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Old Mon 08 January 2007, 03:46
Just call me:
Screened flexible cables - specs & sources


How many wires go from the Gecko drive board to the steppers? Do all wires have to be screened including the power cables?
Old Mon 08 January 2007, 06:12
Just call me:
We must be careful of the words here because we don't want any confusion....

There is a single cable from each gecko to each motor. That cable contains 4 wires (4 cores). Also, around the cores/wires is a single metal screen/shield. The screen/shield is not connected to the motor, but at the gecko end the screen/shield is connected to ground/earth point (the plate "under" the gecko). These cables can be about 11 meters [35 ft] long each and they need to be fairly flexible. We used 1.0mm2 Ölflex from Lapp

I am not sure what you mean by "power" cables?
Old Tue 09 January 2007, 01:47
Just call me:
Thanks for your info Gerald, What price did you pay for a meter of the Lapp cable that you are using? the local guys are quoting around US $ 5.00 per meter for Pirelli brand.

One more thing Gerald, Did you find any specific part number for the Olflex cable that you are using?
Old Tue 09 January 2007, 04:42
Just call me:
The full description for the stepper motor cable is "ÖLFLEX CLASSIC 115C 4 G 1.0mm sq" which cost me $1.65 per meter (50cents per foot)
Old Tue 09 January 2007, 11:29
Just call me:
Thnaks Gerald for you effort. This stuff is not avilable localy. I will will have to import this from Singapore where they have stockists for LAPP.
Old Tue 09 January 2007, 12:04
Just call me:
If you are doing a special import, then you need a complete list of all the cable types running to the gantries and cars - all these cables need to flex and all should be shielded. (Your laser may also have special cable requirements)

This is what I have on the MechMate now:

4 cables, 4 core, 1.0mm2 for the 4 steppers
1 cable, 4 core, 1.5mm2 for the spindle main motor. (9 amp)
1 cable 4 core, 0.5mm2 for the spindle fan and thermistor
1 cable 7 core, 0.5mm2 for input/output signals from the breakout card (not all cores are used yet)
1 cable 4 core, 0.5mm2 for 220V power/control. (2 cores used for E-stop)

(I recall that I ordered 11 meters to the z-axis and a bit shorter to the back x-motor - my control box is high on a wall behind the walking area)

There is also a single green 6.0mm2 cable for ground/earth (not shielded). This you must have locally.

The price of copper went up internationally by about 50% last year - of course that is the excuse why cable prices have risen sometimes by 100%!
Old Thu 11 January 2007, 10:57
Just call me:
Given below are the prices which I receved from my Singapore supplier(ex-works singapore) for LAPP cables. Hopefully this info would be of some benifit to the other guys on this forum.

1. 4 Core 1.00 mm2 [18 AWG] for steppers (Part No 1136204) SGD 2.70/mtr (US$0.53/ft)
2. 4 Core 1.5 mm2 [16 AWG] for spindle (Part No 1136304) SGD 3.60/mtr (US$0.71/ft)
3. 4 core 0.5 mm2 [21 AWG] for Fan/Thermister SGD (Part No 1136004) 1.95/mtr (US$0.39/ft)
4. 7 core 0.5 mm2 [21 AWG] for BOB control card (Part No 1126107) SGD 3.60/mtr (US$0.71/ft)

The above given prices are quoted in Singapore Dollars. (I added the US$'s - Gerald)
Old Thu 11 January 2007, 11:43
Just call me:
Here is some info on those cables:
Old Sun 11 February 2007, 21:28
reza forushani
Just call me:
How many meters/feet of each cable do we need to order?
Old Sun 11 February 2007, 21:53
Just call me:
Reza, this depends on the size of table that you are going to build, but mostly depends on how far you are going to locate the control panel from the table. It also depends on whether you use a router or spindle (routers need less, but thicker, wires than a spindle). There is no harm in laying extra cables in case you want to change from router to spindle.

In my particular case (9'x 6' table, spindle, control box 8' from table) the cables were an average of 35' each. (The x-motors need shorter cables than the y&z-motors).
Old Sun 11 February 2007, 23:29
reza forushani
Just call me:
Lost - Fabrica2

so is that 35 meters of the 3 types of wire or 35 meter of wire for each axis?
Old Sun 11 February 2007, 23:46
Just call me:
Oops, lots of confusion - I see now from your profile that you are in Atlanta but work in the metric system. I gave you feet ('), not meters.

The length of cable from the gantry/cars/motors to the control box is about 11m [35' (feet)]. Therefore, each motor needs a cable about that long. Plus you need cables for other devices as well.
Old Mon 12 February 2007, 07:39
reza forushani
Just call me:
Working late last night got me thinking meters. I was confused. Yes I work with feet, was just tired and not thinking straight. I am going to start with a router and see what happens. So should I use 2.0mm2 [14 AWG] for that since you mentioned thicker for router? How much of the 7 core? and the last one for power/e-stop does that run to the table? What location?
Old Mon 12 February 2007, 08:17
Just call me:
When you use a router out on a construction site with a long cable, what gauge wire would you be using? I presume you are talking 110V and quite a lot of amps? The gauge (mm2) of the router cable for the MechMate will be the same as that. (Our cables in this country, or Europe, would be thinner because we are 220V)

35' of the 7-core

also 35' of the power/e-stop cable - it goes to the red E-Stop button/s on the moving gantry.

Modified for a 115V router application: . . . . . . . . .

4 cables, 4 core, 1.0mm 2[18 AWG] for the 4 steppers
1 cable, 4>3 core, 1.5>(2.0)mm2 [14 AWG] for the spindle main>router motor. (15 amp?) 2-core if router has only a 2-core cord.
1 cable 4 core, 0.5mm2 [21 AWG] for the spindle fan and thermistor >
1 cable 7 core, 0.5mm2 [21 AWG] for input/output signals from the breakout card (not all cores are used yet)
1 cable 4 core, 0.5mm2 [21 AWG] for 220V power/control. (2 cores used for E-stop) (only 2 cores are needed, but you might not be able to get it)
Old Mon 12 February 2007, 10:05
Just call me:
Apparently 14gauge or 2.0mm2 is right for a 15 Amp single phase router in 110V countries.

In 220V countries you can use 1.0mm2 for the big routers because they will draw around 8 Amps at the higher voltage.
Old Tue 13 February 2007, 16:41
reza forushani
Just call me:
I got these prices today. Aren't they high?

Omni Cable A1211804 $1.67/ft
Omni Cable A1211404 $2.54/ft
Omni Cable A1211807 $2.57/ft

These are supposedly equivalent to lapp cables. Plus freight from NC. What is everybody else doing for cables? Any internet source with better prices? This comes out to about $500.00 for just cables.
Old Sun 04 March 2007, 12:11
Hugo Carradini
Just call me:
Gerald. ¿Would it be OK to you use Alpha Wire Mouser part number 602-2424C-500 and 603-2433C-500 for motors and router?
Old Mon 02 April 2007, 11:23
christipher saint denis
Just call me:
If you don't mind me asking, what brand of cable did you end up purchasing and what supplier? I contacted a Michigan distributor of the Lapp Olflex and they are charging for $3.50 to $4.75 per foot. I have not contact Lapp directly I have just called a few local distributors.

Anyone found a reasonably priced US supplier? I will keep up my search.

Old Tue 17 April 2007, 16:55
David Smith
Just call me:
would this work?

they have 2, 4, 6 and more conductor shielded unshielded
12, 14, 16, 18ga gray pvc cable if so seems to be a good price
Old Wed 18 April 2007, 02:29
Just call me:
I did a quick check of that site and could not find specs of bending radius, strand diameter or even comments about the suitability for continuous movement? Our application is not high speed robotics, but we do want some flexibilty in the cable. You might need to call Ramcorp to find out a bit more?
Old Wed 18 April 2007, 09:51
David Smith
Just call me:
So I e-mailed ramcorp and this was there reply

"Our cables are typically 7 strands for the 18 Gage and 19 strands for the 14 & 12.
These are somewhat flexible although, they are really not intended for a continuos flex.
Typically the bend radius is about 20 times the diameter."

so i will look for somthing better I realy don't want to scrimp on the cables
Old Wed 18 April 2007, 10:24
Just call me:
I have just counted the strands in some Lapp Ölflex Classic that are here at home:
1.5mm2 30 strands (16AWG)
0.5mm2 16 strands (21AWG)
Their spec, from the links above, says bend radius of 20x where there is movement and 6x for static. Maybe I went a bit overboard with my cables for this application? Cables are seldom discussed on all the CNC forums.
Old Thu 19 April 2007, 16:47
David Smith
Just call me:
well I found a local company that can order me omni cable price ranges between $1.78 and $2.35 a foot for 12,14 and 16ga.
I'd rather go heavy and not worry about the amps. One of the porter cable routers at work is rated 11 amps. anyway I want to
make sure I order right. I need?

4 cables, 4 core, 14ga for the 4 steppers (again all of these are most likely way overkill)
1 cable 4 Core 12ga for router or upgrade to spindle
1 cable 7 core, 16ga for input/output signals from the breakout card (to where?)
1 cable 4 Core 14ga for E-stop

anything I'm missing?

Old Thu 19 April 2007, 23:11
Just call me:
Welcome David!

Before I look at your ga sizes,....
- are the cables screened or shielded?
- how flexible are they?

My first impression is that your cables are too thick, causing flexibility problems?.......
Old Fri 20 April 2007, 16:20
David Smith
Just call me:
Hey Gerald,
They would be shielded but I could not find the specs online so I called the company and was not impressed with the help I received.
The good news is that I found another website that has almost too much selection and info.
I called and they seemed to be very helpful and said they would research the specifications I gave them and get back to me.
Anyway I will post the part#?s and pricing when I get them.

Old Mon 23 April 2007, 23:12
Just call me:
David, those are extremely high-spec and expensive cables. Fabrica and I got the Ölflex cables at under $0.75 a foot. Our cable has a 20x bending radius for flex, yours is twice as good. I don't see any downside on your selection, other than the price.

Here is the USA specsheet on the Ölflex - what happens if you call the number at bottom right on that sheet?

18 AWG 1.00 mm2 is fine for the stepper motors, you don't need any thicker.
Old Mon 23 April 2007, 23:29
Just call me:
Found useful Alpha info here:

I have a funny feeling the Ölflex 115CY has been discontinued and no longer meets codes in some countries - that's why it finds its way to South Africa and Sri Lanka? Looking at its contruction, it only has a very thin clear layer between the shield and the inner cores, making it small overall (and maybe cheap). Our motor cables are 7.3mm outside diameter and weigh 130g/m. Dave's selection is 9.5mm outside and weighs 243g/m.
Old Tue 24 April 2007, 18:27
David Smith
Just call me:
Well I bit the bullet and ordered my cable. cost was close to $600.00 (ouch). The problem I ran into is there is no "middle of the road"
either the cost is sky high or the cable is not flexable and you have to buy it in bulk. after talking to the wife I decided to get the
better cable and not have to worry about problems down the road. It may not be cheap but I want/need a high quality dependable
machine and if built right I belive MechMate will be both.

Gerald thanks again for all you do.

Old Tue 24 April 2007, 23:07
Just call me:
Here is a reply I got on another forum:

"I use Alpha wire from Mouser (for motors, part no. 602-2424C-500 - spec). It is 18 gage, 4 wire with a foil shield and a drain wire. Prices have gone up to about $.75 per foot plus shipping. It was about $.50 a year ago.

I buy it in 500' reels and I sell it to my customers at $1.00 per ft plus $8.60 shipping in the US.

Robert Colin Campbell
Bob Campbell Designs"
Old Wed 25 April 2007, 22:45
David Smith
Just call me:
glad to see you found a cost efective solution for the states, as for me I have already place my order.
Would I have bought what you have found yes, do I regret buying what I did no. I don't know anyone
that has ever regreted buying quality.

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