HOME   - -  Table of contents for my Arduino "How To" articles
Other material for programmers

Four wires brought together into one tidy cable

(Page's URL: wires_4_to_one.htm)

Instead of...

((q-alt text for image wires_4_1strt_smrt23303.jpg))

Wouldn't the following be better. Even if "only" aesthetically. And there may be electronic benefits, too. (See link near bottom for them.)

((q-alt text for image wires_4_5bundle_smrt23303.jpg))

Easily done! But you need to know "the secret"!

Think of a piece of thick rope made of three strands, all twisted together.

Why do they STAY together? (Not easily answered!... but we will use the same physics here.)

To make four wires running from A to B play nicely together...

I'll call the wires "A", "B", "C", and "D".

Twist A and B together, set aside. Note which way you twisted them. As evenly as you can. (I.e. keep the wavelength constant.) Tight is good, but you don't have to make it "very" tight.

((q-alt text for image wires_4_2_smrt23303.jpg))

Twist B and C together. Twist the same way.

"Twist the other way"??? What is the "way" of a twist??

((q-alt text for image wires_4_3otherway_smrt23303.jpg))

Which wire is going to the back, when we do the next twist. The yellow wire, in the above.

And in the previous illustration? The red wire is the one that is going to go to the back.

The yellow wire is the "bottom" wire, as we look at it. And the red wire is the "top" wire.

The red/black pair and the yellow/brown pair are NOT being twisted in the same "way".

If you look closely at the example of the finished "four in one" cables at the top of the page, you can see that both pairs were twisted the same way there.

The more closely you've matched the tightness of your twisting, the better your final result will be.

You now have A and B twisted together. Call them "the first pair".

And you have C and D twisted together. If I have to tell you what I'll call them... THINK!

Now twist the first pair and the second pair together.

Duh. Not hard. BUT!!!! You need to know Two Secrets!...

a) When you twist the pairs together, to the twisting the Other Way.

b) (A fine point, but adds to the chance of a great result.) If, as you twist the pairs together, you can put a little EXTRA twist into the "A/B" twist and the "C/D" twist, then the bundle will twist into itself better. This is particularly helpful when each of the four wires is stranded. Do the "twist against the twist" of the elements being twisted together at both stages of the process.

For long runs, the twisting can become a tedious... unless you use a drill which allows very slow speeds.

Another fine point: ((q-alt text for image wires_4_4both_smrt23303.jpg))

It is important that both wires participate in the twisting equally. In the example above you can see that all the twisting is being done by the black wire. They should both trace a spiral. Neither should be straighter, the way the red is in the above.

Benefits of twists:

There was an erudite discussion at this discussion at electronics.stackexchange.com.

A few words from the sponsors...

Please get in touch if you discover flaws in this page. Please mention the page's URL. (wywtk.com/elec/wires_4_to_one.htm).

If you found this of interest, please mention in forums, give it a Facebook "like", Google "Plus", or whatever. If you want more of this stuff, help!? There's not much point in me writing these things, if no one feels they are of any use.

index sitemap
What's New at the Site Advanced search
Search tool (free) provided by FreeFind... whom I've used since 2002. Happy with it, obviously!

Unlike the clever Google search engine, this one merely looks for the words you type, so....
*    Spell them properly.
*    Don't bother with "How do I get rich?" That will merely return pages with "how", "do", "I"....

Please also note that I have three other sites, and that this search will not include them. They have their own search buttons.

My SheepdogSoftware.co.uk site, where you'll find my main homepage. It has links for other areas, such as education, programming, investing.

My SheepdogGuides.com site.

My site at Arunet.

How to email or write this page's editor, Tom Boyd. Please cite page's URL, wires_4_to_one.htm, if you write.

Test for valid HTML Page has been tested for compliance with INDUSTRY (not MS-only) standards, using the free, publicly accessible validator at validator.w3.org. It passes in some important ways, but still needs work to fully meet HTML 5 expectations. (If your browser hides your history, you may have to put the page's URL into the validator by hand. Check what page the validator looked at before becoming alarmed by a "not found" or "wrong doctype".)

AND passes... Test for valid CSS

Why does this page cause a script to run? Because of the Google panels, and the code for the search button. Also, I have my web-traffic monitored for me by eXTReMe tracker. They offer a free tracker. If you want to try one, check out their site. Why do I mention the script? Be sure you know all you need to about spyware.

....... P a g e . . . E n d s .....