Anyone add a drag chain to an original Nomad 883?

I’ve finally got a basic basement shop coming back together again for the first time in ~18 months.

Next project? Get the CNC machines going again!

I have an original Shapeoko3 and an Original Kickstarter era Nomad, and I’d like to get drag-chains on both to tidy up the wiring.

Has anyone else retrofitted these on, and if so, what have you used?

The Sparkfun folks used drag chains on the original SO3 and there are some mount designs available on the wiki. When my machine was an SO3 I just used spiral wrap, though I wanted to update to split loom. Tim Foreman did a lovely job wrapping up his wiring with very traditional corded knots as NASA still does.

I used to fix computers in telephone central offices. They use the waxed linen string to tie every thing up when they install computers. I always hated the tied method because if you had a bad cable you had to completely cut the loom apart to change a single network or scsi cable. Although it was very pretty when first installed many systems did not look so pretty 4 or 5 years later. I would use the drag chains or the split plastic because both are easier to remove if necessary.

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And here I thought I was the only one left who knew how to do that. Loom dressing was great for anything like fanning out 100 pair cable for telephone cable patch panels but horrible for anything that had any chance of being rewired. Not sure I would trust it long term for something that would flex so much as the cables on the Nomad, suspect it would start bunching over time.

I’d go with the spiral wrap unless absolutely set on the drag chain.


Laced bundles are not suitable when significant movement will occur. It is a pretty ideal when making up harnesses on an armature (framework of bars and tie points to support the bundles) or making up formed harnesses on a board prior to installation, but movement is restricted (that is the point of lacing) and much movement will chafe the wire insulation, break the lacing, or break the wires.

Spiral wrap is the easiest, woven loom does a really good job if the ends are properly whipped and the bundle it properly laid, drag chain is more expensive and more difficult, but provides better structure and control ofver the motion of the wires.

One method, if structural support and control of the motion isn’t needed, is braiding the individual wires together (loosely). This tends to distribute the movement and tension throughout the entire bundle and gives a low risk of one wire being twisted or pulled excessively. If the bundle has different sizes of wire and/or different cable types, it is more challenging. Spiral over the braided bundle provides a bit more control.


… so, nobody provides links and pics of the original ask, and instead we are off talking about lacing/loom bundling or some such? What is this, an enthusiast forum?!? :wink:

To be clear, I’m looking for guidance on adding a motion chain to the original Nomad 883. I’m not so worried about the Shapeoko, that’s less tricky.

Thanks everyone!

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