Conducting electricity through sealed bearings?
October 22, 2010
I was considering the idea of a 360 degree rotating sensor. To rotate through 360 degrees the wiring would twist up obviously.
So simplify the sensor idea for a second. Say you want a one-wire sensor (just pretend) to rotate. Take a bearing, wire the sensor to the inner race and wire up the outer race for the signal or power or whatever it is you want to connect (it's just pretend, remember). The electricity would move from one race through the ball bearings to the other race. With the proper mounting to the respective races it would allow for free rotation without wire tangling.
Assuming this would work, my question is:
As sealed bearing are packed with grease, do you think the grease would interfere with an analog signal? Maybe some resistance would be imparted from the grease? Or maybe use simple shielded bearings, forego the grease, and use powdered carbon lube instead? I fear shielded bearing's susceptibility to corrosion from my old radio control and skateboard days so I'm not really keen on them in general.