Newbie wire requirements


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  1. #1
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    Default wire requirements

    i am making an cnc machine from scratch i am using 16 ga wire to hook power supply to my stepper drivers can i use small ga wire what is the normal ga used for this purpose i've watched tons of cnc builds on youtube and not one that i have watch eluded to size they are using i know 16 ga you can use for 120 volt but from driver to breakout board the voltage has drop

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: wire requirements

    I'm using 14awg from psu to drivers.
    18awg from drivers to steppers (Nema34)
    20awg everywhere else.

    I've seen Cat5 network can be used on the inputs ie: limit switches.



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    Default Re: wire requirements

    Electrical cabling type and sizing is dependent on the amount of current your application draws from its vcc.
    If your datasheet does not specify this data, you can measure this with a DMM in-circuit (under load) and add a +30% to that output figure.
    Search YT for how to measure amps, if not familiar with this.

    As for size; there are plenty of current-vs-wire size calculator around to help you out with this.

    Hope this helps a bit



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    Default Re: wire requirements

    If watts (power) remains the same, then a lower voltage results in higher current.

    Wire size is determined by current, not voltage.

    Higher current needs larger wire size.

    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)


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    Default Re: wire requirements

    will hur anything if i use the same awg wire for all or will there be any volt/amp loss ?



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    Default Re: wire requirements

    Wire can be too small and overheat if current is too high for the wire size.

    Increasing wire size is not a problem except for cost and physical size generally.

    There are many good electricity tutorials available. I recommend you read some of them to get a basic understanding before trying to wire up a CNC system.

    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)


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    Default Re: wire requirements

    Thiner wire means higher resistance - if the wire is too thin (or too long) driver won't get enough current for steppers.
    To get some "feeling" about appropriate wire gauge lookup this table: https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm
    Column "Maximum amps for power transmission" will give you sensible value for long range power transmission without major power losses.
    Column "Maximum amps for chassis wiring" will tell you what's safe.



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    Default Re: wire requirements

    Don't forget multi core cables are de-rated when compared to the same AWG in free-air for current capacity.



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    Default Re: wire requirements

    Another useful publication is NFPA79, Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery, I think there is still a copy available out there in PDF.
    Al.

    CNC, Mechatronics Integration and Custom Machine Design

    “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
    Albert E.


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