Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Equipment

Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)
johndgaul
member


Reged: 05/19/11

Where to get flexible 2 core power cable?
      #5572969 - 12/15/12 06:23 PM

Hello folks

I've seen this question asked a while ago, but I couldn't see any conclusive answer.

I'm looking for cable to use to make custom length leads for tidy supply to dew heater strips, and other 12V astro devices such as DSC controllers etc.

Criteria:
- black / dark grey
- flexible, including at lowish temperatures (say -5*C or 20F) NOT "plasticky"
- no more than 5mm or 3/16" in diameter
- capable of handling 10A, not in a big bundle (18 AWG?)
- a continuous outer jacket (not "zip" wire)
- available in USA (with shipping to Europe)/ Europe in non-industrial quantities (e.g. <10m)


The cable that Kendrick Astro use on their dew heater strips is great, as is Astro-Physics cable for mount power and servo motors. AP say on their usergroup that they import it from Asia if I remember right. I'm loathe to cut the original cables, unless I've got a replacement.

Polar Wire Products Inc. has previously been suggested here, but I can't find cable meeting the above criteria. Difficult to find something suitable with Google searching.

I can't be the only one here wanting the stuff Can any of you suggest a source?

Thanks!

John

Edited by johndgaul (12/15/12 06:27 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tecmageModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/13/10

Loc: Glenview, IL
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: johndgaul]
      #5572991 - 12/15/12 06:42 PM

I would try McMaster-Carr or Digikey.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tom and Beth
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: johndgaul]
      #5573339 - 12/15/12 10:29 PM

Dead vacuum cleaners.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pauls72
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/28/07

Loc: LaPorte, IN
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: Tom and Beth]
      #5573394 - 12/15/12 11:06 PM

The regular old hardware stores around here have a a bunch of different sizes and kinds of wire to choose from. You buy it by the foot.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Eddgie
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/01/06

Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: johndgaul]
      #5573467 - 12/16/12 12:22 AM

I bought a cable from Fry's Electronics that I really love.

It is a small diameter cable with two sets of twisted pair wire in it. The wires are rather thin, so I paired them up and used two for the positive and two for the negative to handle a bit more current.

The cable is only about 3/16ths in diameter, and one thing I really love about it is that after you uncoil it, it lays flat on the ground. It is very pliable but coils and uncoils easily.

I am really sorry that I can't tell you what it is called, but I suspect that because of the twisted pairs, it is something like telephone cord. The kind you used to find going to the old style wall jacks.

Excellent stuff, but I doubt that it would carry more than 5 or 6 amps, but I run a CGE and a C14 dew heater off of mine and it doesn't show signs of getting hot.

And it was dirt cheap. I think I bought 25 feet for about $5.

I think that this is the same stuff...

Twisted Pairs

Edited by Eddgie (12/16/12 12:25 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Eddgie
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/01/06

Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5573470 - 12/16/12 12:28 AM

And if you notice in the picture I sent in the link above, it is also available with more twisted pairs, and if you needed a bit more current carring, you could get three twised pairs and spit it 3/3.

But I have been using the two pair for several years running my CGE and dew strip and have had no issues.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
evil16v
member


Reged: 08/18/12

Loc: N.E. Kansas
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: Eddgie]
      #5573579 - 12/16/12 03:14 AM

I have used this mic cable with good luck in building my dew heaters. It's 22 gauge, black, very rugged, very flexible, teases nice for storage. If you wanted to, you could use both conductors for one lead, and the nice heavy shielding for the other (although i haven't needed to). It fits nicely in a RCA connector.

click here for parts express mic cable


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: evil16v]
      #5573853 - 12/16/12 10:07 AM

Hi John:

I'm curious as to why you have so many criteria for the cable. It seems like you've over-constrained your choices to the point where it will be impossible to meet them all.

It seems like the most important considerations are that it is pliable when cold, and can handle 10 amps. Is that correct?

If the other criteria are truly important, maybe it would help to explain what you're trying to achieve. In other words, why black vs. white? Is it just an esthetic choice, or is there some other reason? I personally find white better because it's easier to see and less likely to trip over in the dark. What's the aversion to zip cable? Most heavy gauge cable comes in zip-style and allow that would provide a lot more options.

For example, I purchased some high end speaker cable recently for my home audio setup. When I received it, I found it was VERY flexible and stayed so at low temperatures so I started using it for my astro power cables. However, it is white and is zip type cable. Here's a link
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WX5FCI/ref=pe_175190_21431760_cs_sce_dp_2

It looks very ordinary from the pictures, but in person it looks and feels like a very high quality, very flexible cable.
-Dan


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
zippeee
sage


Reged: 12/27/10

Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5574461 - 12/16/12 04:40 PM

John I feel your pain. I too have been searching for the ultimate dual conductor wire. My favorite single core has long been silicone hobby wire, but I need the convenience of +/- together as well. Unfortunately I haven't found what I want either. Your criteria match mine exactly, with the main one being flexible at low temp (like 0f). Automotive wire, speaker leads, data wires, none of them will preform to my requirements. The search continues . . .

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johndgaul
member


Reged: 05/19/11

Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: zippeee]
      #5574608 - 12/16/12 06:26 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

Thanks everyone for the great response!

I've looked in the directions you pointed me, and here are my findings, which might save others the time spent searching

1. McMaster-Carr
This looks the best one from MC, and looks promising
Neoprene rubber-jacket cords
Black SJOOW 300 VAC Service Cord 18/2 AWG, .29" OD
part number 7422K2
sold in these lengths: 10, 25, 50, 100, 250ft, at 54c a foot

2. Digikey
Nothing here at all - no cables

3. Old vacuum cleaners
Good idea, but a bit on the heavy bulky side, not sure about low temperature performance, and being used, not smart looking to go with the rest of my gear. (Yes, I'm particular about it )
The idea is good though - option 1 is "service cord" - used for power tools etc.

4. Regular old hardware stores
Hmmm. Not here in London. They just have mainstream stuff, and small selections. What we're looking for here is quite specialist, and most normally sold to manufacturers of electronic devices, not the average bloke for wiring something at home.

5. twisted pair wires, pliable (e.g. Fry's Electronics)
Thanks very much for the recommendation. I should be able to find twisted pair cable locally to try out. Do you think it would flex in the cold - depends on the outer insulation material, I guess?

6. microphone cable (e.g. Parts Express)
Thanks. I'd been looking at this previously, and it sounded like it would be nice and flexible. I was doubtful about its current carrying capability, which is where your positive experience helps! Great tip!

7. Too strict criteria? Why black?
Black is just for aesthetics. Yes, I'm a bit fussy. Bright blue wires for example, would just spoil the look of the beautiful astro gear The other criteria though, seem perfectly reasonable to me. This stuff exists (Kendrick dew heater bands, AP power and motor cables) - I just don't know where to get it.

8. Speaker cable, zip wire
Yep, maybe worth a shot. High end speaker wire tends to be pricey in my experience. I've just checked out mine, and yes, it seems quite flexy, but it's bulky. Good tip.

9. Silicone hobby wire, and a man who agrees with me
Yep, I think I know the silicone wire you mean - I used some heavy gauge stuff to wire a power amp in a motorhome. Lovely and flexy. That's exactly what I'd like in a twin code configuration.


So...

Thanks again for all the tips. I'm going to look at SJOOW (see my next post for the codes I learnt today!) and mic wire first. And I'll let you know how I get on!

Edited by johndgaul (12/16/12 06:28 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johndgaul
member


Reged: 05/19/11

Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: johndgaul]
      #5574617 - 12/16/12 06:33 PM

And here's something new I've learnt. The meaning of all the codes used for wiring. See the special mention of vacuum wire, Tom and Beth!


Jacketed Wire:
S = Stranded (or Service Wire)
J = Junior Service (300 Volt). If no "J" is in the wire type, then it is a hard service (600 Volt).
T = Thermoplastic. If no "T" is in the wire type, then it has a rubber jacket.
O = Oil-Resistant Compound
W = Weather-Resistant Compound
V = Vacuum - as in vacuum cleaner. This is a small O.D. jacketed wire, very flexible and initially used for vacuum cleaners but now used on many different types of products. Available only in 18 AWG.

Examples:
SV = Stranded Vacuum Rubber Jacketed (NO "T")
SJT = Stranded Junior Thermoplastic
SJTOW = Stranded Junior Thermoplastic, Oil and Weather resistant for UL and CSA.
S Extra hard service flexible cord for general use at 600 volts,
rated at 60 C. Rubber insulated and jacketed.
SE
Extra hard service flexible cord for general use at 600 volts,
rated at -58 F to +221F. TPE thermoplastic elastomer
insulated and jacketed.
SEO Type SE, but also rated oil resistant.
SEOW-A Type SEO, but also rated for outdoor use at -58 F.
SEW-A Type SE, but additionally rated for outdoor use at -58 F.
SJ Hard service cord for general use at 300 volts, rated at 60
C, rubber insulated and jacketed.
SJE
Hard service cord for general use at 300 volts, rated at -58
F to +221 F, TPE thermoplastic elastomer insulated and
jacketed.
SJEO Type SJE, but rated as oil resistant.
SJEOW-A Type SJEO, but rated for outdoor use at -58 F.
SJEW-A Type SJE, but rated for outdoor use at -58 F.
SJO Type SJ, but rated oil resistant.
SJOW-A Type SJO, but rated for outdoor use at -30 F.rminology:
SJT Hard service cord for general use at 300 volts, rated -4 F to
+140 F, PVC thermoplastic insulated and jacketed.
SJTO Type SJT, but also rated oil resistant.
SJTOW-A Type SJTO, but rated for outdoor use at -31 F.
SJTW-A Type SJT, but rated or outdoor use at -31 F.
SO Type S, but also rated oil resistant.
SOW-A Type SO, but also rated for outdoor use at -31 F.
SPT-1 Thermoplastic parallel cord for light duty, 300 volts.
SPT-2 Type SPT-1, but heavier construction, 300 volts.
SPT-3 Type SPT-2, but heavier construction, 300 volts.
ST Extra hard service cord for general use at 600 volts, rated at
-4 F to +140 F, PVC thermoplastic insulated and jacketed.
STO Type ST, but also rated oil resistant.
STOW-A Type STO, but rated for outdoor use at -31 F.
STW-A Type ST, but rated for outdoor use at -31 F.
SVT
Vacuum cleaner cord, PVC thermoplastic insulated and
jacketed rated 300 volts, 18 AWG and 16 AWG only, two
conductors.
T, TW, THN,
THHN, THWN Thermoplastic insulated wires. Building wires used for
construction.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
johndgaul
member


Reged: 05/19/11

Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: johndgaul]
      #5574633 - 12/16/12 06:45 PM

Some options for people in the US (I'm in Europe)...

Home Depot sells this in 250ft(!) lengths, but looks promising:
http://www.homedepot.com/buy/southwire-18-2-sjoow-300-volt-rubber-cord-black-...

This looks good too:
http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/CAROL-All-Purpose-Cord-1W311


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: johndgaul]
      #5574668 - 12/16/12 07:28 PM

This is great information, John! Thanks for posting! (I too am particular about my equipment and wiring.)

-- Chris


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
RTLR 12
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: CJK]
      #5574707 - 12/16/12 08:08 PM

You might try Allied Wire and Cable. I have dealt with them in the past for some rare specialty wire products and they have always come through.

Stan


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Timo Kuhmonen
member


Reged: 08/16/07

Loc: Espoo, Finland
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: RTLR 12]
      #5626569 - 01/16/13 04:46 PM

could this be an option, silicone cable stays flexible in low temps...?
https://www.elfa.se/elfa3~eu_en/elfa/init.do?item=55-566-18&toc=20189

I understood this company is selling products in many european countries...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: johndgaul]
      #5626841 - 01/16/13 07:32 PM

Any luck with finding the cable you were looking for? I need to make three power cords in the next couple of days ...

-- Chris


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Paul G
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: johndgaul]
      #5627588 - 01/17/13 08:24 AM

In the ap-gto group Roland said he gets the cable from Japan, says it isn't available in the US.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
CJK
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/05/12

Loc: Northeast TN
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5627745 - 01/17/13 10:14 AM

I'm going to try some of the McMaster-Carr stuff, in that case. I'll post when it arrives.

-- Chris


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rainycityastro
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 03/29/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: CJK]
      #5628114 - 01/17/13 01:40 PM

I got some of the Mcmaster Carr stuff. It is high quality but much thicker than the AP power cable. I would really like something much slimmer.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Where to get flexible 2 core power cable? new [Re: rainycityastro]
      #5628277 - 01/17/13 03:12 PM

Home Depot/Lowes carries 12V electrical wire for deck lighting. This is designed for 12V use and comes in a variety of sizes and lengths...only color I saw it in was black though....

Oh, and it wasn't located with the normal wiring...it was located in the deck lighting area. Deck lights are 12v systems......

Edited by csrlice12 (01/17/13 03:16 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)


Extra information
10 registered and 21 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  zjc26138, tecmage, rflinn68 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 1533

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics