Mechanics and Construction > Mechanics and Construction

Wire connectiions and rotating platforms

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I have always kinda wondered how engeers design a system that lets a top peice rotate, but still send signals through wires to below.  THe bottom peice is stationary though.  The wires would naturally get twisted.. the only way I could see of getting around that is to have a wire connection that is a cylinder and let a wire connect to the cylinder that could then spin inside of the sensor or what have you..  that wouldlet the wiring stay stationary.

...How do they do it? Sorry if its not well explained.. but its kind of difficult to put into words right now :P

this isnt easy to do, It is rare that you would see a continuous rotating platform that could send signals. These days you could probably use a wireless transfer system like blue tooth if you really wanted.
Also you could produce a system like a standard motor uses, the wires brush against connections on the central rotating shaft to provide it with power.

and if the platform could have a small power source itself, you could also use ir to transfer data signals

I worked building wind turbines for a couple of months after leaving high school, they have a lot of electrical wiring going from the top to the bottom and the top (nacelle) will move to the direction the wind is going.  The way they get around this (As running electricity cannot use wireless[yet]) is the nacelle will only turn a certain amount of times before it stops and rotates the opposite direction to get to the correct position. 

With a robot you could do this, running your wires through a cylinder, as long as you made sure you had enough slack cable for the robot to spin to the maximum displacement.

I hope this helps,

Build a PCB with as many circular traces as so many wires you need to go through. Then on a rectangular piece solder same number of flexible metal blades spaced so they will touch the circular traces like an old pick-up record player arm... Make sure you add some non conductive grease for easy rotation.


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