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Cable Drag Chain

1.0 Introduction

A cable drag chain (CDC), also known as a cable carrier or cable track, is a device used to manage and protect cables and hoses on automated machinery. It is a flexible structure consisting of interconnected links that can be made of plastic or metal.

A cable drag chain is designed to guide and support cables and hoses while allowing them to move smoothly and flexibly. It protects the cables and hoses from damage due to bending and abrasion. Additionally, it helps to prevent tangling, snags, or twisting of the cables and hoses.

Cable drag chains can be found in a variety of applications, including CNC machines, robotics, packaging machinery, material handling equipment, etc. They are available in different sizes to suit different needs and operating conditions.

Mounting a cable drag chain on a CNC machine involves attaching the chain to the machine frame in such a way that it effectively routes and protects electrical cables, preventing them from tangling or getting damaged during machine operation

2.0 Cable Drag Chain Mounting 

2.1 Mounting Bracket

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A cable drag chain (CDC) mounting bracket is a component used to secure and position a cable drag chain to a machine or structure. The bracket is typically attached to the machine or structure using screws, bolts, or other fasteners, and the cable drag chain is then attached to the bracket.

Maker Store has developed its own cable drag chain mounting bracket that can be used on any CNC machine such as WorkBee V3, OutBack, Ox Belt and Ox-Gear. The different slots on the bracket allow various drag chain sizes to be mounted, securing the cables using cable ties.

2.2 Cable Drag Chain Sizes and Mounting:

Maker Store supplies cable drag chain of the following sizes to suit different customer needs:

2.2.1 Cable Drag Chain 7 x 7

The Cable Drag Chain 7 x 7 is the smallest cable drag chain supplied by Maker Store. This cable drag chain has an internal size of 7mm x 7mm. and has two end pieces. The links and the end pieces are connected together via a snap fit mechanism, that makes extending or changing the length of the drag chain very easy.

This cable drag chain can be used to manage small diameter cables that easily fit inside the drag chain housing. 

The below images show the ends and links of the Cable Drag Chain 7 x 7:

End
Link

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The steps and parts required to mount Cable Drag Chain 7 x 7 onto the Maker Store Mounting Bracket are listed below:

Item Description SKU Quantity
1 M3 Precision Shim SHIM-PREC-M3 4
2 M4 Precision Shim SHIM-PREC-M4 2
3 10mm M3 Button Head Bolt SCREWS-M3-BH-10 2
4 Nylon Insert Hex Locknut HARD-NUT-LOCK-3MM 2

Step 1: Place a M3 Precision Shim onto one of the holes of the end piece of drag chain and insert a 10mm M3 Button Head Bolt.

Step 2: Slide 1x M4 Precision Shim and 1x M3 Precision Shim onto the bolt. Tighten the assembly using 3mm Nylon Insert Hex Locknuts

Step 3: Repeat steps 1-2 for the other CDC Mounting Bracket hole. See the images below for reference.

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2.2.2 Cable Drag Chain 10 x 10

The Cable Drag Chain 10 x 10 has an internal size of 10mm x 10 mm and has two end pieces. The links and the end pieces are connected together via a snap fit mechanism, that makes extending or changing the length of the drag chain very easy.

End
Link

The steps and parts required to mount Cable Drag Chain 10 x 10 onto the Maker Store Mounting Bracket are listed below:

Item Description SKU Quantity
1 M3 Precision Shim SHIM-PREC-M3 4
2 M4 Precision Shim SHIM-PREC-M4-10 2
3 10mm M3 Button Head Bolt SCREWS-M3-BH 2
4 Nylon Insert Hex Locknut HARD-NUT-LOCK-3MM 2

Step 1: Place an M3 Precision Shim onto one of the holes of the end piece of drag chain and insert a 10mm M3 Button Head Bolt.

Step 2: Slide 1x M4 Precision Shim and 1x M3 Precision Shim onto the bolt. Tighten the assembly using  3mm Nylon Insert Hex Locknuts.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1-2 for the other CDC Mounting Bracket hole. See the images below for reference.

Click to expand

2.2.3 Cable Drag Chain 10 x 20

The Cable Drag Chain 10 x 20 has an internal size of 10mm x 20 mm and has two end pieces. The links and the end pieces are connected together via a snap fit mechanism, that makes extending or changing the length of the drag chain easy. Larger sizes of drag chain enable users to manage more cables using the same drag chain.

End
Link

The steps and parts required to mount Cable Drag Chain 10 x 20 onto the Maker Store Mounting Bracket are listed below:

Item Description SKU Quantity
1 M3 Precision Shim SHIM-PREC-M3 4
2 M4 Precision Shim SHIM-PREC-M4-10 2
3 10mm M3 Button Head Bolt SCREWS-M3-BH 2
4  Nylon Insert Hex Locknut HARD-NUT-LOCK-3MM 2

Step 1: Place a 2x M3 Precision Shim onto two holes of the drag chain end, then insert 2x 10mm M3 Button Head Bolts through the shims and into the drag chain holes.

Step 2: Slide 2x M4 Precision Shims and 2x M3 Precision Shims onto the two bolts. Tighten the assembly using  2x 3mm Nylon Insert Hex Locknuts. See the images below for reference.

2.2.4 Cable Drag Chain 15 x 30

The Cable Drag Chain 15 x 30 has an internal size of 15mm x 30mm. The links and end pieces of the drag chain are connected via a snap-fit mechanism, making extending or varying the drag chain length very easy.

The housing of the Cable Drag Chain 15 x 30 has a detachable top cover on each link, making placing and inspecting cables easy.

 

End
Links
Detachable cover

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The steps and parts required to mount Cable Drag Chain 15 x 30 onto the Maker Store Mounting Bracket are listed below:

Item Description SKU Quantity
1 10mm M4 Button Head Bolt SCREWS-M4-BH-10 3
2 Nylon Insert Hex Locknut HARD-NUT-LOCK-4MM 3

Step 1: Place the cable drag chain end piece on the mounting bracket and align the holes of the drag chain end piece with the slots of the mounting bracket.

Step 2: Insert 3x 10mm M4 Button Head Bolts into the three mounting holes of the drag chain end piece passing through the slots of the mounting bracket. Tighten the assembly using 3x Nylon Insert Hex Locknut.

Click to expand

2.2.5 Cable Darg Chain 25 x 50

The Cable Drag Chain 25 x 50 has an internal size of 25mm x 50mm. The links and end pieces of the drag chain are connected via a snap-fit mechanism, making extending or varying the drag chain length very easy.

The housing of the Cable Drag Chain 25 x 50 has a detachable top cover on each link, making placing and inspecting cables easy. This drag chain can be used for CNC machines using closed loop stepper motors or servo motors.

End
Links
Detachable cover

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The steps and parts required to mount Cable Drag Chain 25 x 50 onto the Maker Store Mounting Bracket are listed below:

Item Description SKU Quantity
1 16mm M5 Button Head Bolt SCREWS-M5-BH-16 2
2 Nylon Insert Hex Locknut HARD-NUT-LOCK-5MM 2
3 Slot Washer 15 x 5 x 2mm SHIM-WASH-15-5-2 2

Step 1: Place the cable drag chain end piece on the mounting bracket and align the holes of the drag chain end piece with the slots of the mounting bracket.

Step 2: Place 2x Slot Washer 15 x 5 x 2mm above the two holes of drag chain end piece and insert 2x 16mm M5 Button Head Bolts into the drag chain and CDC Bracket holes. Tighten the assembly using 2x  Nylon Insert Hex Locknut

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2.2.6 Cable Drag Chain 30 x 60/ 30 x 57

The Cable Drag Chain 30 x 60 and 30 x 57 have an internal size of 30mm x 60mm and 30mm x 57mm respectively. The links and end pieces of the drag chains are connected via a snap-fit mechanism, making extending or varying the drag chain length very easy.

The housing of the Cable Drag Chain 30 x 60/30 x 57 has a detachable top cover on each link, making placing and inspecting cables easy. These are the largest sized cable drag chains available at Maker Store.

End
Links
Detachable cover

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The steps and parts required to mount Cable Drag Chain 30 x 60/ 30 x 57 onto the Maker Store Mounting Bracket are listed below:

Item Description SKU Quantity
1 50mm M5 Low Profile Bolt SCREWS-M5-LP-50 4
2 Nylon Insert Hex Locknut HARD-NUT-LOCK-5MM 4

Step 1: Place the cable drag chain end piece on the mounting bracket and align the holes of the drag chain end piece with the slots of the mounting bracket.

Step 2: Insert 4x 50mm M5 Low Profile Bolts into the four holes of the drag chain end piece, passing through the aligned mounting bracket slots. Tighten the assembly using 4x Nylon Insert Hex Locknut.

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3.0 Securing Cables/Wires 

After mounting the cable drag chain onto the mounting bracket insert the cables/wires into the drag chain and secure them onto the mounting bracket using cable ties. There are many slots on the Maker Store mounting bracket that allow easy cable tying of cables/wires. The image below shows a Cable Drag Chain 15 x 30 mounted on the Maker Store mounting bracket with cables/wires secured using cable ties.

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4.0 Altering Cable Drag Chain Length

Cable drag chains have removable links that allow the altering of the cable drag chain length. Below steps demonstrate varying the length of Cable Drag Chain 7 x 7. Same procedure can be applied to the other cable drag chains.

Step 1: Insert a flat head screwdriver into the joint of the cable drag chain and twist to unhook the male end and remove a link. See the images below for reference.

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Step 2: Remove the mounting end of the second drag chain and snap fit the two links together. See the images below for reference.

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