Lightweight D-Sub Connectors

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Working on wiring recently, I became concerned about the weight of all the D-subminiature connectors, so I weighed a pair of D-sub shells: 26 grams just in the two shells with thumbscrews. That doesn’t include the D-subs themselves or pins since they get used anyway.

Shells can go away, but how do I secure the two D-subs? There are lots of lightweight solutions available.

1. One trick is a pair of zip ties in an “X” pattern. Problem is, I hate zip ties. I’ve found so many of them broken due to heat, plus their light weight adds up, too.

2. Another solution is heat shrink over the mated pair. That works, but it’s a pain to cut off for maintenance.

3. Don’t use the D-sub. Cut the wires offset in a staggered pattern so the pins can’t touch each other, then heat shrink the bundle. This is also a pain if you need to separate it.

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4. How about a virtually weightless solution that’s secure yet easy to open for maintenance? Lash them together with waxed lacing tape!

Cut a piece about 12 inches long. Wrap one direction diagonally. Rotate 90 degrees and wrap the other direction diagonally. Tie a square knot. Heck, make some extra wraps if you want. Easy to separate. No chance of the tie breaking. Heat shrink for extra protection if you want. Basically free. I saved two ounces on just the two autopilot servos.

Time to rethink the other connections.

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