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Author Topic: Wire size for a paddle  (Read 3434 times)
WALTERB
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Posts: 528




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« on: July 05, 2013, 09:40:15 AM »

I picked up a paddle last year, but the wire it came with is frayed. 

I have some 3 wire rotor cable, but its only about 18 gauge. Is that going to work? If so it would be much more flexible than what is on there now.

thanks
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K8AXW
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 09:58:03 AM »

WALTERB:  The goal is to get the smallest and most flexible wire you can find.  The conductors don't carry much current so there's no restriction on this.
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N3QE
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2013, 10:56:58 AM »

In almost every case with a paddle, any wire that can handle 12V at a few mA is going to do fine.

3 wire rotor cable will work fine, although not too pretty and not too flexible. Heck you could take any old 120VAC three-wire cord and use it with the right connectors on the ends :-)

You do want something flexible and not fragile. I am a big fan of the two-conductor-plus-shield microphone cable for paddles. Far and away the best I've found is "RF Connection MIKE1". This is a pure joy, I use it for audio, I use it for paddles, I use it for anything where I want two-conductor-plus-shield. This is the good stuff. I would guess any professional audio place has something similar, used for balanced aka XLR microphone cable. It is pure joy to handle, strip, tin, and solder. Makes any consumer-grade multiconductor audio cable seem like crap in comparison.

Some other pretty good flexible and durable two-conductor-plus-shield cables: Belden 9851, Gotham GAC-2. But if you get a chance... get the RF Connection MIKE1 cable. It is such a joy.


« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 11:02:37 AM by N3QE » Logged
KQ6Q
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Posts: 993




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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 09:50:57 PM »

WalterB - I built a PortaPaddle a few years ago, and needed cable for it. Bought a 50' roll of 2 conductor shielded audio cable at Radio Shack. Needed 3 feet. Mailed 3 feet to another poster here a year or two ago. Is your mailing address listed on eham OK? I'll send you a few feet off my roll!

Fred, KQ6Q
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WALTERB
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Posts: 528




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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 06:32:47 AM »

WalterB - I built a PortaPaddle a few years ago, and needed cable for it. Bought a 50' roll of 2 conductor shielded audio cable at Radio Shack. Needed 3 feet. Mailed 3 feet to another poster here a year or two ago. Is your mailing address listed on eham OK? I'll send you a few feet off my roll!

Fred, KQ6Q

thanks you so much , but you don't have to go to that trouble and expense.  I have plenty of wire, I just didn't want to screw something up by using a too small a gauge.  The wire that came with the used paddle is very thick and frayed.  I just wanted to swap it out with something that was flexible. thanks again for the offer.
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WA9CFK
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2013, 09:16:34 AM »

The days of Cathode keying are long gone. But if you are a boat anchor fan you may still come across it.

Most of the rigs I played with a a kid, ran perhaps 200 milliamps but there was also a couple of hundred volts or more on the key.

Just thought I would mention it to get a smile from the oldtimers. Wink

Enjoy,

WA9CFK 
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W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 06:48:53 PM »

The size of the conductors and cable is mostly personal preference with fairly new equipment.  The 'cable' should be strong enough to withstand the 'abuse' you will put it through, and being able to secure the cable to the paddles is nice.  Ever slid the @#$ thing off of the table and caught it by the cable? 
The size of the conductors in that cable isn't really all that important.  If they can handle a couple hundred mA of current, they should do fine.  As already said, if you do the 'boat-anchor' thingy then you might want to consider a larger conductor.  Those larger conductors will do just dandy for the solid state radios too, -if- it'll fit the connector.  It's a 'what do you have' sort of thingy...
 - Paul
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WALTERB
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Posts: 528




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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2013, 05:45:35 AM »

The size of the conductors and cable is mostly personal preference with fairly new equipment.  The 'cable' should be strong enough to withstand the 'abuse' you will put it through, and being able to secure the cable to the paddles is nice.  Ever slid the @#$ thing off of the table and caught it by the cable? 
The size of the conductors in that cable isn't really all that important.  If they can handle a couple hundred mA of current, they should do fine.  As already said, if you do the 'boat-anchor' thingy then you might want to consider a larger conductor.  Those larger conductors will do just dandy for the solid state radios too, -if- it'll fit the connector.  It's a 'what do you have' sort of thingy...
 - Paul


the rig is a TS-590s, so its a modern rig.  I'll give the 3 wire rotor cable a try first. thanks for all the help.
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