Servo Extension Cables Part I

Extending the servo cables is not quite as straight forward as it may or may not appear. In the class Mr Chicken showed us how he used a 4 pair (8 wires) CAT 5 network wire to extend the servo connections to the SCC32 servo controller board.

There are several things to consider before trying to extend the cables.

Will you house the SCC 32 somewhere safe in the prop and power it locally? If so you can do a relatively short extension to the controller and run a single serial cable, which can be up to 50′, to the show PC.  Otherwise you have to run a long CAT 5 wire from the prop to where the PC will be, and then power the controller near the PC.  This could cause problems if the wire run to the servos is too long and you get to much voltage drop between the contoller and the prop.  Your servos may not function correctly.

I have not decided yet, as I am not sure where I will be placing the prop in my haunt yet.  I can always splice more wire in place, but I would prefer to not do that if I can help it.  A 25ft serial cable from Monoprice is less than $4 (Man I love that place).

So my main concerns for keeping the SCC 32 local to the prop are:

  1. Protecting the controller from the elements
  2. Having power for the contoller (120 volts for the servo supply) So that means an extension cord to the prop.

My concerns with having the SCC near the show PC are:

  1. Will the wire run be too long for the servos to operate properly?

I need to think about this some more…