Jump to content
Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
Sign in to follow this  
Will Sanders

Multi Conductor cable

Recommended Posts

I have been looking around and am trying to find a way to make my own multiconductor cable, like socapex. Socapex is great but is very expensive. I am trying to find some sort of connector that would allow me to create something similar to socapex.

http://www.cbicables.com/private/brkout.gif

Any ideas? I am trying to make eiter a 4 or 8 circuit setup. Thankss.

Will Sanders

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I once worked in a cable shop building cables for aerospace. Here's how we did it.

1) Determine number of conductors and gage i.e 12 ga.=20amp, 14ga.=15amp etc.

2) cut wires to length ( make sure to use braided wire for flexibility!

3)Use heat shrink tubing of the proper diameter, and cut to length. You can join more than one piece with rtv or epoxy during the shrinking process.

4)Take a string with a washer or button that fits inside the heatshrink. A little baby power helps. Usecompressed air to blow thewasher with attached string through the heatshrink.

5)Pull wires through all at onec. shrink outer heatshrink, and terminate ends.

I'll bet you find that you can buy the premade cheaper than you can make it, but this works! I can buy an extension cord cheaper than I can buy bulk cable!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will;

I was thinking.....I know dangerous.....How about simply taking the required number and length of extension cords and cutting off the male ends and terminate them all to one connector. Cheaper and much easier! I have made a few specialty power cables like this, a few cords and a little electrical tape, they work great! Custom made to your required lengths. Just a thought. Good luck.

Jerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will, I have some 18/6 or 18/8 cable that I could give you to experiment with. I know of a local store for connectors. PM me if you want the cable.

Dan Deshaies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. I am really just lookng for a lower costing connector than the socapex type. I will probably be using zip wire for my conductors but need a source for the connectors.

Will Sanders

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will Sanders wrote:

Thanks guys. I am really just lookng for a lower costing connector than the socapex type. I will probably be using zip wire for my conductors but need a source for the connectors.

There is nothing "magic" about those connectors. Why not just use regular extension cord ends?

TED

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OC Jerry wrote:

2) cut wires to length ( make sure to use braided wire for flexibility!

I think the key is to use stranded wire rather than solid wire. Braiding the wire does not make it more flexible.

TED

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OC Jerry wrote:

I was thinking.....I know dangerous.....How about simply taking the required number and length of extension cords and cutting off the male ends and terminate them all to one connector. Cheaper and much easier! I have made a few specialty power cables like this, a few cords and a little electrical tape, they work great! Custom made to your required lengths. Just a thought. Good luck.

Sounds like a good use for some large wire nuts. They are very safe and will not pull off if installed properly.

TED

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I make my own multi-conductor cable. As long as you only use it for temporary holiday displays and don't leave it out in the elements year round, you'll be fine.

Use zip cord. I have many thousand feet of home grown 9 conductor cable... four lengths of two conductor zip cord and 1 conductor of stranded 12-14 gauge wire you buy at the home center. This bundle becomes my "eight channel" cable. Each zip cord conductor carries once channel from the computer sequencing board and the 12-14 gauge wire is the common. I make a point never to put more than 2-3 amps on a channel so as not to overload the zipcord. I use a 5" strip of electrical tape every 18" to wrap around the wire bundle. Used this technique for almost 20 years... never had a problem.

This multi-conductor cable is part of my fundamental display infrastructure talked about in a recent PlanetChristmas newsletter. Running a pre-made 9 conductor cable is soooooo much faster than running eight individual extension cords!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ted;

Quite right! Stranded wire. Perhaps I misspoke, but it's the term I've used for a non-solid wire. May not be the correct term, but I'm so frequently wrong that I've learned to live with it! I certainly wouldn't recommend "braiding" the wires. Although a nice French braidMAY give your cablesthat nice designer look, but be careful not to use too much hair-spray. (just teasing) LOL

OCJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Chuck said......

Multiple Zip cords & one individual Neutral wire for all the hot circuits, proportionately upsized in gauge to handle the multiple HOT loads. Using One neutral really frees up a lot of circuit capability.

You can even make yourself a two or three channel cable with a simple extension cord (3 wires). With the cord, make one wire the neutral and the other two your Hots, or

Add a larger single NEUTRAL wire taped to the outside of the cord every few inches and then use the three individual wires as separate channels.

For ends, buy the contractor outlet packages (about 10 outlets for $3), and then use std metal or plastic boxes w strain reliefs to secure the cords. Cut the interconnect tab between the hot side of the plugs to separate the outlets individually. You'll need to waterproof them with plastic bags, etc but quite inexpensive overall.

See attached pic where I use no plugs on the controller boxes. Just terminal strips & split connectors soldered to the wires. Saves cost of all the male/female plugs & much cleaner wiring. Most of this cable is 16 or 18 ga 5 to 9 conductor cable depending on app.

post-289-129570958545_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your advice. I will definately be busy this summer making some new cales for my display. I like 8 hots and 1 neutral idea a lot.

Will Sanders

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although one neautral and a buch of hots seems an attractive idea, its generally not permitted in code as it can be f.dangerous. Those pretty socapex cables and connectors are 18 core, used for six circuits, and the hot and neutral for each are kept seperate from one end to the other.

If you choose to use a common neutral you must not have a fan-in cable. So, you could have a LOR box with a multicore output(s) without difficulty, but you cant have a fan-in cable with a bunch of edison plugs on the end. The reason is all those edison plugs would have an exposed pin (the N pin) commoned together, and one polarity screwup and you've got a bunch of live pins.......!

The socapex connectors are standard in entertainment electrics, as they are tough, but for lower duty stuff you could use a less heavy connector, as long as you use something electrically acceptable and appropriate for the environment it'll be used in. Also soca is rated at 10A per circuit, so probably rather heavier than you're looking for.

I also noted a suggestion to use a three core cable with external neutral, using all three cores as hot - this is an even bigger no-no as a cable marked as ground is not a ground, this is explicity against code, and if anything goes wrong you'll really end up on the receiving end of the codeboook - they will make an example of you as this is perhaps the most dangerous electrical practice possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that the subject has been breached, perhaps someone can answera question that has nagged me. Lets say you have 8 hot wires at 2 amps (just to make the math easy for me) and one neutral, aren't you drawing 16 amps on the neutral? Seems to me that the return has to carry the current as much as the hot leads? Would you need a 12 ga neutral(20a) for 18ga hot wires??

P.s. I agree that a single neutral is dangerous, I'm NOT thinking of using this configuration, despite how tempting!

Thanks;

OCJ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OC Jerry wrote:

Now that the subject has been breached, perhaps someone can answera question that has nagged me. Lets say you have 8 hot wires at 2 amps (just to make the math easy for me) and one neutral, aren't you drawing 16 amps on the neutral? Seems to me that the return has to carry the current as much as the hot leads? Would you need a 12 ga neutral(20a) for 18ga hot wires??

P.s. I agree that a single neutral is dangerous, I'm NOT thinking of using this configuration, despite how tempting!

Thanks;

OCJ.

Yes, using your example the neutral wire would be carrying 16 amps and would have to be at least a #12 wire. I don't think this is unsafe if, as an earlier poster mentioned, you hard-wire it at the controller end.

-jim-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lightingman117 wrote:

I'm sorry but no you would not be using the full 16 amp's even though you are supplying 16 amp's. remember you are converting some of that electrical energy to heat and light, not all of the amperage comes back through the neutral I do not know exactly but i'd say about 1/2 comes back. oh and yes it is better to have a lower (bigger) guage wire for the neutral.

No offense but that is just flat out wrong. In the scenario described, the current in the neutral wire would be exactly the sum of the currents in the hot wires.

The only exception is if you split your channel hot wires between the two legs of your electrical service, but use a common neutral conductor. Then the neutral current will be the difference of the combined current of the leg#1 channels and the combined current of the leg#2 channels.

Lighting lights, making heat, or whatever else you may be doing with the electricity doesn't "use up" any of the neutral current!

-jim-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using a common neutral is not a big deal as long as it is sized for the the total # of amps you are pulling across all the hots (I typically run it one size greater than the circuit breaker rating), and as long as you don't split the hots across circuit breakers. Take a peak in your electrical panel and you will see the entire panel goes outside to the earth through one big neutral wire from the neutral busbar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...