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What cables to use within a HA cabinet?


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I'll shortly be configuring my home automation cabinet (Loxone based). Would appreciate advice on sources for cables to be used internally within the cabinet, such as:

 

230v singles - such as from a relay output to the Weidmüller terminal blocks. Do they need to be single core or multi-stand? I'm thinking around 1mm2 CSA as all the T&E from first fix is 1mm2.

 

24v singles in twisted pair - such as the orange/white power conductors and green/white for Loxone Tree.  I extracted these from CAT6 for my test rig, but I guess these can be bought by the reel as separates or as twisted pairs? Have searched RS and CPC/Farnell but could not see anything.

Edited by Hilldes
typo in title
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I beleive UK regulations mean you need to use "tri-rated" cable.   I'm also about to buils my panels, I have agreed that our electrician will supply the Weidmüller terminal blocks and tri-rated cable though, which I'm waiting to arrive.   I'm hoping they will supply solid vs. standard cable.

 

Various others on the forum have also built cabinets and may have suppliers they can recommend for this. @Rob99 @joth @jack

Edited by Dan F
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2 minutes ago, Hilldes said:

Thanks @Dan F, do you have a link please to the products you have ordered? 

 

I haven't ordered them, that's the thing.  I just asked electician to supply some.  Will let you know once they arrive though..

 

I'd seen these previsouly, but at 200m per colour, seems a bit excessive: https://www.fscables.com/products/tree-cable-jumper-wire-designed-for-loxone-system.html

Edited by Dan F
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10 minutes ago, Dan F said:

I'd seen these previsouly, but at 200m per colour, seems a bit excessive: https://www.fscables.com/products/tree-cable-jumper-wire-designed-for-loxone-system.html

Wow £128 for 200m. Definitely looks like the right kind of product though for the twisted pairs.

 

I'd seen these, much cheaper, but they don't come in the right colours:

https://cpc.farnell.com/pro-power/cw1109r-w100m/jumper-wire-cw1109-2-wire-red/dp/CB15707

 

 

Edited by Hilldes
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Yes, you should use flexible tri-rated cables for the internal wiring in your cabinet for both 24v and 230v mains. I source mine from TLC (see link from @Dan F above). They are stranded cables and you should terminate them with bootlace ferrules of the correct size for each cable. For low current control cables (e.g. Tree etc) you can use any twisted pair and these will generally be solid core.

 

I use Wago 2002 series terminal blocks and the Weidmuller 8 level marshalling blocks for cat6, control cables etc.

 

Remember to keep 230v cable runs seperate from 24v/cat6 cabling where possible. General convention is to keep 230v cable runs to one side and 24v/cat6 to the other.

 

Rob

 

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3 hours ago, Hilldes said:

all the T&E from first fix is 1mm2.

I'm assuming this is all rated appropriately for what you intend to be powering.

 

Although your control cabinet is effectively just a switch box, fixed mains wiriing coming to the cabinet or wiring out to various circuits must comply with BS7671 wiring regs, even if it's for 24v DC fittings.

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4 hours ago, Dan F said:

Are these tri-rated though?

 

There seems to be a good selection here: https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/tcl/search?query=Tri-rated&Submit=Search

 

I also used those. 

The bootlace ferrules are needed when used in screw terminals but not in the spring loaded Weidmüller terminals (which can take max of 1mm2 IIRC)

 

 

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Solid core cable needs particular 'kid gloves' when stripping and terminating, and I'd choose tri-rated in a heart-beat vs solid for rack / cabinet wiring.

Also, why the obsession with twisted pairs? All of the rack cabinets I've made in my time have been populated with tri-rated or screened cables suited to their individual applications. Screens will provide RF / EMF control so what are you specifically looking to combat?

If I have ever wanted to set out numerous looms to 'look pretty' and twisted pairs have been my choice, I've simply pulled 10m of the chosen 2x cores of stranded ( xmm2 ) cables and then tied the ends off and put the other ends into the chuck of my cordless drill, pulled them taut, and then slowly spun them into a twisted pair. 

If the connectors are vice clamps vs screw down rotary type, the need for boot-laces becomes one of personal preference vs necessity.

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16 hours ago, Dan F said:

 

Thanks @Dan F and @Rob99, they look perfect and a very reasonable price. Just to be sure though, all on the TLC page are multi strand as opposed to solid core - and these will be used for the 24v/tree connections too? So no solid core cables used within the cabinet?

 

15 hours ago, Rob99 said:
19 hours ago, Hilldes said:

all the T&E from first fix is 1mm2.

I'm assuming this is all rated appropriately for what you intend to be powering.

Yes, in practice each run of 1mm2 T&E will power at most one room's worth of LED lights. 

 

9 hours ago, Nickfromwales said:

Also, why the obsession with twisted pairs?

You're right no overwhelming need for twisted pair, the main thing is I can locate suitable singles cables. I've done the thing with the drill chick before too in my youth as an electronics apprentice.

Edited by Hilldes
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1 hour ago, Hilldes said:

Thanks @Dan F and @Rob99, they look perfect and a very reasonable price. Just to be sure though, all on the TLC page are multi strand as opposed to solid core - and these will be used for the 24v/tree connections too? So no solid core cables used within the cabinet?

 

The standed cables are easier to work with in a cabinet as they are more flexible. What I didn't/don't know is:

- How well stranded cables (with or without ferrules) work with the push-in connectors used on the new minisever for 24v/tree/link.

- If tri-rated is just required for 230v, 230+24v but not tree/link/DI, or if it's best to use it for everything.

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1 hour ago, Hilldes said:

One related question please....for these push in connectors, once inserted, how to remove them?

 

IMG_2074.jpg

These are Wago 243 connectors and you just twist and pull to remove the wires, although you need to be a bit careful as sometimes they can break and then you can't remove what's left easily. They are quite cheap to replace and I always have a stock of spares.

 

See 1:16 of this Wago 243 video for wire removal instruction

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14 minutes ago, Dan F said:

- How well stranded cables (with or without ferrules) work with the push-in connectors used on the new minisever for 24v/tree/link.

The Wago 243 connectors are not designed for stranded cables and, in my experience, you can't fit a ferrule into them. The smallest ferrule for 0.5mm2 cable is too big.

 

14 minutes ago, Dan F said:

- If tri-rated is just required for 230v, 230+24v but not tree/link/DI, or if it's best to use it for everything.

For Tree/Link/DI connections you only need to use cat6 twisted pair cabling (or equivalent)

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25 minutes ago, Dan F said:

How well stranded cables (with or without ferrules) work with the push-in connectors used on the new minisever for 24v/tree/link.

Terribly. Don't bother trying. pairs out of a Cat6a cable was my solution.

(Assuming you mean the wago 243 terminals)

 

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6 hours ago, Rob99 said:

See 1:16 of this Wago 243 video for wire removal instruction

Thanks Rob, perfect! If you do beak a wire in a terminal bloc - say on the mini server in the pic, you can replace the terminal block? (I assumed they were soldered to the PCB) 

 

On 06/11/2021 at 17:53, Rob99 said:

I use Wago 2002 series terminal blocks

 

Just looking at the 2002 series Rob at Farnell, which variant do you use? Most seem to be conductors unto 4mm2?

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5 hours ago, TonyT said:

Use 1 pair screened cable or 2 pair screened cable.

 

put hellerman sleeves over the cut outer sheath ends and you get white pin crimps that will do really small conductors.

Buy shares in din rail terminals and away you go

 

Thanks @TonyT for the screened cable, you mean like this?...

 

I've not heard of Hellerman sleeves in 30 years - for the youngsters, it is these.

 

From googling "white pin crimps", they look the same as "ferrules" above, so these?

 

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2 hours ago, Hilldes said:

 

Thanks @TonyT for the screened cable, you mean like this?...

 

I've not heard of Hellerman sleeves in 30 years - for the youngsters, it is these.

 

From googling "white pin crimps", they look the same as "ferrules" above, so these?

 

That’s the stuff, yes back in the day, white pin crimps/ferrules were the smallest but I think you used to get french/germany colours.

in my opinion anything that was stripped and had a sleeving, like the braided wire best practice was a hellerman sleeve to ensure a tidy install.

 

 

Edited by TonyT
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2 hours ago, Hilldes said:

Thanks Rob, perfect! If you do beak a wire in a terminal bloc - say on the mini server in the pic, you can replace the terminal block? (I assumed they were soldered to the PCB) 

They're located on pins and not soldered to the pcb. You can slide them off fairly easily.

2 hours ago, Hilldes said:

Just looking at the 2002 series Rob at Farnell, which variant do you use? Most seem to be conductors unto 4mm2?

I use mainly the 2002-2201 terminal blocks, stated as 2.5mm2. These are fine to use as even using 0.5mm2 stranded tri-rated cables fit very nicely in the terminal blocks when you use ferrules

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22 hours ago, Rob99 said:

For Tree/Link/DI connections you only need to use cat6 twisted pair cabling (or equivalent)

 

The miniserver and extensions now all come with Wago 243 connectors for 24v too, so I'm going to need to use twisted pair for these unless I buy expensive single-core tri-rated stuff. 

 

Does anyone know exactly what the regulations say about when tri-rated cable is/isn't needed?

Edited by Dan F
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