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Red Squirrel 06-07-2011 05:00 PM

low voltage multi circuit plug?
On my desk I have 3 switches which control some fans on my PC. This plugs into the PC via a printer cable, as it has lot of wires for expansion. When I originally did this I did not really know much about the affects of down sizing wiring and how it creates lot of resistance. Well due to a fault somewhere I need to rewire this and I figured I should use some more serious wiring like at least 16 gauge vs the 30 or so that the printer cable has inside.

I'm just wondering, what would be the best way of providing a plug for this? Right now the printer cable's built in plug is how I can disconnect this to move the PC. If I go fully DIY on the wiring, is there some kind of standard connector I could use?

Worse case scenario I could use some plug ends but I rather use something different and smaller. I'm thinking like some kind of molex connector. Where would I find this?

Or I could maybe just use crocodile clips or something. As long as it can easily be removed. This is low voltage (12 volts at most) and there is short circuit protection on the PSU so if it shorts out it just shuts off, so as far as exposed wiring and what not there is not really any danger. Just need something that works.

AllanJ 06-08-2011 08:23 AM

For 5 volts or 12 volts I would suggest using plugs of the kind that go into the built in hard drive or CD-ROM drive of a desktop computer. These are flat and have four pins in a straight line, 5V, 12V, and 2 negative returns, I forget whether the 12 volts is red or yellow.

I would not use crocodile clips except for testing purposes, too much of a chance they may slip off or short against something.

McSteve 06-08-2011 09:37 AM

Check out Anderson Powerpole connectors. They're probably overkill if your wiring only handles an amp or two, but they're nice because you can clip individual connectors together to create a connector with exactly as many pins as you need. Otherwise if you've only got 4 wires to deal with, I might use a standard Molex connector as AllanJ suggested. They're available in panel-mount configuration so you could cut out an opening in your case and mount the connector.

Red Squirrel 06-13-2011 08:46 PM

Wow never even thought of the molex connector, for the 3 circuits I have, that is the simplest bet. I only need one "return" and the others can be "hots". That will probably be the easiest route. I can just solder the wires on the metal pins and slide them back in.

Come to think of it, anyone know of an online store that is Canada based that would sell accessories like this? There are proper crimpers and such for working with molex connectors. I'm guessing these are somewhat standard as even appliances like furnaces use them in different forms.

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