VFD to Spindle Cable Length

Hi everyone,

I searched and can’t find an answer to this one. I have an Elite Journeyman on order and will be placing the VFD in a cabinet mounted either under the table or on the back wall. I’d like to use the cable chain for spindle cable.

What length spindle cable should I order? I’m planning on ordering an assembled cable through CorvetteGuy on ebay, I have a 2.2kw G-Penny Spindle and Hitachi WJ200 VFD.

Thanks in advance!

Im not sure what you need but i ordered and use 6m of cable that i hoped would cover current and future configurations. My VFD is high on the wall back right of my Journeyman and the VFD cable loops down from above to the spindle. I would place your VFD somewhere accessible and visible (e.g. To check if tripped, perform resets, maintenance/upgrades (i had to add a breaking resistor)

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Hey Brian

the Elite Series have a drag chain of only 15 x 20 mm (!) :frowning: Are you sure that it will fit? My spindle cable for a 2.2 kW spindle (LAPP ÖLFLEX® CLASSIC FD 810 CY in the strength shielded 3+PE x 2.5 mm²#0026271) is 11.8 mm in diameter.

Here is a drag chain width computation post.

My CNC is in a corner. I mounted my VFD on the left wall in front of the CNC. I ran the cable from there to the back right corner then it goes up on an overhead arm. That took 20’ and was JUST enough. It does allow me to pull the CNC out from the wall if I need to work on long pieces and for maintenance. Keep that in mind if you are mounting on the back wall and think you can get by with a shorter cable, give yourself enough length to pull the table out if you need to.


Hey Atroz, hey Brian @hortoni, hey Andy @AndyP, hey all,

you can make the spindle cable longer than 6 m and it is often the case in industry, but the longer you make it, the thicker it has to be as the voltage drop increases with the length because of higher resistance, and the bigger the cross-section area of the individual wire, the less its resistance. Already the spindle cable I have, which is an industrial type for power chains and it is dimensionated according to formulae used in the industry, is impossible to fit into these flimsy “aviation connectors” used on the cheap chinese spindles (that’s why serious spindles have other connectors). So usually you have rather thin cables when using the cheap chinese equipment, and alone for this reason, making them longer than absolutely necessary is to avoid because it would increase resistance and thereby voltage drop, and they can get hot then.

Besides correct dimensioning of wire strength, in my VFD manual, precautions are recommended on cables lengths above 10 or 20 m. My VFD has a parameter b033 “Motor cable length” that can be adjusted from 2 to 25 m, which takes into accounter higher earth capacitance on longer cables.

Furthermore it says:



The output reactors are then shown with their part No.:


– Source: Omron MX2 User’s manual (PDF)


I wasn’t aware the drag chain was so tight. I thought I read that it could hold the spindle cable but not the cooling hoses. I’m not set on any specific design and I was actually considering ordering a QCW and fixed stand just to start until I can design and build a permanent custom bench for it. I figure I can always sell the QCW later.

I don’t see a need to go super-long in the cable. That was a lot of good information you shared. Thanks! I’m thinking I’ll order it at 25’ as that should give me enough flexibility initially and I can always shorten it if needed once I have a final table design. From what I’m seeing, I don’t think I’ll have an issue with that length of shielded 16/4 cable. Do you see any problem with my thought process?

Thanks again!

Hey Brian,

the longer cable was more for Atroz with the VFD on the wall for the case of switching to a longer cable, or for anybody following Atroz advice. VFD control cabinets are usually on the wall at a height where you can read the VFD display and operate the switches and buttons. So if you have the machine movable, you would make the spindle cable longer.

25′… ah! 7.62 m, that should be enough, possibly more than you need, depending on where your control cabinet is. I bought 6 m for a machine that is not meant to be moved around with control cabinet right next to it.


Sorry if I’m repeating this question, but EMI/cable/electricity is not my strong point, so I need some clarification. I have learned from here that I need double shielded 16/4 cable from VFD to spindle, so I’m good here. Got me self double shielded 16/4 20’ cable. Now, I need to get Masso G3 talking to my VFD. I have gx12 6 pin connectors, so I need cable for this too. Does it needs to be double shielded too? What’s the size rating for this cable I should consider: 16g, 18g, or even 22g/6 would work?
Just want to thank you ahead for sharing your knowledge on this forum.

Hey Andre,

this is a signal cable. For signal cables you usually take shielded 0.14 – 0.75 mm² (AWG 28 to 18). Choose a cable that has an outer diameter that will fit into the strain relief clamp of the connector.

Further reading

Spindle Control – Masso Documentation

VFD-to-spindle cables should not exceed 50 meters, depending on the application. Use shielded cable and surge protection for longer cables.

Longer cables can reduce spindle motor power. Noise from a longer cable might also damage the spindle.