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(Topic ID: 83509)

Solid or Stranded wire


By zug1619

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Schwaggs
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 6 years ago

    I am replacing the wire on my EOS switches to my flippers. I plan on using 18 AWG. Does it matter if its solid or stranded? I see stranded is currently there so that's my plan...I'm just curious.

    When does one use one or the other?

    Also, any harm in using a lower AWG, like 16? Again just curious.

    Thanks in advance!

    #2 6 years ago

    Use stranded. It's more flexible and less likely to break and create open circuits. No problem using a lower AWG (fatter wire) other than it being less convenient and more expensive.

    #3 6 years ago

    Thanks for the logic and fast reply!

    #4 6 years ago

    Solid wire does not hold as much current as stranded of the same gauge. Less surface area. Use stranded.

    #5 6 years ago
    Quoted from SealClubber:

    Solid wire does not hold as much current as stranded of the same gauge

    Stay thirsty, my friends.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_effect

    #6 6 years ago
    Quoted from SealClubber:

    Solid wire does not hold as much current as stranded of the same gauge. Less surface area. Use stranded.

    True, for AC. For DC, the skin effect doesn't apply. The era of game makes a difference here as to what's used. If it's DC, though, it's a new game that won't be actually running much current through the EOS switch.

    Regardless, the answer is still "use stranded".

    #7 6 years ago

    SealClubber, I am quite few years out of physics, but you are talking about "skin effect", correct? I thought that really only started to matter at higher frequencies, well above the levels in a pinball machine.

    I thought at pinball machine frequencies the sectional area of the wire was all that really mattered and since stranded had gaps between the strands it actually took a larger gauge stranded wire to give the same load carrying ability compared to solid.

    BTW, none of this matters for the OP question. It is only my trying to clarify a memory. I always use stranded for pinball work except for on boards when I am making/replacing traces because it is easier if the wire stays bent the ways I laid it onto the board, but we are talking about some very thin wire for that type of work.

    Edit: wow, I am late to my reply. Looks like others commented on skin effect before I could post my question.

    #8 6 years ago

    Use stranded because it is less likely to break from mechanical vibrations.

    #9 6 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    True, for AC. For DC, the skin effect doesn't apply.

    Don't forget the part where DC signals have AC ripple if they were rectified from an AC source!

    Or ignore it. Whatever makes life easier. Certainly has no bearing on this application.

    #10 6 years ago
    Quoted from zug1619:

    Also, any harm in using a lower AWG, like 16?

    16ga. is larger than 18ga. Wire gauges "the larger the number the smaller the wire"

    #11 6 years ago

    Functionally it should not be a problem using a larger wire (smaller gauge number) for any pinball application. But the wire may not fit into the desired location/things can get cramped and making a good joint can become hard.

    This can become especially true if you a have one small wire and one huge wire. It is very easy to lose track of the small wire in joint and have that small wire not solder well into the joint. (like on the bottom of a playfield, cramped in a tight spot with bad light, while you are working with your head turned a funny way. Which seems to happen often working on pinball machines)

    #12 6 years ago

    Stranded wire is more flexible, easier to work with and takes solder much better than solid.

    1 week later
    #13 6 years ago

    real world stuff kept me off the site for about a week

    Thanks to all who posted!

    #14 6 years ago

    deleted, others answered the skin effect question already....

    #15 6 years ago
    Quoted from Noahs_Arcade:

    Don't forget the part where DC signals have AC ripple if they were rectified from an AC source!
    Or ignore it. Whatever makes life easier. Certainly has no bearing on this application.

    Except for the fact that ripple on DC isn't AC. Its a slightly varying DC voltage (since we are all being extra picky in this thread! )

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