# Wiring that can retract and expand?

• NightsThunder
In summary: The main concern with running wires through an expanding arm is the potential for the wire to stretch. If you are using coiled wire, this shouldn't be a problem. However, if you are using flat wire, you will need to make sure that the wire is tightly coiled. You can do this by wrapping the wire around a rod or stick, and then tightly wrapping the wire around the rod or stick.
NightsThunder
I am trying to figure out how to run wiring with or thru a expanding and retracting "arm" possibly hydraulic. I want it to expand to at least 20' and retract down to around 3'. The wiring would be 18-24 gauge. I can add more detail if needed.

So that the wire itself does not stretch you will need coiled wiring of the type you have on a telephone handset.

NightsThunder said:
I am trying to figure out how to run wiring with or thru a expanding and retracting "arm" possibly hydraulic. I want it to expand to at least 20' and retract down to around 3'. The wiring would be 18-24 gauge. I can add more detail if needed.

What kind of signal you are transmitting. Can you describe the circuit a bit more?

CS

Reels or flexible track are the most common methods I've seen.

stewartcs said:
What kind of signal you are transmitting. Can you describe the circuit a bit more?

CS

It is some what complicated. I am building a custom trailer, it will have a series of "cages" ranging in size from 20" tall by 40" wide by 6' long to 39" tall, 40" wide, 12' long and sizes in between. They will run along side each other and stacked up to 6 high. I am still in the design process of this trailer. But the idea is that the "cages unfold kinda like a tackle box off each side of the trailer and then expand outward, separating each "cage" by at least 20ft. That is why I am trying to figure out how to expand and contract the wiring between each "cage". Each cage will have a series of electronic inputs on it(between 84 and 360 inputs per "cage"), able to run a temporary 12v-24v current with a control panel. The control panel will have a certain number of channels on it, still unsure on how many. But it will have to control between 400 and up to 5000 inputs. Sorry if this is confusing. I am good at visualizing what I am designing not so good and filling in the details.

You could attach the wires so that they "feather" or "accordian" like a dropped mainsail on a sailboat. (See attached)

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Better yet, just string the wire lengthwise on your cages. This will use more wire but will create less bending tension of the cables. Also, it doesn;t use any fancy widgets or attachments that could fail.

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• PF20090206collapsing_wire2.gif
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## 1. How does retractable wiring work?

Retractable wiring works by using a coiled spring mechanism to contract and expand the wiring. When the wire is pulled, the spring stretches and the wire extends. When the wire is released, the spring recoils and pulls the wire back into its original position.

## 2. What are the benefits of using retractable wiring?

Retractable wiring is convenient and space-saving, as it can be easily stored when not in use. It also reduces the risk of tangling or tripping over loose wires. Additionally, it allows for adjustable wire length, making it versatile for various needs.

## 3. What materials are used to make retractable wiring?

Retractable wiring is typically made of a flexible and durable material such as nylon or silicone. The spring mechanism is usually made of metal, such as stainless steel, for strength and durability.

## 4. How is retractable wiring different from traditional wiring?

Retractable wiring is designed to be compact and adjustable, while traditional wiring is fixed in length. Retractable wiring also has a coiled spring mechanism, which traditional wiring does not have. Additionally, retractable wiring is often used for smaller and more portable devices, while traditional wiring is used for larger and more permanent installations.

## 5. What are some common uses for retractable wiring?

Retractable wiring can be used for a variety of purposes, such as in retractable extension cords, retractable headphones, and retractable phone chargers. It is also commonly used in retractable dog leashes, retractable badge holders, and retractable cables for electronics.

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