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RC Radios, Transmitters, Receivers, Servos, gyros Discussion all about rc radios, transmitters, receivers, servos, etc.

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Old 09-22-2014, 01:29 PM   #1
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Default Own Servo leads ....

I have bought a long length of servo wire ... and packets of JR format plugs / sockets with crimp pins ....

Tried making up plug ... rubbish !

Tried making socket - appeared to work.

Anyone else making own leads ?

I need advice on it - fed up buying extensions and then cutting / joining / altering to suit installations ... thought I'd make own to suit.

Nigel

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Old 09-22-2014, 02:08 PM   #2
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The problem is in getting a good crimp if using standard servo plugs (any brand... just the plastic is different)

To ensure always getting a good crimp you need the correct crimping tool. You can succeed with common needle nose pliers but results will not be consistent. Too tight can cut the wire in the crimp and you'll get a failure. Too loose and the wire will pull out with no warning.

Making your own leads does open the option of using other plug types. Some of the higher power (> 200 in-oz) servos could benefit from the higher current capacity of heavier wire and better connectors. This isn't a common issue for electric power models though.

http://www.troybuiltmodels.com (search: crimper or extension... can't link those direct)
Not sure where you can get the tool over there....
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:45 PM   #3
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Crimping tool, and proper alignment/positioning of wire and connector-piece in the tool are critical.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Vptd2n5p5-I
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I have bought a long length of servo wire ... and packets of JR format plugs / sockets with crimp pins ....

Tried making up plug ... rubbish !

Tried making socket - appeared to work.

Anyone else making own leads ?

I need advice on it - fed up buying extensions and then cutting / joining / altering to suit installations ... thought I'd make own to suit.

Nigel
I've been making my own servo connectors and extensions for many years. If you're like me, a magnifying visor is absolutely mandatory. Along with that, a quality crimping tool is also mandatory.

Crimped terminals are more reliable than soldering, but only if a quality crimping tool is used. That rules out the $7.99 Crimping tools found in the USA at Radio Shack and others.
Normally production quality terminal crimpers run in the many hundreds of dollars. But this one looks pretty good, especially at the price:
http://www.hansenhobbies.com/product...ools/crimp_dx/

IMHO, stay away from the #26 wire size, #22 works well, and doesn't add very much weight. Also important, is the terminals used in the servo cable.

Take a look:
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74416

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Old 09-22-2014, 07:32 PM   #5
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Allow some connectors for just practice.
Check them with a magnifying glass like Denny says, and pull test the first few to destruction. You have to know you are getting it right.

On # 26 wire, I fold over 1/8" of wire, so I have more to crimp onto, sometimes I have to re-crimp the grip on the insulation. But I agree #26 is a pain.

I have found it handy to put one handle of my crimpers in my small 4" drill press vise, just one less thing to hold. Then press down to crimp.
I also precrimp the insulation grip, with a small needle nose, to keep everything in place while I put it in the special crimp pliers.

I have been making my own leads for several years and have not had a failure, but I do inspect every pin with an eye loupe befor inserting it in the housing.

It's really cool to make up a custom 1-in to 3-out, servo adapter wire for electric retracts, can't buy that anywhere.

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Old 09-22-2014, 07:42 PM   #6
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Just emailed Hansens for a shipping quote.

Denny ... 26 is the size I always use !!



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Old 09-22-2014, 08:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
Just emailed Hansens for a shipping quote.

Denny ... 26 is the size I always use !!



Nigel
Hi Nigel

Yikes, hope your #26 wire is only used in smaller models! IMHO, once you get past perhaps 500 watts up front, only #22 servo wire should be used.

A few feet of #26 wire leading from the receiver to the tail of a larger model, along with the required higher powered servos can lead to a lot of voltage drop on the servo extension.

I just bought 100 feet of #22 servo wire from Maxx Products in the USA, cost $50, USA. That will last awhile.

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Old 09-22-2014, 08:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wildflyer View Post
Allow some connectors for just practice.
Check them with a magnifying glass like Denny says, and pull test the first few to destruction. You have to know you are getting it right.

On # 26 wire, I fold over 1/8" of wire, so I have more to crimp onto, sometimes I have to re-crimp the grip on the insulation. But I agree #26 is a pain.

I have found it handy to put one handle of my crimpers in my small 4" drill press vise, just one less thing to hold. Then press down to crimp.
I also precrimp the insulation grip, with a small needle nose, to keep everything in place while I put it in the special crimp pliers.

I have been making my own leads for several years and have not had a failure, but I do inspect every pin with an eye loupe befor inserting it in the housing.

It's really cool to make up a custom 1-in to 3-out, servo adapter wire for electric retracts, can't buy that anywhere.
One issue with crimping terminals, is the proper crimping tool size must be used. To loose, and the wires can fall out. (We had that happen at work some years ago. I did a lot of field traveling to replace the wrongly crimped connectors)

To tight, and the crimp can nearly cut off the servo wires. I've got two Radio Shack $7.99 crimpers. One is to loose, the second is way to tight. Both are in my junk tool box drawer.

Nice thing about #22 wire, its much more difficult to overcrimp the terminals. A proper ratchet kind of crimper takes care of a lot of those types of issues.

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Old 09-22-2014, 10:21 PM   #9
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I frequently shorten servo wires for the sake of neatness, and had a hell of a time at first. Too cheap (er, frugal) to buy the tool, I soon gave up trying to use pliers.

I found that clipping off the bend-over strain relief tabs, tinning both the wire and connector, and soldering them works pretty good. Obviously, it's a shortcut, and I find ways to immobilize the wire in lieu of the manufactured strain relief, but at least I get good connections. I still have to be careful not to blob the solder on too thick, so the contacts will fit into the tiny holes of the terminals. Just make sure it pushes far enough into the terminal to lock it in.

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Old 09-22-2014, 10:46 PM   #10
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On advice from a long time modeler and hobby shop owner, I bought a very good crimper. It has 2 slightly different spots for the terminals. I think it cost almost $20
one hole is sized for #20-#24 wire, and the other is sized for #24-#28
It has always worked great once I learned the tricks to a good joint.

When you solder a stranded wire, it creates a spot where the wire will break off from vibration or bending. maybe a piece of fuel tubing or heat shrink will help protect the wire. I nearly lost a plane to this mistake.

You can use a hemostat or a needle nose pliers with a rubber band on the handle, to heat sink the wire, so the solder doesn't wick too far up the strands.

I sincerely wish every one good luck with all wiring in a RC plane. We depend on every connection to work as intended to get our planes safely back on the ground.
NOTHING ticks me off more than a hangar mistake, or hangar rash. Boy have I made a few of these.

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Old 09-23-2014, 12:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
Hi Nigel

Yikes, hope your #26 wire is only used in smaller models! IMHO, once you get past perhaps 500 watts up front, only #22 servo wire should be used.

A few feet of #26 wire leading from the receiver to the tail of a larger model, along with the required higher powered servos can lead to a lot of voltage drop on the servo extension.

I just bought 100 feet of #22 servo wire from Maxx Products in the USA, cost $50, USA. That will last awhile.
For long runs - I use multi-core telephone cable, it allows to cover more than one servo by one lead.
The 26 is only on my mini / micro servos.

Nigel

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Old 09-23-2014, 01:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Wildflyer View Post

When you solder a stranded wire, it creates a spot where the wire will break off from vibration or bending. maybe a piece of fuel tubing or heat shrink will help protect the wire. I nearly lost a plane to this mistake.
Yeah
We learned this problem issue long ago at work, where we were directly soldering lead wires to circuit boards. We were having those lead wires break off just during shipping inside a padded box.

As you indicate, a soldered joint results in solder creeping up inside the insulation. As soon as those soldered stranded wires are bent, they break off, flush with the circuit board, in our case. Our Engineering department required all designs to have wire restraints, which solved the problem.

As for our servo connectors, IMHO, don't even think about soldering the wires to the terminal without protection by shrink tubing.

Don't know about telephone wire, most of that stuff only has a few strands, or perhaps just one strand. Our servo wires have something like 30-40 very fine strands.

Also, absolutely do NOT use crimp type terminals on a single strand solid wire. That can lead to problems with the crimping process itself.

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Old 09-23-2014, 01:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
Just emailed Hansens for a shipping quote.

Denny ... 26 is the size I always use !!



Nigel
It goes without saying that when making your own servo extension cables, be absolutely danged careful of polarity!!!!

A reversed battery plus/minus servo extension can do a lot of damage.

What I've got is a simple test cable consisting of a servo extension lead with a series diode, a 270 ohm resistor and an LED all in series on the servo red wire plus lead. The diode band must be away from the servo plug. If polarity is backwards, the LED won't light. You could also make one for the female terminal if desired, it's cheap enough.

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Old 09-23-2014, 07:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post

Don't know about telephone wire, most of that stuff only has a few strands, or perhaps just one strand. Our servo wires have something like 30-40 very fine strands.
The tel-cable I use is multi-strand and actually similar or slightly larger wire than usual servo wire.

For multi-servo hook ups, its excellent as you can common all except the signal .... making a much neater installation. All you need to do is note the colours and add plugs at ends accordingly.
But I do not use on more than 9gr size servos.

Anyway - my point if the thread was to sort my poor attempts at making leads, which has been sorted and now I look forward to my crimper !

Nigel

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Old 09-24-2014, 11:24 PM   #15
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Default Custom leads

Everything said about crimping here is absolutely correct. You must get the right crimper and don't buy cheap! Never! Right tool, right job. My work requires absolute quality connectivity to the point we even calibrate the crimping force before we start work. Anyway, enough of that what I often resort to in modifying leads is to leave the sockets and plugs alone and work on cutting and joining wires and heat shrinking the joints. No problems with that so far.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:12 AM   #16
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Just to close up ... I have rec'd the Crimper - from Hobby King before anyone asks ... and I have used it. It works ... what else can I say.

I followed various videos on Youtube and it worked exactly as viewed.

There was only one area that was unclear until I did trial and error : The socket end of a lead ... it was not immediately clear that now they use a plug in a case to create the socket. It was also not clear which way round the two went together. One test and all was clear ...

I have a moderate priced auto-stripper .. A Hobby King crimper ... big bag of pins and cases and a large length of standard servo lead. What more can you ask for ?



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