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>> Home > Forum > Electrical Related > What type of wire?
What type of wire?
Author Message

Forum Posts: 75
8th May 2017 01:24  
>> Permalink

When...and even need to wire up anything below decks which is the best wire to use? And on what equipment? It's probably a broad question but if I never ask i'll never find out.....thanks

(Fleet Admiral!)

Forum Posts: 1410
8th May 2017 09:01  
>> Permalink

Hi Nick,
Servos & signal leads
For these I use the twisted cable, pic 1. Especially if I need to extend a servo cable. Twisting the wires together helps to reduce interference. The interference current induced in one wire is suppressed by the wire next to it 😊 This is the principle used in high quality phone and LAN cables. Of course you can twist wires together yourself if you want. Clamp one end in the vice, the other ends in your hand-drill and away you go.

Drive batter - ESC - motor- Rules of thumb
For these I use cable from the motor trade. Make sure it is rated to handle the motor current you expect under normal running AND NOT LESS THAN THE STALL CURRENT OR THE BATTERY MAX CURRENT RATING!
I don't do hi speed racers so the hefty 300A stuff doesn't interest me. If you do then use the car battery cable size. Cross section of the copper wires ca 25 to 35square mm. Pic 2. For medium power, < 15 to 20A like most of my scale ships the 'standard' car cable with about 2.5 to 4mm square is enough. Pic 3.
Above all: don't forget to fit a fuse (quick blow) in each motor supply lead, Rating less than the max stall current that you expect and/or just under the max current rating of the cable. In the drive battery lead put a fuse (not quick blow!) rating to match the total max load you expect under 'normal' running; i.e.just above your total load but always less than the max discharge rate of the battery (esp. for LiPos!) or the wire mac rating. The quick blow fuses on the motors will blow first if a motor stalls, still leaving you with some power & control.
Esp in twin shaft boats, you can limp home on one engine 👍
On singles, time to take your socks off and join the ducks! 😉

Odds and ends - low power
So called signal cable or test-lead cable from hobby electronic shops with conductor cross section area of 0.75 mm square is enough. It copes with an Amp or 2 with no problem.

General, make sure all connections are clean and tight, use gold plated connectors for all hi current wires, batt, ESC, motors.

Hope this helps a bit.
Cheers Doug 😎

Attached Files - Click To View Large

Young at heart - slightly older in other places 😉 cheers Doug
(Fleet Admiral!)

Forum Posts: 1410
8th May 2017 12:15  
>> Permalink

Hi again,
here's a useful cable chart, as you can see my guesstimates were somewhat conservative! Better safe than sorry 😊
This is from the Conrad website here in Germany, I'm sure there must be something similar on Maplin Electronics etc.

So, I've stuck my oar in enough for now 😊 time to continue with my Taycol Target renovation. 😎

Attached Files - Click To View Large

Young at heart - slightly older in other places 😉 cheers Doug
Dave M
(Fleet Admiral!)

Forum Posts: 1527
8th May 2017 12:23  
>> Permalink

The UK equivalents of Conrad are RS Components and Farnell but Maplin are perhaps more visible and do have local stores.

Live long and prosper

(Fleet Admiral!)

Forum Posts: 1410
8th May 2017 12:35  
>> Permalink

On Maplin look under Cut Cables/Equipment wire or Automotive wire.
Happy hunting 😎

Young at heart - slightly older in other places 😉 cheers Doug

Forum Posts: 75
8th May 2017 15:40  
>> Permalink

Thanks guys :-)


Forum Posts: 70
9th May 2017 10:11  
>> Permalink

I am not sure from your original question if you were asking about sizing of conductors or on which type of conductor/insulation was the most suitable.

The previous contributors have covered the size issue and here are a few thoughts on other features.

From your comments it looked to me you were interested in having wiring in models you wanted to be around for a long time which is quite likely. I think my fireboat is over 50 years old now and is still stuck to gether with the original glue, but has had a number of up dates to its internals from very messy diesel to brushed dc motors.

Most reasonably priced wiring is made from copper or tin coated copper wire if you need to do a lot of soldering, with pvc insulation, if pvc is irradiated this gives it a longer life. As far as I can see from my house wiring, so long as it is not flexed, ordinary pvc insulation lasts a long time, but does become brittle.

In the defence/aerospace business since the second world war there have been various exotic systems used ( up until the end of the war rubber was the general insulator which did not last very long until it perished ). Various ones being silicone rubber internal insolators covered with glass fibre woven covers, this is horrible stuff to deal with when stripping, vynel with a woven nylon covering being another.

With the advent of irradiated pvc and ptfe these were totally replaced.

Ptfe is a very good insulator and is very stable and not attacked by any common liquids or solvents. Due to its good insulating properties the thickness of casing can be very thin, the problem with it is it is difficult to strip so you have to have a good pair of strippers.

Another option in a model boat installation would be to use varnised copper wire like that used in various electrical items, solenoids, transformers etc. then stick this down on to a bed of epoxy resin and then add an extra coat, a bit like a fitted p.c.b. I have never done it but if it was well done could look quite interesting.

If the radio side is a major consideration the above is not very applicable as, as has been said by others the choice is largely decided by the equipment you acquire.

(Fleet Admiral!)

Forum Posts: 1410
9th May 2017 11:12  
>> Permalink

Didn't think it was necessary to get into this as PTFE is practically the industry standard, except for special cables used in aerospace and naval shipbuilding (my direct background experience).
All the recommended types most probably have PTFE insulation and all used stranded copper wire to improve current carrying capacity and reduce losses.

I never had any sweat stripping PTFE, been using the tool in the photo for donkey's years with ease. Adjustable for all sizes we are likely to need; grip, twist and pull and you're done!
In emergency I have also 'carefully' used small (sharp!) side cutters or the ubiquitous Swiss Army Knife - no problem.

Can't recommend using varnished CW like that, not what it's meant for. As you say solenoids, transformers, not to mention inductances for various circuits (including the all pervading solar garden lights, ever wondered how they make a 2V LED work on a 1.2V NiMH? Oscillation and inductance!) and of course E Motors! I
On the electrical side: A single wire like this will have less current carrying capacity and warm up more than a stranded wire of the same diameter. Skin effects and so on! the warmth is wasting energy you want in the motor.

On the practical side: A messy and time consuming business, and what happens when you want / need to mod something? Tear the ship apart? Not surprised you have never done it! Don't even want to think about what happens if the wire gets hot inside an epoxy jacket 😡

Also, before your can solder it you have to burn off the varnish, which produces toxic smoke so you have to work outside (!) or in front of an extractor / filter, as I do. 'Every home should have one' 😉
But I only use TCW or varnished CW for fixed links on circuit breadboards and test jigs. Or sometimes for detailing on models; railings, ladders, masts, scale antennas etc. Very good for the Yagi antennas of the first generation naval radars etc. 👍

Hope this clarifies and helps the novices to cut the wheat from the chaff.
Happy modelling 😎

Attached Files - Click To View Large

Young at heart - slightly older in other places 😉 cheers Doug