Lubricate Cable carriers?

My farmbot was offline over the winter and we just restarted it.
Unfortunately it looks like the cable carrier are now much more stiff preventing the bot from moving.

Is there a good way to lubricate them or do I need to replace the carrier?

I don’t think that lubrication will help much. Have a close look and watch out for white residue. If you can spot that it’s limescale. You could also pour some drops of vinegar on a small spot where they are stiff the most. If it starts to foam it is definitively limescale.

I will encounter this after winters or long periods of inactivity. I’ve found that manually flexing the carrier across its entire length with my hand is enough to regain flexibility. For the Z and Y axes, I can perform this action by moving the FarmBot by hand. For the X axis, I will slide it across the tracks by hand and stop if I see a kink, manually flexing the hard spot with my hand until the kink comes free. After enough movement, the debris typically works its way out of the joints.

I would be interested to see photos of your carrier if this does not help.

Both your hints were great and helped…its fully operational again

Thank you



Each link in the cable tray can be inspected and lubricated if you are finding that it is adding friction, you can examine for excess flashing. The excess flashing is a byproduct of the manufacturing process and occasionally it can be so significant that the FarmBot can be put out of alignment because the cable tray is not easily moved.

I would kindly ask that you inspect each link in the cable tray and examine each piece for flash defects.

Photo of flash defects in plastic parts

The next thing that you can do is add some lubricant between the links where friction may be occurring. We have found a product called Jig-a-Loo Graphite Lubricant and we suggest that you use this to significantly reduce friction on the FarmBot components.

Double check to ensure that there is full mobility of the cable carrier. The cable carrier sometimes has tabs and plastic parts that need to be broken off to ensure full mobility of the cable tray. The cable tray is usually the largest load on the motors because they need to drag all the cables along with them. Anything that you can do to make the cable tray more flexible and movable will help the FarmBot significantly.

We suggest lubricating each link in the cable tray with graphite lubricant to minimize any resistance to movement.

We suggest prying open each link and spraying a small amount of the graphite lubricant between the connecting parts of the cable tray links. I used a small screw driver to separate the inside and the outside links.

Here is a YouTube video that shows how the product is used and the typical applications.

If you can’t find the Jig-a-loo Graphite lubricant at Canadian tire, Home Depot or Lowes, you can also look for these other Graphite lubricant products.

If you can’t find Graphite Extreme there is also similar lubricants ZEP Dry-Film Graphite Lubricant, ABUS PS 88 - Spray Gleitmittel (Germany Graphit Schmiermittel Spray)