Multiconductor Electronic Cables
About Multiconductor Electronic Cables
Multiconductor electronic cables are popular indoors and outdoors, and they power many of the most commonly used items in our lives. They are composed of multiple lead wires and an overall jacket that offers protection and cleanliness for the application at hand. A polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cable is the cheapest, most basic version of a multi-conductor cable, but there are many others for specific installations.
Let’s take a quick look at multiconductor cables in general and the different ways you can use them.
What Are Multiconductor Cables?
Multiconductor cables can also be called multi-core cables. Each conductor has an insulating jacket that gives it certain protective properties, such as heat, moisture and chemical resistance. They are typically fairly flexible and are easy to solder. They also come in a wide range of American Wire Gauge (AWG) sizes, with specifications and standards to support safe installations in many different applications. In general, these multiconductor cables handle between 300 and 600 volts and are rated for maximum temperatures of 90-105°C.
The wires inside a multiconductor cable can have treatments such as tin coatings or annealing that offer greater functionality in specific environments.
Types of Multiconductor Cables
We carry several different types of multiconductor cables at WesBell Electronics.
As the name implies, unshielded cables don’t include any additional shielding such as aluminum foil. Shielding is a method used to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI), and unshielded cables accomplish this by twisting the wires within the cable in a certain way. They are typically more flexible and lightweight than shielded cables.
Shielded cables use a variety of methods to keep electrical signals moving steadily. These methods might include things like copper tape or a layer of aluminum just beneath the jacket through foiling, screening and braiding. Shielded cables are a bit thicker than unshielded cables, making them a little less flexible. Common applications include those where nearby equipment can cause EMI and degrade the signal.
The name gives a lot away — speaker wire is used to connect speakers and amplifiers. It is typically a low-voltage cable made of copper or silver and may involve a coating of aluminum or silver to resist corrosion. It usually features two or more conductors and plastic insulation, such as PVC or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) materials. Speaker wire aims to offer extremely low levels of resistance, capacitance and inductance.
Thermostat cables are designed for — you guessed it — thermostats. They are color-coded to connect to the different components of a home’s heating and cooling system. These cables utilize solid copper conductors with PVC insulation and come in several different sizes.
Fire Alarm Wire
Another type of specialty wire is fire alarm wire, which can vary quite a bit based on its environment. There are a few different types, and they can be shielded or unshielded, but they typically feature a bright red jacket for easy identification by electricians and other building professionals.
Understanding Multiconductor Cables
Multiconductor cables play a big part in our lives. You’d be hard-pressed to find a room in a house without any cables installed. Even in the outdoors, we use devices that need these cables to run. Because of their popularity, many people benefit from being able to identify the different types of multiconductor cables and figure out how and where they should be used. Since there are electrical hazards involved in using these wires, professional skills and expertise are usually a requirement when handling them. Regardless of whether you’re installing them, buying them or simply using products that use them, it’s still helpful to know basic information about these cables and how they are used.
We may think that wires and cables are not needed outside the house. However, all our portable devices run perfectly because of the presence of these electrical wires and cables. We wouldn’t be able to use mobile phones, laptops or tablets if not for people who were able to fully integrate portable power supply and complicated circuitry through the proper use of wires and cables. This also applies to equipment like cars and lawnmowers.
Inside the house, you’ll also find many uses and purposes for multiconductor cables. From the porch and living room to the bedroom and bathroom, wires and cables make the entire house run. We get to enjoy all the comforts of modern living thanks to the connections from these wires and cables. We get to eat comfortably, watch our favorite shows and do plenty of things we want or need to do around the house because the wires and cables are in their proper places.
Because of how pervasive they are, it is important to know or be familiar with the different types of cables and wires that we use. The most common is the power cable or extension cord. This type of cable is used to plug multiple devices into one wall socket or to plug in a device with a short cable, such as a hairdryer. There are also electronic ones that we use to connect devices with one another. For instance, if you have an alarm system at home, it is also activated through this type of cable.
Knowing the different types of multiconductor cables and where they are supposed to be used is important to ensure you use the right type of wire for each project. This knowledge is also helpful even if we aren’t the ones doing the job. When a repairman comes in to do some odd jobs, knowing a few important things about the wires can help them decide whether it would be more practical to buy a specific brand over another. This information would also be helpful during emergencies, where it would take a long time before help arrives. By having some basic knowledge about wires and cables, you can be more equipped to handle certain emergency conditions on your own.
If you’re looking for PVC wire, consider our hook-up wire. If your application involves high temperatures, take a look at our PTFE wire instead. If you don’t see the cable you need, we are happy to help. Just walk us through your project at 1 (800) 334-8400 and we can help you find the cable that offers the best balance of price and performance.
Multiconductor Cables From WesBell Electronics
The experts at WesBell are well-versed in multiconductor cables and know what it takes to meet the needs of a wide variety of projects. We also offer a range of wire processing services like twisting and striping that can save you time and help you get right to work when your wire arrives.
Click the links above to explore the different types of multiconductor cables we have to offer, or reach out to us to learn more or get assistance with wire selection!