Fighting a mass of wires- combining and splitting multiple signals?

Hi everyone,

I’m looking at a project that’s pushing over a hundred wires in and out. This wouldn’t be a problem but the wires need to be routed through multiple slip rings- very expensive and time consuming slip rings. My question is, is there some kind of device that will allow me to reduce the number of wires, perhaps by combining the data signals over one high bandwidth data connection then splitting them back up into their separate flows?

I’ve got a couple on/off sensors, which would be easy to combine over a serial line with an arduino. The ones I’m scratching my head over are two brushless motor feedback lines, a couple TTL and RS232 lines, three video lines and possibly some PWM lines. I know this is almost certainly beyond the capability of an arduino, so I’m more asking about specific hardware that you all may know about.


You need to have more details about what sort of signals you are dealing with - in particular, the bandwidth each of them needs. What scope do you have to put equipment on either side of this system? Do you have any important power, space or money constraints? How are these signals presented at the interface to this tranmission equipment?

From what you've said so far the video signals seem likely to be relatively high bandwidth and be the hardest to deal with. If everything else is low bandwidth, you would have a good chance of multiplexing them over a serial link I would have thought. You need to consider the distances and environment to figure out what type of transmission mechanism you would need. I guess that anything involving mechanical slip rings will be very noisy.

Is there any possibility of deleting the hard-wired link entirely? You can get a fair bit of bandwith over a radio link.

Yes I would look to using a radio link and maybe only two slip rings for the power. That is not so important if there is noise on the line because you can always use a lot of capacitance on the receiving side.