AS-Interface was designed for factory automation. One of the requirements was quick installation to a flat cable. The flat cable allows a module to pierce directly into it. If for some reason in the future you need to move the module or add another module, it is very easy to make additional connections to the flat cable.
We say that the modules are reverse polarity protected because of the trapezoidal shape of the cable. You are not supposed to be able to put the cable in backwards because it physically won’t fit, though I have seen some determined individuals make a very good attempt at getting it to fit incorrectly.
In dealing with the flat cable, important questions like the following often come up:
- How do I connect accessories and what kinds of accessories do you have?
- How do you splice the flat cable?
- How do you tee the flat cable?
We have addressed those questions in a new section of our www.sensing.net/asi site called “AS-Interface in a Hurry.” These short movies, some under a minute, show you how to do various tasks, including dealing with the flat cable.
How to Connect AS-Interface Accessories
This video shows a number of our G10 accessories. You may not know but G10 refers to a housing style that we have made that has a footprint smaller than a matchbox. The idea was to make it so small that you could fit it anywhere including cable trays, side rails, junction boxes, and wire ducts. The G10 is a replacement to our older accessories. It includes a smooth plastic top, better hinge, and smaller size. There are G10 accessories for connection to:
Watch this video to see how to connect these accessories.
How to splice AS-Interface flat cable
It seems like an easy task to splice the flat cable together. There are some good things to remember. The first is obvious. Before you cut the cable, please turn the power off. It’s only 30 VDC but it’ll still spark and wreck your tools.
The second thing you want to do is remove the bad section of cable. This may include extra cable piercings that you want to get rid of. The cable is self-sealing, but these piercings should be left exposed only in a dry environment. For a food and beverage or washdown application, cut the old piercings out.
The third thing is to add the splice. The splice is really just a splitter. It is one of our G10 accessories that just jumpers the two flat cable trays together. If you have plenty of slack in the flat cable, just one splitter is necessary, but if the flat cable is pulled tight, you will need two just like in this video I will show you. Make sure to leave 2” to 3” of flat cable hanging out of the splitter. This is done so you can put the end caps on later.
The last thing to do is simply seal the ends with the caps. If you order one, you get a bag of 10. The rubber insert comes out of the cap, so you can seal either end of the flat cable. For extra protection in washdown environments, you can fill the cap with dielectric grease. If the cap is filled with grease, no water can get in.
Watch this video to see how to do a splice.
How to tee the AS-Interface flat cable
AS-Interface is a unique network that allows a tree topology. This means that the flat cable trunk line can be split off where ever you need it. The only cable limitation is the 100 m limit. You add up the sum of all trunk and drop lines. If you are over 100 m, you can add a terminator or repeater to extend your network farther. You will see from the video it isn’t really a tee. You are again using the flat cable splitters to tee instead of splice the network. You will need one splitter for each flat cable that you split. If you are teeing the yellow and black flat cables, just stagger the splitters a little for a flatter, cleaner look. Also make sure to leave 3” hanging out so you can cap and protect the ends.
Watch this video to see how I make a Y connection to the flat cable.
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