Everybody's thoughts on cable steering?

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Dec 6, 2019
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G'day all

Just wanted your thoughts on cable steering. Yeah I'm still in planning stages. I can't come up with a good reason not to BUT, there are a few dissenting opinions out there.
 
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Feb 7, 2008
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What do you thing needs cable steering ?
 
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Oct 19, 2012
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It seems like a last possible solution to a steering requirement to me. The potential for failure seems much higher than any other solution and there's also a maintenance requirement to keep slack out of the system but also keep the bars square when going straight. Having said that it may be necessary in some circumstances. In other words I'm not completely set against it but would look for other solutions first.

Having said that....
I was considering it on a rather complex tilting trike, using it in a manner I've yet to see anywhere. I considered, and still am considering, a Mosquito like 4 bar link delta. This is a fixed relationship tilt-steer machine but I had an epiphany about using a Nuvinci gear changer (a double cable twist grip pulling one cable clockwise and the other anti-clockwise) to cable steer the front wheel and thus make steering separate from tilt. Here the bars are already used for the tilting so it really is a last option scenario as a steering mechanism. My reservation is whether a wrist has enough power to effectively achieve steering. The wheel wouldn't have to move much as it'd tilt so could be given a large steer to input ratio which would help matters enormously. If anyone wants to pick that idea up and run with it I'd be pleased to see the results.
 
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It'd be slightly lighter without that long link and would look neater for it. On the negative is the greater potential for failure and extra maintenance. Given brake cables are specifically designed to take some pulling at without failing I suspect it'd be ok. It'd be much more effort to make though as the cables would need some amount of wrap around at each end or the individual cable mounts would need to pivot to keep a straight line for the cable. Without one or the other the cable would soon kink at every end as the bars / wheel turned but the cable mount didn't. Such kinking would lead to slop then cable failure. Every one I've ever seen used the wrap around system.
 
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Interesting comments.

I'm getting ready to add a few comments to my eLecTricks thread as I have moved the project along a little. One of its components is cable steering which I have casually fiddled with. I purchased some stainless steel cable for experimentation and purchased a diameter that was too small but it seemed like the process would be fine. Why did I go for cable? I wanted something different and I am somewhat loosely basing it on that which is used in this video:
but without the long steering column. I had it operating but much of it is/was only clamped in position. It did not require much effort to steer due to the low steering ratio that I used. Not ready to write up anything yet I'm afraid, but getting close. If you have a look at my eLecTricks thread around June/July this year you'll see rough details.

The drive and steering requirements could not be decided until the build got to roughly where it is now. I'm working on another aspect at the moment and I hope to bring my thread up to date very soon.
 
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Seems way OTT at 3/16 (4.8mm). Std brake inner rarely exceeds 1.6mm. I'd opt for stainless brake cable. I doubt the aircraft wire will bend much to fasten around a holder.
 
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You could put more though into say suspension or the drive train , steering rods and bars are pretty much nailed ?

Everyone understands how rod steering works and what to do should it not work as planned !

How about this :-



challenging ?
 
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I wouldn't think there would be a great deal of strain on steering cables. What I got should have been strong enough but was really too thin for practical handling. Yes it worked, but ... Can't remember if it was any more than 1mm and was only purchased to try it. I will probably go with at least 2 mm but don't see the need to go above 3mm.

Mine will be a single length with the ends secured up front, through two bolts that can be turned to tighten. Further adjustment will be a rare, if ever, affair.
 
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