cable curling

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acmotor
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cable curling

Post by acmotor » Sun, 30 Jun 2013, 03:43

jonescg wrote: Same thing you do with a garden hose. Twist it out as you unravel it.


It is more complex than that.

Some cables (not just talking EVSE cables) exhibit curling and others simply do not.
I have some 3 core extention cables that curl and others that do not (and probably never will) so the number of cores or core size is not the cause. EVSE cables are 5 to 7 core with a mix of 2.5mmsq and .75mmsq (typically for 10-15A cable).

It appears that the twist direction of the cores vs their internal strands twist direction and the build and bond of the cores to the jacket are all part of determining the curling behaviour....as well as the shield material and construction if shielded.
A 'good' cable should not curl (in my thinking at least). Consider a quality microphone cable used in stage work.... unless it is chopped by furniture or something it will not curl or fail with quite incredible use/abuse.

I would expect that the curling is not dependent on handling, just that the cables are handled is enough and there is no handling method to avoid eventual curling. e.g. tight wrapping of the cable may produce early curling but, if it has the potential to curl, it will eventually.

The curling itself may be detrimental to cable life but attempting to remove the curls may well be destructive causing fatigue of the cores, particulary at the terminations. I'd say that a curled cable in regular flexing use will have a shortened life due to the stresses in the cores. The curl being a clear demonstation of the stresses.


Joseph, google around. There must be a master's thesis or something on the topic ! Image
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Post by jonescg » Sun, 30 Jun 2013, 04:41

Extension leads don't curl.


Just sayin' Image
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acmotor
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Post by acmotor » Sun, 30 Jun 2013, 08:08

jonescg wrote: Extension leads don't curl.


Just sayin' Image


Is that like extension leads don't coil ? Image

...reaches to bottom drawer, pulls out lead that should have been thrown out years ago (BTW brand is BURTON made in Australia).
Yep, they curl like this one. (like some EVSE cables have done)

Image

Image

Image
note there are locations where the inner cores have buckled and caused bulges.

Image
Dissecting cable clearly shows a core in trouble

Image
cutting and stripping the core shows direction of construction twist in strands.

Image
following this twist direction shows it matches the lay (twist) direction of the 3 cores and also matches the (resulting undesired) twist (curl) direction of the overall cable.

From this it is likely that a curly (from use) cable is probably incorrectly laid up in the first place. The strand twist should not be in the same direction as the core twist.
Isn't the golden rule of rope making for instance to use contrary twists ?

Well that's a theory for now !

Looks like we will have a warranty job coming up, iMiEV, Leaf and the fbox cable is also curling.

Image
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Post by Johny » Sun, 30 Jun 2013, 18:10

I have similar cord to acmotor's but without the bulge. Curiously it's the same one that I melted the socket end while charging the Leaf from an extension cord. It's also practically unusable at 1deg C as the insulation gets so hard that it can't be unwound without fear of cracking.
I always unwind cables by holding the roll and unrolling it without twist but most folk just drop and yank which wouldn't help curling much.
Time to pension it off...

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Post by woody » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 15:19

I loop up my cables (network/power/audio) + ropes this way.



Not shown in the video, you can hold one end and throw the loop, and it uncoils no twists or tangles or anything (provided the cable has not been abused up).

Each loop twists the cable the alternate way, meaning the tension evens out, the cable is not twisted when it is stored or uncoiled.

This method: requires that the other end is free, you are basically twisting the cable/rope the same direction with every coil, simulating rolling up the cable like toilet paper, or a hose reel. This method gets worse and worse the longer and thicker the cable is.

Another method is figure 8 , I use this when the rope is to fat/long to carry. You can pick up/tie the completed figure 8 by the "cross" for storage.
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Post by Johny » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 15:36

The Mic cable packing is the way I learnt in my first job at a radio station - it works better with a fairly flexible cable. The technique shown in the last video also works well for garden hoses.
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Post by jonescg » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 17:04

Yes, coiling it around your forearm is a guaranteed way to eventually twist it. My years of rockclimbing were not wasted.
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Post by acmotor » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 17:57

You may be missing the point re the EVSE cable curling.

It is typically only a few metres long and is not handled in a wrap around the elbow manner etc. OK, you need to be handling one of these cables on a regular basis.
I for one had Joseph's heads up from 8 months use (before I bought i) that the EVSE cable would curl. As such I used best practice when handling my cable. It still curled as did the circontrols EVSE cable that isn't even put away in the vehicle.
The cable is too short for figure 8's (that still cause local twists !!! it just trades cumulative twists for local twists) and any proceedure of wrapping or rolling requires removal of EVSE mains side plug, excessive bends at terminations or risk of dropping EVSE or J1772.
The fact is that handling the cable at all causes local twisting movements in the build.

You are correct of course with your cable handling comments but I'm certain most people are well aware of hose/cable/fishing line handling to deal with twists. Something about sucking eggs ?

The point is that the particular EVSE cable that was used by Panasonic (iMiEV and Leaf) and also Circontrol (all cable make by Yazaki ?) is actually an inferior construction. Did you follow the strands/cores twist direction point ?

It will be interesting to see how the EV manufacturers handle this problem.
Inductive charging ?
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Post by jonescg » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 18:31

You might also be missing my point, which is; there isn't a great deal you can do about it Image. Certain ropey-cabley things just tend to twist up - hoses, phone cords and EVSEs. Once coiled and kinked, they can be 'managed' to some extent by untwisting them, but they will forever have a propensity to continue to kink. For sure, a better made cable will have internal kernels twisted in the opposite direction to secondary twists, but as for dealing with the current crop of equipment, you may well just have to draw those eggs through a straw.

It seems to mainly be an issue with opportunity charging EVSEs as any charging done at home would be from a lead which never needs to be coiled and uncoiled.
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Post by acmotor » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 19:29

Image OK, its agreed at least. There is no magic handling to stop a cable that must be handled from curling if it is predisposed to do so.

I also sighted the case of my hardwired EVSE whose cable is just handled never coiled up and it has curled too. Image I have charged some 400 times about half from each EVSE.
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Post by g4qber » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 20:39

Thanks guys. I can't wait for next version of Swedish evse hopefully with lock hole

A cool feature of the Swedish evse is the builtin LED albeit dim

This may match my future leaf's LED lit socket
Future leaf also locks the j1772 trigger

http://www.charge-amps.com/um-evse
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Post by Richo » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 20:40

Yeah I have a cable at home that is turning into a pig tale.
It's always out so is never rolled up and I don't do the hokey pokey with it either.
It magically coils up by itself.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by Tritium_James » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 21:06

Weird, the 'lunch box' EVSE that came with our Leaf hasn't had the cable curl, and it's been used pretty heavily. I wonder if they had a couple of suppliers, and one is better than the other?

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Post by jonescg » Mon, 01 Jul 2013, 21:13

And really, if a coiling cable is the only thing going wrong with your production EV, you should be pretty pleased all round Image
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Post by acmotor » Tue, 02 Jul 2013, 03:10

TJ, I had used the EVSE cables about 150 times before they curled (and thought they wouldn't... even scoffed at Joseph whose cable had curled), but once curling started it set in with vengence.

Yes, there may be different suppliers or the penny dropped and they sorted the cable build.
I still feel that cables can be built not to curl.

Joseph, has your Nissan (hacked) EVSE cable curled... has it been used enough ? TJ may be on to something.
jonescg wrote: And really, if a coiling cable is the only thing going wrong with your production EV, you should be pretty pleased all round Image
Chris, absolutely ! You are right.

edit: added Chris's quote
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Post by g4qber » Thu, 01 Aug 2013, 20:37

Acmotor pls post pic of curling imiev cable. Thx

I've seen the ejerry pic with your mitsu evse connected to it.
And it had curls.
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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 08 May 2014, 14:15

If your pedantic about how you handle it I don't think it will curl. It's not going to curl by itself.

Our's gets unpacked and packed a lot as it's the only cable I have and it gets used between two homes regularly. I dont public charge at all.

I will take a pic of it's condition and post up soon.

The trick is to treat the cable like you would a thin thin section of sheet metal (picture a 3m long steel ruler thats 0.25mm thick. One wrong move and it will flex and kink and it's creased and stuffed. Yet if you carefully drape over both hands its fine.You could even roll it up into a coil.

I have our's plugged into a waist height power outlet with the brick supported on a hook by the included string loop. The cable the makes a gentle bend down to the floor then back up again to a hook up high then down to the car.

when handling the cable packing and unpacking ( Always hold the cable from the point where it changes direction. In my case it's the top hook where it makes a twist outward to the car . By handling it at this point after unplugging it the cable can relax straight again. After its relaxed. Hook the cable back onto the upper hook with the trigger plug hanging and then unplug the brick end and repeat the same again letting it find its neutral position.

Holding the cable from the same centre point where it loops over the top hook. Walk out to a open space with both ends of the cable hanging straight. Let the two ends of the cable touch the ground and lay the cable out on the ground in a U shape. keeping the cable flat on the ground begin to roll it in a gentle circle (mine doesn't fit in that silly bag they supply once rolled up.

Perhaps I will do a little video as it sounds to slow and complex stepping it out on paper.

I could be wrong and something freaky might suddenly happen and I wake up to a coiled cable but to date it looks like new.

What ever you do, don't roll it around your arm or roll it from one end forcing it into a coil.

Don't put one end into a vice and the other end into a cordless drill Image



Image

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Post by acmotor » Thu, 08 May 2014, 16:10

Have you reached 150 charges yet ?
There is an electronic counter in the evse that initiates cable curl Image
Once you get there you need to decide on plain or chicken salt to go with your hat 'coz quite honestly I thought I handled the cable very carefully wanting to avoid the curly look.

Kurt, I note your avatar shows an iMiEV plugged in at your farm ? With a curly cable ?
Is that a pixilation issue with the avatar resolution or a curl in the making ? Image
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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 08 May 2014, 16:55

Thats just the aviator resolution, not sure why it came out so chunky. That pic was taken the 1st week of ownership so definitely not twisted.

I have around 160 charges. I average 4 charges a week. 10 months of ownership. I also only have the one cable so it comes with me on any reasonably long trip so lots of unplugging and packing it away. On top of charging handling.

All it takes is one twist (fighting the cables natural shape) Say every 10th time you handle it and it will have 15 kinks in it after 150 charges. Your twisting the inner cables creating tension between them and the outer insulation sheath.

As an example my wife was given a nice extra bright fluro yellow 20m 10A extension cable for free in 1998 as part of a safety meeting at work.16 years later I still have that cable and it's been used for 4 house renovations and countless workshop projects. Before I finally spent the time / money to wire A workshop with a gazillion outlets and hanging power points to avoid using extension cords as much as possible). I will most likely retire the cord to the bin soon as the sun has taken its toll on the outer insulation but it's not twisted at all.

When I did my apprenticeship I worked with someone who would more or less strangle you with any hose, cord or the like if you kinked or twisted it even slightly . So I have been mentally scarred for life.

Kurt
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Post by carnut1100 » Thu, 08 May 2014, 22:03

When I was doing my training for appliance test and tag, we were taught that leaving extension leads coiled up while in use will make them curl badly.
We were also told that at test and tag time a curled cord was instant fail...

One of Dad's leads looks like a bloody telephone cord.......


Imiev.
My 2010 has the straight cable, no EVSE. It has no curl whatsoever at 10,500km, it gets charged almost every night and while my partner had been using it she charges at work also.

Her 2012 had a fairly curly cable when she got it with about 11,000 on the clock.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 12 May 2014, 03:14

Photo taken today of my charge cable.


Image

edit: sorry about the wonky pic above uploaded the wrong one.

Image
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Post by Johny » Mon, 12 May 2014, 15:28

Zap - pow - crunch!
Dada dada dada dada daaaaaa - BATMAN

(Reference to the strange camera angle)

Nope - it doesn't look curly.

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Post by acmotor » Tue, 13 May 2014, 00:16

A check we should make is what are the markings on the cable...
Mine is ...
<PS>E x H <- YAZAKI     2011   ESCH-VCTE. 300/500V    3G2.5+1X0.75   LFV   PbF ce >PVC-KD10<

This is also the cable on my circontrol EVSE from Spain. Edit : that is equally curly
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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 13 May 2014, 00:28

Yes Ac Motor just checked and my cable has the same markings.

Can you show me a pic of both cables to see how bad they have become?

To see what I could be doing different with my cable on purpose or by mistake.

My cable spends a lot of time hanging from a high hook with both ends free to relax. perhaps this is stopping the buildup of twists or at least slowing it down.

kurt
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Post by acmotor » Tue, 13 May 2014, 00:40

My cables look like the one in your avatar. ;) I'll take a picture if I must.
Neither live in the vehicle and neither see much handling, just plug in / out.
I use the charge amps cable out and about. It hasn't curled.
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