Control Stick Wiring

Time: 2 hrs

Just did some wiring for the control sticks. I’ll be wiring in pitch trim, flaps, PTT, and an auto-pilot disconnect to the pilot and co-pilot sticks so I did a main run that splits to each stick (the wires were run a while ago). I previously just did butt splices, and wrapped it with some silicone tape, but I didn’t like how it came out. Even though this part will probably never be disconnected I decided to use a connector to make the splice look a bit better. I found MX150 molex connectors (also available in a sealed version) that didn’t cost much (maybe $3-4 per connector for the unsealed version). These are used on the VPX electronic circuit breaker system that I will be using, so now I have the crimper and some pins for it as well. The crimper does a good job of crimping the conductor portion of the pin, but not so great on the part that crimps onto the insulation so I little manual crimping is needed to tighten it up. Also I had crimped the male pins just fine, but when it came time to crimp the female side the pins didn’t fit into the crimper. I had to lightly file the block that holds them… just to remove some burrs. Gotta love the fine craftsmanship of Chinese made products.

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Here’s the selection of parts I purchased, The crimper, some 8 and 12 pin connectors and the male/female pins. There is one set of pins for 20-16AWG and another for 22 AWG, There is an addition one for 14 AWG as well, but I didn’t purchase any of those.

Crimping is pretty easy, just insert the pin into the tool and lighting crimp. Insert the wire and crimp. You can’t see if the wire is pushed in enough or too little so I just pushed the wire in until it stopped (insulation hitting the next set of crimp tabs) and then just pulled the wire make a very small bit. This seemed to work pretty well.

Male and female ends done with heat shrink for strain relief. I think a thin walled heat shrink will work better in the future, it was a bit difficult to push the wire into the connector with the thick heat shrink. The ones that are labeled use a thinner heat shrink which was much easier.

One the thing to note about the MX250 connectors. It’s important to only insert the wires in until you hear one click. The locking of the pins is done my pushing down on the insert inside the connector until that clicks. This is pretty apparent on the female connector which comes with etc insert sticking out of the body of the connector. However for the male connector (pin side) it’s not as noticeable. When assembling the connector you won’t really see the pins sticking out of the connector which is the way it should be. If you pull the pins through with needle nose pliers that the connector can’t be snapped shut. If you do pull the pins through (like I did) all you need to do push them back a little and then the insert will snap when you push on it.

 

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Connector all done with a little silicone tape to keep the wires secure from vibration.

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