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Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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RF Cafe Forums closed its virtual doors in 2012 mainly due to other social media platforms dominating public commenting venues. RF Cafe Forums began sometime around August of 2003 and was quite well-attended for many years. By 2010, Facebook and Twitter were overwhelmingly dominating online personal interaction, and RF Cafe Forums activity dropped off precipitously. Regardless, there are still lots of great posts in the archive that ware worth looking at. Below are the old forum threads, including responses to the original posts.

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 Post subject: Cabling Software
Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:02 pm

Posts: 2

Hi I am looking for a cable and harness software. What I am expecting from the software is the sofware can generates list of interconnections when we input the starting and end point.

 Post subject:
Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:47 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:39 pm

Posts: 32

I am not sure I exactly understand your question. However many years ago, back in the days of DOS (Does Operate Sufficiently) I used Orcad 4 for all schematic work. I did all the wiring harness schematic in Orcad.

I actually put the contacts for each connector on the schematic, as well as things like TB1-3 for barrier strip 1 position 3.

Then set Orcad to put out the netlist as "wirelist". It is was a nice human readable printout that would show

P3-8 TB1-3 AWG 22 white, irrad poly

A4C2-18 TB1-3 AWG 22 white, irrad poly

It was easy to put this file output into a spreadsheet. (I haven't gone anywhere near Orcad since the 90's so I have no idea what to do today.)

To find all of your 'interconnections' you would only have to use the spreadsheet search function to find all instances of "TB1-3". (Since in my case A4C2-18 would only have one wire attached, but TB1-3 could have many.)

I gave this list to the technicians and they checked off each wire as it was put in the harness (they measured the length of each wire the first time and we manually put that in the spreadsheet). So if they were out one day someone else could pick up exactly where they left off.

I also then took the appropriate columns from the spreadsheet, the start and end terminations, and printed them to printable heat-shrink.

Each piece of heatshrink would say something like

A4C2-18 TB1-3

Pull this piece of heatshrink off the tractor feed carrier strip, cut it in half and then we had the wire identification ready to go on each end of the wire. Regular old dot matrix impact printer using a ribbon. The print would smudge very badly until it was heat-shrunk. Then the ink became permanent and smudge proof.

If my memory works we were using Alpha brand F.I.T. printable heatshrink. Never tried this with ink-jet printers.

Another advantage after this was all done was that it would occasionally save a tech from looking so many schematics. If he was troubleshooting a circuit on A4 connector C2-18 he could just look at this chart and see that the wire went to barrier strip 1 position 3. Less chance of making a mistake than trying to follow lots of lines around a schematic (had 141 wires in some of those harnesses, most connectors were only 6 to 8 pins)

Antiquated ? Yes.

Undocument Feature ? Yes.

But it worked well. I got good at it since we had revisions after every 2 to 4 systems manufactured.

Posted  11/12/2012

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