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rubber coated wire

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  • rubber coated wire

    Building another power supply to use with some of the dc motors in the shop. I have made my own connectors, and currently am using the rubber covered wire meant for toasters, etc. I split it down the middle, then usually twist them together to make a 'lead'. Couple spots of heat shrink to keep the twist together near the ends, and it's good. These make very good and long-lived test leads for voltmeters, and good for experimenters power supplies, etc.

    This wire is 16 gauge, which is fine for voltmeters. I'd like to find it in 14 ga or even 12 ga to be more suitable for power supply leads. Anybody know if this is available? An option might be to buy some cab tire and strip the inner conductors out of it, but why pay for and waste most of the bulk of it-

    There is speaker wire of thicker gauges, and at least one of those is fairly flexible. I'm using some of that in 14 ga with my new power supply, but it's the last piece I had. If you look at what inflated prices they want for this 'esoteric' speaker wire- well I don't want to pay $4 for a $1 piece of wire. I'd rather use the npn type of wire (toaster and heating appliance wire), but I want it in a heavier gauge.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    Possibly appliance wiring, or machine tool wiring suppliers can get what you need.

    I'd try these websites too:


    • #3
      The place listed below has some wire called "Wet Noodle". It's available in several gauges in black or red. I use it robots I build for competition.
      No matter where you go, there you are!

      Hal C.


      • #4

        It is not quite what you are looking for, but you might take a look at a piece of 12/2 SO cord (Heavy black cord). It is available at most home improvement stores and electrical suppliers (you might have to go to 12/3). If you strip the outer jacket off the inner wires are insulated with a fairly soft and heavy material and they are fairly flexible. Depending on what you want you might just strip back a foot or two and leave the rest insulated with the black rubber. I use a lot of these for testing industrial controls.

        Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first


        • #5
          The wire you got is probably HPN, a high heat zip cord. In single conductor you can buy TGGT 250 degree C., fiberglass braid jacketed wire, which is high heat and flexible too.


          • #6
            I think your looking for type MTW wire which has that highly flexible rubberized feel to it and can be ordered in any size from 18 awg to 500 mcm


            • #7
              Perhaps what you want is test lead wire.


              • #8
                MTW, machine tool wire, isn't fine strand like HPN or TGGT or test lead wire. Test lead wire is fine strand, but doesn't have a high temperature jacket, which I believe the OP is looking for.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rosco-P
                  MTW, machine tool wire, isn't fine strand like HPN or TGGT.
                  HPN is fixture cord and TGGT is fixture wire. Neither is a listed conductor.

                  Madison Cable has MTW in configurations other then the 19 strand count minimum as specified by NEC / NFPA-70.

                  Additionally Carol Cable has the 'O-Flex' line of wire and cable which is probably the best out there

                  But of course if you want the 'Down and Dirty' alternative I guess you could grab some fixture cord off the shelf of your average hardware store. But good luck in finding it in any gauge higher then 14 awg
                  Last edited by JoeFin; 01-13-2011, 10:18 AM.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoeFin
                    HPN is fixture cord and TGGT is fixture wire. Neither is a listed conductor.
                    In what respect? Listed for use in that purpose? What the OP discussed, is what I replied to. There was no discussion of NEC standards and such. One of his uses was for test probe leeds, the other as a supply cord for a DC motor. Probably, no single wire will supply both requirement and meet "the code".


                    • #11
                      I buy silcone rubber test leads (IIRC last time was by the small reel from Mouser). 12 awg, 600 volt, very flexible, and you can press a soldering iron onto the wire without leaving a mark.


                      • #12

                        I just bought a 250' spool of that stuff yesterday 3 conductor in 14 ga. Let me know if you can't find it in your area. BTW, how much do you need?
                        Who do I think you are...?


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rosco-P
                          In what respect? Listed for use in that purpose? .
                          Well your right - I'm guilty of not fully reading or understanding the OP's question

                          Upon further reading I see he is looking for a source for "Test Leads" and not Power wiring as I thought

                          Actually there is "No Need" to increase the size of the test lead because now it is only effected by the "Meter Burden" or meter movement impedance. In the case of Digital meters I assume 70Meg Ohm to be the average.

                          Now you apply that to the network impedance of the power supply being measured. This of course is an "Open Circuit Measurement" which will give you your highest reading. Typically the power supply will represent way under 100 Ohms and the meter will only absorb a proportional amount of voltage.

                          Or 100 ohms/ 70 Meg Ohms x Voltage

                          Sorry My mistake


                          • #14
                            I read the original post as a request for both. So you're right as well. No single type of wire will serve for all purposes, as you point out. Cord salvaged from a toaster may resist melting from a soldering iron when re-purposed as meter leeds, but that doesn't make it the correct or best choice for that purpose. Just as certain types of single conductor wire, however flexible, aren't meant to be used outside of an enclosure, raceway, conduit, etc.


                            • #15
                              Choose your gauge... Buy a couple of small rolls..