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Author Topic: Pipe Cleaners and RTV - say what?  (Read 118 times)

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Online Deerslayer

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Pipe Cleaners and RTV - say what?
« on: April 04, 2018, 07:50:29 AM »
I have had bad experience over many years with various connectors and their installed wiring. The pins may pull fullu or partially out or the wire may break at the pin, usually after significant use but sometimes right from the manufacturer.
This is a real problem with some FPV camera cabling, where they use extremely small connectors and wire and the assembly may well be subjected to constant buffeting by an airflow.

What I have been doing for some time, is to use some of the red RTV and force it into the end where the wires exit and out a little way onto and through the wire bundle. If you have trouble getting a neat looking job, just lick your finger tip and lightly smear the RTV, as it is a silicone and will smooth out without sticking to your finger.

After overnight drying, this makes an excellent strain relief. I also use further support for cabling, especially these really stiff yet delicate ones which may be exposed to handling and air turbulence.

I often use pipe short pieces of pipe cleaners, one end or the center of a short piece hot glued to a structure and the open end wrapped a turn or two around the cable(s). Easy to set up, looks neat, easy to undo and redo, if required. At $Tree, they have packages containing a lifetime supply (unless you are a pipe smoker, I suppose, but then you may have a shorter life anyway?). They are packaged in several colors, so you can even code certain wires or bundles if you wish. Also, these can be handy to code LiPos (Red = needs charging, 2 Reds = suspected bad cell, etc., Yellow = in storage, Green = good to go).
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Online ganguy

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Re: Pipe Cleaners and RTV - say what?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 08:48:50 AM »
I use hot glue, it works well, especially on the balance charge leads.
As for connectors, I bought those little plastic servo lead locks from HK, they cost a few pennies and are great!

New subject: have you been able to find PolyCrylic in small cans? They want $23 for a quart here. Do you wipe both sides of a sheet at the same time? (remember my warping problem)
Reg
Churchill said: "Success is a series of failures during which one does not lose enthusiasm!"

Online Deerslayer

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Re: Pipe Cleaners and RTV - say what?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 10:01:33 AM »
I use hot glue, it works well, especially on the balance charge leads.
As for connectors, I bought those little plastic servo lead locks from HK, they cost a few pennies and are great!

New subject: have you been able to find PolyCrylic in small cans? They want $23 for a quart here. Do you wipe both sides of a sheet at the same time? (remember my warping problem)
Reg


I used to use hot glue years ago but found that I was fooling myself. It did not really adhere well to the connectors (at least with the standard connectors and in a glow fuel environment where it is possible to get contamination from pulling the connectors apart and reinstalling them. Any of the 3 components in glow fuel will release the weak mechanical bond of glue to the connector and/or wiring. Also, the hot glue is rather inflexible to use as a strain relief, whereas RTV has flexibility. That is why it is often used in industrial settings. Before applying, I may wipe the connector and wiring with a paper towel that had been dampened with acetone, as that gets rid of any oils that may be present from manufacturing or previous handling. I sometimes do like to stick parallel servo wires together with the occasional tiny dab of hot glue, striving for neatness, or just to tack wiring to foam. 

Hot glue is wonderful, but not for everything, IMHO! (Flypaper might have given me a good swat for such a statement, eh!)

 I have a little collection of those servo locks but never seem to get around to using them. For something hidden, such as a servo extension connection inside of a wing, I tie some thread or dental floss across the connectors, between two of the wires of each part, sort of like wrapping a present. That way, the assembly will still thread easily through ribs, etc., without pulling apart.

For tiny assemblies, such as those little connectors and micro wire on a camera. you want something that really helps hold the connector and pins and wire together if there is stress applied. Hot glue doesn't do much for that. I like RTV, instead of messing around with shrink wrap on many connector/wire arrangements, even on the big LiPo and ESC stuff. It is an insulator, flexible strain relief and can prevent the pins themselves from disengaging on some types of connectors.

And, as you may have already suspected, Yes, I do own a major interest in the RTV company!

As for the polycrylic, I still have a smidgen left from the one and only 1 litre can I bought many years ago. It goes a looooong way when you dilute it at least 1:1 with water for my kind of work. Back then, it was not available at the Home Despot in any other sizes and other places I had checked did not carry it at all.  Not a huge investment, compared to most of the stuff we pour into this hobby, plus you can paint a table or something with it and impress your (much) better half - not that I would know from experience.
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Online ganguy

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Re: Pipe Cleaners and RTV - say what?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 11:35:04 AM »
Thanks for all that - I think I'm on my way with Versa #3
Churchill said: "Success is a series of failures during which one does not lose enthusiasm!"