I'm looking to replace the troublesome ribbon cable of my Duplicator 6 with a 2xCAT6 arrangement for all things extruder.

  1. Are 4 26AWG wires (2 sets of 2 twisted pairs) enough copper for 50W heater at 24 volts?

  2. Are 2 26AWG wires (1 set of 2 twisted pair) enough copper for the ground connection of the heater?

  3. Can I consolidate ground connections of the low power fans/sensors to free up more wires?

  4. Is it okay if I have some pins be 24 volt like for the heater and others be 12 volt for the fans?

  5. Should I get a lower gauge CAT6 cable like 24 AWG? 23 AWG seems to exist too.

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  • $\begingroup$ This question might be more appropriate at EE.SE. Why all the cables when a pair of AWG 18 or 16 will be enough? $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Apr 28 '20 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ Well the cat6, if only one is used, is already held together, without having to tie many cables. Of course if two are used, then no real advantage $\endgroup$
    – FarO
    Apr 29 '20 at 6:27

Do not consolidate ground wires, use as many as the positive ones. In fact, use one wire of each twist for ground and one for the related positive, so that they balance each other.

Mixing voltages is fine, the CAT 6 cable will hold 24 V fine.

Concerning the number of wires, you should check the allowed current per wire and calculate the required number of wires.

Each pair can carry 0.36 A. 50 W is 2 A, you need 6 pairs for the heater.

You get two spare pairs, which can carry in total 0.7 A at the voltage you prefer. You could use two for the thermocouple and two for the fan, or two different fans.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answers! I added one more question that might be key. I think I designed the arrangement based on 23 AWG but when I went to buy them, found 23+24 AWG elusive. $\endgroup$
    – Gary Z
    Apr 28 '20 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ Well you get the principle, you can check the current rating of 23 AWG and you can see it's twice as much. Then you have only a spare pair, so only one fan. $\endgroup$
    – FarO
    Apr 29 '20 at 6:24

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