I've seen women make cloth with a spinning wheel, and seen all sorts
of other sewing done, but how did they mass produce that old cloth
covered wire? What was the material used? (it seems to last forever
except by hot fixtures), and was that really parafin wax used to coat
them, or something else?
On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 14:40:59 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
First of all, spinning wheels make yarn (or possibly thread). Cloth
is woven on a loom or knitted.
Wire insulation was "tube knitted" over the rubber coated wire and the
insulation was a phenolic varnish, not parafin wax.. The cloth romex
covering was more like a raffia and was bitumen impregnated (tarred).
Years back, when I worked for RCA Labs in Princeton, we had such a
machine. You built up your cable, like you do rope, by twisting with
the appropriate number of strands. You could then put on a wire mesh
shield, if you wished, and finish up with a black knit outer covering.
Doing more than about 20' of such stuff was a PITA.
You are welcome. I am an EE by profession, and ham radio operator
(W3FIS). It was amazing how many parts would fall off the end of the
workbench. Having access to a machine shop made building stuff (mostly
AM 6 and 2 meter gear) pretty easy. I finally standardized all my
power supplies with 7 wire plus shield and octal plugs/sockets, using
the cable I just described.
Early color TV development was done at the labs, so "classic" tube
building technology was pervasive. That wire technology got put to
rest with the availability of "ribbon" cable and zip ties, which were
just coming in in the mid 1960s. Lacing cables with waxed nylon line
is tedious, but also does a nice job. The ARRL handbook used to show
the proper technique (there is one!). I spent a couple of summers in
Boston with EG&G lacing cables as a summer tech, so I got pretty good
I have some Romex in my house from early 1970s. The woven covering was
bitumen impregnated then coated with an orange type of paint and then an
outer layer of wax covered it all. The wax was to ease pulling the cable
through holes in studs and joists. It was easier to work with than the older
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