0
$\begingroup$

I am working (as a hobbyist) on a motion system where there be electrical cable (multi-core for signaling) going to the moving part. I have considered multiple solutions to connecting the cable to the stationary base (see below). One of the options is to have a retractable cable mechanism. I am aware of mechanism that rolls the cable on a drum that is placed in the middle of the cable. I think this option is not suitable for the solution as that will add weight to the middle and the cable will slack under the weight of the drum quite a lot, which contradicts the purpose of the retractable cable. So my question -- is there any well established mechanism for retractable cable that is fixed on one end (i.e. on stationary side)?

Requirements:

  1. Mechanical (no electronics involved)
  2. Automatic (no manual intervention needed under normal operations)
  3. Compact (as much as it can be I guess)
  4. Simplicity (simple mechanisms are less prone to failures I think)

Alternatives (that I am well aware of, thus not in scope for this question):

  • Drag chain
  • Coiled cable
  • Sliding contacts
$\endgroup$
8
  • $\begingroup$ Check out the cable retractors used on vacuum cleaners etc $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Feb 9 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ You will need a slip ring, if you want to only unwind in one direction from the hub. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan R Swift Feb 9 at 8:00
  • $\begingroup$ @JonathanRSwift do you mean sliding contact in the ring shape? That might be one possibility, but I am concerned over the reliability. It is used for signaling (5v logic level), reliability in signal is everything here, which is why I am not really considering sliding contact here. $\endgroup$ – Alexey Kamenskiy Feb 9 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ Hm, yes, the vacuum cleaner style would require a slip ring a.k.a. sliding contacts. Also from looking at it -- it is good for power transmission, but not so good for signaling as it generates a lot of noise. $\endgroup$ – Alexey Kamenskiy Feb 9 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ I've used these for passing signals before without trouble ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=capsule+slip+ring $\endgroup$ – Jonathan R Swift Feb 9 at 10:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.