Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

We'll be documenting the Arcticopter build, and here are Josh's first couple of shots.   We'll figure out how to script the build a bit more, and probably make it into it's own page.  But these shots were so nice I thought I'd upload them right away.  Who know wires and connectors were so beautiful?

 The motors came with connectors and shrink wrap.  These are 3.5mm bullet connectors.  The male connectors go on the motor; the female connnectors, on the ESC.  Oddly, the shrink wrap supplied was also 3.5mm, so it was really hard to fit them over the connectors; I gave up and dug out some 4.5mm.

Tinning the wires.  It's important to make sure the solder is sucked into the wire.  Then when you solder the wire to something, you'll be sure that there's a strong physical and electrical connection between the two pieces.
Soldering the bullet connectors is pretty easy.  Put the tip of your soldering iron into the little side hole, and melt the solder so that the cup fills up.  Strip your wire so that the stripped portion is just longer than the depth of the cup.
Put your tinned wire into the cup.  Center the wire and keep it upright.  Don't hold it too close, since the wire absorbs the heat of the solder very efficiently.  It only takes a few seconds for the solder to set up.  Be sure that you have put the shrink tubes on the wire first.  Don't worry if you forget... just desolder and try it again.  Bonus practice!
Repeat for each of the solder cups.
That's a fine looking solder attachment!
Slide the heat shrinks over the connectors.  Cover the females almost totally... leave just a tiny gap so that the connectors can be slid together all the way.
Use a heat gun to shrink the shrink wrap.  Keep it moving, and expose both sides.
Notice how many strands the motor wire has.  Be careful when stripping, not to cut off any of the strands.  Twist it nice and tight so it doesn't smoosh out like a mop head.
Here are the male bullet connectors.  The shrink wrap on the right-most wire could be placed a bit higher to cover the connector all the way up to the flange.  I tested the fit, and it was fine so I didn't bother to redo it since we've trying to get the electronics ready for when the frame and kkboard arrive.

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