EYE on NPI – Molex FIRST® Robotics Components Cable Kit #EyeOnNPI @DigiKey @MolexConnectors

This week’s EYE ON NPI (video) is FIRST in it’s class – it’s the Molex FIRST Robotics Components Cable Kit, designed specifically for the thousands of high school students who are participating in FIRST robotics classes and competitions.

This box comes chock-full of 2 and 3-conductor color coded cables, with different pitches and contacts.

If there’s one thing we remember from our explorations in robotics (or, heck, even watching robotics shows on TV) it’s that mechanical connections are a huge concern. You can have the fastest bot, with the most flawless code, and all will be for naught if your power cable comes loose, or a sensor line is shorted to ground.

A lot of folks learn about cable crimping to make custom cables – hey, we even have a tutorial video on it. But here’s the thing – even if you have a great crimping tool, it’s extremely hard to do as good a job as a auto-crimping machine. You have to strip the wire perfectly, insert it into the tool, and press down with just the right amount of force. It’s hard to get the crimp to be strong enough to grip the wire strands and cable cover but not so tight that it cuts into the housing.

As we’ve gotten older, we’ve stopped trying to crimp cables, and instead we go with pre-crimped cables or housing + ‘raw wire’ sets like these. And that’s what Molex has done here. They’ve chatted with FIRST robotics teams, including ones they sponsor, to figure out what cables are they using. It turns out they like the Molex SL Modular system. Then, they put together a low cost kit with a whole mess of cables and housings that will let you outfit a robot with power, servo, and sensor wires easily. You can check out the unboxing on YouTube, with Jonathan and Alan, where they go through each cable and what it’s good for.

This cable set is good for any FIRST robotics team and it’s plenty good for any home or company robotics or mechatronics project. It’s also a great deal where you get a bunch of cables made by Molex themselves, at better prices than sketchy knockoffs!

Digi-Key has tons of the Molex FIRST Robotics Components Cable Kits in stock right now for immediate shipment – order today and you can be wiring up your robot by tomorrow afternoon.


Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in! adafruit.com/mastodon

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.