This section is intended to capture details regarding wiring selection and connections.
Selecting Electrical Wire
In order to send power or signals inside your robot from one component to another, you’ll need to use electrical wire.
Electrical wire is made from a highly conductive metal covered in flexible insulation (rubber, silicon, or plastic). It is made in either “stranded” or “solid” forms. Stranded wire is nothing more than many smaller wires wrapped together to create a thicker overall wire; like braided rope. Stranded wire is usually easier to bend but can be more challenging to solder.
Wire is measured in gauges, most often aligned to the standardized American Wire Gauge (AWG). The lower numbers indicate thicker wires and higher numbers indicate thinner wires. (14 gauge is physically larger than 20 gauge.)
How to choose the proper wire gauge? With increasing wire diameter (lower gauge), wire can handle more electron flow (current, measured in Amperes or amps). Just like a garden hose, a larger diameter hose carries more water in a given time over a given distance. Below is a table and graph to help you decide what wire is appropriate for your bot construction.
|AWG||Diameter (mm)||Max Amperage (amps)|
There is a wide variety of connectors used for batteries, motors, and other electrical components used in bot construction. The below list is intended to capture the most commonly used.
JST : Link on Amazon
T Plug : Link on Amazon
XT 60 : Link on Amazon
XT 90 : Link on Amazon
In addition to wiring connectors, you may also need at least one switch. This is to turn on/off the primary power from your battery to your bot. Depending on your design, you may choose to simply use a connector for this purpose. If you wish to use a switch, below are some examples.
SPST 2 Pins Rocker Switch with Pre-soldered Wires : Link on Amazon
Fingertech 40A Mini Power Switch : Link on RobotShop