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Thread: Favero Reel Connector

  1. #1
    Senior Member jjefferies's Avatar
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    Favero Reel Connector

    Just repaired the fencer end connector on four Favero reels. And the wires all broke at about the same place, right in front of the strain relief clamp inside the connector. On the last two all three wires had broken.

    So my question is: Is there a better way/technique to handle clamping the reel wire so that the strain isn't being taken primarily by the electrical wires? That is so the other strands, none electrical, are primarily taking the strain?

    Otherwise the Favero are very sturdy reels and maintenance is mostly down to blowing out the dust bunnies that accumulate inside the cases. Of course one got left without that critical cleaning and the bearing started seizing up until it was cleaned out. So periodic cleaning is a must.

    Along the same lines, the feed block the reel wire runs through wears at what seems to me to be way too fast. The material being a fairly thin plastic moulding. So I've added a felt bumper on the reel wire right at the end of the connector spring to ease the amount of wear I'm seeing from the spring rubbing against the feed block. But has anyone else come up with a way to slow the wearing of this feed block? Replacement is reasonably straight forward though a pain as you have to cut the feed wire or at least desolder it. And I would prefer to keep it from wearing in the first place.
    J Jefferies

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    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjefferies View Post
    Is there a better way/technique to handle clamping the reel wire so that the strain isn't being taken primarily by the electrical wires? That is so the other strands, none electrical, are primarily taking the strain?
    I've don't recall ever seeing a Favero reel fail in the way you've described but it sounds like either all the strain is being applied to wires inside the cable or the cable lacks adequate strain relief (it isn't exactly the most flexible cable out there to begin with). Please bear with me while I bring up a few items which may or may not seem obvious:

    Did you put a knot in the wire immediately beyond the clamp, so that the entire cable is being pulled?

    Did you remember to put a length of neoprene tubing over the cable at the end where you tie the know, long enough to extend out through the strain relief spring?

    Did you sandwich the end of the strain relief spring between the two halves of the plastic housing?


    Along the same lines, the feed block the reel wire runs through wears at what seems to me to be way too fast. The material being a fairly thin plastic moulding. So I've added a felt bumper on the reel wire right at the end of the connector spring to ease the amount of wear I'm seeing from the spring rubbing against the feed block. But has anyone else come up with a way to slow the wearing of this feed block? Replacement is reasonably straight forward though a pain as you have to cut the feed wire or at least desolder it. And I would prefer to keep it from wearing in the first place.
    I wonder if it would be possible to mount a roller on the inside of the reel that could cable coming off the drum out far enough to run straight into the back end of the plastic guide as it exits the reel? The big question would be how large of a roller can be fit in there since you presumably want a large enough diameter roller to minimize the strain on the cables every time it bends around the roller then straightens out again as it leaves the roller.

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    Senior Member touchefriend's Avatar
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    I put large rubber bumpers where you added felt. It seems to have increased time between replacing those feed/wear blocks. I think the answer lies in combining compatible materials - rubber seems to abrade other materials and not be abraded as quickly. I say this because I've seen firsthand and repaired rotovalves on large cranes and was totally amazed at the wear on aluminum rotovalves from O-rings. The O-rings seemed to have no wear(changed them anyway) If the composition of the reel wire and and feed block is closer, that might make the blocks wear slower - I would think the sacrifice material would still be in the feed block.

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    Senior Member jjefferies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJCFU#2 View Post
    I've don't recall ever seeing a Favero reel fail in the way you've described but it sounds like either all the strain is being applied to wires inside the cable or the cable lacks adequate strain relief (it isn't exactly the most flexible cable out there to begin with).
    The cable contains several strain relief cords. But still it seems like the electrical wires are taking the brunt. Or there is some way of doing the cable end/clamping that I've not learned.

    Quote Originally Posted by SJCFU#2 View Post
    Please bear with me while I bring up a few items which may or may not seem obvious:
    Did you put a knot in the wire immediately beyond the clamp, so that the entire cable is being pulled?
    Yes there is an overhand knot in the cable and covering neoprene spaghetti between the clamp and where the three electrical wires exit the main cable to be soldered to the circuit board which has the connectors proper.

    Quote Originally Posted by SJCFU#2 View Post
    Did you remember to put a length of neoprene tubing over the cable at the end where you tie the know, long enough to extend out through the strain relief spring?
    As above yes it is present.

    Quote Originally Posted by SJCFU#2 View Post
    Did you sandwich the end of the strain relief spring between the two halves of the plastic housing?
    Now the strain relief itself is still inside the cable proper. I tied the several cords of strain relief together just at the end of the cable sheathing. This is just beyond the overhand knot of the cable and neoprene spaghetti. But are you suggesting something else?
    J Jefferies

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    Senior Member jjefferies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by touchefriend View Post
    I put large rubber bumpers where you added felt. It seems to have increased time between replacing those feed/wear blocks. I think the answer lies in combining compatible materials - rubber seems to abrade other materials and not be abraded as quickly.
    The choices in the current design seem to be which material is going to be sacrificed. My observation is that after the guide blocks get worn the cable itself begins to go much more quickly. I wonder if the plastic feed/guide blocks aren't cutting/wearing the cable material more rapidly.

    Quote Originally Posted by touchefriend View Post
    I would think the sacrifice material would still be in the feed block.
    Most likely.
    I've experimented with refurbishing the guide blocks using epoxy putty - yeah I know economically replacing the $10 blocks is more sensible, unless your time as a volunteer has no value. But the tight quarters mean that the epoxy keeps the refurbed blocks from fitting in properly.
    J Jefferies

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    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjefferies View Post
    The cable contains several strain relief cords. But ..

    Now the strain relief itself is still inside the cable proper. I tied the several cords of strain relief together just at the end of the cable sheathing. This is just beyond the overhand knot of the cable and neoprene spaghetti. But are you suggesting something else?
    Okay, I'm stumped now. All I can say is that I've been using Favero reels for a number of years now, and while I've seen some interesting problems I can't recall every seeing anything quite like what you seem to be running into.

    The choices in the current design seem to be which material is going to be sacrificed. My observation is that after the guide blocks get worn the cable itself begins to go much more quickly. I wonder if the plastic feed/guide blocks aren't cutting/wearing the cable material more rapidly.
    Or it could be that once the cable wears through the relatively soft plastic block it encounters the metal edge of the case, which is probably much more destructive to the cable.

    The reason I suggested adding a roller inside of the reel is because as the cable comes off of the drum it almost always enters the tube at the rear end of the block at an angle, which means that it rubs against the edge of the block. Even worse, it's always rubbing on the same spot, which to my mind that's a recipe for disaster. A properly placed roller would align the cable with the plastic block, removing one point of contact. There would still tend to be a second point of contact on the other end of the block, where the cable deflects as it exits the reel to whatever direction the fencer happens to be standing in, however this angle tends to constantly change so the wear tends to be less severe (although I have seen it happen there as well).

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    Senior Member jjefferies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJCFU#2 View Post
    The reason I suggested adding a roller inside of the reel is because as the cable comes off of the drum it almost always enters the tube at the rear end of the block at an angle, which means that it rubs against the edge of the block. Even worse, it's always rubbing on the same spot, which to my mind that's a recipe for disaster. A properly placed roller would align the cable with the plastic block, removing one point of contact. There would still tend to be a second point of contact on the other end of the block, where the cable deflects as it exits the reel to whatever direction the fencer happens to be standing in, however this angle tends to constantly change so the wear tends to be less severe (although I have seen it happen there as well).
    Strangely enough I've not seen a wear pattern at the back side of the feed block.?? Usually it's the front inside where you see the grooves appearing in the plastic. And I suspect the coiled metal spring at the connector as being suspect in the wear as well.
    J Jefferies

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    Senior Member SJCFU#2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjefferies View Post
    Strangely enough I've not seen a wear pattern at the back side of the feed block.?? Usually it's the front inside where you see the grooves appearing in the plastic. And I suspect the coiled metal spring at the connector as being suspect in the wear as well.
    When I've seen grooving on the outside it's usually been to either side (as opposed to up or down), indicating that the cable is being pulled to one side or the other as it exits the reel. Proper alignment of the reel relative to the strip won't eliminate this but it will help keep it to a minimum (the nice thing about Favero reels is that they are heavy enough to stay where they are put - the down side is that they will stay put even when it would be better if they were to rotate to better align themselves with the strip).
    I've seen guide blocks where the cable as cut a long slot along the length of the tube at the back of the guide block, although I admit that those were extreme (a couple had reached the point were not only the guide block but the cable itself had to be replaced).

    I wouldn't expect a couple shallow grooves in the outer face of the plastic guide block to cause much of a problem - the problem usually come when those grooves get deep enough to allow the cable to scrapping against the edge of the metal case. Unfortunately I find it difficult to see whether or not the plastic has worn through without first removing the plastic guide from the case, making this problem more difficult to spot.

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