Testing Motorsport Cables/Harnesses

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Creative Motorsport Solutions
On Improving Quality of Testing Motor Racing Cables and Harnesses

Winning motorsport cars using cables and harnesses tested with CableEye HiPot tester

CMS customers at the 2017 HSR Classic 24, Daytona. P1 overall with D. Porter's Pescarolo/Judd LMP1 and P3 for J. Reisman in his Coyote Corvette Daytona prototype. Photo credit: CMS


Founded in 2003, and located in Daytona Beach Florida, Creative Motorsport Solutions (CMS) has grown from being a data system re-seller to a company that now designs and builds it's own complex embedded electronics systems for all types of racing vehicles in the motorsport market. CMS also offers services for wiring system design and manufacturing, and Wire Harness Testing. It is one of the few motorsport wiring houses in the US to utilize a CAD solution for wiring harness design. CMS customers include teams racing the Daytona 24 and Daytona 500.

Motorsport looms are usually complex and mission-critical requiring the same level of quality of manufacturing as Aerospace parts.

A few years ago, CMS set about finding a test system that would be accurate and flexible enough to handle the high mix, low volume testing. “At that time, we were looking to attach a "primary" connector to the tester with up to 79 pins and use the probe to identify correctness of the other pins. We did not want to build a mating interface for the many smaller connectors, but just have the system read out the name and pin number of the target”, explained Colin Harmer, Owner. “During our tester evaluation phase, we were drawn to the CableEye ® tester versatility, especially its invaluable AutoBuild ™ function which allows us to have a test lab that talks to us. When set up for 2nd-sided pinning, we probe each pin with the test probe, and the tester reads out the pin number while displaying the same information on the screen."

Reverse Engineering

“The CableEye system also allows us to rapidly identify the wiring of an unknown cable or harness using its Learn Cable function. This feature is especially useful when reverse engineering parts for customers who have lost their schematics (Fig. 2).

“In this test (Fig. 3), the customer had an issue that pointed at the corner looms being "suspect". These were not looms we built but because the CableEye tester is so flexible we could quickly reverse engineer the loom, check it against the supplied drawings, perform a Hi-Pot test, and generate test reports showing the wiring in very little time.

CableEye cable testing equipment with resulant test reports

Fig. 2: Reverse Engineering a Part.
Photo Credit: CMS

System Flexibility

“In general, motorsport-type builds are typically low volume, which puts a premium on flexibility with fixtures and ease of use and is a true delineator of the CAMI testers. We now easily HiPot test every product we produce which ensures that the client receives goods that are exactly to specification.

“By keeping records of all the tests, we can easily retest at a future point to ensure that there's been no change in the loom, for example, in post-race, and post-crash diagnostics. We find it really easy to generate, store, and print all the test documentation we need within the CableEye software.


CableEye HiPot Tester and software showing wiring diagram and netlist

Fig. 3: A 256 Test Point CableEye continuity & HiPot harness tester with interface fixtures comprising a 128 Test Point base unit with one expansion module. The tester is further expandable to 1024 Test Points. Set-up used to reverse engineer, then test, suspect corner looms. Photo Credit: CMS

“Here is an example of a device with switches (Fig. 4). This historic steering wheel was in need of repair.

“Using our CAMI CableEye HiPot tester we can use the constant dwell option to function test each button before the wheel leaves the shop.

circuit diagrams

Fig. 4: Historic Steering Wheel — Test Report (Top), Rear View and Front View (Bottom).
Photo Credit: CMS

Increased Productivity and Growth

“Our CableEye test system has allowed CMS to test smartly and has contributed to our increase in productivity and growth. We purchased our CableEye test in December 2015, and moved a year later to larger premises to accommodate more efficient workspace and our continued growth. By mid-2016, we made the decision to hi-pot test everything before it goes out the door, and that's now happening.

"There are no "off the shelf" test interface solutions for motorsport connectors, so these have to be made. We make ours inhouse using blank CableEye test fixture boards from CAMI. Each board has a breakout of 64 test points. Boards are modular so you can mix and match to fit the loom you're testing. We’ve built up a large library of these (Fig. 5), and are now often able to offer our services without need of creating further custom tooling.

A CableEye HiPot test with array of test interface fixtures.

Fig. 5: Test Fixture Tool Chest. Photo, CMS.


CableEye testers have many benefits and can be used for the testing of all powertrain looms through prototyping and manufacture to post-crash diagnostics. These multiconductor testers easily link to custom test fixtures and harnesses and instantaneously check for faults, identify the type of faults, and pinpoint fault locations. Depending on the model, the testers detect and dynamically display continuity (opens, shorts, miswires, and intermittent defects), resistance, capacitance, diodes, dielectric breakdown, insulation resistance, and can check twisted pairs for correct orientation. HiPot tests (e.g. insulation resistance and dielectric breakdown) are necessary steps in qualifying insulation integrity. Testing for intermittent defects prescreens the looms for the kinds of faults that can be stimulated by vibration.

As mentioned previously by Colin Harmer, motorsport looms are usually low-volume and often bespoke, and so require a tester with a high degree of flexibility to deal with unique test settings, connector types and combinations. Since these testers log the data, post-race and post-crash comparisons of loom integrities are a cinch. The former ensures there have been no changes giving the go-ahead for reinstallation, and the latter can be used for crash diagnostics and the results fed back for potential design improvement. These automation-ready testers provide for barcode tracking and detailed, wireby-wire, colored wiring reports - even for HiPot tests.

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CableEye Testers for Checking Connection Resistance

With the exception of M2-series testers, all models of CableEye testers can be used to check the quality of good connections and good non-connections (i.e. isolation).

CableEye Testers with HiPot Capability

Choose any of our HVX series models.

CableEye Testers with 4-Wire Measurement Capability


4-Wire measurement capability with ±0.02 Ω resolution is a standard feature.

HVX Series

Advanced Measurements Option, Item 833, includes 4-wire measurement capability with ±0.02 Ω resolution. This option must be ordered at time of purchase of the control module.

4-Wire Kelvin Resistance Measurement Option, Item 832, provides 4-wire measurement capability with ±0.001 Ω resolution. This option can be retrofitted.

CableEye ® Automation-Ready Cable and Wire Harness Test Systems

CableEye testers are highly versatile, expandable and upgradable diagnostic and Pass/Fail check Cable and Harness Test Systems that are PC-based. They are used for assembly, prototyping, production, and QC of standard or custom wire cables and harnesses The entire suite of products is powered by the same easy-to-use operating software and, with the help of its signature easy-to-interpret color-coded graphics, instantly identifies not only when there is a fault, but what type of fault and where.

Low Voltage M2 Series
For diagnostic and Pass/Fail Testing - Find, display, log, & document continuity (opens, shorts, miswires, intermittent connections).

Low Voltage M3 Series
For all of the above plus resistance (contact, isolation, embedded), and diodes (orientation, forward voltage, reverse breakdown).

Low Voltage M4 Series
For all of the above plus precision resistance (4-wire), and capacitance (twist wire relationship, length of cable, length to break, capacitors).

Low Voltage and High Voltage HVX Series
For all as described for M3 plus HiPot (dielectric withstand voltage and insulation resistance). 4-Wire Kelvin Measurement and Advanced Measurement Options (capacitance, twist wire relationship, length of cable, length to break, capacitors) are available.

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Cable Assembly

photo credit: Progressive Image

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Cable Assembly

photo credit: AP Technology

"Our production guys find it simple to setup and use. Our clients love it as it provides complete traceability for each and every cable assembly we manufacture."

AP Technology, UK

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