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Can you help me find these parts?

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by proton32176, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. proton32176


    Feb 3, 2012
    I hope you guys can help me with this.

    In truth I am not much of an Electronic Hobbyist. Right now I am a Dentist with a problem.

    The pictures below show the two connectors on the cable that goes from my Siemens X-ray machine to the control pad that is used to set the parameters.

    My problem is Siemens no longer makes this cable and the insulation has started to disintegrate. The choice is either replace the cables or buy two new machines at around $10,000.00 a piece.

    I have spent days on the internet and hours in the car trying to identify these parts and to find a place to get them. I can build new cables if I can just find the connectors.

    I know the plug is a “7-pin Cannon plug” and the other is a “ Molex 8 pin Dual Row Crimp Connector”. But in spite of knowing that I still can’t find the exact parts on Google image search.

    I have seen these connectors on other equipment so I know they are not rare.
    I have seen Canon plugs like this on audiovisual equipment in the past and the molex is familiar as well.
    But recognizing them and actually being able to find them is two different things.

    I have searched Allied Electronics and Digikey for hours but not knowing the exact name for these parts has made it impossible.

    Dental Equipment Manufacturers use as many off the shelf parts as possible from other industries to keep production costs low. So if these look like something you have seen on a wildly different type of equipment it is probably the same thing. If anyone recognizes these plugs and can point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it.

    I am sure someone is going to ask why I don’t pay a custom cable company to make them.
    I have tried everyone I could find and told them to “name their price”.
    But I haven’t found anyone willing to mess with it.

    Thanks for your help.

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  2. jackorocko


    Apr 4, 2010
    Can't you buy some heat shrink tubing and just slip it over the cable and fix the insulation?
  3. proton32176


    Feb 3, 2012
    It is a coiled cable like a receiver cord on a telephone. The whole thing is coming apart so it is not possible to cover 6 feet of it with heat shrink tubing.
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Whilst the cable is still in one piece, you need to document which connections go where, so that you can get the cable reproduced if it fails.

    It looks like some basic work with a multimeter should suffice.

    If you note the colours of the wires, that may also be useful.

    It doesn't appear to me to be a cannon plug because the outer connectors form a full circle. They normally look something like this:


    I'd suggest you're possibly looking for something in this series of connectors.

    Go to digikey and search for "MIL-DTL-5015", then select the one in the left-most box "MIL-DTL-5015, CIR" and 7 as the number of positions, then click on "apply filters". You will get a list of about 6 plugs costing between $60 and $200 each!!

    edit: OK, if you search for DTL-5015 instead, and also you need to select "plug, male", this option appears, which is a lot cheaper ($22)

    I'm not certain that these are what you require, and I'm also not certain that they don't come in more reasonably priced versions, but considering the cost of the equipment it's connected to...

    As for the other end, I'd assume any 8 pin molex connector is going to work. I'll assume that the spacing between the centres is the normal 2.54mm (0.1 inch).

    This is probably the sort of thing you're after.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  5. proton32176


    Feb 3, 2012
    Thanks I really appreciate your help.
    I decided to include one more picture of the Cannon Plug disassembled in case it might help.

    I have to be honest with you guys- I am an expert in my field but I am so ignorant of electronic components I don’t even know enough to sound stupid.

    I was hoping someone would say , “ Oh Yeah, I know exactly what that is. Here is a link and a picture that looks exactly like what you have. Just place your order.”

    It is obvious there are far too many variations of the same thing to make it that easy.

    It might be better to take this from another angle.

    I asked you guys for help not to do it cheap but out of desperation. I talked to Siemens, my Dental Supply, and every custom cable company I could find on the internet. I even offered a guy in a local Computer Repair shop $150.00 a piece if he could make me new cables but he did not know where to get the parts.

    If I had the parts I could assemble it and check continuity to make sure it was wired correctly but I lack the expertise to identify the parts and pick them from numbers in a Digikey catalogue.
    I just don’t know enough to even get started.

    So a better question is if you guys needed to duplicate these cables and money was no object who would you call?

    I know there have to be people out there who would be glad to take several hundred dollars for two $4.00 cables but I have run out of ideas on where to find someone like that.

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  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    What you really need to do is find someone who distributes these connectors and get them to try to identify them.

    Some of the most important issues are size, and your pictures next to a ruler help a great deal. It's pretty clear that the spacing is 0.1 in on the header connector.

    I also imagine you don't have a spare cable that you can be without for some period of time (and even if you could, you'd probably not wish to risk losing it)

    I've taken another look, and this seems very close to what you want. Unfortunately the keying is on the outside, not the inside :(

    I think that's the best I can do unless someone recognises the connector.
  7. markm6164


    Jan 22, 2012
    Can't you just use your connectors and just replace the cable? The cannon connection you showed a picture of looks quite easy to remove from the cable. The other connector has push in pins so you can remove the pins and solder on new wires then reinsert back into the plug. Seems cheaper and easier to do that than looking for the lead as a whole. Like steve says though, first make a good diagram of where everything goes.
  8. KJ6EAD


    Aug 13, 2011
    If you use a magnifier to look at all surfaces of the connector bodies you may find a manufacturer logo and/or part or series numbers. You will have to look under the flexible strain relief on the round connector.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  9. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    I'm with markm6164.
    Your connectors are fine. I'd stop looking for the connectors, and start looking for
    the type of cable you're using. Just reuse the connectors.
    You'll find strain reliefs and whatever else you need from the cable manufacturers.
    It's pretty unusual for Cannon not to mark their connectors, so I also kind of doubt
    they're actually made by Cannon. You might be just thinking they look similar to
    other Cannon connectors you've seen.
    The other issue is that for medical equipment, there might be tighter controls on who
    has access to those particular connectors, so that unauthorized repairs are not attempted.
  10. daddles


    Jun 10, 2011
    I understand the frustration of dealing with old stuff -- you know you could fix it if you could just find the parts.

    One thing I would do is to see if I could find a sympathetic ear at Siemens. Someone has access to the engineering drawings and bill of materials for that device and could track down the manufacturer and part numbers. It's also worth asking if they published any service manuals on it, as if they were like the old HP manuals, they'd give the HP part number and the manufacturer and sometimes the manufacturer's number. As to how to find this person, if it was me, I'd either call or write a senior executive and ask them for help -- and offer to pay for the person's time to find the information.

    Another thought: replace the cables and connectors -- male and female. This, of course, demands knowing something about the signals/voltages/currents they're carrying. But you can figure much of what's needed by the wire gauges and types. The key is whether you can open up the equipment and be able to replace the connectors on the bulkhead. If things are crammed together, then it's possible only the original parts will match. I doubt there's a need to make the cables coiled like the existing ones, as you could use some industrial rubber bands to get the same effect (swipe your daughter's Scrunchies or whatever they call those things).

    Of course, if you can make the cables, then you'll buy extra cables and connectors and make up spare cables. This guarantees, via Murphy's Law, that the replacement cables last longer than the next Ice Age. :)
  11. shiekh


    Oct 11, 2010
    The problem might be that if one does not use the manufacturer parts the machines might not be 'certified'; we are talking X-ray machines here, not the sort of thing one wants to tinker with.
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