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Charging cable festoon in our garage

Andrew

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 11, 2013
436
210
Santa Monica, CA
charging-cable-festoon-2.jpg


Our driveway has a tight turn, so backing in the 3 (to get the charge port near the wall) isn't a good option (and the driver's door would be too close to our work bench, making it difficult to get in and out). We also have to zig-zag back-and-forth a few times to get into the garage, often driving near the middle area.

So, instead of running the cable along the floor between the two cars (or behind one of them), I built an aircraft cable Charging Cable Festoon. This keeps the cable up and out of the way for both charging and storage.

charging-cable-festoon-8-jpg.309635


It has three rolling trolleys, which roll along a 1/4" aircraft cable. The aircraft cable runs parallel to the cars, just above the garage door track. I also attached a rubber ball stopper along the cable, so that the furthest trolley will stop before the cable hits the garage door.

Total cost was about $100 (not including the 240v outlet, of course!). I got all the hardware from Home Depot, unless noted.

Materials:
  • 1/4" Aircraft Cable (bought 50' coil and cut it to size with my dremel)
  • 3 Cable Festoon Trolleys (Dayton part #33N268), about $19 each from Zoro
  • Two eye bolts
  • Two pieces of scrap 2x4
  • Two aircraft cable thimbles
  • Five horseshoe saddles (two for each eye, one for the ball stopper)
  • 1 Rubber Ball Stopper (Amazon) - could probably have skipped this and used only the saddle
  • 1 Turnbuckle
  • 1 3D-printed Charge Connector Cradle - courtesy of David at Eclectic3DThings (I asked David if he had one of his "cord wranglers" without the hook on the top, and he had an extra lying around that he generously shipped to me, no charge. What a guy!)

I also considered installing Unistrut Track (or "Speedrail") and instead using rollers that go inside the track. This would probably be a little more stable (the cable trolleys sometimes bind, if you pull to the side) - but also more expensive and harder to install. I also didn't find the rounded cable clamps for this, which are already part of the Dayton cable trolleys.

charging-cable-festoon-1-jpg.309629


(And if you're wondering why there are two Model 3s in the pictures...one is my cousin's and she was charging while visiting us... :) )

charging-cable-festoon-1.jpg charging-cable-festoon-7.jpg charging-cable-festoon-1.jpg charging-cable-festoon-2.jpg charging-cable-festoon-4.jpg charging-cable-festoon-8.jpg charging-cable-festoon-3.jpg charging-cable-festoon-5.jpg charging-cable-festoon-6.jpg charging-cable-festoon-9.jpg
 

GregRF

Squirrel Power
Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2014
521
1,053
CA
Very nice solution!

I'd be a little apprehensive of just having the UMC dangling though. In my installation I added a bracket behind the UMC and used Velcro to support it so the weight isn't supported by the plug adapter.
 

Andrew

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 11, 2013
436
210
Santa Monica, CA
Thanks @GregRF ! It's not an issue at all to have the UMC hanging there -- the first trolley picks up the slack of the cable, so it's not like the entire weight of the cable is pulling down on it. I'd say it's got no more weight/pressure on it than it would normally have if it were plugged into a wall a few feet off the ground. (Some of the pics show that, but because the forum photos aren't working right, I'm not sure if you can see them...)
 

Andrew

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 11, 2013
436
210
Santa Monica, CA
Zip-ties? Puh-lease! ;)

(I used to do theatrical lighting, and there was a lot of rigging involved... so hooking up some wire rope is second-nature to me...)

It's not the HPWC, it's just the UMC with the standard 14-50 connector. The cable that's hanging down is the cable that's attached to the UMC (so I'm not doing any other fancy wiring). The cable trolleys simply clamp on to the power cord.

(My electrician did the 240v wiring, with flexible conduit running to a sub-panel.)

The 1/4" aircraft cable is connected on opposite walls of the garage - so it runs past/next to the outlet and UMC.

Not all the pics are showing up in the first post...let me try again with a couple that will hopefully make it a little more clear:

charging-cable-festoon-5.jpg

charging-cable-festoon-8.jpg
 

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