A custom cable assembly tools review

By Warren Miller,
contributing writer

At some point in your design, you will probably need to use
some cables to connect different boards or subsystems together. Cables may also
need harnesses and mating assemblies. The selection, creation, and configuration
of cable assemblies — from simple to complex — can be accomplished with a wide variety
of tools and libraries. Here is a quick review of some of the tools that you
might find helpful on your next design:

RF Cable Designer
from Fairview Microwave

Fairview Microwave’s new RF
Cable Designer
provides customers with a plethora of options for
creating their own customized cable assemblies. Any and all assemblies are
typically built and shipped the same day and include heat shrink at no additional
cost to the customer. The tool is said to greatly decrease the time it takes to
create and order coax cable assemblies. The typical steps of sending an RFQ and
then waiting for a delivery and price response are eliminated, further speeding
delivery time.

HDC Cable
Configurator from Weidmuller

The Weidmuller
HDC Cable Configurator
is an online tool designed to help customers
build their own custom cable harness and mating assemblies. It simplifies the
design process by assigning each component a product number, making a single
assembly require only 3 product numbers to be complete. Customers can also name
and save project designs for future reference, allowing them to obtain project
details, pricing options, project renderings and custom part numbers at any

Cable Design Tool
from Pickering Test

Pickering’s cable
design tool
offers a variety of useful features for designers including
a library of standard cable sets on which to base customized designs and Cloud
storage for potential and in-progress customizations. Customers can even create
their own libraries and share them with other designers through Cloud access. Every
design has a corresponding pdf file detailing all its specifications. The
Pickering cable design tool is supported by most tablet operating systems. An
extensive set of online tutorials — animation, video, and interactive — makes it
easy to come up to speed on using the tool. 


The Cable Creator
Starting Screen. Image source: Pasternak.

The Cable Creator
from Pasternak

The Pasternak Cable Creator tool allows customers to build
their own assemblies using 1300 connector types and 115 different coaxial
cables made by the company. It also provides customers with the option of
selecting from the over 40,000 pre-existing cable assemblies in the company’s
archives. The Cable Creator creates a unique product page for each customized
design complete with part numbers, pricing, a build-of-materials datasheet and
options for design specification. All designs are built and shipped the same
day the order is placed. 

“Our new and improved Cable Creator now provides the
purchasing simplicity and convenience our customers have come to expect when
placing their online orders,” said
Steve Ellis
, Interconnect Product Manager at Pasternack. “Engineers and
buyers no longer have to wait for a quote for their custom assemblies. The new
Cable Creator allows users to design, customize, receive pricing, check data
and order their cables all from one easy-to-use web interface.”