the ends of two (2) VEX cables. **
ii. For labeling wires and motors.
iii. Teflon tape solely for the purposes of preventing leaks may be used on the threaded
portions of pneumatic fittings.
iv. For securing and retaining a VEXnet key to the Cortex Microcontroller. Using tape in this
manner is highly recommended to ensure a robust connection.
Thanks, I understand it’s not that strong. However, It can act as an alternative.
We tried this in Gateway and the connections would still come loose over time, but we weren’t able to see that they were loose because of the electrical tape. We soon found that zip-tying the connections was a much better alternative.
Yeah, the more I think about it, the worse it sounds. We use zip ties. I thought tape might work, but as you pointed out, zip ties are better.
I was always scared that zip tying the plugs together would damage the wires, so I’ve pretty much always done my connections like this and never had a serious problem with plugs coming out:
If at all possible I will try to make sure the plug is on a piece of metal so I can zip tie on either size of it. If it isn’t then I just use masking tape, and they never really come out.
More importantly than making the plugs super secure (in my opinion) is to run the wires somewhere where they can’t catch on anything (like other robots, the field, other parts of your own robot).
Also important is making sure that around pivots (like on the arms, where an intake folds down, etc.) you have enough slack for the pivot to go through its full range of motion without pulling the wire. You also need to make sure this extra slack isn’t going to catch on anything. Usually running the wire as close to the point where the joint is pivoting will result in the least amount of extra slack required (hope that makes sense).
Your tips on wiring by pivots are great!
A few more tips:
- To make switching out motors (and tracking wires) easier, pull all the slack toward the motor. Bunch up and zip tie the extra wire together.
- If you are not using all 10 motors, consider running an extra wire up the lift when you first wire your intake. It can save time in the future.
- While zip tying two wires together, thread the zip tie through metal to save zip ties
- If the power expander is hard to reach, give it enough slack that it can be unscrewed and pulled out.
- If you have a motor that moves (e.g. rack + pinion) try to secure the wire half way across its movement so the wire draws tight at the beginning and end, and is looses in the middle. Also consider adding bungee/a rubber band to the loose wire so that the slack is pulled out when it moves.
When we have connections we heat shrink the connections which seems to work better than tape for sure.
Fine for school or personal robotics projects, but not allowed in VEX Robotics Competition. Although I think it would be good to include it in the extra allowable materials.