The traditional way of testing hot runner cables is done with an ohmmeter or multimeter. The problem is that when cables are “set-aside” in the “not-sure-what’s-wrong-with-it pile,” somebody has to troubleshoot the cables to see what they’re dealing with.
The first thing to check for is the continuity of each zone. You’ll need to know the wiring diagram of the connectors. You then touch one of the ohmmeter leads to the male pin or female connection and the other lead to the related zone on the other end of the cable. You’ll then do this for each of the remaining zones. If you’re by yourself without a vise and workbench, it’s not so much fun. You’ll typically see people fold the cable over so each connector at the ends of the cable are next to each other. This enables you to make contact with each zone.
To check for a short in a hot runner cable, you would have to touch one of the ohmmeter leads to the male pin or female connection of zone 1. Then, you would make contact with the other lead to each of the other non-related zones at the other end of the cable. You would then repeat this for every zone.
Whether you are building a cable for just replacing a connector, it’s the same process. You’ll wire up one end of the cable to a connector. You then touch one of the ohmmeter leads to the male pin or female connection and then with the other lead, touch each of the wires until you find the wire that has continuity. You’d then label that wire or go ahead and tighten it to the appropriate zone on your new connector. Repeat this for the remainder of the zones.
How long does it normally take to build a cable the old way? - 30 mins if you’re proficient; maybe over an hour if you’re not.
The Cable Checker is custom-built to show your wiring diagram and includes your specified connectors. Simply plug in your cable and rotate the switch through the zones to verify continuity, find opens and identify miswires.
Notice! In the video, you’ll notice zone 3 has a miswire with zone 12. The old way, you would only know there was no continuity on that zone. You wouldn’t know if it was an open or a miswire; and if a miswire, which zone. You would have to first rule out that it’s not an open due to the wire coming loose. From there you could inspect for other damages. If no damages, you would then use your ohmeter lead to make contact with each zone to find where the miswire is located.
The problem is that if someone only checks for continuity, they will not find a short. They will get an ohm reading! What it’s not telling you is that there is also a contact with other zones. This is prone to many problems including:
A heater may be turning on inadvertently, therefore losing process control.
You may blow a fuse in the controller.
You may blow the heater.
You may blow a t/c if there is a directly shorted heater.
The test lead enables you to do the following:
Check for ground
Quickly identify which zone each wire on the non-wired end of a cable goes to!
Check for crimp pin fittings
Fast Heat's CableXChecker: The Hot Runner Cable Testing System.
The CableXChecker® solves every-day maintenance problems with hot runner cable testing and connector wiring. Invented by a maintenance professional for maintenance professionals!