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Old 17th Jun 2022, 9:34 am   #1
Chris55000
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Default Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

Just another little general Q about which my curiousity has been aroused!

Anyone who has worked on Hewlett Packard or Tektronix T & M gear or read the manuals will be familiar with the coloured stripes on the connecting wire and the miniature coaxial cables used in this type of gear – the Tektronix 468 has the greatest variety of colours I've seen!

Do OEMs get this type of cable specifically made for them or can you buy it?

Are there any videos online showing how this type of cable is marked in the factory?

Chris Williams
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Old 17th Jun 2022, 9:40 am   #2
Richardgr
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

Not sure if it is relevant, but I have found a great source of miniature shielded cables inside old Scart connectors, that are often thrown out as electrical waste.
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Old 17th Jun 2022, 10:06 am   #3
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

Do you mean the kind of hookup wire with a background colour (e.g. white) and a thin stripe colour (e.g red, green, blue etc? If so, you can still get it.
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Old 17th Jun 2022, 10:16 am   #4
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

could have swore someone (Diabolical Artificer?) posted only this week, how they did it at HP with a painting machine, but blowed if I can find the thread
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Old 17th Jun 2022, 10:21 am   #5
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

You can buy it though the colour selection migh not be what you want as it's aimed at another market. Selection of different sizes too, but generally thinwall insulation.

I did hear that one company I worked for, had bought all white, and painted the colours but I'm not at all convinced. It seems to be part of the process of moulding the jacket, I assume in the same way that stripey toothpaste is made.
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Old 17th Jun 2022, 10:34 am   #6
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

Might have been me.

HP used wire with a base white colour and often two stripes, one thinner than the other. We bought in the plain wire and ran it through a spinning painting machine where wheels of two thicknesses transferred dye from some little pots onto the wanted stripes. The pots and the wheel assemblies spun as the wire was wound from the bulk reel onto the wanted reel. The dye needed to dry quickly, so there was a lot of solvent in the air in the room where this was set up.

There was another setup to put a full coat of colour onto the base white wire where we needed solid colours. Look at the end view of this stuff and you see that the insulation is white through its thickness, with only the outer surface coloured.

A change in business attitude said that anything which could be farmed out must be, so then it got bought in, but this coincided with a dramatic reduction in wiring in instruments.

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Old 17th Jun 2022, 11:33 am   #7
cmjones01
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

I remember doing work experience at what had been Pye TVT in Cambridge, and they also used a lot of stripey wire in building TV studio equipment and transmitters. I witnessed the machine which put the stripes on the wires: it started with matt white wire and used brushes which rotated round the wire as it was fed through the machine, as David described.

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Old 17th Jun 2022, 11:33 am   #8
pmmunro
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

Tracer câbles are the type normally used for automotive wiring and modern versions are quite small diameters. You may find that a limited range is solid in small quantities of you check a few websites.

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Old 17th Jun 2022, 10:12 pm   #9
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

On the odd occcasion that I have needed strip wire I make it myself.
Start with the base colour PVC insulated wire and "paint " the strip on by using
Tolulene based "texta " type felt markers. The solvent actually etches into the PVC for a minute thickness and its permanent. I havent found it damages the electrical properties, nor does it damage the PVC itself.
With white as a base coulour, you can stripe it any of the 8 or 10 colours that come in a plastic "paint kit " as seen on the various auction sites.
Be careful in selecting the texta's, some are only water based and it will simply wipe off.
Its not really practical for really long runs, but its easy to make three of four foot lengths by hand.
Simply stretch out the wire to keep it taught. then run the texta along the wire which is held between the groove between two fingers. Its NOT a perfect system, but it works, and its way cheaper than buying a paint striping machine to make three bits of wire.
For other colours you have to adapt a bit. On red PVC you can stripe black or blue. Green you cab stripe red, black or blue. I guess what Im saying is that the new painted stripe must always be darker or contrasting with the base colour.

Joe
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 6:44 am   #10
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

Tektronix must have had a similar system to the HP method that David recalls. They also had two or even three tracer colours, often to designate the many different power supply rails.

At least it is more straightforward to follow than defence gear, where every wire colour is pink.

Craig
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 8:41 am   #11
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
At least it is more straightforward to follow than defence gear, where every wire colour is pink.
One explanation is that they need fewer stock numbers for the base wire plus 0..9 marker sleeves.

The other explanation is that it's to confuse the enemy and slow them in tracing out captured gear

But why pink?

David
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 9:43 am   #12
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

Thin-wall 1mm 16.5A wire is all base colours with tracer is widely available as 'auto/marine loom wiring'.

However maybe what is being called for in this thread is thinner gauge stranded tracer wire than 1mm. (EG, lower current, higher voltage?).

Here are just a few:

Yellow base with tracer in ten colours:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253731792838

Blue base with tracer in ten colours:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253460490080

White base with tracer in ten colours:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264358412...YAAOSwBEVc~-l-

Any length from 1 to 50 Metres.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 11:24 am   #13
Wendymott
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

I seem to remember R/S selling "dual" coloured multistand "hook up" wire in the 60/70's.. and now I too use Ex SCART lead and other multi wire / colour cables. However these miniature wires often have the insulation shrink or "run away" from the iron. Thankfully I rarely need anything over 10 colours .
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 11:29 am   #14
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

You have to solder quick to stop insulation melt back. The problem comes when you need to unsolder it again, particularly if it is wrapped round a post.

Craig
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Old 23rd Jun 2022, 5:36 am   #15
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Default Re: Coloured stripe connecting wire and miniature coaxial cable?

I've got some part reels of RS striped cable, grn/or, blk/wh, or/blk. Also have some bits bought off Keith's TV years ago that are like the traditional Tek/HP stuff. I admit to finding Tek colour coded wire hard to read especially as it's usually mucky. "Is that red/white or red/dirty yellow"?

In my own builds I use red for HT or highest HT, orange/black 350v, orange 300v, blue bias or -100v, green heater, black ground. Although I have a good selection of coloured wire I also use re-claimed wire out of old 70/80's gear like synth's, VCR's etc. ATX supplies have a few different colours in too, usually 600v rated. Finally my last washing machine yielded loads of good quality copper strand.

Andy.
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