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Thread: Where can you buy higher voltage hookup wire?

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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Des Moines, WA
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    147

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    I suppose if you are in a real bind that you could cut the ends of a test lead set that's rated 600V or higher. It'd be expensive as all get out to cut the leads on my Fluke T5-1000 but they are rated 1000V.

    I have about 30' of Locomotive wire that's rated 1200VDC (Lots of rubberish insulation, not so much wire) from Boeing Surplus back in the mid 90's. . I miss that store.

    Michael

  2. #12

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    I picked up a few dozen rolls of multiple colors from All Electronics about 6 months ago, 20-22 gauge and reasonable. Ive also picked up reels of Teflon insulated at a recyclers for next to nothing as they cant use it but its not a good color match in BA's.
    If you want heavier find a trashed clothes dryer and strip out the wire, they are loaded with typically 12-18 600V 105*C.

    Carl

  3. #13

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    Thanks for all the posts, suppliers and ideas! I'm going to order some different colored spools of wire, clear and colored tubing and shrink tube. John, Your HV experiment with the appliance wire was interesting. I would be curious to see what happens when you try it on some of the wire used in some of the old WRL and heath kits. Then again maybe it is better I don't know!

    73's

    Greg

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Downtown Colorado. (Montrose, SW corner)
    Posts
    29,593

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    I'm not planning on any more tests, but if someone wants to send a wire sample and return postage I can check it up to 8kv.

    The only thing I can think of that a brief test doesn't cover is any long term corona (ozone) degradation, which is a tricky situation. Probably not a problem at usual ham voltages. Various plastics have very different resistances to ozone. This may
    be listed in a wire spec if you can find it.

    A long time ago my co. used a special single-sourced hv wire to feed the maggy in a microwave oven. A strike or fire (don't remember) stopped our supply. I used RG-8 as a substitute, and U-L ok'd it. Expensive, bulky, hard to work with but it kept
    the production line running. A lab I had worked in used RG-8 at 50kv!! in a pulse generator. Very short-time use tho.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    5,598

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    Quote Originally Posted by K8ERV View Post
    My guess is that 300 volt wire will stand much more. Maybe the mfr did not see a need for a higher rating, or didn't want to spend extra time and money to get it.

    I checked some very old AWM (appliance wiring material) PVC wire rated 105 degrees C. No marked voltage rating.

    I wrapped aluminum tape around a section and put 3kv dc on it for an hour, then 5kv for a few seconds. No breakdown.

    This test doesn't take into account long-term corona (ozone) problems, which I don't think would be a problem at 600 volts.

    I would not be afraid to use your wire at 600v, especially with typical ham use. This assumes that a breakdown would not be a personal safety problem.

    .Attachment 91080

    Did You test it with the Aluminum foil Grounded ?
    "Theory only works perfect in a vacuum." KA9JLM Don

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lompoc, CA
    Posts
    794

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    In the past I have used Packard 440 secondary ignition wire for HV. It is a classic wire core ignition wire from "back in the day." Dunno if it is still available. Only made in black.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Downtown Colorado. (Montrose, SW corner)
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    29,593

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    Quote Originally Posted by KA9JLM View Post
    Did You test it with the Aluminum foil Grounded ?
    The foil was connected to the negative terminal of the power supply.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    5,598

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    I know a lot of older wire is under rated.

    When I used to test wire before it could be used for Aircraft it was much better than its rating. Mil spec tho.

    Almost all of it was Teflon Insulation. PVC would not fly.

    The most fun we would have was to charge a roll of coax with HV using a megger , then give it to a buddy and ask him to put a connector on it. What a shocking experience. I know it was rude and Horse Play was wrong.

    It was almost as much fun as Throwing a charged Auto Distributor Capacitor to someone after you charge it up, and say catch.

    I think a lot of this new wire is cheap now a days. The old stuff made in the USA was better.
    "Theory only works perfect in a vacuum." KA9JLM Don

  9. #19

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    When I've had need of wire for plate voltage >1kv, I would find a tv set and cannibalize the HV lead to the ultor -- that's the socket on the side of the tube. Also something that works well is test prod wire. Get the real flexible stuff, with the rubbery insulation, like Simpson uses with their leads.

    Gary WA7KKP

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