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Is stranded steel hookup wire OK?
Is stranded steel hookup wire OK?
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Old 28th March 2012, 03:44 PM   #11
djQUAN is offline djQUAN  Philippines
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Originally Posted by simon7000 View Post
I have had telephone wire that a magnet would stick to! (Sold as copper.)
I got some speaker wires (zip cord type) a while back that did the same. Only used it for test leads and the 18ga heats up with only a few amps pulled through it.
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Old 28th March 2012, 04:05 PM   #12
PChi is offline PChi  United Kingdom
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I have come across so called 'Copper Weld' used in the core of flexible miniature co-axial coiled cable for external Cellular Phone antenna connections. It wasn't for cost reasons but was for strength. How the copper was bonded to the steel I don't know, magic perhaps.
I'm guessing the strength with flexibility is why they use it in CATV co-ax pointed out by the earlier post.
I guess that using it for military field telephones was again for strength, less likely to get damaged when driving a tank across it.
The copper coating is very useful for crimping to or soldering.
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Old 28th March 2012, 07:29 PM   #13
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Is stranded steel hookup wire OK?
Skin effect, at the high frequencies of both the CATV and now digital, and RF dont see the impedance that an audio range signal would. And when they put the CATV network in the UK in the 90s, there was also caost and durability to think of. Its good fun trying to pull a big cable down a main road at 4 in the morning.
With F connectors the core forms the hot pin, the shielding is crimp bonded to the housing with 360 degree coverage if they are preped and crimped properly. Most of the main routes have now been replaced by fibre.
Military wire, most things designed for the basic soldier to use have to be almost indestructable and then some...copper wire and running squadies wouldn't mix, and in this case skin effect isn't a player, voltage is, its the plain old telephone system, restricted audio bandwidth, remember the phone calls of the seventies and earlier, the message got through.
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Old 29th March 2012, 12:28 AM   #14
MCPete is offline MCPete  United States
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Originally Posted by overtheairbroadcast View Post
Just how much wire are we talking about? Are you re-wiring your house or wiring up a headphone amp?

If you are dealing with hundreds of metres or kilometres, then the price difference might be of significant. I wouldn't want to be the one pulling through the joists... Plus, if you are re-wiring your house, you might want to look into the local building and safety codes for electrical -- I know where I live the authorities want solid 14/2 copper over other things (like aluminum wire, cloth jacketed, and BX is a no go, and believe it, there are actually people still using that stuff because they find it at a garage/dump sale).
My understanding of hook-up wire is that it is the small stuff, that is, like 24 AWG to 18 AWG. I don't know I suppose that house wiring may be referred to as hook-up wire. But anyway I was focusing on wiring such as that of a headphone amp.

The point is well taken that there is going to be little cost savings unless there is a lot of wiring length involved.

Also I didn't realize that the resistivity of steel is much greater than that of copper. A table of resistivity that I found lists the resistivity of "average" (whatever that is) carbon steel as more than ten times that of copper.

Regards, Pete
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