WireViz Makes It Easy to Document Your Project Wiring

An open source tool for simply documenting cables, wiring harnesses, and connector pinouts.

Cameron Coward
14 days ago

If you’re like most makers, the wiring for your projects quickly turns into an out-of-control rat’s nest of rainbow tangles. Even a modest project with only a handful of components can easily require dozens of individual wires. That makes it difficult to keep track of where each wire is supposed to go, and even more difficult to diagnose problems later. You probably have some sort of system for documenting the wiring (I personally write out tables in a notebook), but I’m willing to bet the process is still frustrating. That’s why you should check out WireViz, which is a tool that makes it easy to document and visualize your wiring.

Software like Fritzing helps you layout your components and show where wires are physically connected, but it doesn’t help you much with actually creating wiring harnesses or with documenting the component pin numbers that individual wires connect to. A complex Fritzing schematic isn’t much easier to decipher than your physical rat’s nest. WireViz, on the other hand, is a simple tool that accepts a basic text file with your wiring connections and outputs visual tables that clearly show those connections. It takes into account the connections at each end, as well as the cables and connectors you’re using in-between them.

WireViz is open source and built around Graphviz, which is open source graph visualization software. Just install Graphviz and then clone the WireViz GitHub repository to start using it. To create your wiring documentation, you just need to write a plain text file with a list of your connectors and wiring. If you like, you can provide details like wire colors, wire gauges, and more. Then you can import that text file into WireViz and it will spit out a graphical representation in whatever format you like (SVG, PNG, etc.). You can then use your documentation to make your cables!

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