Friday, August 23, 2013

More about Extending Raspberry Pi Sensor Wiring

It's been pointed out (by Ted Hale) that using regular 3-prong extension cords offers the chance of someone plugging an end into a 110V circuit resulting in a fried Pi. So I looked for alternatives.

How about Cat5 (ethernet) cables? They contain 8 wires; generally stranded, in twisted pairs; sometimes shielded; in 22- 24- or 26-gauge. Pre-made cables come with RJ-45 plugs on the ends. Some cables go straight through and some (older?) swap the normal transmit/receive pairs. Straight through is better.

To break out for GPIO/sensor wiring the following neat device is available:

Note that you can connect by either screw terminal or the 8 pins. I've seen prices for these between $8 to $12.

Bulk cable is the best deal. You can cut it to exact lengths but you also need to buy male plugs (50 for $20) and a crimp tool ($20 and up). Prices for 1000 feet of 22-gauge are all over the place — $.10 to $1.50 per foot.

Note: getting a good plug crimp can take some practice.

I'm going to give this a try.

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