Wiring for sensor modules along the air-slide fifth wheel, near the attic, or especially around the air brake dryer are always laced. The reason for this is zip ties will quickly fail after freeze-thaw cycles. professional drivers in wisconsin or Minnesota cannot get stuck due to an electrical failure on the side of a remote road, as it can prove fatal.
The same goes for heat. sensors near the differential or aux transmission MUST be laced. Climates like Arizona and Texas can cause zip ties to bite into soft wire insulation or vice versa, causing the harness failures.
Then theres manufacturer recommendations. Zip tie plastic can contain additives that bugs or rodents find quite delicious, which cause nesting issues and failures. kevlar twine or lacing cord can be dipped in bitrex or other chemicals to prevent this.
Soy-based wiring insulation:
Lol, what a load of BS on the part of the OEM. The soy plastics are more expensive. Your $1.99 pack of Harbor Freight nylon zip ties won't use it. OEMs (at least for smaller vehicles) have been phasing in soy based wiring insulation since the late 1990s (done at the recommendation of the EPA IIRC). This is why rodents now are more likely to chew on wires (whereas in the past they'd just make nests in dumb places). I guess they'd rather stretch the truth than say "because reasons".
Edit: looks like someone else posted a link to a story about soy wiring.
I noticed that all zip ties seem to be made out of thermoplastic polymers (most are nylon). I assume something about the manufacturing of them rules out thermoset polymers? Anyone on HN care to enlighten us?
A length of copper is so much more reliable.
But before my last day of being an aircraft mechanic, I "accidentally" brought home a roll of high temp (non-waxed) lacing tape because I was already in the habit of using string to tie cables together (common in aviation). Figured if I paid $20k to go to school that I better at least find some other use for it. So far it is just cable lacing. I'm the only one I know that does it instead of zip ties. All kinds of random stuff in my house and on my cars is laced. Imgur proof: https://imgur.com/a/NLrJzlj
Back in HS I worked line service, and I remember our mechanic being able to lace wires at least 2-3x faster than I can. Is this like welding, where it's all about time spent practicing, or are there tricks & techniques I'm unaware of?
I think the instructions for doing the individual bindings was something like a "double half hitch with a lock knot" with a really long picture series of how to do that. I memorized it and could do it, but it was slow. An electrician spotted me once tying cables (slowly, and somewhat of a no-no for regular mechanics; but I didn't care) and showed me the "quick" way which is also apparently the same knot: https://imgur.com/a/TZFeBvb
Basically make a loop and feed it under the bundle. Then pull one free leg of the string through that loop partway (to make another loop in the loop). Then feed the other leg through that loop. That's the "half hitch" part of the knot which allows you to cinch down on the bundle without it loosening back. Then for the "lock knot" part, its a regular square knot which is two overhand knots that are tied right over left and then another one opposite (left over right). Once tightened it should form a small square (can't really see on my version). I only showed one overhand knot in my pictures (forgot the other one).
edit: I think the knot in question is a "clove hitch": https://imgur.com/a/9rgk9n2
It's certified for high temp areas around exhaust,etc and hence non waxed (wax helps hold a knot). I normally worked on stuff outside of the fuselage which is where the more common waxed string is used. But obviously around engine areas, only certain string was certified. We also had to use high temp sting inside the leading edges of the wings (which is where a majority of all the wire is) since the bleed air ducts run through there too and cause higher temps (though not sure how high)
As this article seems to be collecting a lot of great people that know their cabling, is there anything we can do to reduce or eliminate the headaches that are cables and tubes in a panicked ICU? Anything may help, and I'd love to know some more ideas.
EDIT: One thing I've found for cable bundle twisting issues is that 'N-in-hand' braiding the cables helps relieve some of the stresses when they inevitably get twisted up. Think 30 wires/tubes all twisting about as the patient/machine is whirled about. Braiding the cables helps the wires on the outside of the bundle not twist and pull out as much as they are on the outside radius of the bundle. The braiding helps, in that over enough distance, all the wires spend equal 'time' in the inside and the outside of the cable's width.
Does anyone know of a good resource on cable/tube twisting and how to help with it?
Longer cables and tubes would help diminish pull-outs, and could make a lot of the other suggested solutions possible too. Unfortunately the only way to achieve this is probably to call the manufacturer and pray... maybe they have longer options, or female-female adapters that can be used to connect multiple cables together?
Preventing pinches us also something the manufacturer could solve by just making the middle section of tubes—the bit on the ground—a lot heftier. But you could also DIY it by slotting on some corrugated cable conduit? It comes slit down the side, so you could maybe slot it on after cables and tubes are all set up. It would be impossible to clean, but maybe in the grand scheme of a hospital budget it could just be declared disposable?
Image if the conduit I have in mind: https://2ecffd01e1ab3e9383f0-07db7b9624bbdf022e3b5395236d5cf...
I don't think there's one pretty solution here. You'd have to break it down a bit.
- Do the patients go to the machine, or machine to the patient? Wireless makes sense for the latter, not the former.
- What's the failure mode? An alarm/alert to the nurse station, or death? Wireless makes sense for the former, I think.
- Are there any machines at every bedside? Do all of them need to be used at once? Detachable/modular cabling might make sense here.
- Are the cables different? Or can you come up with a "standard" cable/connector for most of the gear?
The audio world solved the "cables being knocked out" problem a long time ago with locking connectors (not screw-ins, so they're still quick connect) like Speak-On and XLR. The former is much more formidable.
Audio has the advantage of both ends being heavy and solid. Attaching a line that goes into a person with stitches or a balloon (urinary catheter) is done, but what happens when those get yanked forcefully is bad.
> - Do the patients go to the machine, or machine to the patient?
In an ICU, where these problems are most acute, the machines come to the patient. You can fill a good sized room with these machines if the patient is in an especially dire state. Like, maybe 30 carts if it is really bad.
> What's the failure mode? An alarm/alert to the nurse station, or death?
It's death. Death is the failure mode. There are others, like severe organ damage, but death is one worth talking about.
> Are there any machines at every bedside? Do all of them need to be used at once?
It depends. If the patient is fairly alright, you'll have maybe a few machines for vitals and not much more. If they are not alright, then you can have a LOT of machines in the room. Though you can have machines on stand-by, if they are in there, they are being used generally.
> Are the cables different? Or can you come up with a "standard" cable/connector for most of the gear?
Again, it depends. Some companies will standardize their cables and tubes, but they tend to not do so across companies. Also, cable and tube diameter is pretty much set by the need. Airways need laminar flow, so they tend to be larger, blood is more viscous, so it needs less than an airway, but it's still got to have some girth. Electrical can be very small, but if you need to deliver a lot of amps, then the cables grow. I'm sure you could come up with the optimal size across a lot of different applications and get a list of all the possible sizes, but that matrix would be very large all the same and might as well be continious.
> The audio world solved the "cables being knocked out" problem a long time ago with locking connectors (not screw-ins, so they're still quick connect)...
Yeah, there are a lot of quick connects out there, but the issue is that you have a patient that is in ICU psychosis trying to break out, or a panicked parent thrashing about, or a doc trying to lurch for the right tools or get to the patient. In these types of situations, you have to plan for the totally crazy events, not the calmer ones. Like, imagine trying to do audio mixing in the middle of the mosh pit. You're trying to plan for that event.
ICU rooms contain patients teetering at the edge of death, who might take months to heal or die. They might be "almost out" and suddenly crash into a totally different crisis than the one they were wired up for an hour ago (cardiac patient has a stroke, stroke patient has an MI, bariatric surgery patient throws a pulmonary embolus, etc). Ventilation, gastric tube, rectal tube, urinary catheter, 10 central venous drips, an arterial line, and a 5-lead EKG and pulse ox, all on in a patient who's on a pneumatic mattress that is constantly rocking the patient to prevent bedsores, is not uncommon.
And there are three vendors attached to every device. For example, Masimo has the pulse ox device, but the leads are from Cardinal Health under license (no doubt produced under subcontract in China, with soy-based insulation) and the sensor sticker is held on with a second layer of generic silk tape because that's what the nurse had at the time.
If you really wanted to do this, you'd have to have the entire suite designed by a single engineering firm with an obsessive focus on supply chain management. You'd need the Boeing or Airbus of ICUs. But doctors are generally convinced they don't need engineers, so good luck with that.
At first thought, overhead cable gantries would be the best as you could quickly toss the cable/tube into it, but then the area around the patent would have tubes getting in the way, so some thought would have to be put into how the cables come out of the gantries.
Other techniques such as pre-laid cable guards could work (a smaller version of the things cables go through to temporarily cross a road), but those people would still be tripping on, laying a cable or tube would be disruptive and they would be annoying to keep clean.
Yeah, overhead cables aren't the best, as a lot of the time, the length of the tubes and cables aren't long enought to do that. Also, yes, you'll end up with a 'beaded curtain' of tubes and stuff going into the patient.
The idea of having everything routed under and then up to the bedside is not bad, though cable length is still an issue.
It is a hard problem for sure.
The main issue is that you don't have the time to pull up the flooring and then run the lines. You get the machines into the room and then into the patient ASAP, as they tend to be some of the only things keeping them alive. Think a machine that replaces heart-beat function and that you will have a hard time disconnecting.
This is what I put around the lines of my sailboat.
There's a bellcore standard for waxed string diameter and tensile strength...
Bell document from 1984:
I know a number of people who will have a much lower opinion of you if you bust out a big bag of white zipties and then proceed to install them, and cut off the tails improperly (those things are SHARP).
Zipties are entirely banned from some major ISP pops that have large amounts of very critical , relatively fragile 2mm jacket singlemode fiber patch cables.
Still, this seems way too laborious unless you're building some aerospace thing.
* "Velcro" -> "hook and loop"
* "Kleenex" -> "tissue paper"
* "Dumpster" -> "garbage bin"
* "Frisbee" -> "flying disc"
A "dumpster" is thus historically a container that can be emptied by a standard front fork loading garbage truck. Long containers that are towed onto a tilt-bed truck are something else, usually debris boxes. But they now tend to be called "roll-on dumpsters".
Isn't that also called a skip? The wiki page for trash skips says that the term is more of a British/Australian/New Zealand english thing, but I've definitely heard people call them skips in the US.
Nintendo had a similar campaign decades ago: https://i.redd.it/20vipleteraz.jpg
A Very Short Introduction” of a man in 1990 who filed for a trademark on his red, white and blue assortment of “Stealth Condoms”, with the tag-phrase “They’ll never see you coming.” Northrop, the maker of the B-2 “stealth bomber”, sued to stop him, claiming that the man had purloined and even harmed the reputation of their trademark. He went bust.
I actually use "tissue" and "copy", but those kinda make sense. Personally I hate it when people keep saying "I Googled..." because it reminds me of this bullshit search engine monoculture we have right now (I try to use DuckDuckGo more, but I miss the days of Yahoo, Lycos, Hotbot, Dogpile, Excite and how they all give you DIFFERENT results!)
Velcro though ... totally didn't even realize it was a brand until like just now .. and I'm still going to use it generically, because it should just be at this point. :-P
I think the original poster meant "genericized" instead of "lapsed". But Velcro is clearly already genericized, as you note.
As such, you can buy "Velcro [BVBA] velcro", or you can call 3M's hook-and-loop fasteners "3M velcro". 3M, naturally, avoids using the term "velcro" in its packaging and marketing, and would never use "Velcro", because even though they could, because the term is genericized, it would still be free advertising for a competitor.
Capitalization has no bearing on word marks (in the US, at least. I can't speak for other countries). "Velcro", "VELCRO", "velcro" are all the same thing as far as the trademark office is concerned. And yes, there are still active trademarks for the word "VELCRO", but it has still been unquestionably genericized.
In the UK I can go in to shops the length of the country and ask for velcro and get "hook and eye" or "fabric fastener", is a completely generic term now, just no one wants to fight it in court.
* UK trademark record, https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmcase/page/Results/4/EU00...
As an example of all-caps trademark, LEGO bricks. Like velcro, LEGO is a portmanteau. Velcro is velour-crochet, and LEGO is leg-godt ("play good"). And like velcro before it, LEGO is now fighting genericization.
If they lose the struggle, kids will play with legos instead of LEGO bricks. They might be legos made by Lego then, but LEGO would be the trademark. It might not be relevant to the word mark, but the image mark is stylized in all caps.
This is nitpicky, but I am sharing some of my experience from writing software that produces brand reports for trademark lawyers. The USPTO might not be case-sensitive, but some of the lawyers are very case-oversensitive, so our software had to take that into account. I still have trouble using a trademark as a noun or verb.
You can lose your trademark protection if the term becomes genericized and you fail to police its use. It's exceedingly rare for this to happen, the law isn't clear-cut, and different courts have ruled differently in similar cases, but it is technically possible. Velcro doesn't have to rabidly attack everyone trying to genericize its brand, and so long as they are still using it themselves and making some occasional effort to legally defend it, they're fine. But if other brands started calling their products "velcro" in the generic sense, and Velcro ignored it for a decade or more, they could in fact lose the trademark entirely.
I think you're wrong here.
Genericisation isn't a function of your policing of your mark.
The only other way to lose a mark is not pay your fees, you can police it as loosely as you like.
What being heavy handed does is increase damages and inhibit allowed usage that a company is not in control of.
I think this is one of the greatest misunderstandings about RTMs.
(I'm only really familiar with the USA and UK IP laws, know something of European and EU regulations, not much beyond that.)
> If the LEGO trademark is used at all, it should always be used as an adjective, not as a noun. For example, say “MODELS BUILT OF LEGO BRICKS”. Never say “MODELS BUILT OF LEGOs”.
As a consequence I try to avoid mentioning things that will go in a political direction, like Trademark, Copyright, etc. as these terms tend to be very charged for certain people. Once you bring it up people will dogpile the discussion and eventually your article on the Lost Art of Lacing Cable is full of comments about how Trademarks are stupid and Copyright is Copywrong.
It's not really about relevance, but rather that the main focus of the comment is something that invites a lot of political discussion with very little substance.
That's my guess, I don't necessarily hold that view. But it did drag the conversation in a vastly different direction. :-)
I really like genericized trademarks - fun to look over lists like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericize...
The problem is when the either the brand becomes so dominant ("Kleenex(tm) facial tissues") or the item really lacks an easy, generic noun (Velcro(tm) "hook-and-loop-fasteners". Yeah.)
Escalator(tm) ... motorized staircase?
Trampoline(tm) ... spring jumping pads? Oh, "Rebound tumbler".
Dry Ice(tm) ... solid carbon dioxide?
Dumpster (tm - who knew?) ... large dump-able garbage bins? Bet they really don't like Dumpster(tm)-diving or Dumpster(tm)-fires.
And patents exacerbate this "problem" behavior, because for for the life of the patent (17+ years) the product class is uniquely associated with the brand, so there's no need for anyone to use a generic term (Velcro(tm), Aspirin(tm) acetylsalicylic acid, Xerox(tm) photo-copies).
So the lesson is, when you create your innovative new product, don't just give it a catchy name, also give it a catchy descriptive name, and make sure you promote both.
If you don't enforce a trademark you can loose it. So this is probably helping protect their trademark.
And this also draws attention -- in a potentially viral way -- to their brand and the fact that velcro is distinct from and perhaps better than "hook and loop".
Us lawyers have to protect our people. Using the VELCRO® trademark properly allows us to protect the integrity of the VELCRO® Brand and our trademark rights, and protect consumers from purchasing products incorrectly identified as VELCRO® Brand products. It’s, you know, the right thing to do
If this is IT, I used this hook and loop tape that you would came on large spools that you cut to length. You always got the exact length of tape you needed and there were never any parts to get caught. It was also reusable which was nice when you had to add an extra cable to the bundle.
They're a bit expensive, but well worth it, especially if you're doing something that's likely to be near-permanent.
Please, if you want to try suspensions, practice first, and read up about rope techniques and medical topics, like nerve positions, nerve function testing, and nerve damage.
The black ties is the lacing cord. Sometimes its just small pieces that bundle the wire every few inches, sometimes its a long continuous piece that is looped at those intervals. The black nylon overbraid is for any wiring harness that is exposed or handled routinely. They typically don't use it on anything that gets tucked away. Also notice the heavy harness supports on those connectors. This is thick gauge cable and a lot of it. Large aerospace companies have shops and techs dedicated to making these all day long.
That was until the heat from the exhaust from the servers started to melt the wax and it became a really nasty sticky mess.
It "lasts longer than cable ties"? Not sure if they mean zip ties, velcro, tie line, etc, but I've never seen any of these fail due to age.
It "does not create obstructions along the length of the cable"? We use e-tape.
Rigging isn't generally about electrics, anyway. I wonder if that's a typo.
Then again, those were the cases largely in temporary rigging. The gaffer tape will dry out after a while and fail. Very rarely sold equipment to permanent installs.
Here's the last one I did, reddit's last datacenter before we moved to EC2.
Spent a week learning to do it properly, and can still do it in my sleep. Its a very easy skill you'll never forget once you get it done (and approved on the production line..)
IMHO, the wax string in my toolbox is among the most important of devices, since it keeps things very neat and tidy.
To the point I find myself now as a grey-beard, teaching the kids how to do it.
Cable lacing has its uses but those uses are nowhere near as common as the internet would have you believe.
And before you ask, I feel similarly about the western union splice. It's an outdated relic from a time when man hours were cheap and materials were expensive. They are very rare today for a reason.
And yes, I know this will be a very unpopular option here. Most people who understands the nuance of the trade-offs of various ways of securing wires are smart enough to avoid commenting in here. Obviously I am not that smart.
Temperature/environmental concerns are basically irrelevant because loom can be made out of the same or similar materials as the wire insulation. I know I've seen braided loom in small aircraft. I can't remember where though.
Cable lacing is usually the right tool for aerospace. It is not the solution to every problem like the internet thinks it is.
We had an issue with Airbus a few months ago where their own approved heat-shrink actually failed the flammability new testing (it smokes profusely...) We can now only use it in 50mm increments for protecting wire bundles from potential high abrasion sections (around connecters, through holes, grommets etc.) The weight aspect has never been discussed. It's so insubstantial that it's not even accounted for on our units. Occasionally we'll use shielded round-it for high voltage cables to prevent arcing, or sensitive data cables to prevent noise, but below that round-it is still wire and lacing cord. It's simply the most practical assembly method. The same applies to freighter ship looms too; lacing is not just relevant the aerospace industry!
I'm not gonna go lace up a DC but it's still useful enough that every hardware store around carries rolls of twine right next to the cable spools and zip ties.
Lacing looks cool but in 99 % of applications bundling cables is not just not necessary, but would be counterproductive.
Also PVC cable jackets especially for industrial cabling have come quite a long way since the 60s in terms of mechanical, chemical and UV resistance. The PVC sheath of an industrial cable is a couple cuts above the material used in the H03VV of the average desk lamp.
A new visitor is visually assaulted before even seeing the linked article (e.g. evaluating your site). The prospective user is then lied to and punished for attempting to register, and the site is shown to be shoddily constructed.
Exaggerated, sure, but still feels odd.
(I love “behind the overlay” on desktop browsers. Overlays are so much more annoying on mobile.)
Cable lacing was used in old "step by step" telephone exchanges which used cotton wrapped wires. When the new fangled cross bar exchanges came in, PVC insulation was the cable of choice, this suffered from plastic flow. The recommended way to run cables was just throw them in the cable trough (the steel shelves running above the equipment, which were also good for the occasional nap). They were looking at many years of installation, I imagine cable ties cause the same problem, but installations probably don't last as long now days, and the cables aren't twisted pair. Source: Ex telephone exchange tech.
You've just given me a fun idea for the office. :)
It's not done much in industry because it's slower than zip ties or velcro wraps (which also require essential zero skill).
With regards to the material used, I have never used or seen waxed linen cord. It was always purely synthetic (plastics) possibly due to cost, availability, or performance.
Only if you are speed lacing and do not knot the intermediate restraints. If there is any chance that you will need to break apart mid line you add a stable knot at each intermediate and can simply break between any tie.
Zip ties are cheaper and faster, velcro might not be cheaper but still faster and a lot more flexible. This being said if I want to send a rover to Mars (so definitely a final install) I will not use zip ties :).
What sometimes happens is that a PHB will see the switch away from lacing and to cable ties and think that the rest of the job is now lower skilled, and they put lower skilled workers on that job. This is bad, because wiring looms are tedious to inspect and test, and we now need better inspection and test to compensate for the lower skilled staff.
Also, because cable tying tends to be done with a hand tool (reproducable tension, uniform cuts, speed of assembly etc) there's a small risk of repetitive strain. I used to use this tool, and it was okay if I was doing the entire loom, but it sucked if I had a big pile of other people's looms and all I was doing was adding cable ties. https://uk.farnell.com/duratool/d03033/cable-tie-gun-stainle...
Here's a link to one model: https://uk.farnell.com/panduit/gts-e/tool-cable-tie-installa...
Good hand tools are always worth the money.
For bigger bundles of wires there's also the "plasic flow" (basically the weight of the bundle causing the cable to cut the insulation) issue another commentor mentioned that loom is basically immune to.
Cable ties and velcro wraps seem to make more sense.
Zip ties are totally banned from the fiber meet me rooms at many major internet traffic exchange points.
I used to work in Telecom and I remember when I first saw a monstrosity of laced wiring. This was at a (staffed) phone switch (raised floor, all hardware and technicians) so there was an amazing amount of wiring and I recall admiring the cleanliness of everything (there's a point at which the various colors of running wire, perfectly laced, is a very interesting piece of modern art). The wires weren't done by an amateur; each cable was lined up -- it looked as though there was a harness specifically designed for the bundles of wires that placed them perfectly parallel (or perpendicular when one ran off of the bundle).
I made an off-hand remark about how long it must have taken to do all of that and was informed from the ops guy that they had just completed it last month. Prior, it had been partially laced, partially tied and generally "clean-but-haphazard", however, the switch had just brought in a new manager and somewhere between his first and second day he went on tear through the switch and demanded it be corrected on the short-order. So over about 8 months, every run was separated and laced. Frankly, I would have been proud if any of my personal equipment were as well maintained as the "before" pictures, but the difference after lacing made the "before" look like spaghetti by comparison.
The benefits are huge, though, for anyone who has encountered a run of wire with heavy-duty zip-ties and a misplaced set of clippers. You can lace wires about as fast as a zip-tie if you're only aiming for "good enough", but you can rip through and redo laced wires with a car key or something that is far less likely to slice a wire.
 ...according to the tech, "Twice"; they really didn't like the new manager. I've never seen a lace job this excellent -- it wasn't a bundle of clean wires, it was a perfect rectangle of multiple laced wires laced together with each loop/knot hit with a low-temp heat gun to strengthen the knot (which -- while I can't speak to how much value it really adds strength-wise, it had the effect of making the looped/knotted spots look really straight and clean.
 I must own thirty pairs of clippers of various sizes/shapes purchased for the sole purpose of cutting zip ties. I'm sure they're all in a container ... somewhere ... all together. I don't think I've ever had one available to me when I actually need it.
But is there ever any reason for doing this today, over zip ties or velcro ties?
I'm guessing no?
They don’t cut into the cables, you can add cables later, they’re very strong. You can chain them together as your bundle size increases. I keep a spare roll in my briefcase.