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Old 13-09-2010, 08:20   #1
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Cutting Cables for Routing ?

We've just started installing our Simrad GPS, chartplotter, radar, AIS, depth/speed/temp electronics. The AP and wind instrument upgrades will soon follow.

As soon as we started it became obvious that there was no way we'd ever get all the connectors through the 1" binnacle guard tubing up to the back of the display.

Other than running the cables outside the tubing the only solution seems to be to cut the cables and reconnecting them after routing, that's a lot of fine wires to cut and put back together !

So, my first question is if we should indeed start cutting these cables or if that is asking for too much trouble downstream ?

The second question is how to reattach the connections; terminal blocks or crimp fittings or soldering or ... ?

Thanks,



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Old 13-09-2010, 08:29   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
We've just started installing our Simrad GPS, chartplotter, radar, AIS, depth/speed/temp electronics. The AP and wind instrument upgrades will soon follow.

As soon as we started it became obvious that there was no way we'd ever get all the connectors through the 1" binnacle guard tubing up to the back of the display.

Other than running the cables outside the tubing the only solution seems to be to cut the cables and reconnecting them after routing, that's a lot of fine wires to cut and put back together !

So, my first question is if we should indeed start cutting these cables or if that is asking for too much trouble downstream ?

The second question is how to reattach the connections; terminal blocks or crimp fittings or soldering or ... ?

Thanks,



-Sven
I cut the cables in a similar situation. I used an aquasignal connector in a spot where I had room. The wires are so small it seemed like the best option, and it is easy to check for corrosion.

Cheers,
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Old 13-09-2010, 08:55   #3
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About 3 years ago I had the same problem when installing my Furuno chartplotter/radar unit at the helm. I called Furuno since the GPS wire could not be kept intact and after some discussion I was told about how the wire could be spliced. I used a crimping connection for all 6 of the very small wires and after the crimp applied liquid electical tape to get a good seal and then all of the little wires are put into a round hockey puck type of fitting to give even better protection from corrosion. I don't remember the exact name of the fitting, but suggest you talk with the chartplotter engineering team about what you want to do and get their suggestions.
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Old 13-09-2010, 08:57   #4
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Cutting the wires is fine, but in the navpod (i'll assume this or some other structure on the binnacle) the best way to go is solder and little mini heat shrink. To do this really well, lay open about 6" to a foot of the cover, exposing the individual wires. Stagger the solder splices and heat shrink covers, then cover the whole mess with one solid piece of adhesive lined shrink.
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Old 13-09-2010, 09:05   #5
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You should not need to cut the cable at all. Almost all connectors can be disconnected and reconnected.

1) Hold the connector in your hand and look at the front and backsides. You will find a smal row of tiny squares with you can see a small metal tab.

2) Record the exact order of the colors from one end to the other. Consider marking the connector so you know which side to start and end on .

3) Use a small push pin, paper clip etc. If you push on the metal tab it will allow the wire to pop out. Remove all the wires from the connector. There will be a small spring clip crimped onto the end of each wire.

4) Tape up all the wires together and pull them through the chase.

5) To reinstall, insert each wire according to the color order recorded. Make sure to insert so the metal tab on the crimp locks back into the square slot on the connecter.

Again, it MUSt be in the exact smae order it was removed from.
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Old 13-09-2010, 09:07   #6
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I routed a bunch of cables up my new guard (mine is 1.25inch) . I didn't cut any of them. I did do them one at a time so the connectors didn't compete for space, and I used both sides.
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Old 13-09-2010, 09:21   #7
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We ran the cables up the centre of the vertical steering shaft. On taking the binnacle apart it was obvious the shaft was hollow and big enough for all the cables we needed. Sure it turns when you turn the wheel and the cables don't, but it hasn't been a problem.

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Old 13-09-2010, 09:23   #8
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Quote:
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You should not need to cut the cable at all. Almost all connectors can be disconnected and reconnected.
Except for all the fancy molded connectors like one would find on the back of a GPS or small radar
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Old 13-09-2010, 09:51   #9
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Except for all the fancy molded connectors like one would find on the back of a GPS or small radar
My mistake, the fancy molded connectors won't have disconnects. Do the cables have molded connectors on both ends? The Furuno I uninstalled and the Raymarine I replaced it with only had molded connectors on one end. The Radar cable had a molded connector on the diplay side, and a 'molex' style on the other end that could be disconnect. Al the other molded connectors were 'pig tails' that needed to be spliced or crimped with a connector. Neither the Furuno nor the Raymarine models I've dealt with had molded connectors on both ends. I'm sure results will vary.
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Old 13-09-2010, 14:17   #10
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If you're going to cut a factor connector, I'd think it would be better to cut it at the inside the cabin end, rather than the outside at the helm end...less chance of water getting into it.
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Old 13-09-2010, 20:14   #11
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My pet peeve.
WHY OH WHY can't manufacturers give anyone a scintilla of credit for enough smarts to push a cable through a gland, spread out a few wires and stick them one by one into a terminal strip and tighten a few screws?????? AAggghh!!

But Steve, tell me what you REALLY think!
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Old 14-09-2010, 02:40   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
You should not need to cut the cable at all. Almost all connectors can be disconnected and reconnected.
Sorry Shrew but that's just not true. Almost all connectors irrespective of brand or purpose are molded on both ends. Trying to solve cable threading issues by removing such connectors with the intention of re-connecting them will end in tears.

If your cable has a standard connector which can be purchased bare from an electronics outlet (dSub,DIN etc.), then cut cable & re-solder individual wires to pins in same order. You may have a waterproofing issue so make sure this is done at inboard end if possible, &/or use waterproof cover if available.

If you require a cable break at the mast base for example. Cut cables & use screw up connector block (inside boat of course). There is a screening issue here but it can be minimised by ensuring outer screen is included. This method will allow disconnect for mast removal. It may be the best answer elsewhere as well. If so make the break at a point where the connector strip can be secured to a bulkhead say, in an accessible/dry place.

I prefer screw connections over crimps as you can make/break/bridge connections for troubleshooting & IME get a better connection first time around.
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Old 14-09-2010, 06:35   #13
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wires and stick them one by one into a terminal strip and tighten a few screws?????? AAggghh!!]
Because that produces the crapiest join you could imagine. A proper crimp is always better then either screws or solder.

Also sorry shrew, as a professional electronics engineer engaged in industrial electronics I would not recommend your method. Unless you have the proper extraction tool specific to the connector the chances are that you will damage the fragile pins, especially the female ones. Also there is a high risk that the spring tab will be damaged and the pin will not reengage properly in the housing, leaving you with a defunct connector. The pin removal tools are usually a specific thin walled tube that fits over the pin anything else risks damage.

Better cut the cable and rejoin as described elsewhere

Dave
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Old 14-09-2010, 08:34   #14
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With plastic open style connectors such as used on engine instruments and other places you can easily remove the "pins/sockets" from the plastic connector and then thread the wires through the opening and very carefully re-insert the pins/sockets back into the plastic connector. There are a variety of styles of connectors and removing the pins/sockets can be easy or virtually impossible without significant damage to the parts.
- - With molded connectors or difficult plastic connects you can remove the cable from the other end - the end attached to the instrument by either loosening the terminal board connector inside the instrument or carefully "de-soldering" the wire from the circuit board. With some radar units the installation manual tells you to do just that. Removing 40+ pins and remembering where they all go has too much room for error. Then thread the whole cable through your restricted opening and re-install it at the instrument end where you disconnected it.
- - With all these techniques you do have to exercise "extreme" care and caution and have good tools and magnifiers to accurately see what you are doing. Otherwise you might "bugger" up the job and end up having to buy a whole new unit. If you do not have the patience and tools/magnifiers then it pays to hire somebody who does.
- - Cutting the cable is the last thing you want to do unless it is a simple power supply type cable. Electronic signal type cables typically can contain "twisted pairs"; coaxial; and a variety of shielding systems on some wire(s) and not on others all in the same cable. You can significantly change the nature/strength of the signal traveling down that wire and your instrument might not function or function incorrectly. So removal of the pins/sockets from a connector or removal of the "other end" of the cable is the preferred method to preserve the integrity of the signal capacity of the cable.
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Old 14-09-2010, 08:46   #15
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Theres always an Alternate route to wire almost anything.....see if theres another way to get them there without cutting them i'd prefer that...... Maybe your own tube right beside the other one?
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