Although we use lots of different sizes of wire around the robot we like to keep things standardized. A common rule of thumb is that a wire is either 4, 12, 18, or 20 awg (gauge) wire. I'll go over all of these and where they are used.
The largest wire on the robot. We always use Kolossus Fleks Kable from here from knukonceptz. This wire is used to connected the batteries to the PDP.
When connecting terminals to this 4 awg wire you might not be able to get all the strands in. This is fine! SImply pull the strands aside, insert wire into terminal, then use flush cuts to trim the wire that is left out. The picture to the right is by no means perfect, but is very acceptable. I'm sure you guys can do better. All crimps should be made with this tool. Remember to always do the pull test to after you make a crimp.
Above you can see all the 4 awg wire used on the robot. A 2.5in long piece of .5in heat shrink should be used to cover the battery terminals. A 2in long piece of .5in heat shrink covers any other terminal. Do not use heat shrink on any of the power pull (large red plugs) wires, this makes the wires harder to fit into the connectors.
Always ensure that your terminals lay flat. In this example the end of the terminal had to be grinded down slightly in order to sit flush.
This size of wire can be found on the talons and on motor wires. We always use Powerwerx Zip Cord Wire.
Talons should be plugged directly into the PDP. When inserting talons into the PDP use this tool. The tool should be inserted all the way into the connector when you insert the wire. Here is a great video showing how to do this properly. Here is a picture of what it should look like when done.
These Andersons are used give us modularity. They allow us to easily swap motors and mechanisms. 12 awg wire should never be soldered.
This wire is used to connected various electrical devices together. We always use Powerwerx Zip Cord . In this examp
le you can see the 18 awg wire being used to connect various components to the VRM. Note how the appropriate sized ferrules are used when the wire is plugged into a weidmuller connector (hole with white button). Here is a great video showing how to crimp these ferrules. The one exception to the 18 awg ferrule rule is when wiring the roborio. 18 awg stranded wire should be inserted directly into the roborio power connectors.
This cable is also known as CAN Bus. We purchase our CAN cable from CTR-E. CAN bus is the signal cable on our robots. CAN allows all the components to be connected in a loop, avoiding the need to have each component have their own signal wire (NOTE BELOW: Some speed controllers use PWM which means they have to be individually plugged into the roborio, this is a pain!). You can notice the green and yellow cables in this diagram. It starts in the roborio, goes into all your CAN devices, and terminates in the PDP.
All CAN wires should use these ferrules when inserted into weidmuller. When soldering 2 CAN wires together, don't be afraid to cut the wire as short as possible. Even the CAN wires on the Talons can be replaced relatively easily. Use proper solder techniques and always heat shrink your work.
I would consider the CAN wires in this picture to be a little Short but Like I said don't be afraid to make them nice and tiny. All CAN wires should be twisted together along the entirety of the robot.
Here is a picture of a nice completed CAN loop. Note how all the wires are ziptied flat to the belly pan. CAN wires are a huge failure point so it's important to take every precaution to ensure the loop is perfect.