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Getting Power Into A Drawer??? Answered

Here's a strange question that I hope someone can answer. I've got a project which has a drawer that has line voltage going into it. My goal is to be able to remove the drawer by unplugging the line voltage. My initial thoughts were using a ribbon power cable but I can't seem to find those. Other two options are coil cord or a retractable cord. In other words, the power needs to stay with the drawer as it opens and closes.

Any ideas, thoughts or experiences on how to get line voltage easily from where it plugs in in the back of the main housing and keep it connected within a drawer compartment so I can power a few outlets and other things???

Thanks in advance to the geniuses and experts out there.

11 Replies

user
lemonie (author)2012-03-12

You might use something like conductive-rails and motor-brushes, simple technology.

L

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user
verence (author)lemonie2012-03-12

For line voltage? Might be tricky to make them safe to touch and guarantee permanent contact while opening/closing.

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user
lemonie (author)verence2012-03-13

make them safe to touch?
I didn't think this was high-voltage.

L

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user
verence (author)lemonie2012-03-13

Technically, line voltage (around 230V here) is not called high voltage, but low voltage. Although it could be pretty lethal.

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pletchman (author)verence2012-03-12

I was thinking the same thing. Might be a safety issue having the complete drawer assembly a live wire ;)

Any thoughts Verence.

Can someone confirm that they do (or do not) make line voltage ribbon cable?

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pletchman (author)lemonie2012-03-12

Sounds intriguing but I am a relative novice in this area. Tried googling conductive-rails and got a whole slew of unrelated hits (even some cool ones on military rail guns).

Any idea where I can get something that may work for carrying 110v AC into the drawer. Also, the drawer is mounted with a basic Knapt and Voight drawer slide. How would I integrate the power into this???

Any other suggestions. Again, I am weighing the pros/cons of ribbon cable (if available), retracting power cords & coil cords.

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iceng (author)2012-03-12

I don't see the difficulty, I power things in lots of drawers :-)  .    A

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pletchman (author)iceng2012-03-12

Thanks for the illustration, However, I'm not sure that will work for my needs. I have a single drawer box that has a couple outlets within it. The outlets are built into the drawer itself and the power is run through the main housing into the back of the drawer compartment.

How do you have the wiring for the outlets "slide" or move with the drawer to keep the power live?

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iceng (author)pletchman2012-03-12

Zig-zag loops provide the needed power cord length.
Then again you don't pull a drawer wide open each time.

Have fun with rubber bands before going esoteric with
flat cable, slides or windup mechanisms.

A

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verence (author)2012-03-12

For a low cost system, I would use a coiled cord. Just make sure, the cable doesn't get bent or squeezed - and has a good strain relief at the points it is hanging down from.

For a professional system I would recommend a cable carrier or a V shaped cable canal with hinges at the ends and in the centre that opens (straightens) when the drawer is opened and folds up when the drawer is closed. Extra flexible cable is a good idea in any case.

If your drawer (or the cabinet around it) is made from metal or another conductive material, make sure, it is properly grounded.

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pletchman (author)2012-03-12

One additional tidbit. I looked at some pretty neat retractable power supplies. I'd have to modify them so they don't catch when open (as these are meant to open and stay open til they get pulled a bit further and retract.

Also, these spread both directions out from the middle. I would need to fix the spindle behind the drawer and have something that pulled out the cable as the drawer opened. Anyone seen something like this???

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