I am sure we have all been there; there must be a servo connector loose somewhere, you firmly press each one with fingers too large to press just one connector, you wondering whether the wires in each connector are well-crimped, you stare in dismay at at the spaghetti emerging from the APM. While working on my computer last week I just may have come up with a solution. Why not use flat ribbon IDE cable instead and 3x8 headers (http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1038) instead of 3 conductor servo wire? Here is what I did:
2) Split the ends into groups of 3 conductors
3) Strip the plastic off
4) Split each group of 3 into individual wires
5) Tin each wire
6) Tin the 3x8 plug
7) If you want to use very thin heat shrink tubing, slide it over the wires now
8) Solder with a quick touch
9) Cover in liquid plastic / slide the heat shrink in place and heat it
10) Repeat for the other side of the wire
That's it! Now you have connector that is much less prone to move about or come loose, there is less risk of bent pins, you can be press it in or pull it off easily without pulling on the wires, and it has the benefit of soldered connections. It may not be lighter that a traditional setup, but the flat ribbon can fit above or under batteries without any issues, takes up less space and just looks much neater than the traditional spaghetti.
If I am not mistaken, you can also reduce weight a little more by only conn
ecting 8 wires to the signal pins and connecting a single power and ground wire. If you still want to make sure each channel still has signal, power and ground, just solder a small wire across the power and ground pin rows on the back of the 3x8 connector. Would love to know if my theory holds water!
!) The 3x8 plugs fit my ImmersionRC receivers perfectly, but not my Hitecs receivers. I am not sure it is possible to get them in different widths, by you can always use the 3x8 plugs on one and and traditional servo connectors on the other, at least this cleans up the spaghetti!
!) Make sure the wires line up correctly