This Is Only Asking For Problems. Or Is It?

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rats_nest

This is only asking for problems.

How many times has this happened to you? You just finished building your new pride and joy and you are now installing your electronics. You have placed them in the best location possible to get that proper front to rear and left right balance and now you hook everything into the receiver and you end up with a rats nest of wires, ugh!!!

Well, there are three options. Option one is to open up the cases and de-solder the wires to the board, shorten them, strip the wire, solder the wire to the board and hope it still works. Option two is to coil the wire around a circular object. Option three is to cut the wire to the proper length, strip the wire, and install a new connector. With the help of one of my new tools, I am going to walk you through option number three.

tool

I found this bad boy on E-bay.

Speaking of new tools here is mine, the Pin Full Cycle Wire Crimping Tool which I purchased on E-bay. I was able to pick it up, auction bidding, for under $15.00 shipped. The last time I checked, you could pick up your own version for under $20.00. What makes this so unique compared to others that do the same job is this one has a ratchet mechanism. Why is that so important? Well, with the ratchet I can close the jaws just enough to insert the pin and it will stay in place.

Alright, so now that you have picked up the tool you also need the servo cable ends and crimp connectors. A quick Google search took me to two options sold by TQ Racing. They offer two choices, one with JR connector ends and another with Futaba connector ends. I found that the JR connectors will work with Futaba receivers but it will take a little work to get the Futaba’s to work when it calls for a JR connector.

So now we have the crimping tool and cable ends and crimp connectors. All that is left now is some wire cutters, marker, and wire strippers or sharp finger nails will work.

Tools used

The accomplices.

With the electronics installed I want to straighten out the wire so there is no coil left in it. With the wire now straight pay attention to the color of the wire and the position of the connector because you need to reassemble it in this order. I will now mimic how the wire will reach the receiver. Now don’t get ahead of me and cut the wire just yet. You have to take into consideration the connector itself. Ideally, you will want the connector to enter the receiver straight up and down in my case. You don’t want the connector to enter the receiver at an angle because you risk damage to the pins, which is an expensive mistake if you break one off.

Now that I know the length that I need, I will simulate installing the plug into the receiver. I do this because I don’t want to cut the wire to short and end up ruining something when plugging it into the receiver. With my simulation now done I should have a pretty good idea as to where I can finally make my cut. With the wire cut now separate the three wires using the piece you just cut off as the guide. If I were to guess I would say ½ an inch from the tip but use the cut off wire as the guide.

The first mark identifies where you strip the wire insulation. The second mark is used to identify how far in the wire needs to go before crimping.

Marks identify how far to strip the insulation and insert them.

Lets strip the wire but before I do that pull out the crimp connectors and break them one off of the tree. Carefully lay the wire inside the channel of the crimp connector. You will be able to tell how far it should go into the connector by looking at the pieces that will overlap/secure the wire in place. There are two sections so look closely. With the wire laid in position mark where you have to strip the wire with your marker and mark the wire at the end of the connector. Do this for all three wires. This mark will identify how far you have to stick the wire into the connector before you crimp it all together. Now go ahead and strip the wire and twist it to help keep it together.

Assembly time, finally. Grab the crimping tool and start to close it to engage the ratchet mechanism. Close it just enough so that you can insert the crimp connector and have it stay in position. To have the tool hold it into position insert the end into the side of the tool that says 24-28 on it.

You will insert the wire into the other side.

You will insert the wire into the other side.

The end that is now exposed on the 24-28 side is where you will insert the wire up to the mark you made on it. With the wire inserted, slowly close the tool but don’t clamp it tight or you will risk deforming the crimp connector, of course I am speaking from experience. Now repeat this process for the remaining two wires.

Installation of the actual connector is pretty self explanatory. Refer to your notes you took to the order that the connector pins will be installed into the connector. If you forgot this step don’t worry. Take a look at the wire you cut off earlier and follow that layout. It is important that you reassemble it the same way because each wire serves a unique purpose.

A lot cleaner and with a little more practice it will look even better!

A lot cleaner and with a little more practice it will look even better!

I have now repeated the same steps for my speed control that I did for my servo. As you can see in the picture, I no longer have that ugly looking rats nest. I now have a respectable looking wire job. That nest was just asking for radio interference to happen at the most unfortunate time, like at the end of the straight away.

When you set out on this task take your time and be patient. Make sure you have the proper tools available to do this and don’t try and make something do the job it wasn’t supposed to do. You are dealing with some expensive pieces of equipment, in some situations and I don’t want you to destroy them.

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About Author

I have been involved in R/C since the early 90’s. I have participated in dirt oval, carpet and paved oval, on-road and off-road racing.

I have found ideas that work and ideas that seem to be good on paper but fail for one reason or another.

I have been involved in the rules decision process and tech inspection for one of the largest indoor on-road only events held in the U.S.

1 Comment

  1. Even then it is asking for problems. The best way to mount a transponder is flat and with a clear sight to the ground. Straight up and above a aluminium chassis is asking for a weak signal. Beside that, people do forget that a transponder is still a transmitter and so its signal can interference with other electronics. Placing it close to a receiver or even on top of a servo can also give troubles.

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