Tutorial: Mod Sensor Cables

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    Tyberius Tyberius is offline Derelict Robot
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    Mod Sensor Cables

    Difficulty
    Easy
    Estimated Time
    Minutes!
    Skills Required
    Using an X-Acto without losing a finger.
    Parts Required
    Phidgets Sensor Cables
    Female-Female Servo Cables
    Tools Required
    X-Acto Blade
    Steady Hand
    When mixing and matching sensors with controllers sometimes the connectors are a little different. This tutorial has tips on how to modify cables so you can mix and match your sensors and controllers.

    Regular sensor cable. These are often servo cables from the hobby R/C market.




    This is the connector on a Phidgets cable




    Here they are side by side next to a female Phidgets sensor connector. You can see how similar they are. They both use standard .1 inch spacing.



    If you are using a regular cable with Phidget sensors you can just plug them right in. Even without the lock tabs the cables create a snug fit that will hold in most applications.



    Regular cables will also work just as well with the Phidget 8/8/8 Interface Kit.





    If you have Phidget cables and need to use them with non-Phidget controllers you can simply use a utility knife to cut away the extra tabs.


    First cut away the main tab.





    Then cut away the side tabs.



    Finally, cut away the polarity tab on the back.



    When you are finished you should have a nice smooth face on both sides. That's it!


    The Phidget cable will now fit neatly in a regular row of headers. In the second pic you can even see it between two regular cables. Now go build something brilliant!



Replies to Tutorial: Mod Sensor Cables
  1. Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belgium
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    633

    Re: Mod Sensor Cables

    Great Tutorial Tyb!
    Maybe add a lil' something about interchanging the cables within the connectors in case of odd servo's?
    Eg. a servo which has the signal wire in the center lead?
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  2. Re: Mod Sensor Cables

    Very nicely done, Andrew! I agree that an addition about actually crimping new connectors onto cable leads would be nice. Sometimes, they have to be replaced when doing such modifications.

    8-Dale.
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  3. Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Re: Mod Sensor Cables

    Great tutorial! A little input that might just be me... After some pretty nasty cuts, I'm not the fondest of modifying connectors with a razorknife. There are two types of cutters that are inexpensive and work really well for that, and have the added benefits of preserving your fingers and doing the job much much faster with finer control. Flat nippers and edge nippers: Attachment 465

    Just a small little thing that's a personal gotcha - nothing wrong with your tutorial!
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  4. Join Date
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    Location
    Belgium
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    Re: Mod Sensor Cables

    While it is a good crit Lynn, I always feel better knowing a little of my own blood went into building a new project

    I haven't used any Phidgets cables / connectors yet so I can't comment on those particularly, but I have found that cutting most electronics connectors with sidecutters tend to leave a little nub due to the "softness" of the plastic which I needed to cut off with a razor anyway.

    But as I said, haven't used the Phidgets, might be a completely different kind of plastic on which no nubs are left after cutting with a sidecutter.
    Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity

    "For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve life, press three" - Alice Kahn

    Resistance is futile! (if < 1)
        

  5. Join Date
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    Re: Mod Sensor Cables

    In a worst-case scenario (generally the nub doesn't get in the way), I take the nub off with a dremel tool.
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