Good wiring practice - Things to think about when wiring up a motor controller

Strip the right length of wire

One of the most common problems when wiring in a motor controller is that the user inadvertently strips either too short or too long a length of wire.

Too short and it can become hard to get a good connection in a screw connector (and especially hard if a soldered connection is required). Too long and you run the risk of the cables shorting either on each other, on the driver itself or on something else in the application. Depending on the motor controller that you are using, a short like this could completely blow the controller.

Typically, 5-10mm is a good length but this will vary depending on the type of connector that you are using.


Consult the datasheet or startup guide first!

One of the most important aspects of wiring up components such as motor controllers is wiring things up in the correct order. 

Typically this involves connecting all the various outputs to the controller before one connects the power connectors but it is always best to consult the datasheet or user guide first. 


A good workman doesn't blame his tools because he chose to buy good ones and bring the right ones.

Whilst you would never catch any of us blaming our tools, we would also hope that the same goes for you. 

Buying good quality tools can make a huge difference in the quality of job you are able to achieve, especially where soldering is required. Getting a nice, clean length of wire is critically important in getting a good, solid connection into the controller. Trying to strip wires with a blunt penknife might not get you where you wish to be.


Hold your nerve!

With fiddly wiring jobs it can be common to get exasperated and try and force the issue. 


If you find yourself about to jam a frayed wire into a stripped screw connector or picking up gaffer tape at any point then it’s generally better to put the kettle on and have a think.


Take care to follow the wiring diagram and use different coloured wire where possible

It is always a good idea to use different coloured wires where possible. These will enable you to clearly distinguish wires when connecting them and can help prevent connecting the motor phase wires the wrong way round. 

If this is not possible try and use pen or electrical tape to mark the cables individually so you know exactly which ones you’re dealing with. 

Categories: Brushed DC Motor FAQs, Brushless Motor Controller FAQs, Commercial, Stepper Motor Controller FAQs
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