3 posts in this topic

Hello all -

Wanted to check in and get some ideas on how everyone else out there stays organized with the various connectors, cables, etc. Currently I have been using a decent sized laptop backpack (keeping my laptop in there, spare battery and charger) along with various cables, connectors, external drive, CDs, screwdriver sets, wire crimps/strippers, etc. Seems though as I've been getting into different projects, different PLCs and such that the 'inventory' has been growing. Just wanted to hear others thoughts. Also, if you could maybe throw out your NEED TO CARRY items I'd be interested in what everyone else has to say. Sorry if this has been posted before or somewhere else.



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I FINALLY got tired of untangling all of the programming cables I need to use and started bagging them in heavy duty ziploc bags.  I have several bags in my toolbox and their contents are segregated by function (or even frequency of use for some of the oddballs).  I write the name of the technology or type of cable set on each bag and that makes it a lot easier to locate the cables when I need them.  It also keeps them from tangling. I work in a manufacturing facility now, so I keep all cables in a roll around toolbox/workstation.  This would have been helpful when I was on the road and used a roll around case like a doctor's bag.  The same would work for a backpack.

Need to carry:

screwdrivers, cables, wire strippers, small flashlight, thumb drive, change for the vending machine, phone charging cord and battery pack.  The list could get long...

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I don't do field support, so my list may be different from yours.

In my toolbox that I take out into the plant with my laptop:

1) Lockout padlocks
2) Basic electrical hand tools (strippers, side cutters, crimpers, etc.)
3) Screwdrivers (a Klein 11-in-1, an old 1/4" drive multi-tip driver with a bit set including the security TORX bit for AB locking door switches
4) Small 1/4" drive ratchet/socket set
5) Allen wrenches (metric & inch)
6) Linksys USB-LAN adapter for the occasional BOOTP/DHCP configuration when the built-in NIC won't work
7) Small 5-port desktop router with power supply
8) Long-ish Ethernet patch cable
9) 10' or so straight serial cable with null modem adapter, 9-25 pin adapter, and both gender changers
10) Keyspan USB-RS232 adapter with cable
11) Extension cord
12) M12-RJ45 Ethernet patch cable
13) various other small stuff

I grab specific cables I need from our locker or from the shop including:
1) Siemens USB PC Adapter
2) UIC adapter for DH485
3) SLC150 adapter
4) Optical interface cable for AB light curtain controller
5) Watlow F4 RS232 cable (uses flying leads on one end)
6) Lenze cable (as needed, we have 2 different ones depending on which drive family)
7) AB 1203 adapter for connecting to drives
8) AB MicroLogix cable (9-pin to their mini-DIN)
9) DH+ Prosoft gateway with cable and power supply
etc, etc, etc.

The unused cables are coiled up neatly with velcro straps to keep them coiled up. They don't typically tangle up in the box in our locker.
For the random and miscellaneous devices that use super-special serial cables (like Parker Compax or AB Ultramaster drives), I had our electrician build a double-ended 9-pin D-Sub adapter with the required connections/jumpers in it. I just put that adapter in line with my straight serial cable instead of needing a whole serial cable for each device.

See also this post:


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