blaablaaguy
Posts: 623
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Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:43 pm

Ive bought some cheap insulation tape off ebay and when i held the stuff up to my face i felt static coming off of it like you would feel if you held a ballon to your face. The tape wasnt marketed as esd safe or anything. Should i just rip the stuff out of my project (which shouldnt be a problem since its still in the prototyping stage) and stop using it?
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fruit-uk
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Location: Suffolk, UK

Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:03 pm

Probaly, same as you should stop using Scotch Tape ;)

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scotty101
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:05 pm

Insulation tape isn't for circuit boards or ESD sensitive electronics.

It is for covering cables and wires.
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Pi Interests: Home Automation, IOT, Python and Tkinter

blaablaaguy
Posts: 623
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:09 pm

scotty101 wrote:Insulation tape isn't for circuit boards or ESD sensitive electronics.

It is for covering cables and wires.
What should i use instead then? The wires and cables i insulate are all over the place and will end up touching/ getting near my pi and other electronics. One of the plugs in my pi has tape just after the connector
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Heater
Posts: 13611
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:08 pm

Why are your wires and cables in such a mess? The wires and cables I use already have insulation on them and it only gets removed at the ends. Those ends go to plugs and connectors tidily. No exposed wire hanging around.

If you want to be really neat use of heat shrink tubing can be nice: http://www.ebay.com/bhp/heat-shrink-tubing-assortment

Insulating tape is generally horrible. Always goes into a sticky mess. Or does not stick where it should!
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

BMS Doug
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:43 pm

blaablaaguy wrote:
scotty101 wrote:Insulation tape isn't for circuit boards or ESD sensitive electronics.

It is for covering cables and wires.
What should i use instead then? The wires and cables i insulate are all over the place and will end up touching/ getting near my pi and other electronics. One of the plugs in my pi has tape just after the connector
I agree that the ideal is heatshrink tubing or terminated end connections. (what are you connecting to?)
Doug.
Building Management Systems Engineer.

blaablaaguy
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:29 pm

Its just a bare uncased micro usb plug. I used the tape to make it a bit neater but i could easily replace it with some heatshrink. My wires arent that messy, i just cut cables and connectors up and solder them back together to make custom cables alot. Tapes a easier to insulate stuff in awkward places and it makes more sense to use tape for prototyping since its easy to remove and replace. Should i just stop using it (the tape) alltogether?
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Heater
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:21 pm

blaablaaguy,
...i just cut cables and connectors up and solder them back together to make custom cables a lot.
Oh yeah, been there, done that a lot.

It's really tempting when you need a connection NOW. But it's a bodge. Such bodges often come back to bite you.

OK for a quick hack or experiment. But if it needs to live more than one day it pays to do a proper job in the long run.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

blaablaaguy
Posts: 623
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:45 pm

Heater wrote:blaablaaguy,
...i just cut cables and connectors up and solder them back together to make custom cables a lot.
Oh yeah, been there, done that a lot.

It's really tempting when you need a connection NOW. But it's a bodge. Such bodges often come back to bite you.

OK for a quick hack or experiment. But if it needs to live more than one day it pays to do a proper job in the long run.
Thanks for the tip :)
What do you mean by "proper job"? Like buy a ready built cable or make one from scratch by buying the individual connectors and wires.

Edit: Just curious, why dont cables built like that last long?
Last edited by blaablaaguy on Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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blaablaaguy
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:49 pm

Thanks for the link. Is all kapton tape low static or do i need the ones that are marketed as low static?
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Heater
Posts: 13611
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:28 pm

Of course I'm generalizing. It all depends on what you are doing and how long it should last.

For a quick afternoon experiment/hack anything goes.

For something that has to work long term chewing gum and sticky tape don't cut it.

Now, I feel your frustration. I am endlessly wanting to connect some wall wart supply to some new gadget (for example) and for sure the plugs and sockets don't match. OK, chop the cable, splice something in there, make it work.

It's a mess. I would not be proud to show the result to my mother.

By the way, the kapton tape idea seems like an expensive overkill.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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rpdom
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:39 pm

Hot melt glue or epoxy.

blaablaaguy
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:52 pm

Heater wrote:Of course I'm generalizing. It all depends on what you are doing and how long it should last.

For a quick afternoon experiment/hack anything goes.

For something that has to work long term chewing gum and sticky tape don't cut it.

Now, I feel your frustration. I am endlessly wanting to connect some wall wart supply to some new gadget (for example) and for sure the plugs and sockets don't match. OK, chop the cable, splice something in there, make it work.

It's a mess. I would not be proud to show the result to my mother.

By the way, the kapton tape idea seems like an expensive overkill.
...so maybe that diy otg cable wasnt a great idea...
What about when you need to make a cable that isnt available to buy?
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boyoh
Posts: 1341
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:23 pm

blaablaaguy wrote:Ive bought some cheap insulation tape off ebay and when i held the stuff up to my face i felt static coming off of it like you would feel if you held a ballon to your face. The tape wasnt marketed as esd safe or anything. Should i just rip the stuff out of my project (which shouldnt be a problem since its still in the prototyping stage) and stop using it?
" ADVICE" You must not work on MAINS WIRING, It wont just be the Pi you will KILL
BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
Some Times Right Some Times Wrong

SonOfAMotherlessGoat
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:38 pm

blaablaaguy wrote:
Thanks for the link. Is all kapton tape low static or do i need the ones that are marketed as low static?
The low ESD tape has a coating on it for that purpose. I've never really checked the regular Kapton for static however.
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Heater
Posts: 13611
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:07 am

blaablaaguy
What about when you need to make a cable that isnt available to buy?
You know, despite what I have said above I don't think I have found the perfect solution for this.

Back in the day, power supplies and plugs could be opened by removing a few screws. Things could be rewired nicely to your
hearts content.

Today, wall warts and plugs are all welded shut. The only way to get in is to destroy them.

And of course "standards" keep changing so that nothing ever fits anything.

For example: The other day I needed 5v for some gadget. My 5v wall warts to hand all have micro USB plugs. The gadget
wants 5v through a barrel connector.

What to do?

Chop the USB off the wall wart. Chop the barrel plug of some other supply. Splice the cables together.

Yes, I have done it all. After soldering the conductors together mess with insulating tape, hot glue, heat shrink, etc.

Ugly, gak.

This time I screwed the conductors into a good old fashioned "Chocolate box" connector. Figuring that at least it was solid and
I could easily repurpose it if need be.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

BMS Doug
Posts: 3824
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Location: London, UK

Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:20 am

blaablaaguy wrote:
Heater wrote:Of course I'm generalizing. It all depends on what you are doing and how long it should last.

For a quick afternoon experiment/hack anything goes.

For something that has to work long term chewing gum and sticky tape don't cut it.

Now, I feel your frustration. I am endlessly wanting to connect some wall wart supply to some new gadget (for example) and for sure the plugs and sockets don't match. OK, chop the cable, splice something in there, make it work.

It's a mess. I would not be proud to show the result to my mother.

By the way, the kapton tape idea seems like an expensive overkill.
...so maybe that diy otg cable wasnt a great idea...
What about when you need to make a cable that isnt available to buy?
rpdom wrote:Hot melt glue or epoxy.
This.

Solder your connector to the wire, check that everything is correct and working, seal it up with Hot Glue.
Heater wrote: You know, despite what I have said above I don't think I have found the perfect solution for this.

Back in the day, power supplies and plugs could be opened by removing a few screws. Things could be rewired nicely to your
hearts content.

Today, wall warts and plugs are all welded shut. The only way to get in is to destroy them.

And of course "standards" keep changing so that nothing ever fits anything.

For example: The other day I needed 5v for some gadget. My 5v wall warts to hand all have micro USB plugs. The gadget
wants 5v through a barrel connector.

What to do?

Chop the USB off the wall wart. Chop the barrel plug of some other supply. Splice the cables together.

Yes, I have done it all. After soldering the conductors together mess with insulating tape, hot glue, heat shrink, etc.

Ugly, gak.

This time I screwed the conductors into a good old fashioned "Chocolate box" connector. Figuring that at least it was solid and
I could easily repurpose it if need be.
Heat Shrink doesn't need to be Ugly, I could probably make that connection look fairly neat with heat shrink.

I would prefer to buy the correct type of barrel connector ready for termination and connect the wires to that but if I had to get it working immediately and had to splice two cables I would use terminal block (as you did).

If it was going to be a long term bodge then I would keep it in terminal block until the solderable barrel connector arrived.

If for some reason I had to use the bodged cable for a medium term solution and couldn't get the barrel connector I would use heat shrink and it would be reasonably tidy (certainly nicer looking than terminal block).

I made this USB to micro USB cable with switch, you can see that only the microUSB connection had a shell so I used Hot Glue to protect the other parts (Yes the Hot Glue is ugly but it was never going to be seen by anyone so I didn't mind).
Doug.
Building Management Systems Engineer.

blaablaaguy
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:49 am

Thanks guys, just one last question. If i need to insulate a metal tin (like an altoids) , shouuld i use paper/ card instead of tape? Or maybe cut up an antistatic bag?
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Heater
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:06 am

@BMS Doug,

Sorry yeah, I phrased that badly. Heat shrink is wonderful stuff.

@blaablaaguy,
If i need to insulate a metal tin (like an altoids) , shouuld i use paper/ card instead of tape? Or maybe cut up an antistatic bag?
I'm wary of using card/paper or anything that can catch fire easily anywhere near my electronic projects.

A little while a ago a Pi of mine stopped working. It had been running for months serving up camera snapshots. I took it down for
investigation. On powering it up smoke started billowing out of the SD card. It all got really hot in the few seconds it took me to cut the power.

There is certainly a fire hazard even with the harmless looking Pi.

Why do you need to insulate the a thing like an Altoids tin? Plenty of electronic circuits are housed in metal boxes with just
stand offs to keep it away from the metal.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

blaablaaguy
Posts: 623
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:25 am

Heater wrote:@BMS Doug,

Sorry yeah, I phrased that badly. Heat shrink is wonderful stuff.

@blaablaaguy,
If i need to insulate a metal tin (like an altoids) , shouuld i use paper/ card instead of tape? Or maybe cut up an antistatic bag?
I'm wary of using card/paper or anything that can catch fire easily anywhere near my electronic projects.

A little while a ago a Pi of mine stopped working. It had been running for months serving up camera snapshots. I took it down for
investigation. On powering it up smoke started billowing out of the SD card. It all got really hot in the few seconds it took me to cut the power.

There is certainly a fire hazard even with the harmless looking Pi.

Why do you need to insulate the a thing like an Altoids tin? Plenty of electronic circuits are housed in metal boxes with just
stand offs to keep it away from the metal.
Ok, thanks.
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RaTTuS
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:44 am

Heater wrote:...
Why do you need to insulate the a thing like an Altoids tin? Plenty of electronic circuits are housed in metal boxes with just
stand offs to keep it away from the metal.
^THIS
stand offs ,
or use liquid rubber insulation paint.... [YMMV]
How To ask Questions :- http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
WARNING - some parts of this post may be erroneous YMMV

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boyoh
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:46 pm

How old are you, If you are a young boy , I will forgive you, But if you are
A adult , read below

I think a roll of Common sense, and a tube of gumption is what you need
Obtain this before you go any further with your projects
BoyOh ( Selby, North Yorkshire.UK)
Some Times Right Some Times Wrong

blaablaaguy
Posts: 623
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:24 pm

boyoh wrote:How old are you, If you are a young boy , I will forgive you, But if you are
A adult , read below

I think a roll of Common sense, and a tube of gumption is what you need
Obtain this before you go any further with your projects
Yeah, thanks. Ill refer to your signiture for that one.
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Burngate
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Re: Should i get rid of my insulation tape?

Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:53 pm

Rather than insulation tape, I tend to use https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-amalgamating_tape. The end result tends to be just as ugly, but doesn't spontaneously unwrap itself.
As for the altoids tin, I wouldn't recommend insulating tape, as the snipped-off ends of through-hole components tend to pierce the tape to reach the metal. A plastic divider from a set of plastic drawers is more robust.

And a source of common sense? I'd like to recommend the House of Commons ... but I won't. ;)

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