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Looking for 14+ core, 0.5A cable (preferably <7mm diam)

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Zero1, Sep 8, 2012.

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  1. Zero1


    Sep 8, 2012
    Hey guys
    Long story short I'm building an arcade stick to work on actual arcade hardware. 4 directions, 8 buttons, ground and VCC +5v; so I need a cable with 14 cores minimum.

    Obviously a 14 core cable is going to be pretty thick and rigid, so I'm going for unshielded with as thin cores as I can get away with. I've seen some cables 4.5-6mm diameter which is typically thinner than Cat5 which would be perfect. This cable will be the cable running from the controller to the console/arcade board so it can't be too thick.

    The thing is that the cables I have found are rated at 250ma and I do not know the current draw of the device, but I do know it's less than 500ma as it is able to be powered by a standard USB socket.

    The arcade stick itself will need to power 4 control PCBs and LEDs for 6 buttons (I believe the LED inserts I have ordered are 2x surface mount RGB LEDs per button, so 12 in total)

    The 250ma cable is 7x0.1mm strands (I believe 30AWG). Now I've also found some 7x0.127mm (28AWG) cables, but they do not specify the max current.

    I believe there is a way to calculate the current handling of a cable, but I've looked around and found conflicting information.

    Can anyone kindly give me an estimate as to how much current a single conductor in a 15 core, 7x0.127 cable can handle? Much thanks.

    If anyone knows where to buy 15 core cable that can handle 0.5a through one or two of the conductors, I would really appreciate it. I'm having trouble finding what I need.
  2. CocaCola


    Apr 7, 2012
    Do you want to purchase by the foot? Because 15 conductor 'round' wire is easy to source, but generally only by the full 100ft roll...

    But, here is a 5M lot reasonable...

    2 Meter

    The cheapest solution will probably be just picking up some 16 conductor (standard common size) ribbon cable, and pealing 5 conductors off... Roll it up and put it in some loom, if you want it round...

    1 meter

    2.54 meter
  3. Zero1


    Sep 8, 2012
    Well within reason, I'll buy whatever I have to. I only need around 10 meters I guess, but I would be able to sell it on, on ebay since there are people doing similar kinds of arcade sticks to mine who might want it.

    Unfortunately those you linked are quite thick at 7.8mm. I was looking for more in the 4.5-6mm region. As for the ribbon cable, good idea but too much messing around (plus it's solid core isn't it?)

    Isn't the current a cable can handle pro rata to it's cross section (or roughly so)?

    If this is 250ma at 0.055mm^2 and this other is 0.23mm^2 then shouldn't the 0.23mm^2 handle about 1 amp?
  4. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    all the ribbon cable I have ever seen is multi cored

  5. Zero1


    Sep 8, 2012
    Ah ok. I was thinking back to old ATA cables and how you could easily fold them whatever way you wanted, kind of like when I pulled out single conductors from some solid core Cat5.
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