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Old 12th Dec 2020, 7:45 pm   #1
mark_in_manc
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Default Un-enamelled copper wire

Somewhere else on the forum today, I noted I had found a Variac in a bin. In the same bin, I found 6 old reels of fine-gauge (various different gauges) copper wire, which, rather to my surprise, turns out to be un-enamelled. So my question is - what do you think it was for? I should have included something for scale - the bobbin is about 4" dia and the same high. There's quite a lot of wire!

My current long-wire is enamelled, so I guess I can reclaim that for another purpose and put some of this lot up. That will leave me with 5 63/64 reels to go. Perhaps I can wind it between two pegs along the side ginnel, and when I have walked up and down a hundred times, put one end in a slow drill chuck and make some monster un-insulated jump leads

ETA - or monster un-insulated speaker cables. Wa-hey, I'm sure it's oxygen-free long-grain whatever, and it's definitely 'retro'
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 2:30 pm   #2
Beeseebulbchap
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

Interesting. It sounds like the sort of wire that could be useful for model railway / tramway layouts, as properly functioning OHLE. That said, I suppose it depends if the wire gauge is correct for the scale of the models (ie N or 00). I'm sure someone will know the answer.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 3:08 pm   #3
McMurdo
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

Maybe for repairing fuses?
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 3:26 pm   #4
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

Possibly, but tinned copper is more usual for fuses.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 3:49 pm   #5
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

For coaxial cable braid? Although I would expect much bigger reels.
Perhaps it's not electrical wire at all. Maybe it's for weaving into mats for some purpose.

Interesting that they are of different gauges, that must be a clue.

On Ebay there's
Solid Bare Copper Wire Coil Wirework Jewellery Making Handmade 0.1-4mm DIY

0.1mm is around 42/43 SWG
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 5:23 pm   #6
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

The clown in the back of my head thinks it must have been rather labour intensive, un-enamelling that wire. Just one of those quirks of language. I bet they cheated and never enamelled it in the first place.



There is footage of machines weaving braided outer for coax. Lots of spools of bare wire mounted on shafts mounted around a large ring. The big ring rotates and the groups of spools all rotate around each other. Sort of robotic highland dancing of the circular sort. Posher coax uses silver plated copper wire for the braid. Coax relies a lot on good contact between strands ar each overlay of groups of strands in the braid. Tarnishing from water ingress can push a TV downlead to over 1000dB loss (yes, a thousand dB, got by measuring a short piece and calculating the total)

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Old 13th Dec 2020, 6:18 pm   #7
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

Assuming your LW is 40m long and the spools are small enough for you to lift with 2.5km on each, this must be rather thin wire. My sister is always looking for bare copper wire for jewellery but this would be a bit too thin
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 9:23 pm   #8
mark_in_manc
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

My 5 63/64 was a bit of a joke since I didn't want to say 5.99 reels to mean 'nearly all of it remaining' - this is a vintage forum

The wire seems to be about 12 thou diameter so I guess that's 31swg. Julian, perhaps your sister could plait some!
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Old 15th Dec 2020, 10:32 pm   #9
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julesomega View Post
Assuming your LW is 40m long and the spools are small enough for you to lift with 2.5km on each, this must be rather thin wire. My sister is always looking for bare copper wire for jewellery but this would be a bit too thin
The copper wire in T&E mains cable is plain copper, available in various gauges depending on cable rating. The PE conductor is thinner so you get two sizes in a length of cable.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 6:40 am   #10
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

Are you sure it's unplated Marc? It looks very shiny if that's the case, copper goes dull and oxidises if untreated as we've all seen with copper clad board.

Andy.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 7:34 am   #11
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

It's probably waxed as a preservative and lubricant for spooling an processing.

David
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 9:15 am   #12
mark_in_manc
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diabolical Artificer View Post
Are you sure it's unplated Marc? It looks very shiny if that's the case, copper goes dull and oxidises if untreated as we've all seen with copper clad board.

Andy.
Well - a meter probe placed near the free end, and another placed anywhere else, seem to have no problems making contact! Some of the reels are rather more crusty-looking than the one I photographed, looking like the oxidation you suggest.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 1:11 pm   #13
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Default Re: Un-enamelled copper wire

Hi all

On reflection, I have moved this enquiry to vintage radio.

Hello Moderators, I hope I have put this into the right place, if necessary, please move again and let me know where you have moved it to.

Regards.


Bill KNOX

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