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Old 27th March 2012, 06:05 PM   #1
MCPete is offline MCPete  United States
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Default Is stranded steel hookup wire OK?

Assuming that I want to use insulated stranded hookup wire, not solid, are there any disadvantages to using steel stranded as opposed to copper stranded? Copper stranded is much more commonly available, in my experience anyway. Steel stranded is much cheaper than copper, but it seems that most people shun steel in favor of copper.

By the way, I've never run across solid steel hookup wire. That would be, I suppose, because it wouldn't be very flexible?

Regards, Pete
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Old 27th March 2012, 06:12 PM   #2
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Copper clad steel is used for antennas. I had a "long-wire" made this way but it was destroyed in one of our winter storms.
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Old 27th March 2012, 06:18 PM   #3
BZed is offline BZed  United States
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Its very hard to solder. Use the copper.
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Old 27th March 2012, 06:18 PM   #4
stoc005 is offline stoc005  United States
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I believe the soldering is somewhat poorer for steel.

Nice troll otherwise.....
I'm sure it will ignite arguments about steel wire sounding "hard".
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Old 28th March 2012, 11:15 AM   #5
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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copper clad solid core is used for CATV and similar cables, it can be pulled through the conduit better.
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Old 28th March 2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Steel stranded is much cheaper than copper
have never seen any steel hookup wires. Who sells those hookup wires?
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Old 28th March 2012, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juergen Knoop View Post
have never seen any steel hookup wires. Who sells those hookup wires?
I have had telephone wire that a magnet would stick to! (Sold as copper.)

Copper clad steel wire was of military importance in the '40s.

Many if not most capacitors today use copper clad steel wire leads! It is something serious audio folks try to avoid.
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Old 28th March 2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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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).
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Old 28th March 2012, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simon7000 View Post
Copper clad steel wire was of military importance in the '40s.
It was a simple invention -- one side used a precise and beautifully engineered connector for their field telephones -- the other used copper-clad which could be twisted together in a "pinch".
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Old 28th March 2012, 03:31 PM   #10
BZed is offline BZed  United States
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Copper is a better conductor than steel. Steel is much stronger under pull like in phone wires or antennas. Copper clad steel is used for applications that the wire is under that I kind of pulling force an still needs the conductivity of the copper.

Last edited by BZed; 28th March 2012 at 03:51 PM. Reason: bad english and left out a word.
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