Bowden Wiring - Choice of cable?



  • I want a simple solution - A multi lead cable that can handle moving around a lot (yes using strain relief)

    I am not talking about the heater cable as this is a silicone I will continue to use

    I have been through a lot of iterations and currently are running a CAT6 ethernet cable with 8 wires of awg26? or is it 24.. dont remember

    The CAT 5 was suggested but as this was not in stock I went with CAT6 and it is just to stiff for my liking - Seems like a accident waiting to happen and I also find the wires one too thin

    My previous solution was various 2,3 and 4/5 lead cables of different sizes ranging from awg 26 to awg 20... Not a clean solution

    Any good solutions I have missed out there?
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  • Try a Google search for "drag chain cable", e.g. Igus "chainflex".



  • If you use Cat5 or 6 cable, make sure it is a patch cable. They have copper strand wires instead of solid strand wires. The solid ones aren't made for flexing around and will break over time.


  • administrators

    The flat Cat6 cables seem to be very flexible, but I don't know how well they would last or what current they can take.

    Whatever cabling solution you adopt, I recommend you use separate cables for 12V/24V wiring and 3.3V/5V wiring.



  • Seperating makes sense. I have found some flexible controller cables I will try for this purpose thanks to @deckingman

    Easy when you know what to look for 🙂

    I ordered some to test in 7 pin AWG23 - I can have one for 12V-24V in one vertical beam and one for 5/3,3 in the other vertical beam

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  • administrators

    @pro3d worth ensuring they are in totally separate bundles. @DjDemonD can let you know what happens if there is a short inside the cables 😕

    @timcurtis67 I have had reports that even patch cables work harden and cause issues over time. They are designed to move about a bit, but not 1000s of moves a day.



  • 0_1531432099313_P5170368.JPG
    FFC cable + flat spring , works perfectly and looks nice.



  • That flat cable looks great.

    Network cables are problematic they do work harden and the insulation fails, probably in my case exacerbated by having slightly too tight a bend at one point in the cable, but a short from hotend heater (was using 6 cores for heater) and 5v fan kills 2 duetwifi and 2 paneldue boards. Second one shouldn't have gone, but I presumed the first one was a dropped nut which caused the short and installed a second board. That'll learn me.



  • Igus:
    chainflex Steuerleitung CF9.02.07
    2,60 - Igus sells to privat customer and good service
    you can get a lot of test samples

    voelkner/conrad:
    UNITRONIC FD CY 7X0,25
    ca. 3,-/m
    Unitronic FD CP plus 7x0,25
    ca. 5,-



  • Look for cables meant for professional audio. They are sturdy, flexible and made to receive bad treatment. You will find at many gauges and wire count.


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