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 Post subject: Wire question for telephone guy
PostPosted: May Sun 19, 2019 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 08, 2016 1:19 am
Posts: 147
Location: mapleton sd
I found a coil of cloth covered wire at a yard sale and the box carried
a hand written sign stating SWITCHBOARD WIRE.

It is #18 AWG, solid and has a filament of some sort of wispy thread
surrounding the conductor, seems to be like silk.

The actual conductor is black but I can scrape the black away to
find copper.

Was this some sort of gutta percha or shellac/varnish used by the phone company or is it
just discolored from moisture contamination?
Attachment:
wire1.jpg
wire1.jpg [ 24.88 KiB | Viewed 436 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Wire question for telephone guy
PostPosted: May Sun 19, 2019 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Sep Tue 30, 2014 6:08 am
Posts: 4618
Location: Norfolk, VA
Todd Electron wrote:

Was this some sort of gutta percha or shellac/varnish used by the phone company or is it
just discolored from moisture contamination?
Attachment:
wire1.jpg


Probably discolored from something outgassing a sulfurous compound or the like. I've got a bunch of wire like that - stored in a box in a dry location for years - every wire conductor shows discoloration, the silver plated having the worst, with a silver sulfide coating.

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"Capacitor Cosmetologist since 1979"
USN Retired 1984-2006 (Avionics/Cal)


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 Post subject: Re: Wire question for telephone guy
PostPosted: May Mon 20, 2019 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 02, 2014 3:59 am
Posts: 1162
Location: Brooklyn, NY 11217
Some of that wire was varnished with a pretty awful coating of some sort. You need to scrape to solder it. I have heard you can jack up the heat on your iron to burn off the varnish, but I don't want that in my lungs.


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 Post subject: Re: Wire question for telephone guy
PostPosted: May Mon 20, 2019 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 11632
Location: Powell River BC Canada
That type wire was used for battery circuits. The inner conductor is enamelled.

Useless, but a roll would fetch a tad among phone collectors.

They probably didn't have names for the cancers caused
by the stuff used in old telephone and telegraph manufacturing.

I grew up around miles of the stuff. :D
Attachment:
Switchboard wire.jpg
Switchboard wire.jpg [ 139.66 KiB | Viewed 312 times ]

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de
VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
Steve Dow
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