# Would this be good for home made controller wire?

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#### ttabbal

##### Well-Known Member
Looks like decent wire for that to me. It's a lot more wire than you need, 500M or so, but it's also reasonably priced for that much wire. It's AWG20, so you might want thicker for clusters, but it should be fine for any single-motor setups. If you end up wanting to cluster, you could always connect it to a relay box and use thicker wire from there.

#### Micromeister

##### Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Supporter
Woody:
your looking at 20ga phone wire which is more then likely solid copper. First if used only for single use 13 & 18mm motors it would be OK in 15foot lengths. However becuase it is solid it will not hold up very long.
any Wire that will be rolled and unrolled often really must be stranded to stand up to the stresses. Second I personally wouldn't use any wire on one of my Home made launch controller smaller the 16ga Stranded THHN copper. There are plenty of sources for 16/2 white jacket standed lamp cord (Zip Cord) that fit the bill very nicely.

#### ttabbal

##### Well-Known Member
The reviews say it's stranded, mostly copper with a couple steel strands. It wouldn't be my first choice due to the gauge, but it's not terrible. If you have a home improvement store around, or an electrical supply, there are better options.

#### Handeman

TRF Supporter
I agree with the 16/2 suggestion. Here's a link to Homedepot for 50 ft of 16/2 lamp cord for $17.24. This is black, but you can get white too. You might find it cheaper on ebay or amazon. That is what I've used for my controller and I've fired lots of 3 & 4 motor clusters with Estes igniters and some HPR igniters without any issues. #### cerving ##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry TRF Sponsor TRF Supporter I use a 16 ga outdoor extension cord. My box has the plug on a 10' cord on the end, and the rest of the 50' cord plugs into that, with the bare end soldered to alligator clips. You can get a 50' extension cord on sale for$10-$15, and it will handle enough current for the beefiest igniter that you'll ever run into. If for some reason you need to go beyond 50', just plug in another extension cord. #### OverTheTop ##### Well-Known Member TRF Supporter Probably OK for what you want. If you want to cluster you can put a car battery and a relay at the pad and just use the wire for the coil current. #### JoeG ##### Well-Known Member I have used light gauge wire like this for relay launcher systems to carry the signal but not the current to the "motor starter". The battery is at the pad(s) and current is transfered through a relay directly from the battery which is also at the pad. The wires that carry the current and significantly heavier. 100' extension cords are available from places like Lowe's for around$17.00. These are what we used to outfit our Wilson FX system with before we went wireless.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Basic-Connections-100-ft-10-Amp-16-Gauge-Orange-Outdoor-Extension-Cord/3152551

The larger the gauge wire you use, generally speaking, the less current you lose from one end to the other.

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I can't find what I'm looking for, I thought this might work.
I built a 5 pad launch system years ago.
When they came through and took the phone wires down on the poles and put in buried cable,
we had a junction box at the pole in our front yard.
I asked the guy, he said sure, take it.
The pad and launch system was one of many items I didn't get out of house before they locked me out.
I thought this winter I would try and build a new one.
But I can not find any 10 lead wire in a jacket that is even close to being reasonably priced.
In fact, the only thing close is at McMaster-Carr, and I no way can afford almost 2 benjies just for the wire.
Any help would be great.
BTW, that phone wire I used was solid copper, and fine phone wire.
I always used it on a car battery.
Ignition was instant on Estes engines so current was never in the system but a micro-second.

#### ttabbal

##### Well-Known Member
If you're using Estes motors with a car battery or similar, you could probably use barbed wire just fine...

Do you really need 10 conductors? I would do 5 pads with 6 wires, one per pad, common ground. You can get 8 conductor wire easy enough, and reasonably cheap, CAT5 network cabling. Again though, thin wire, not good for a lot of current. The systems I've seen use it use it to trip relays at the pads and use thicker wire and batteries at the pads to fire the rockets. Another probably easy to find option is sprinkler system control wire. 9-conductor is pretty common, I think it's 18Ga... If you know any landscapers, they might have a 50ft piece they would give you or sell cheap. It's often used for longer runs than that. Home Depot and Lowes have pre-cut lengths and by-the-foot rolls of it. Anywhere that sells sprinkler system parts will likely have it as well.

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I found a place on ebay last spring that sold pre cut lengths of of CAT5.
I thought I added them to the sellers I follow if the need came up, reasonable price too w/free shipping.
Been searching on n off all week with no luck to find them. Another one that probably poofed in the ebay world.
I didn't know about sprinkler systems wire.
I have a partial role of thermostate stranded wire, think it is 5 stand.
Was going to double that, but it's just under 30 feet.
Since one of the pads in the system will be a rail, I know I'll need more than that.
Other 4 pads will 2x 3/16 & 2x 1/8.
I did a drawing and sent it to 80/20 last fall.
They drew it up, parts listed it and priced it.
Friggin over a GRAND. I just laughed.

In a previous relationship (not married) she had a young girl whom I help bring up from age 1 to 11.
She called me dad, and I called her daughter.
She now is some kind of QT manager at 80/20.
I've been in contact with her and she thinks she can nab me some 10/10 and a 180 degree mount.
Her and her mother said they wanted to come up after new years and take me out to lunch.
So there will be no cost in the rail part of it.
I feel lucky, cause that stuff is pricey, and shipping is even worse.

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#### ttabbal

##### Well-Known Member
Since you're not using it for data, you might also try CAT3.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-Ft-30-M...241986?hash=item3acac884c2:g:9NMAAOSwZVlXvHAW

It's still 24AWG, but if you've used phone wire in the past, I think most of that is 24 as well....

Sprinkler wire is on ebay too...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Orbit-Sprin...3c4436bd9bff557360f569&pid=100505&rk=1&rkt=1&

That's 7 conductor 18AWG. It will handle current much better than the 24AWG phone wire will.

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#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Since you're not using it for data, you might also try CAT3.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-Ft-30-M...241986?hash=item3acac884c2:g:9NMAAOSwZVlXvHAW

It's still 24AWG, but if you've used phone wire in the past, I think most of that is 24 as well....

Sprinkler wire is on ebay too...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Orbit-Sprin...3c4436bd9bff557360f569&pid=100505&rk=1&rkt=1&

That's 7 conductor 18AWG. It will handle current much better than the 24AWG phone wire will.
I am looking up sprinkler wiring now, and finding a lot of choices, including 18 ga stranded, 10 leads like I want.
When I go for my back procedure on Monday, I'll have wife take me by Lowes and Menards and get some pricing for when I have money.
I'd like to thank everyone for the help!
One more question, if I ever go mid power (probably will never get to get a cert), how long of cable will I need between the pad and controller?

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#### ttabbal

##### Well-Known Member
Launch Safety. I will use a countdown before launch, and will ensure that everyone is paying attention and is a safe distance of at least 15 feet away when I launch rockets with D motors or smaller, and 30 feet when I launch larger rockets. If I am uncertain about the safety or stability of an untested rocket, I will check the stability before flight and will fly it only after warning spectators and clearing them away to a safe distance. When conducting a simultaneous launch of more than ten rockets I will observe a safe distance of 1.5 times the maximum expected altitude of any launched rocket.
http://www.nar.org/safety-information/model-rocket-safety-code/

The high power code is here... But if you're under H impulse, you probably don't need to worry about it.
http://www.nar.org/safety-information/high-power-rocket-safety-code/

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
So I am confused. I have no clubs anywheres reasonably close to me. I've always flied alone.
So I will probably never get any kind of certifications.
So what ever you can buy without a cert, is all I'll be able to get.
I'm thinking 30' would do me just fine.
If we move out West next summer, and a club is near by, I won't need to worry about having my own HP pad.

#### FredA

##### Well-Known Member
I'm confused too.
You are not in a club and launch by yourself yet you need a 5 pad launch system???
Can you explain why?

For non-complex G's and smaller, 30-feet is the recommended safety distance.

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
There is several reasons.
A single rail pad would be expensive.
My design holds the controller and all the wiring, rail, rods & blast deflectors. (1/8" steel)
Launch more than one rocket at a time.
When the rail tips, the counter balance is in the pad.
I like to build unique things.

#### Tonimus

##### Well-Known Member
Under the L1 cert level, the longest minimum safe distance is 30 feet, complex or otherwise. You could always use the 20 gauge and double it up. Use one pair to carry your positive and one pair to carry your negative. Doubled up, it's roughly equivalent to 17 gauge wire. With that size, you should be able to run about 10 amps continuously at 30'. Like you said, the brief load of an igniter isn't going to heat the wire up. I vote go for it.

#### Incongruent

##### Well-Known Member
The reviews say it's stranded, mostly copper with a couple steel strands. It wouldn't be my first choice due to the gauge, but it's not terrible. If you have a home improvement store around, or an electrical supply, there are better options.
If there's steel strands it could be used for igniters, steel bridge works for most club launchers.

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
What I really want is below from McMaster-Carr. Stranded 16 ga. Note the price at the bottom. NO WAY
No-Conduit-Required Continuous-Flex Cable

Temperature Range: 25° to 175° F
Insulation: Inner is nylon/PVC; outer is PVC

This cable meets UL TC-ER crush and impact requirements for exposed runs in cable trays. It is also known as cable-tray-rated cable. It's designed to handle the continuous movement required in automated equipment such as robotics and cable carriers.

Per Ft.
Wire
Ga. No. of
Wires OD Current Voltage Wire Marking Specifications Met Inner Insulation Color Outer Insulation
Color Lengths, ft. 1-99 100-Up
Stranded Bare Copper

16 10 0.56" 12 A @ 86° F 600V AC Numbered UL Listed; UL TC-ER; CSA Certified Black, Green/Yellow Gray
10, 20, 30, 50, 100
9700T72 $3.96$3.17

Product Detail
No-Conduit-Required Continuous-Flex Cable, Ten 16-Gauge Wires
Length, ft.
50
Each
In stock
\$198.00 Each