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 Post subject: Buying some supplies. Have a few questions.
PostPosted: Aug Tue 31, 2021 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 175
Location: New Virginia, IA
Handiest diameters of solder to have on hand?

Gauges of bare wire to keep on hand?

Gauges of insulated wire to keep on hand?

I currently need to replace yellow, blue, and white insulated wires due to crumbling insulation. I assume red and black would be handy colors to have too. Any other frequently needed colors?

Should I replace all old power cords with 3 conductor cords or are there exceptions where I should stick with 2 conductor cords?

When replacing power cords on AA5's should wide blade connect to the chassis? (I know it's a dumb question but it has been a while since I've done this.) Should I stick with 2 conductor power cords for AA5's since one conductor is already connected to the chassis?

What gauge of wire is typically used on capacitor leads?

Thanks and my apologies.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying some supplies. Have a few questions.
PostPosted: Sep Wed 01, 2021 1:42 am 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
Posts: 3599
Location: Dallas, TX
Solder diameter isn't very critical, for tube circuit something in the range 0.030 to 0.050 inch is fine.

Insulated wire 20 and 22 gauge is popular. Use stranded if there is any need for the wire to bend in use, like that used to connect a tube cap. Actually you could use stranded for everything. You need to twist the strands together before trying to insert the wire into a solder lug. Between two stationary points (two tube sockets, etc.) under a chassis you could use solid (it is a bit cheaper).
Component leads are about 22 gauge but vary a bit, for example leads on two watt resistors are bigger.
Some components come with copper coated steel leads so they are stiffer than the same copper gauge.
Many times the original wires use wire with stripes which isn't very convenient to have on hand.
Black, brown, red, orange, yellow and green seem popular.

Non-insulated solid wire many times is 20 or 18 gauge. There are no set rules on wire sizes just general guidelines.

I would not use three conductor cords on a AA5, much more trouble than needed.
Some test equipment use three conductor power cords, that is because they have metal cases.

Connecting the wide blade of a polarized plug to the chassis would be safer, but many times the radios that have polarized cords put the switch in that line whereas most thinking would say the switch should be in the narrow blade hot lead.
There are debates about that.

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Tim
It's not the Destination, It's the Journey.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying some supplies. Have a few questions.
PostPosted: Sep Wed 01, 2021 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Jun Fri 19, 2009 6:34 pm
Posts: 11150
Location: Long Island NY
General purpose electronic solder is 0.031" in diameter. The heavier stuff, 0.040" is good if you want to solder heavy wires or chassis metal; the finer solder, 0.015" or so, is good for fine PC board work. 63/37 solder melts at the lowest temperature; 60/40 gives a little more mechanical strength.

To me, vinyl covered wire looks out of place in a vintage chassis. It is possible to buy silicone rubber covered wire in various colors that looks almost identical to the old rubber covered wire. Some cloth covered wire is also available; you have to hunt around a bit. Solid wire was not often used for wiring in radios except in the form of bare bussbar in early sets. The gauges have already been mentioned above. Look at the voltage rating of the wire insulation; that tells you the thickness. I generally work with 600 volt wire since it can be used just about anywhere in any radio, but it is possible to get other voltages which may be cheaper and thinner for low voltage circuits. Some automotive wire and general purpose hook-up wire is only rated for 100 or 150 volts and that is pretty low to put in a tube radio, in my opinion.

Unless you want to get into the nitty-gritty (and liabilities) of re-engineering products, it would be best to simply replace cords with the same types originally provided. In other words, if it had a two-wire cord to begin with, put a new two-wire cord on. If it came with a three-wire cord from the factory then that should only be replaced with a new three wire cord. There are certain situations where it is beneficial to replace an old two-wire cord with a three-wire one, but there are plenty of other instances where no benefit is obtained but operation of a device becomes more inconvenient and may actually be impaired. Those you have to treat on a case by case basis.

Note that the leads on many modern components are tinned steel, to allow for magnetic sorting and handling in factories.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying some supplies. Have a few questions.
PostPosted: Sep Wed 01, 2021 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sat 28, 2019 4:18 pm
Posts: 1118
Location: Corinth, TX
Wiring colors:
The old fashioned colors used in vacuum tube gear (for instance, Zenith used this):
https://www.tpub.com/blueprintreading/1 ... age120.jpg

John


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 Post subject: Re: Buying some supplies. Have a few questions.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 12:34 am 
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Joined: Jul Mon 01, 2019 4:42 pm
Posts: 1033
Location: St. Louis, MO
DWSmith wrote:
Should I replace all old power cords with 3 conductor cords or are there exceptions where I should stick with 2 conductor cords?

When replacing power cords on AA5's should wide blade connect to the chassis? (I know it's a dumb question but it has been a while since I've done this.) Should I stick with 2 conductor power cords for AA5's since one conductor is already connected to the chassis?


Upgrading 2 prong devices to 3 prong is usually a big pain in the butt unless the radio came with a floating ground separate from the chassis.

Connect the neutral side of the cord to the chassis ground on the AA5s. Here's the wiring path for upgrading these old non-polarized devices to a modern polarized cord:

hot side of polarized cord -> fuse (if any) -> power switch -> line filter caps (if any) -> rest of radio


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 Post subject: Re: Buying some supplies. Have a few questions.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Feb Sun 02, 2014 9:13 pm
Posts: 2284
Location: Roanoke, VA
DWSmith wrote:
Handiest diameters of solder to have on hand?

I keep .025", .04", and 0.9" on hand, but I normally only use the first two - I can't remember when I last used the .09". I also keep a spool of .03" 5% silver for some work on instruments.

DWSmith wrote:
Gauges of bare wire to keep on hand?

I need it so seldom that I don't stock it - I just strip insulated wire as needed.

DWSmith wrote:
Gauges of insulated wire to keep on hand?

I stock 18, 20, 22, 24, and 26 in both solid and stranded.

DWSmith wrote:
I currently need to replace yellow, blue, and white insulated wires due to crumbling insulation. I assume red and black would be handy colors to have too. Any other frequently needed colors?

A full stock for me would be 100 spools of wire - solid and stranded times 5 gauges times the 10 RMA colors. I never have a full stock, but typically have about 90 of those 100 spools. The gauge that I generally have the least varieties of is 26 as I use it the least.

DWSmith wrote:
Should I replace all old power cords with 3 conductor cords or are there exceptions where I should stick with 2 conductor cords?

I normally replace cords with the same type.

DWSmith wrote:
When replacing power cords on AA5's should wide blade connect to the chassis?

I don't collect AA5s.

DWSmith wrote:
What gauge of wire is typically used on capacitor leads?

It all depends upon capacitor and application.

Note that I am not a typical restorer as much of my restoration work is on vintage instruments and broadcast electronics, so I need a greater variety than someone who works only on radios.

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Dale H. Cook, Antique Radios / Test Equipment (GR/HP/Tek)
http://plymouthcolony.net/starcity/radios/


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 Post subject: Re: Buying some supplies. Have a few questions.
PostPosted: Sep Thu 02, 2021 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 15, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 7972
Location: Liberty, Missouri
I try to buy at least 500' spools of wire simply because its cheaper by the foot. I have stranded from 10 to 26 gauge wire on hand, and a spool of 20 gauge solid. I don't care about the colors because I seldom rewire a chassis, and most of my wiring consists of building interconnect cables. I use either plastic or copper braided sleeving over cables because it keeps them much more flexible than jacketed multi-conductor cable, and in the case of copper braid, provides a very good ground return.

Solder; I buy what ever size is the cheapest 60/40 type. The diameter is often the .015" or so, so I just make up 3 or 4 stands about 25-30 feet long and twist them up with a drill driver, then I have .045 and .015 material.

Wrap around my hand, squash the roll flat, and twist it. Stays neat, can place anywhere on the bench and fits the hand well.

Image

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