When The Voltage Drops

Voltage drop explains how the energy of a voltage source is decreased as electrical current flows through the passive elements (elements that do not supply voltage) of an electrical circuit. The issue becomes important when the length of wire becomes elongated. A common analogy used to explain voltage, current, and voltage drop is a garden hose. Voltage would be the water pressure supplied to the hose. Current would be the water flowing through the hose. And the inherent resistance of the hose is determined by the type and size of the hose, just like how type and size of an electrical wire determine its resistance.volt

Excessive voltage drop can cause loss of efficiency of light, motors, and appliances. This could result in lights that are dim with a decreased life expectancy for motors or appliances. To avoid excessive voltage drop, select a wire size that will minimize voltage drop. You need to know the length of the wire run and the amp load or current that will be on the circuit. To determine amps, add up the wattage of all electrical devices that will be on the circuit and divide that total by the voltage of the circuit, 110 or 220. Continue reading When The Voltage Drops

Termination: Wire and Cable

Termination – for all of you getting flashbacks to old Arnold Schwarzenegger films, take a deep breath, I’ll be back.

In this blog, we’ll be talking about the different ways to terminate (or end), a cord. People have different reasons for choosing certain ends to cords.

Cords can end in three different ways: First, we have the typical plug and connector. Then, there’s a stripped wire, and following is custom termination. Standard power cords feature a plug and a connector. These types of cords can be used to power computers, appliances, electronics, etc. Both ends can be plugged in or unplugged.

wire and cable

Continue reading Termination: Wire and Cable

A Guide for High Voltage Cords

There are times when life tells you to go all out and reach extreme measures, whether it’s revving up those power tools to fix up your motorcycle or rocking out on your electric guitar. And we’re ready for those extreme moments, with our high voltage power cords in hand.

People need high voltage cords. Period.  High voltage power cords are frequently used in construction sites.  Factories, or other areas where there are harsh conditions, often need high voltage cords as well. Common appliances around your house need high voltage cords. Even dryers, lawn mowers, or most appliances with motors need high voltage cords. Knowing what type of high voltage cords you need is important, and I am here to help you every step of the way.high voltage

When looking for high voltage cords, you will find three different categories: straight blade, locking blade, and IEC 60309.  Before you get overwhelmed, there’s no need to panic. I’m here to break it down for you. Continue reading A Guide for High Voltage Cords

A Knight In Shielded Wire

knightShielded wire may conjure up images of a brave and noble wire wearing armor to scale a castle, slay the dragon and rescue Princess Plug-ella. That could make a wonderful children’s book. However, that is not the case now.  Although shielded wires may not wear armor, it does provide protection, especially in the face of electromagnetic interference.

Electromagnetic interference, or EMI, refers to any electromagnetic disturbance that can inhibit the working of electronic devices. For example, if you have ever placed your cell phone too close to your computer, it probably emitted a static sound. This interference can temporarily or permanently (depending on the device) impact an electronic device. This is very important for people who rely on radios for communication.  If there is too much interference, it can be impossible to hear important updates. Continue reading A Knight In Shielded Wire

Understanding the Overall Rating of a Power Cord

electricity-1-1024x768When it comes to understanding the rating of a power cord, there are a handful of factors to consider directly related to the amperage and voltage of the cord. Each element of a power cord has a maximum rating as an individual component. The elements are the plug, the wire, and the connector.  The overall rating of a power cord is effectively the weakest link out of these ratings.  Here, we take our popular 2500.072 power cord as an example:

Continue reading Understanding the Overall Rating of a Power Cord

Wire Harmonization

singerBefore you start warming up your vocal cords, let me set the record straight; wire harmonization has very little to do with a capella groups and barber shop quartets. Instead, wire harmonization focuses on a standard developed in Europe to bring together wires from different companies.

Wire harmonization refers to a European process where several European standards are merged into one. Since Europe is densely populated, as well as divided into many countries, harmonization was developed in order to bring together standards, making it easier to wire electrical devices across the continent. Continue reading Wire Harmonization

Conductor Colors

wiresI’ve already declared my unbridled love for color, so there is no more of an appropriate time than the present to talk even more about colors.  However, in this post, we are discussing conductor colors.  In every standard cord, there are three conductors connecting the wires to the proper slot; ground, neutral or live, and providing inner insulation.  Matching up each wire to the proper conductor is very important to ensure electrical safety, so each conductor is color coded! Continue reading Conductor Colors

Amps in Relation to Wire Gauge

SJT wire blueAs my philosophy professor once told me, logic is a fickle thing.  What we often think makes perfect sense never actually does. Those who’ve toiled with justice, love, and the American Wire Gauge system know exactly what I’m talking about.  But no worries; Quail Electronics will explain it all, from wire gauge to the right amperage.  In a previous post, I addressed how the larger the AWG number, the smaller the wire actually is.  This also influences how much amperage is allowed through a wire. Continue reading Amps in Relation to Wire Gauge

Difference Between Jacket Types – Brrrrrr!

wiresWell, we all know you have your parkas, pea coats, or even your 80’s stylish windbreakers but do you know the difference between the jackets on your wire? Choosing a cable jacket for your wire can be just as important as choosing a jacket for the snow, the rain, or even one to protect you from a fall on your motorcycle. There are many different types of jackets used for the outside of the wire, all helping it stay protected from different elements. It could be oil, fire or even the nasty weather.


Let’s start with the material used for wire jackets. They can go mainly into two categories:  the Thermoplastics and the Thermosets. Thermoplastics are more popular as they are lower in cost to produce and lighter in weight.  Thermosets are more flexible and offer heat resistance.  The most commonly used is PVC which is part of the Thermoplastic category. It offers great flexibility for your cord and are typically used for general purpose wire.  Next we have silicone rubber which offers great flexibility and heat resistance up to 2500°. Silicone rubber belongs to the Thermoset category. Continue reading Difference Between Jacket Types – Brrrrrr!