Archive for September 16th, 2013

Reprap Cartridge Heaters from eBay

I picked up five 12 V 40 W cartridge heaters from the usual eBay source for some extruder experiments and did a quick check to make sure they actually worked:

Cartridge heater test

Cartridge heater test

The bench supply is good for 3 A, which isn’t quite enough to light them up all the way, but at 8 V they drew anywhere from 2.67 to 2.20 A, declining by about 0.1 A as they heated over the course of maybe 5 s, which is about as long as you want to run them outside of whatever they’re supposed to be heating.

Those dissipations are a bit lower than I expected; at 8 V you’d expect to see about 27 W = 2/3 * 40 W, not the 18 to 21 W I actually measured. Current & power don’t scale linearly, so I must gimmick up a larger block and make some better measurements when I get the LinuxCNC hardware set up.

The insulating tubes on the wires emerging from the cartridge, inside the main sheath, show the usual attention to detail I’ve come to know and love from eBay suppliers:

Cheap cartridge heater insulation

Cheap cartridge heater insulation

Ah, well, it keeps my toy budget under control…

There’s a story behind the dark vertical smudge just to the right of the cartridge. More on that in a bit.

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