Splicing Robot's Wires to NASA Quality Standards

I recently read a post from MAKE magazine's blog about how to correctly splice wires. It just goes to show that there is a correct way to do everything! Since reading the post I have been using this technique to make strong durable splices while working on the robot.

The name of this splice is the "Lineman's splice". This splice has been NASA approved and is designed to hold up to a lot of tension if necessarily. This splice actually produces a section that is stronger than the rest of the wire. If the wire were to break it would do so at another point along its length.

When doing this splice you have to make sure to do a few things to keep the splice within the topmost quality.

  1. The metal portion of each wire should be pre-tinned.
  2. There should be a minimum of three turns around the end of each wire
  3. Be sure not to leave any gaps between adjacent wire turns
  4. Wire turns should not overlap and their ends should be trimmed flush before soldering
  5. Wire turns should not overlap the insulation on the other wire

Basically all of these standards are designed to prevent any protruding ends that could potentially contact another conductor. They also insure that the connection is strong and thus wont be subject to being brittle. Also a weak connection can create resistance which then results in heat which can potentially damage nearby electronics.

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