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Astrophotography and Sketching >> DSLR & Digital Camera Astro Imaging & Processing

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Phillip Easton
sage


Reged: 12/24/10

Loc: DFW
Cables - bundled or dragging?
      #5511231 - 11/09/12 08:53 AM

Looking at my setup and just letting all the cables hang I find myself checking to make sure they don't get hung up on the weights, etc. Thought about trying to bundle them and route them up the mount and through a single point on the OTA. The spread them out to the guider and camera. Also thought if I made a dedicated bundle it would be easier to set up each time.

So just wondering what everyone else does? Do you bundle or just let them hang?

Cheers!
Phillip


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waassaabee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/07

Loc: Central California Coast
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5511235 - 11/09/12 08:59 AM

Cable management is a must for me. It mitigates potential snagging cables in the dark, and makes set up/breakdown a breeze.

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fmhill
sage


Reged: 07/17/12

Loc: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5511323 - 11/09/12 09:56 AM

Definitely bundle... I use my mount and OTA mostly for imaging via computer control and having cables hanging to catch on knobs and clutch levers is a quick way to lose a good imaging session...

The good news is Velcro makes reusable cable ties which are very handy for bundling and securing cables. Look on Amazon.com for "Velcro Reusable Cable Ties", I use both the 1/4" width and the 1/2" width...


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Orion58
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/28/11

Loc: Southern Wisconsin
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: fmhill]
      #5511354 - 11/09/12 10:13 AM

Quote:

Look on Amazon.com for "Velcro Reusable Cable Ties", I use both the 1/4" width and the 1/2" width...




Thanks for the info. I've been looking for these for quite some time with no luck.


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Phillip Easton
sage


Reged: 12/24/10

Loc: DFW
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Orion58]
      #5511455 - 11/09/12 11:23 AM

Agreed, thanks for the tip. Found these on Amazon. They look promising!

Rip-Tie CableCatch 1x4In. Black Surface Mount Velcro Cable

Turns out my local Fry's has them as well. I will need to buy some extension cables for the focuser, etc. Darn guess I have to make a trip to Fry's to go shopping

So how about some pictures of what people have done?


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waassaabee
Postmaster
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Reged: 11/26/07

Loc: Central California Coast
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5511473 - 11/09/12 11:37 AM

I'm using the spiral cut plastic harness type material from Home Depot. The cables pack up nicely and layout and setup are very easy.

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guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: waassaabee]
      #5511965 - 11/09/12 04:43 PM

Bundle... and as a side effect the bundled cables will also reduce drag.

A+++

Guylain


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Mike Clemens
Frozen to Eyepiece
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Alaska, USA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: guyroch]
      #5512164 - 11/09/12 07:02 PM

Bundling is the only way to go. I bring mine together at the rear of the refractor, ahead of the focuser, and the single tether attaches right below the polarscope on the mount.

http://www.pbase.com/mclemens1969/image/96998645/original
http://www.pbase.com/mclemens1969/image/108048303/original

It would be impossible to go full sky otherwise I would think, given a variety of cabling.


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Phillip Easton
sage


Reged: 12/24/10

Loc: DFW
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #5512842 - 11/10/12 08:46 AM

Mike, thanks for the pictures!

Wonder if anyone else has tried this?
http://obsballona.net/wordpress/2012/01/15/cable-organization/


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guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5513006 - 11/10/12 11:06 AM

Quote:

Mike, thanks for the pictures!

Wonder if anyone else has tried this?
http://obsballona.net/wordpress/2012/01/15/cable-organization/




Ha... this looks a lot like my setup. All my cables a bundled in black plastic tubing. I try to bundle them in groups of gear I use. I bundle all my cables for my ccd/filter wheel separately from the mount cables; my dslr cables are bundles separately as well; this way I can swap cameras without un-bundling cables.

Guylain


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pfile
Post Laureate


Reged: 06/14/09

Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: guyroch]
      #5513208 - 11/10/12 01:33 PM

what John Smith was advocating at AIC was to put your power distribution (12V) and USB hubs on the OTA itself, so that the only thing going down the mount is a single 12V power cable and a single USB cable. the problem of course is that with a DSLR you need the custom voltage that the canon AC pack provides. you can do this yourself with at 12V DC regulator of course, but it's more work.

i guess bundling everything up into a single fat 'cable' gives you something similar.


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waassaabee
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/26/07

Loc: Central California Coast
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: pfile]
      #5513462 - 11/10/12 05:09 PM

Quote:


i guess bundling everything up into a single fat 'cable' gives you something similar.




I'd make two, and split the power from the signal cables.


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avarakin
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/13/09

Loc: Parsippany NJ, USA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: waassaabee]
      #5513473 - 11/10/12 05:30 PM

Bundle for portable setup and loose bundle in observatory.
I used 50 bundle of velcro cable ties which I bought on ebay couple of years ago for about $10. I still have a lot of them remaining even after bundling all cables at home.

Alex


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Mike Clemens
Frozen to Eyepiece
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Alaska, USA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: avarakin]
      #5513482 - 11/10/12 05:39 PM

Running the cables off the counterweight is intriguing... I have had total success with my method though for the last four years so I will stick with it.

I derived my setup from:
http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?events/events

The event called "International Space Station - Amateur Telescope - November 1-3, 2002, Installation of Astro-Physics 1200GTO German Equatorial" (Near the bottom.)

Another view when I brought the setup inside to re-think my cabling: http://www.pbase.com/mclemens1969/image/135589164/original (In the end, I left it the same.) I wanted to get ~ONLY~ 12V power going to the scope and everything else wireless. DC power cables can be found that are extremely, extremely flexible in -40F (-40C) weather.


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petemumbower
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: West Michigan
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Mike Clemens]
      #5513542 - 11/10/12 06:50 PM

Great thread and just when I was rethinking my cable management in the observatory. Currently I route my cables (power and data) up to the my CGEM polar cap (RA assemble). But it does get a bit tight at some extreme west pointing positions. I do use the velcro straps to bundle wires together.

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Rudy Nix
member
*****

Reged: 03/19/08

Loc: Hollister,CA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: pfile]
      #5513918 - 11/11/12 01:36 AM

Quote:

what John Smith was advocating at AIC was to put your power distribution (12V) and USB hubs on the OTA itself, so that the only thing going down the mount is a single 12V power cable and a single USB cable. the problem of course is that with a DSLR you need the custom voltage that the canon AC pack provides. you can do this yourself with at 12V DC regulator of course, but it's more work.

i guess bundling everything up into a single fat 'cable' gives you something similar.





This is excatly what I have done. I installed a power converter in there also, to provide power for the camera.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rudeman/8123587545/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rudeman/8123602996/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rudeman/8123603526/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rudeman/8123602458/in/photostream/


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Phillip Easton
sage


Reged: 12/24/10

Loc: DFW
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Rudy Nix]
      #5514149 - 11/11/12 09:32 AM

Rudy, that is really nice! Thanks for sharing, certainly going to look at doing this for my setup. Question, did you build the 12-8v & 12-5v power convertors yourself, did you buy them or rip them out of old car chargers?

Edit:
Just found this: http://www.prodctodc.com/dcdc-47524v-to-09318v-adjustable-stepdown-regulator-...

Two of these for $6. I am good to go!

Cheers!
Phillip

Edited by Phillip Easton (11/11/12 10:09 AM)


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Rudy Nix
member
*****

Reged: 03/19/08

Loc: Hollister,CA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5514541 - 11/11/12 02:06 PM

Quote:

Rudy, that is really nice! Thanks for sharing, certainly going to look at doing this for my setup. Question, did you build the 12-8v & 12-5v power convertors yourself, did you buy them or rip them out of old car chargers?

Edit:
Just found this: http://www.prodctodc.com/dcdc-47524v-to-09318v-adjustable-stepdown-regulator-...

Two of these for $6. I am good to go!

Cheers!
Phillip




Thank you, Phillip! I bought all the power converters on Ebay. The most important thing about picking the right power converter is the power output in amps. The 5v power converters I bought have a 5 amp output, and the 7.5v (which was the closest output I could find that would power the Canon) has a 2 amp output. They are all working flawlessly.


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andyschlei
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/05/06

Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5516311 - 11/12/12 04:40 PM


I started off trying to get to two cables to the mount: AC and USB, but was not able to get all the equipment properly on the mount.

The key idea (from Mike Rice at 2011 AIC) was to have the cables come off the mount at the counterweight shaft. That only moves back and forth, so there it is much easier to make sure that there is no snag or drag.

John's suggestion is an improvement: Limit the cables to 12 Volt and USB. That requires the customer connectors for SBIG cameras (in my case) but is doable. The other key suggestion John had was to built mounting platforms for the USB and 12 volt distribution. That creates a strong platform and reduces excess cabling as you can make everything to length.


And Phil,

Thanks for linking my set-up!

Quote:

Wonder if anyone else has tried this?
http://obsballona.net/wordpress/2012/01/15/cable-organization/




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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5516965 - 11/12/12 10:42 PM

I have everything grouped together with cable ties. Makes it easy to keep track of everything. However, I was tinkering around the other night and while slewing the mount, I noted one of the wire ties catch on the pier plate. So....I've got a bunch of that split tube plastic stuff that carguys use to keep wiring harnesses nice and neat. I'm going to encase the cables in that stuff to ensure that there is little chance for hangups.

David


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petemumbower
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 07/12/09

Loc: West Michigan
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5517419 - 11/13/12 08:31 AM

What diameter split tube works for most? I have some at home, but I think it is fairly small (1/2" maybe)

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andyschlei
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/05/06

Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: petemumbower]
      #5517798 - 11/13/12 12:07 PM

Quote:

What diameter split tube works for most? I have some at home, but I think it is fairly small (1/2" maybe)




I found 1/2" a little tight (it can be hard to get the cable into the loom). I am using 3/4" and 1", but am putting pretty many cables inside.


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Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: andyschlei]
      #5518587 - 11/13/12 07:49 PM

Just remember that the bundled cables in the sheath will be less flexible than the looser cables. Not a problem if you take that into account. Important thing, I think, is to have a few places (Right ascension, declination hubs) where things are loose, and the rest pretty tight.That way you have less chance of tangling.

Alex


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Phillip Easton
sage


Reged: 12/24/10

Loc: DFW
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Alex McConahay]
      #5614018 - 01/09/13 04:22 PM

Guys,

Thanks for all the advice! I just completed my own power/USB hub and posted the details on my site in case others are interested.

http://www.the3dwizard.net/index.php/2-uncategorised/20-mount-power-usb-distr...

Now, of course after I finish this we are having record rain in the Texas! Guess DIY astro gear is better than washing a car to stimulate a downpour


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CharlesW
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5614085 - 01/09/13 04:58 PM

I had thought about bundling for a while now but isn't it true that one connector will be supporting the weight of all the cables unless some other measure is taken to support them?

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Mike Clemens
Frozen to Eyepiece
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Alaska, USA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5614218 - 01/09/13 06:22 PM

Quote:

I had thought about bundling for a while now but isn't it true that one connector will be supporting the weight of all the cables unless some other measure is taken to support them?




All cables should be fastened down on both ends as strain relief, before any of them go to a connector. Hard to see in this pic, but on both ends of the tether, all cables are tie wrapped down, before distributing to their terminations.
http://www.pbase.com/mclemens1969/image/108048303/original


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Alex McConahay
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/11/08

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5614370 - 01/09/13 07:44 PM

One element of my cable bundle is a hook that attaches to the camera independent of the electrical connectors. ALl the weight/strain is on that connector. It is hooked to an eyescrew (a little screw with a round head in the shape of an eyelet). The eyescrew connects to the "Tripod" connector on the bottom of the camers. This is a standard 1/4-20 screw hole.

Alex


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frozen.kryo
super member


Reged: 01/28/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5614506 - 01/09/13 09:10 PM

Here's my cable management. The other side.

I don't change OTAs and have the C11 permanently mounted. For this kind of setup, I find that the space between the OTA and the dovetail very beneficial for cable routing.


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Phillip Easton
sage


Reged: 12/24/10

Loc: DFW
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: frozen.kryo]
      #5614617 - 01/09/13 10:30 PM

Ah, not only for routing but maybe put my excess cable under the OTA? Would certainly look better.

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frozen.kryo
super member


Reged: 01/28/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: Phillip Easton]
      #5614771 - 01/10/13 12:33 AM

Exactly!

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Yoddha
Vendor (APT)
*****

Reged: 09/25/08

Loc: Sofia-Bulgaria
Re: Cables - bundled or dragging? new [Re: frozen.kryo]
      #5614887 - 01/10/13 03:40 AM

Here is my implementation of bundling.

http://ideiki.com/astro/otherimages/cables.jpg

I also use Vlecro and don't separate the cables when packing up. This helps to setup faster


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