MonstIR #1 Installtion Step - 2.5 - More Wiring Harness
Sometimes I am far too smart for my own good...but more on that later...
You will recall that I am working on a Wiring Harness to replace the terminal strip on the antenna with a Quick Disconnect connector system so that the different elements and motors can be installed separately on the tower using the K6QK method...
Now as an engineer, I sometimes fall into the trap of over-engineering a complex solution to a simple problem... it reminds me of the drink holder in my Mercedes...In their over-engineering zealousness, Mercedes engineers have created a complex mechanism for the drink holder that will pop up when you need it but fold away into the center console when not in use.. As I live in Hot California...my drinkholder is always in use.. so they could have just put a simple indentation in the center console to hold the drinks..rather than that complex mechanism that breaks all the time..
Which brings me to being too smart for my own good..
I have spent a couple of days trying to engineer the perfect connector mechanism to connect the 16 wire main cable to the wiring harness with the 4 different 4-wire + ground cables to the motors, I have gone through many iterations of designs to utilized the $1.95 surplus 16 pin connectors I have found.. unfortunately we needed 17 pins (16 control wires plus ground) and there had to be a waterproof breakout..
Finally I decided to look at the SteppIR Wiring Diagram for the 16 conductor cable see how they integrated the 17 wires.
And Eureka ...there it was... they are using a standard 25 pin D Connector.. i.e. a computer printer cable..
So into my handy surplus computer parts box I went and low and behold out came an environmentally sealed printer cable .. that I had been saving for far too many years... I cut the cable in half.. soldered (I use heat shrink tubing on every lead) the Female Side (power on the female side) to the 200' cable going to the Controller box... and soldered the Male Side to the 4 (4 wire + ground) control cables.
I am still using the $1.95 AMP connectors for the motors. I have doubled up the pins for redundancy.. I am filling voids at the back of the connectors with "Stuff" a dielectric paste - found at AES...to keep the water out.. I am using heat shrink on every soldered connector then heat shrinking and taping everything. Finally covering everything with coax seal just to make sure no water gets in.. I will use contact connector protector to make sure the connections stay working.. For safety I have used color tape to color code each motor connector and I am using extra pins to key the connectors just in case one of my future helpers is color blind.
It's still a lot of work, but these things need to be done perfectly or I will have problems 85' up.