Bulkhead / Pass Through Connectors



  • Morning All,

    Got a nice fabricated steel enclosure for my work printer now and am getting close to re-wiring with pass through/bulkhead connectors. Any recommendations from experience on what to use? Prefer crimps but solder with suitable stress relief is passable. Ability to be shielded would be best to limit electrical noise from steppers and improve signal to noise on long sensor/thermistor cables.

    The intentions for the enclosure were the usual, keep the machine warmer/reduce drafts, quieter, better control of emissions, and fire safety. Currently electronics are within the enclosure but I need them out as soon as practical.


  • administrators

    @doctrucker Have you thought about using Cat-6 cables / connectors? Those should work very well for sensors and the like, might even be able to power a fan since I know that PoE can carry 24v @ 1a without any issues in certain situations. I actually use the pairs out of an ethernet cable for several things in my printer.

    Another option might be DB-9, DB-25 or even DB-60 connectors as you can get those with at least 22 awg conductors. According to this site: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/wire-gauges-d_419.html 22 awg should handle almost everything; even a hotend depending on the wattage.



  • I've been using the "Aviation" GX16 connectors without problem. Available up to 10 contacts and low cost. They are the round ones like used in CB and HAM radios.



  • The Cat-6 cable is a good idea. I seem to remember to tools for ethernet cables were expensive. I'll have a look at the DB and GX16 connectors too thanks. Seem to remember not enjoying soldering up a DB connector in the past but guess the frustrations are common when working with multiple pin connectors.



  • This is probably overkill for an indoor printer application, but if you want connectors that will handle the power demands as well as being dust/moisture proof, take a look at TE-Connectivity AMPSEAL connectors.

    Anything from 8-35 pins, from 5-25 Amps each, depending on wire gauge and pin metallurgy.
    (There are even different colored and indexing connectors, if you want to run parallel runs that could otherwise be confused and mixed up.)

    I might have to order a few again, if I ever get around to building the BIG CoreXY that I've been considering...



  • @doctrucker said in Bulkhead / Pass Through Connectors:

    The Cat-6 cable is a good idea. I seem to remember to tools for ethernet cables were expensive. I'll have a look at the DB and GX16 connectors too thanks. Seem to remember not enjoying soldering up a DB connector in the past but guess the frustrations are common when working with multiple pin connectors.

    Cat 5/6 cable should be able to carry 2A (24v hotend) on 3 cable pairs with a little headroom.

    Some is 23 AWG and some 24.

    According to https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm 23 can carry 0.7A per cable and 24 0.5A.



  • Be aware that CATx cable that comes on spools to go in walls is solid, and will break if repetitively flexed.

    CATx cable in patch cords SHOULD be stranded... it is worth checking. It is also possible to get stranded on big spools... just check very, very, very carefully, that that's what it really is.


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