Quality wire source?

  • I'm finding lately that pretty much all of the 3D printer wiring on Amazon is the cheap stuff from China that has pretty much no copper in it. Last night I spent 2 hours trying to make jumper leads for end stops and my piezo sensor. I was buying the jumpers with one end I can use and one that I can't. I install the stuff my Duet WiFi came with. But the wire quality is so terrible that I was unable to produce a working cable. The stuff is so brittle that at least one of the ends always failed. And I have a really good quality EDM crimp tool.

    Question: Is there ANY source left for decent quality COPPER wire stepper cables or end stop wiring? I can build the Duet end of the cable, but I'm not interested in trying to build the stepper end. Otherwise I would just look for rolls of Belden 26 or 24 gage stranded wire.

  • I went with a mix of RC type silicone insulated wire with tinned copper in various thicknesses and some flexible shielded twisted pair, all from China. Not very cheap, but get what you pay for.

    Edit: Oh, missed the part of not wanting to make the stepper end. Thats usually a 6pin JST PH 2.0mm pitch connector, not that much more trouble to crimp than the 2.54mm Molex for the Duet, but would need smaller dies likely.

  • Look up Wire Barn. Hes on ebay as well. US seller

  • @bricor said in Quality wire source?:

    Look up Wire Barn. Hes on ebay as well. US seller

    I see no sign of anything smaller than 22 AWG. Seems very Automotive oriented.

  • I missed the 24 ga part of your post.

    I typically use 22ga and higher.

  • @bricor said in Quality wire source?:

    I missed the 24 ga part of your post.

    I typically use 22ga and higher.

    The Amazon NEMA cables are even 26 😞

  • Like @bearer mentioned, silicone servo wire

  • If you don’t find what you need in 24ga, Openbuilds has lightweight 22ga 2,3 and 4 conductor (sheathed) cable. Its good copper wire. The diameter of the 4 conductor canle i have is 3.3mm and the diameter of the inner wires measure 1mm each. Its nice flexible stuff. Works well with crimp connectors of many types, DUET included.

    The wire colors are red, green, yellow, blue

  • Have you considered buying spools of wire and making your own cables? It isn't very hard to do and you get complete control over the quality. I like teflon insulated wire because heat from a soldering iron doesn't melt it (unless you really abuse it), but you need a good quality stripper to use it. For motor leads, I twist pairs of teflon insulated wires, then crimp on connectors or ferrules as needed. You can twist wires using an electric drill.

    Finally, making cables that don't have to be moved a lot can be done by braiding the twisted pairs (example- motor and end stop for the Z axis). You can braid any number (>2) of wires or twisted pairs together and then you don't need any wire loom or other cover.

  • Moderator

    @mrehorstdmd said in Quality wire source?:

    For motor leads, I twist pairs of teflon insulated wires

    I like to flat-braid my motor wires!


  • I ordered all the stuff to build cables myself. I got the crimps and stuff from https://americas.rsdelivers.com. I got some "tinned copper silicone" hookup wire on Amazon. Fingers crossed there is actual copper in the wire.

  • @droftarts twisting the individual pairs helps prevent EMI by controlling the magnetic field produced by motor currents in the wires. It also helps prevent inductive coupling between the relatively high current motor wires and sensitive inputs like thermistors and endstops that are often running along side the motor cables.

  • Moderator

    @mrehorstdmd Yup, and braiding does the same thing, as the wires twist around each other (and the other pair, but that doesn't matter as we're not transferring data at high speed like in Ethernet cables). The twist doesn't have to be very tight, 5 to 10 turns per meter is sufficient. See https://medium.com/@emianalyst/effect-of-cable-twisting-on-radiated-emissions-66edb16bec1c


  • Just a followup. I find the stepper connectors to be very tedious and fidgety to crimp, and assemble. The wire I ordered "seems" to be a decent quality. I did not have a single failed cable connection. It was annoying that the end stop switches were 2.54mm pitch and the steppers were 2mm pitch. I failed to notice and had to order more stuff to complete the work. I forgot at the last minute to add the wire twist to the motor cables 😞 So far everything seems to be working. And for the first time since I got the Precision Piezo Z sensor I have reliable operation. The wire I used was sketchy and it caused many crashes into the bed. I also beefed up my bed mounts using Materhackers Ryno. All in all my CoreXY is a far better machine than ever before. Now I'm dealing with issues surrounding going to a .6mm nozzle. My CoreXY is my larger format 300x3 printer. My Ender is my 200x3. I had the worst nozzle blockage I've ever experienced AFTER I realized the hot end cooling fan wasn't running. This was the first time I have had to resort to a butane torch to clear the blockage. Joys of the hobby.

  • Good to hear progress. One hurdle at a time. Keep us posted!

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