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 Post subject: Is it ok to use 16 gauge automotive cloth covered wire?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:14 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:58 am
Posts: 304
Location: Florida
Now that I have built up my supplies with a variety of colors of single conductor cloth covered 18 gauge wire, I realize that the wire in my Victrolas and Electrolas is 16 gauge. The companies I purchased my wire from don't sell the 16 gauge type of single conductor wire and I see that the only companies that do are vintage automotive or motorcyle companies. These companies even offer better prices, the problem is that there are warnings that these wires are not for appliance use. Which to me means, not for ac, only dc.

Does anyone know for a fact, that there is or isn't a problem using the automotive 16 gauge cloth wire? It's described the same as being cloth over PVC copper wire.

I did some research on TMF and folks seem to think 18 gauge wire from the ac suppliers would handle the current, I just prefer to have the same thickness as original (.051" versus .040").

Thanks for any input.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to use 16 gauge automotive cloth covered wire?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:35 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 1908
Location: Harrison Township, MI
Try Rhode Island Wiring. They sell cloth covered, 16GA wire. http://www.riwire.com/

Look at the menu on the left side of their web page and click on "supplies".


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to use 16 gauge automotive cloth covered wire?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:06 pm 
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Victor II
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Location: Florida
Thanks Jerry. Since their website does not warn against using their DC intended wire in 120V AC applications, I called them to see what they had to say. The very nice gentleman who answered said he hadn’t been asked that question before but offered to send a sample for testing purposes. I did however order a couple rolls from another vintage auto wire supplier, EngineBarn, yesterday and will test that out. I figure it’s gots to be better than the 90 year old stuff in theses machines. Interesting that JAS sells those phonograph replacement power cords, makes them in 18 gauge. Not sure which Im more comfortable with, 16 gauge automotive cloth wire or 18 gauge cloth wire rated to 600 VAC.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to use 16 gauge automotive cloth covered wire?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:38 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 1908
Location: Harrison Township, MI
16 GA wire is 16GA wire. It has no preference AC versus DC or automotive versus phonograph, so long as the insulation is adequate for the environment. Otherwise, all it cares about is amperage.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to use 16 gauge automotive cloth covered wire?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:45 am 
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Victor II
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:58 am
Posts: 304
Location: Florida
Thanks again Jerry. I’ll compare insulation thickness once received and post the difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it ok to use 16 gauge automotive cloth covered wire?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:26 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:58 am
Posts: 304
Location: Florida
Well I received the 16 gauge single conductor automotive cloth wire today and it has an outside diameter of .131” with the stranded copper core of .051”. I purchased it from enginebarnmyshopify.com.

The 18 gauge single conductor cloth wire purchased from tubedepot.com also has an outside diameter of .131” with its tinned stranded copper wire core of only .040”. This up to 600 VAC rated wire therefore has .0055” more thickness of insulation covering the copper core (.011” divided by 2) than the above automotive wire.

The wire in my VE 10-50 is 16 gauge determined by measuring the stranded copper (.051) and it has the same outside diameter as the automotive cloth wire with an outside diameter.131”.

Conclusion: The 16 gauge automotive cloth wire seems to identically match the Victrola (and Electrola) wire. Note however, the thinner 18 gauge AC type of cloth wire is widely excepted as a suitable replacement and has just a wee bit more insulation.

The 16 gauge automotive wire has 25% more copper than the 18 gauge, versus...

The 18 gauge has about 14% more thickness of insulation covering the copper than the 16 gauge automotive.


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