# 18 AWG multi conductor flat wire by the foot?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by TbirdMan, May 31, 2012.

1. ### TbirdMan

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Apr 17, 2011
Hello, I have come back here because you guys were so helpful with my last project. My latest project I would like to use 18AWG multi conductor flat wire. I am building a custom power cabling system for my computer to hide most of it behind the rear cover. I have a modular PSU and am going to try to get my hands on a proper Mini Fit Jr. crimper for the pins.

The only Flat wire I can find comes in 100' rolls which is clearly not ideal for my purposes. Does anyone know where I can find it sold by the foot or yd/m?

Edit: I should add I would prefer it in all black if possible.

Last edited: May 31, 2012
2. ### CocaCola

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Apr 7, 2012
How many conductors?

And have you considered just making your own? Lay down a length of Gaffers tape, lay the individual wires next to each other (you can pin and pull them straight if you must, using nails and a board) and laminate the top with another layer of tape, trim the edges...

Last edited: May 31, 2012
3. ### TbirdMan

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Apr 17, 2011
I may need to do that. I was looking for at least 4 conductors, the ideal would be 24 or 25 for the main ATX power cable. thinking about it now though, doing it as you suggest would also allow me to round corners and whatnot while keeping it flat.

4. ### (*steve*)¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥdModerator

25,412
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Jan 21, 2010
For standard flat (i.e.ribbon) cable, you can fold it over at a 45 degree angle to make a neat 90 degree corner. The same can be done to get a variety of angles.

Various "origami"-like tricks can be used to follow other contours.

Another option is to create splits in the cable (say every 4th or 5th conductor) which will make the cable more flexible as it passes some obstacle.

Yet another option is to fold up the cable using longitudinal Z shaped folds to make it more of a round cable before snaking it around things.

If you make it yourself out of tape you can lay the tape down in the pattern you desire and make a flat cable that does anything.

If you are making your own cable, beware of the effects of time on the tape you use. You probably don't want it to deteriorate into a sticky gooey mess.

5. ### davennModerator

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Sep 5, 2009
with these comments I'm trying to figure what precisely you want to use the cable for ?

do you want it for hi voltage low current ie. 240 mains voltage?
or do you want it for 5V and 12V but the higher currents ?

this is going to determine what gauge cables you need. but regardless it would seem to appear that the standard flat ribbon cable like that used for hard drives etc wont have the current carrying ability ??

Dave

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Aug 13, 2011
Have you found a manufacturer product # yet? Alpha, Belden, Carol, Daburn, Hitachi, etc.

7. ### TbirdMan

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Apr 17, 2011
What I am using the cable for is to distribute power in my computer. it would be no more than 12v and the standard is 18 AWG wire. the motherboard connector is a 24pin plug and most others are 4-8 conductor.

Having dealt with routing ATA flat ribbon cables before the day of SATA I am well aware of the techniques to turn corners, however If i use individual wires as was suggested i can avoid folding the cable which would be more difficult with 18AWG cable as opposed to the 28AWG of data ribbon cable.

as for manufacturers, I haven't found anything that i would consider exactly what i want. there are several PSU manufacturers that use 4-6 conductor ribbon cable for their modular lines like this:

But finding the wire alone is proving very difficult.

8. ### CocaCola

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Apr 7, 2012
I think making your own is going to be the cleanest option, anything 18g or heavier is likely going to be a proprietary harness or sold in full rolls...

9. ### TbirdMan

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Apr 17, 2011
I agree, I am going to get some 18 awg wire ans gaffers tape. If done right it should look good and clean.

10. ### TbirdMan

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Apr 17, 2011
One other question, any suggestions for a cheap crimper than will handel Molex Mini fit Jr. crimp terminals?

11. ### CocaCola

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Apr 7, 2012
I like many others have likely felt your pain after looking at the domestic offerings and OEM offerings on crimpers...

I went on a quest to find an cheaper alternative and came across the Engineer Inc. 'generic' crimpers out of Japan, IMO they are a VERY decent tool and they crimp damn good for a generic fit all type crimper.... I can do the factory looking/quality, double turn down crimps without any hassle now...

I link to this site only because it has a reference table...

http://store.iheartengineering.com/info/Crimper_Compatibility_Chart

From that it appears the PA-20 crimper might be up your alley, don't take my word for it verify the sizes and sorts with your own research, I only glanced at the datasheet for the connectors...

FYI there are some youtube videos of these crimpers in action

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Apr 7, 2012

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14. ### eric418

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Nov 7, 2012
You may check this out: Corsair Style 4 Conductor Flat Ribbon Cable Wire (18AWG Black)