Author Topic: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk  (Read 857 times)

Offline nolan613

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Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« on: June 05, 2017, 12:12:03 AM »
Title says it all. I am looking for a source of black rubber covered stranded cable to make my own line cords. Something by the roll would be ideal, anything up to 500 feet. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
Success is not final,
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it is the courage to continue that counts

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Alex G. Bell

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 12:22:14 AM »
Title says it all. I am looking for a source of black rubber covered stranded cable to make my own line cords. Something by the roll would be ideal, anything up to 500 feet. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
Cords are not normally stranded.  They're tinsel conductors.

Offline poplar1

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 01:42:06 AM »
Rubber was replaced by neoprene by 1958, at least for Western Electric mounting cords ("line cords").

And most bulk cordage is now stranded rather than tinsel.

Cliff -- eBay seller "celnout" -- often lists rolls of black stranded bulk cordage, if you like to make flat mounting cords. I prefer the round 3-pair AT&T cords that were originally shipped with their 3- and 4-line KSU-less phones such as the 954.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 08:25:15 AM »
Can't tell you how many hours I spent looking for just that. Most wire these days is not round. It's flat or covered with a sheath that shows the internal pair through the sheath. There is electrical cordage out there that is round and 2 or 3 conductor but it's typically 10 to 16 gauge to carry lamp or other voltage and current.

The closest I've come to that wire is XLR mic cable, It's relatively flexible, about 1/4" in diameter and has two leads with a braided copper shielding. I've used it on stage where it looked like old phone round rubber cordage. They also make a more expensive smaller diameter XLR which is very flexible but

One problem with it is the light ink cable information on the exterior, which can be removed with acetone. Of all wire, other than original WE cordage, this is the most flexible but a bit thicker than the WE wire.

So I gave up looking for "round" rubber cordage long ago and went with black and gray silver satin cord to get a phone working or for sale. Some buyers are fine with that to get a working phone. Others can replace it with the right stuff at their expense to make the phone more original.

Here's one source for bulk XLR as an example

     http://www.ebay.com/itm/500ft-Microphone-Mic-XLR-1-4-TRS-Raw-Premium-Audio-Cable-8-0mm-Bulk-Cord-/222402112536

They also make a mini XLR cable which is about 0.1" diameter which is very flexible but too thin to look like original line cord. This is one source of bulk mini cable.

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 11:41:48 AM »
Who made the original cords ? I was looking for the WE handset cord.
I gave up looking for bulk 4 conductor cord like we need, several years ago, never found any.
I finally ended up using AE cord and masked the ends of the wires and spray painted them white and black as needed.

D/P

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Offline poplar1

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 06:40:05 PM »
These are the 6-conductor round cords that Sonny and I have been selling. Since they were used with AT&T 3-line and 4-line phones, the pairs are twisted to reduce crosstalk.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Cords-Round-Black-Modular-great-for-converting-old-phones-to-1-4-modular-/262825204404?

The single cord has one plug cut off to show the internal conductors.
"C'est pas une restauration, c'est une rénovation."--François Martin.

Offline nolan613

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 07:13:44 PM »
Well it seems as though I’ve come late to this dance but a lot of good information so far.

I understand that finding the “original” cord is fruitless so I’m trying to come up with something that can come close to visually replicating the appearance of the older cord so “tinsel” verses “stranded” is not a big issue for me since the ends are hidden.

poplar1, I have used your modular cords and they work very well and are an inexpensive option but I really want to find something with a little more bilk.

Thanks for the info on the mic cable, gives me another path to pursue. With the 2 conductor shielded it would give me effectively 3 separate lines.
Success is not final,
failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts

Winston Churchill

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2017, 07:16:44 PM »
These are the 6-conductor round cords that Sonny and I have been selling. Since they were used with AT&T 3-line and 4-line phones, the pairs are twisted to reduce crosstalk.

The single cord has one plug cut off to show the internal conductors.

Nice cords at a reasonable price but I'm a bit confused. The eBay listing says new items but you state they "were used" with AT&T phones. Were these the actual modular line cords sold as replacements for the newer phones and never used, bought in a large lot?

Just curious about that.

Now, the image shows what I call the thin sheath issue in that the outer, round covering is so thin that it shows the conductors within. On Cat5 cable for bell/furnace wire, that's expected. I realize this shows in a sharp bend, as shipped. How much do the internal twisted pairs show when the cord is laid out straight?

Offline kb3pxr

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2017, 08:43:44 PM »
How close to the original cable do you need to get? Is only the external appearance critical or do you want as close to authentic as possible? A Black Category 5e network cable should match the outer appearance and even the thickness rather closely of the original cable, obviously it is a far cry from true authenticity.

Alex G. Bell

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2017, 09:01:33 PM »
Nice cords at a reasonable price but I'm a bit confused. The eBay listing says new items but you state they "were used" with AT&T phones. Were these the actual modular line cords sold as replacements for the newer phones and never used, bought in a large lot?

Just curious about that.

Now, the image shows what I call the thin sheath issue in that the outer, round covering is so thin that it shows the conductors within. On Cat5 cable for bell/furnace wire, that's expected. I realize this shows in a sharp bend, as shipped. How much do the internal twisted pairs show when the cord is laid out straight?
Western Electric D8W modular cords used between a Merlin set and the wall have 8 parallel conductors without twisting in pairs.  There are also WECo D6xx cords which are not twisted.  These cords have smooth jackets without the twisting visible through the jacket.  Much smaller diameter than rubber cords but a lot better looking than the 3-pair black cords or flat cords IMO.  Close to the diameter of the last generation of round vinyl spade tipped cords.

Perhaps 25' D8Ws would be a good starting point after painting with appropriate vinyl paints such as those intended for vinyl car roofs.  I have not tried it but the Bell System painted lots of cords.  In fact many early satin silver 560 series 6-button key set mounting cords were painted satin silver to "stamp out" matching colored cords.  The SS paint can be removed with appropriate solvents to restore the original color, which sometimes matches the housing color or some other standard housing color.  I have an AE 85 in green which also has a painted SS mounting cord.

Offline nolan613

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Re: Black Rubber Line Cord - Bulk
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2017, 10:20:37 PM »
How close to the original cable do you need to get? Is only the external appearance critical or do you want as close to authentic as possible? A Black Category 5e network cable should match the outer appearance and even the thickness rather closely of the original cable, obviously it is a far cry from true authenticity.

I see that I need to clarify my question. When I restore a phone for resale I will supply the phone with a modern line cord because most people just want something that looks good & will work. For my collection I would prefer original but I am willing to go with something that looks authentic even if I know it's not. The problem with network cable is I haven't seen any that didn't look like shrink wrap covering. Not saying there isn't anything better but just that I haven't seen any.
Success is not final,
failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts

Winston Churchill