(Topic ID: 224693)

Cat-5 cable as source for thin wire?

By bruinfan

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by barakandl
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    #1 1 year ago

    I need some thin wire to extend some wires in my pin. The thinnest wire at Home Depot or Ace is 18 gauge. It seems that the wire used in the pin is closer to 22 or 24 gauge wire. Google tells me that the wire in the Cat-5 cables is around 22 or 24 gauge. Can I just recycle one of those for the wire I need?

    #3 1 year ago

    I've done this many times.

    The color codes ALMOST match for RGB LED strips too.

    orange for RED
    green for GREEN
    blue for BLUE
    brown for GROUND

    #4 1 year ago

    You're gonna want to watch how much amperage you're putting through, the thinner the wire the less amperage it can handle.

    Links below may help. It's really going to depend on what's being powered..



    #5 1 year ago

    I have seen a lot of games which use cat-3 wire (telephone cable) for mods and stuff - that works too, but Wayne is right, you can’t put high current stuff through those (especially long runs) and expect flawless performance

    #6 1 year ago

    The other issue you're likely to run into is CAT5 is usually solid core wire (non-stranded). It will work ok as far as lamps or input switches... do not use it for coils. Solid wire doesn't hold up well to vibrations and flexing so it's also likely to break over time. Also, it doesn't take solder as nicely as tinned multi-strand wire. You can find plenty of 22-24 AWG multi-strand wire on Amazon at a reasonable price. Mouser Electric and Grainger are also good sources.

    I personally wouldn't use it due to the vibration / breakage issue.
    But... that's just me.


    #7 1 year ago

    Crack open your ole betamax and recycle some wiring from it. Home electronics are rife with small gauge wire in a pinch,
    If you don't have the supply like HEP has.

    #8 1 year ago

    Interesting. I'm learning something new everyday.

    It sounds like it would probably work for my purposes, as I'm just connecting a bank of targets, but I'd like to do things "right" and have the longest lasting repairs that I can.

    It looks like Mouser will sell by the foot...who knew there would be so many choices. The $0.12 per foot wire looks like it is tinned stranded wire. Is there any reason to get something more expensive?

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    #9 1 year ago

    Search for “hookup wire kit”, handy to have a selection around.

    #10 1 year ago

    I would buy the one listed as 22AWG. Its only .26 per foot. For targets this should be fine. If I were replacing a longer piece I would try to match the color as it really helps troubleshooting things later down the road. If you should ever part with the game the next owner will appreciate it.

    #11 1 year ago

    McMaster-Carr is a good source. Look at part # 8054T13

    You can select color and length.
    UL Listings (UL 1007; UL 1569) say they're rated for use inside electrical equipment (e.g. pinball machines). Not a strict requirement in your case but it does ensure a consistent quality wire.

    #12 1 year ago

    Just another thought... you could search on Mr. Pinball Classifieds for anyone getting rid of old pinball wiring harness. I've seen them go really cheap. You'll have a complete selection of properly sized wire for pinball purposes with the usual colors (depending on manufacturer). Not sure if anyone is getting rid of any right now. Saw a Bally Mystic harness about a month ago... if he still has it.

    Just an option

    Actually... just checked ebay has some also.

    #13 1 year ago

    Look in your closet, and you probably have 10 outdated/dead computer towers you are saving for unknown reasons.

    The power supply has a rainbow of nice, flexible wiring you can use.

    Or on garbage night, open any washer/dryer and steal the wiring harness. 20+ feet of colorful wire.

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    #14 1 year ago

    Cat 5 is good for patching a small trace and things like that. The ones i have stripped had stranded wire in it. Phone cord is usually solid core (ripped it all out of my house and used it).

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