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Many-colored 22/24AWG stranded wire?

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by larwe, Jan 9, 2006.

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  1. larwe

    larwe Guest

    A client has requested unique wire colors for ~70 wires in a harness. I
    figure that at least 90 colors ought to be readily available (standard
    10 "resistor band" colors plus stripe combinations). Standard PVC
    insulation is fine.

    Can anyone recommend a supplier? I guess I would buy perhaps 500ft of
    each color, maybe 1000ft. Thought I would see something in the
    automotive line or on McMaster-Carr, but I can't find this many unique
    colors; the best I can find is

    Thanks for any pointers...
  2. Jim Stewart

    Jim Stewart Guest

    Never heard of such a thing. Even telco
    cables with >1000 pairs use a hierarchy of
    single and striped colors grouped in small
    bundles with colored tracers which are then
    grouped into larger bundles, etc...

    Military and aerospace practice is to use
    all white with each wire marked every foot
    or so with a unique alphanumeric code.
  3. Farnell do up to at least 60 core colour coded cable, so it looks like
    it might be possible.

    If he buys some and strips it, he's almost there already! :)
  4. larwe

    larwe Guest

    I suspect military, aerospace and even telco are not dealing with
    $1-per-hour unskilled labor plugging the wires in... But the customer
    is always right. I did suggest using the ten standard solid colors, and
    grouping bundles by function.

    I've seen all the colors I want in arcade games and car harnesses. I
    just can't find a supplier that has a rainbow catalog.
  5. smilo

    smilo Guest

    maybe alphawire...
    http:// /pages /375.CFM

    waitwait, thats not unique coloring.
  6. Guest

    Anixter shows about 60 colors for automotive GXL wire: , "Wire and Cable"
    catalog, "GXL" under "Automotive". They also say they will dye and
    stripe wire to your requirements:

    Standard disclaimer: I have no connection with Anixter other than as a
    user of some of their products.

    Matt Roberds
  7. Neil Kurzman

    Neil Kurzman Guest

    You are looking in the wrong place.

    Look for a place that process wire. They will custom stripe it for you.
    Check with a wire distributor. They should have some names.

    There are place that will cut stripe, dye, and stripe wire to your spec.
  8. John G

    John G Guest

    What is he building? A kaleidascope.

    Multi coUlred wire looms are just too hard.

    Ask Boeing Lockheed etc etc.

    I would not want to try and service it. and Service is my experience.
  9. larwe

    larwe Guest

    *shrug* The customer is always right. The reason for wanting it is
    [supposedly] ease of assembly by people who don't understand what
    they're doing. I think this will be offset 5x over by difficulty in
    perceiving colors (for instance I have terrible difficulty deciding if
    a given resistor stripe is red or orange if both colors don't occur on
    the same part).

    I think I may have persuaded him to use fewer colors by pointing out
    that the connectors on my board are grouped functionally and laid out
    with some mechanical foresight, so he can build two identical 30-wire
    harnesses and a separate 15-wire harness rather than a single massive
    75-wire snake.
  10. Google for "wire striping". You will get a list of manufacturers. I would
    expect one could direct you to a vendor who uses their equipment.

    With the way-back machine set for the early seventies, I worked for Wang
    Labs, who colored all of their own wire for harnesses including
    multi-stripes and solids. They bought milllions of feet of white wire and
    ran the machine full time for their own needs. When you needed some wire
    for an engineering project you could get anything you wanted. If they
    didn't have it on the shelf, they put you in the queue based on the darkness
    of the colors you asked for.

  11. With that way-back machine similarly set, I worked for Grass Valley Group,
    a manufacturer of switching and effects equipment for the television
    braodcast and post production industries. A major portion of the company's
    business then was a line if switchers whose rack mounted portions were
    constructed using card cages and wiring harnesses rather than back-planes.
    The harnesses were built up out of discreet wires that assemblers pulled
    from a rack of spools. I think the spool racks held 70 or 80 spools
    of color coded wires, striped as described above. I'm fairly certain
    that the spools were purchased from some vendor rather than being colored
    at our factory.

    I have no idea where one might purchase these today, though. I recently
    constructed a home-brew project for which I would like to have purchased
    a set of 10 spools of unstriped black through white and was unable to find
    a vendor of such. In my research, though, I discovered that wire is
    suprisingly expensive these days.

  12. I used some of the early Grass Valley equipment in '73 & '74. A pair
    of B&W sync generators with the automatic switch over, and another card
    cage full of Distribution Amplifiers.
    One word: Surplus. Mendelson's, Skycraft, and others literally have
    tons of surplus hookup wire. I can get a lot of colors, but it is on
    1000' and larger spools. I have some already, and I will be posting it
    on my website for sale in small to medium quantities. I also have some
    rubber test prod wire and teflon coax. I am not in business, I am just
    trying to thin out my collection of spare parts as I can. has a few of the items listed,
    and I am open to reasonable offers, or trades. I also have a "projects"
    section that lists what I am working on, and a small bone yard of
    damaged or half stripped items I have picked up for parts.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
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