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Building MOTM compatible power cable, Wire?
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Author Building MOTM compatible power cable, Wire?
bf
Need to build some power cables for a few DIY modules. As I run a single distro board I'm figuring 20 AWG will probably be better for the longer lengths. Stranded hook up wire rated for the proper voltage is a given, but looking through mouser... wire o wire o wire. Any suggestions for the proper flexibility or a mouser part no? Thanks.
JohnLRice
Hi!

Quote:
I'm figuring 20 AWG will probably be better for the longer lengths

Better than what size? hmmm..... The MOTM standard for power connections is 18 gauge so if it was me, I wouldn't go any smaller (using 20 gauge isn't going to save you much money at all anyways)

FWIW I purchased some NTE wire from Tri-State Electronics earlier this year and they are a good outfit to deal with and have good prices:
https://www.tselectronic.com/nte/wh_wire.html
bf
18 it is then. For some reason I was thinking 22 was standard.
NV
I agree with John - go for 18AWG. It won't cost much more and it will give you peace of mind.

The best prices I've found for stranded hookup wire have been at All Electronics. Here's a link to the page: Link. Those prices are for 100 foot rolls, so you could just buy one roll and have enough for an entire cabinet worth of modules. If you're desperate for multi-colored power cables, Radioshack sells a pack of three 15ft. spools of stranded 18AWG wire in red, green, and black, which should easily cover a batch of DIY modules. Here's a link to that: Link, although you could pick it up at any of the stores - one of the few things at Radioshack that isn't marked up 500%. Mouser's hookup wire is prohibitively expensive in my opinion and it's the same copper strands as any other brand, so no reason to blow $50 on a 100 foot roll.
JohnLRice
bf wrote:
18 it is then. For some reason I was thinking 22 was standard.


I think 22 gauge might be the standard for wiring up pots and jacks etc. but I'm guessing. Actually, the wire I bought from Tri-State is 26 gauge . . . hmmm..... . . .I must of had a reason . . .
JohnLRice
NV wrote:
If you're desperate for multi-colored power cables, Radioshack sells a pack of three 15ft. spools of stranded 18AWG wire in red, green, and black, which should easily cover a batch of DIY modules. Here's a link to that: Link, although you could pick it up at any of the stores - one of the few things at Radioshack that isn't marked up 500%. Mouser's hookup wire is prohibitively expensive in my opinion and it's the same copper strands as any other brand, so no reason to blow $50 on a 100 foot roll.


The copper may be the same in most wire, but the insulation varies greatly! The Radio Shack stuff has crummy insulation that melts easily and shrinks a lot. sad banana Of course, I bought some and was thinking this sucks and then I read a post somewhere from someone that gave the reasons I've just stated for buying good quality wire.

The NTE wire I got from TriState is nice. I'm not sure about other brands of hookup wire. (but I like Mogami, Belden, Canare and Gepco for audio cables! thumbs up )

Then again . . . if you aren't soldering and making MTA power cables . . maybe cheap insulation is a non-issue??? . . .
sduck
I use 20 gauge wire from a local store - really nice stuff, very cheap - something like 1/3 of what similar stuff from mouser would cost. And I use these connectors from mouser -

571-3-640426-4 - connector
571-6405514 - dust cover

This combo works great - no soldering, reliable connections with no fuss.
NV
JohnLRice wrote:

The copper may be the same in most wire, but the insulation varies greatly! The Radio Shack stuff has crummy insulation that melts easily and shrinks a lot. sad banana Of course, I bought some and was thinking this sucks and then I read a post somewhere from someone that gave the reasons I've just stated for buying good quality wire.


I've used Belden hookup wire in some DIY projects, then after using wire that was 1/5 the price from All Electronics I really had trouble telling the difference. I wouldn't be surprised if the insulation does have different properties, but I've never had any issues with it or noticed anything out of the ordinary from one brand to the other. I think paying an extra 5x the money for Belden hookup wire that has insulation that is less susceptible to shrinking is quite a price for a somewhat minimal luxury.
JohnLRice
NV wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:

The copper may be the same in most wire, but the insulation varies greatly! The Radio Shack stuff has crummy insulation that melts easily and shrinks a lot. sad banana Of course, I bought some and was thinking this sucks and then I read a post somewhere from someone that gave the reasons I've just stated for buying good quality wire.


I've used Belden hookup wire in some DIY projects, then after using wire that was 1/5 the price from All Electronics I really had trouble telling the difference. I wouldn't be surprised if the insulation does have different properties, but I've never had any issues with it or noticed anything out of the ordinary from one brand to the other. I think paying an extra 5x the money for Belden hookup wire that has insulation that is less susceptible to shrinking is quite a price for a somewhat minimal luxury.


Well, I'm only talking about how crappy the over priced Rat Shack wire is (shrinks like my nut sack in a dog bowl full of ice water . . . . . don't ask . . oops hihi lol )
paults
To be exact:

UL1007 rating, 300V insulation
VW-1 flammability rated

Here is a good "starting point" for wire:

http://www.bulkwire.com/product.asp?ProdID=7602
bf
Thanks everyone.
KnobHell
Hi,

I've been curious about the wire size on the DotCom harness. THe connectors that they use are for 24 gauge wire: http://search.digikey.com/us/en/products/3-640441-6/A30982-ND/698225

I know that these modules have a low current draw, and 24 gauge will easily handle it, but I'm more comfortable using a larger gauge of wire for power distribution.

There is another MTA-100 connector that is spec'd for 22 gauge. Does anyone use larger gauge of wires with a DotCom?

len
decaying.sine
I'm using 18 gauge too. I got the link from Paul in a post a year or so ago. Same one he posted above. I just ordered 3000 feet of that same stuff in 22 for pots/jacks and 18 for distro. woah
KnobHell
Hi,

Does the 18 gauge wire work ok with the DotCom "stock" MTA connectors?

len
megaohm
JohnLRice wrote:


The copper may be the same in most wire, but the insulation varies greatly!


Insulation thickness matters, too.
Too wide an outside diameter is trouble.
Use some of the posted links for purchasing since they have experience with that wire.
megaohm
KnobHell wrote:
Hi,

Does the 18 gauge wire work ok with the DotCom "stock" MTA connectors?

len


Hell no!
Those are white/natural MTA100 headers and connectors.
They use 24AWG wire.
The color of the connector matters and will signify what gauge wire it can handle.
JRock
Does it really make a difference for power wiring?

I use 24 AWG for my power and draw to much current and everything is still fine.

What difference does it make? I'm not gonna use wrapping wire or anything... but why is 18 better than 24?

I'm not trolling. I am honestly curious.
Norman_Phay
Blacet's power cable kit (which is great) uses 20 ga cable. TBH every time I've wanted to make some MOTM style power leads I've bought up a kit from Blacet, it's great & v v easy.
decaying.sine
JRock wrote:
Does it really make a difference for power wiring?

I use 24 AWG for my power and draw to much current and everything is still fine.

What difference does it make? I'm not gonna use wrapping wire or anything... but why is 18 better than 24?

I'm not trolling. I am honestly curious.


Maybe something to do with, power loss = current x resistance. Smaller wires have greater resistance. The impact of this is more prominent in long runs of cable so if you can use thicker gauge it would tend to be better if your runs are long. However, the current is small in our systems, no, and so power loss might generally be negligible unless you have huge lengths between distros in two cabinets or really long power supply assembly lengths from distro to board. I think hmmm..... lol

Also to highlight what Phil was saying, the MTA color/size does matter and the amount of insulation matters. Not all 18 gauge or 22 gauge wire will have the same diameter. I can tell you for certain that the link Paul provides to bulk wire fits the orange 18 gauge MTA-156 series you can get at Mouser. I use them all of the time.
decaying.sine
There's also frequency dependent skin effects (not generally applicable to us, I think) with wire and voltage drop too. I just buy whatever Paul Schreiber says to buy and try not to think Dead Banana
JRock
lol
Yeah. The last thing in the world I'm trying to do is argue with Mr. Schreiber.

What you said is what I've been figuring on too. I can't imagine that the wire gauge would make much difference in these low-voltage/current, short-run systems.

I wonder if I could plug more modules in without swamping my PSU if I switched to a thicker wire. None of my wires are longer than 2'... hmmm.....

Then again, I have a LOT of power wires and that would end up turning in to a relatively time consuming and expensive experiment considering I don't expect to get any noticeable or practical increase in performance.
decaying.sine
I'm going to guess no on plugging more modules in if you had thicker wire for the reasons we were discussing. I'm guessing that running two feet wires from say 30 distro headers spanned across 2-3 distros isn't going to diminish things much beyond what you could estimate based on the total module current draw.

I think it's always a safe bet to stay around 75% of maximum draw to account for fluctuations, start up, and all the residual factors such as wire gauge, etc.

I am not 100% sure but I am thinking that long runs passed through many "taxed" distro boards may benefit from having remote sensing wired up like that available on many of the power-ones. Again, I think. I'm a damn neuroscientist not a brick layer, Jim.
msprigings
So I'm beginning my first DIY (Thomas White LPG) and it seems there are various types of wires I'll need. It looks like people used solid wire to ground all the jacks and some kind of insulated stranded wire for the rest of panel wiring. What's the typical gauges for this kind of stuff? is 22 pretty safe?

that bulkwire.com link was helpful as a good source.
JRock
22 AWG is safe. 24 AWG is fine (that's what I prefer). Not sure about a Standard Bus wire Gauge (for the ground). I'm using 26 AWG for that, and it works just fine.
TBH I'd prefer to have 22 AWG or 24 AWG for that (not out of any real world, practical reason, more just juju, voodoo, prejudice.)
decaying.sine
22 gauge from bulk wire (the link Paul provided) is great for pots to PCB and jacks to PCB. you can use bus bar to ground the jacks together. The stuff I have is pretty damn thick compared to what I have seen on other's builds. I don't think it has to be too thick, just something that is easy to work with. I can check the gauge when I get home if someone else doesn't chime in.

You can also use the pre-tinned stranded wire for that too or even coaxial cable, which is quite nice for jacks.
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