Clear tube for clear fishing line? What am I looking for?

Trust me, an arduino or 2 is involved! I just don't know where else to ask...

I will be turning strands of clear fishing line with Arduino-controlled motors, and even servos. One line per motor/servo. They are meant to be nearly invisible, with a piece of plastic glued to the 'other' end that will turn/spin.

But while fishing line is easily acquired in all kinds of forms, I need that line to be guided through protective 'tubes' as it makes it's way past sharp metal, to prevent rubbing. IOW, I don't want to show the...

I know it is only a remotely Arduino question, so I have low expectations that someone crafty will know what to even search/shop for.

Thanks for any suggestions!

pat
:slight_smile:

You my friend are looking for clear PVC or polycarbonate tubing. They come in a huge variety of sizes thicknesses lengths, etc. You'll find what you need.

Here's some examples on Amazon but keep looking

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003TJ9YI8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_EERBzb6552N08

I need that line to be guided through protective 'tubes'

How long do the tubes need to be?

Thin IV catheters might be the right size. Medical supplies company.

Steal some spray tubes from WD40

Other Ideas??

Let us know what works!! Photos!

Steal some clear drinking straws from the cafeteria.

here are some more I found, the second one looks the most promising

terryking228:
How long do the tubes need to be?

+1

Soft vinyl tubing like this has more friction than PEX. Unless the runs are very short with only a few bends I'd take a spool to the plumbing section and just rub it against various types to get an idea of the differences. It only takes a few bends to dramatically increase the pull required. It'd be a real drag - pun intended - to buy a bunch and then find out it's too hard to pull through your setup.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=51158&cat=1,190,43034,51158

Or, brass tubing?
https://www.hobbylinc.com/brass-hobby-and-craft-metal-tubing

Can be soldered to on the out side to anchor the tubing in place.

Bender:
https://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/k+s/k+s321.htm

.

You could use PTFE Sleeving if you want a low friction solution.

Low friction tape:
http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=32182&cat=1,110,43466,32182

.

JohnLincoln:
You could use PTFE Sleeving if you want a low friction solution.

John,
Thanks for writing! This PFTE is the first thing I've seen small and transparent enough! I'm going through US suppliers now to ga few to have in the shop. Seems they are big in the '3d printing' circles, presumably for the rod material to pass through(?)...
This looks promising and cheap(+1)! :slight_smile:
Thanks!
pat
:slight_smile:

terryking228:
How long do the tubes need to be?
Let us know what works!! Photos!

Terry,

Thanks for writing! Two things will help:

  1. I'm only passing the clear fishing line through at most a 6" glass test tube, with vacuum tube guts in it. The idea is to drive a useless piece of metal, or propeller, or whatever super-glued to the end of the string from beneath via a servo or motor/gears). The only reason protection came to mind was that passing the line through a tube's sharp parts would not only be a poor guide, but also might rub against those metal parts.

It's just a doodad thing, along with LEDs, akin to this kind of engineering. :slight_smile:

  1. Today I went on a hunt for some test parts to see what the kind of dimensions I'm looking for are. I snapped these:

...and a little closer on the tube (3/32" OD & 60lb line):

Now this is not clear tubing, but it is a good size. I also grabbed an assortment of brass tubing, figuring they might even look better with a tube than a clear tube... The idea is to hide the fact that there is a mechanism from beneath moving the gewgaw, as if the tubes themselves were somehow making it rotate...

The 60lb line can be routed through most anything, including clothing or something it may be mounted on, to get to the turning device (motor/gears or servo). I'm really futzing around now with the visible parts. Because tubes are used (fascinating and mysterious as they are even before adding LEDs in them to younger folks), bending & soldering brass is no biggie.
To round out the picture here (which I avoided at first, fearing the topic might be verboten), I'm just creating some wearable/table devices with tubes, wire, and pipes, that will move/react via the MCU to external stimuli, which can include proximity, sound (volume/direction), or even radio commands. RGB LEDs might pulse red when a noise like a person talking or something, and slowly pulse green after a few seconds of quiet. You know, to fool kids into thinking they are 'intelligent', or just interactive toys.
For example, I'm framing out a puppet in the shape of an obviously mechanical bird, and there just isn't enough room inside the thing for servos, motors and reduction gears plus the MCU, power, and sensors. My first guess at a solution? Run wires (thin enameled) and fishing line up the 'legs', with as much of the guts needed hidden. If worn, battery and such can be made to fit an inside pocket, or even outside one. If mounted, toss it on a box!
One art genre (of many I've discovered) that people are more-or-less familiar with that does this sort of thing is 'steampunk'. So, when I look at one of these (829b), I'm already thinking of how to bring it to "life":

I just got a ton of SMD LEDs, and I'm now trying to figure out how to power them as bright as they can go, but not burn out. Next up I need to figure out how LED drivers work, and what kind to grab that can take PWM and control a few dozen or so independently.

HTH!

pat
:slight_smile:

(you asked for pics!)