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Cables and Wire for 3-Axis Skull

2003 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  cinders
I have 2 skull kits I'm attempting to put together. Do I want to keep the ssc-32 near the laptop or by the skulls. The skulls will be about 30' from the laptop. Is Cat5 cable what I should use? What is Cat5e? Does it matter which? Then I need some kind of sockets but I don't know the correct name. I watched captn Jack's video on YouTube and he just called them Cat5 sockets. I guess I want to put this all in a project box type of thing so there is one cable coming out of the skull to be plugged in to the box thingy. Is all this obtainable at a store like Home Depot? Or do I have to order from an electronics store?

Then, since I didn't purchase the complete kits, I got a separate 5v 30 amp power supply from GYS but I just have a 9v adapter thing that I found at the thrift shop have to wire up. Um, I actually thought the power supply was going to have an electrical socket that I just plug into. I don't really understand any of this wiring but I saw the color code and the video from captn Jack. Must I solder? Should I use wire nuts for anything?

I've been pouring over the huge 3-axis thread, but all this is overwhelming to me.
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For that long of a distance I would use thermostat wire, it carrys the signal better. I would put the ssc32 next to the laptop, but I guess it depends of how long your serial cable is.

You can still use the thermostat wire with the CAT5 jacks, you can buy them at HD or Lowes, but my favorite cheap place is monoprice.com

For only $0.77 each when QTY 50+ purchased - Cat5E RJ-45 Tooless Keystone Jack in White | CAT5E RJ-45 Tool-Less Keystone Jack
Hmm... there's a bunch of questions here.

A 30-foot run is a long way to go for servo wire (for the power), and USB is only rated to ~15', if I remember right. This is how I ended up going the DMX route at the Heritage Haunt (we had ~150' run), but you already have the SSC32, so I'll go from there....

First, there's going to be a little doing here, no matter how you slice it. There's two important things here: 1) running power and ground to the servos through long skinny wires = bad, 2) when running signal (pulse) over a long distance, make sure it's protected from electrical noise.

Here's what I'd reccommend:
1 - Put the +5v power supply near the skulls.
2 - Buy this, and connect the servos to the header pins on the circuit board.
3 - Connect the power supply output (+5V) to the circuit board at the + and - connections using 18ga speaker wire. This will require soldering, but it's only two wires. Besides, soldering is fun :D
4 - Pick up a bunch of these, and some CAT5 wire (or 5e or 6, whatever).
5 - Crimp the male pins onto one end of your CAT5, and the female pins to the other end. (you can find a cheapo crimp tool at Radio Shack)
6 - Pick a twisted pair, and plug these into the 'Pulse' and 'GND' positions of one of the plastic housings. Don't worry about the '+' aka 'VS1', 'VS2' signals. These won't be needed. Wash, Rinse, Repeat - once per servo required.
7 - Plug one end of each extension into a wire emanating from the adaptor circuit board. Plug the other end of the extension into the SSC32. Make sure the polarities are right (each wire matches up with its proper signal)

Hope this isn't completely confusing. Near as I see, this involves the least soldering, and still has a good chance of success. You're still sending the pulse signals through skinny wire, but that's okay in this case. There won't be any current in these wires, since you're supplying all the power locally from the power supply. Do keep your spiffy new CAT5 extension away from any other wiring - you want to minimize the electrical noise. Also, if you happen to pick a shielded CAT cable, connect the shield drain wire to the - connection on the adaptor circuit board - this will further shield the pulse signals from electrical noise.

- Hook
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Well, thank you for the replies...but I need it explained to me in "blonde" terms! I'm not sure if I'm even asking the right questions. Only one skull is partially complete, the other not yet begun. I'm at a blockage because I can't figure out how everything gets power.

Power supply unit for the servos is a big box thingy with a bunch of screw things on it (terminals?) I read another post that I kind of understand wherein I cut off the end of a 3-prong extension cord and put the wires in the appropriate places under the screws (without getting electrocuted). So then that gets plugged in to a wall outlet. So that takes up 3 of the spots on the terminal/screw things. Then there's 4 more screws (2 are -V and 2 are +V) whatever that means. How do the servos get plugged into that? I understand that this power supply can run 4 skulls (I only have 2). So I would be using 2 of the screw terminals. But what do I need to use for plugging them in?

I haven't purchased any of the cables or other wiring I may need. I was hoping to keep all this stuff in the house and run some kind of wire to the skulls. Can any of this be plugged in to a power strip, or does it have to actually be in the wall? My old laptop has to stay plugged in to a wall outlet (inside the house) and anything else has to either stay there or have wires run out the window, or go into a power strip.
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