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Old 06-13-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
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Where to find bulk small wire?


I often need small wire in the 20-24 awg range for various electronic projects and I always end up cutting up pieces of cat6, but seems silly and counter productive to cut relatively expensive cable into pieces when I could probably just buy a large spool of single wire this size for less than what the box of cat6 cost.

Problem is, I can't seem to find small wire anywhere. Local stores will only sell 14 as the smallest awg given it's the smallest legal size for home electrical. Even specialized electrical stores wont sell small wire.

I found a site online and actually did buy some 18 awg wire which does come in handy for certain things, but often it's still too big, especially when I want to solder it on a circuit board. So where could I find smaller wire? 22 awg would probably be the best bet as the terminal blocks I bought and the strip tool I have supports it, and it should be small enough. Preferably want to buy in Canada to avoid customs.

The Source (Canadian version of Radio Shack) has small lengths, but I'm sure there must be a place I can buy a ~100ft spool for rather cheap.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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Where to find bulk small wire?


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I often need small wire in the 20-24 awg range for various electronic projects and I always end up cutting up pieces of cat6, but seems silly and counter productive to cut relatively expensive cable into pieces when I could probably just buy a large spool of single wire this size for less than what the box of cat6 cost.

Problem is, I can't seem to find small wire anywhere. Local stores will only sell 14 as the smallest awg given it's the smallest legal size for home electrical. Even specialized electrical stores wont sell small wire.

I found a site online and actually did buy some 18 awg wire which does come in handy for certain things, but often it's still too big, especially when I want to solder it on a circuit board. So where could I find smaller wire? 22 awg would probably be the best bet as the terminal blocks I bought and the strip tool I have supports it, and it should be small enough. Preferably want to buy in Canada to avoid customs.

The Source (Canadian version of Radio Shack) has small lengths, but I'm sure there must be a place I can buy a ~100ft spool for rather cheap.
I was going to suggest radio shack, but google would be my next selection.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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Where to find bulk small wire?


Yes, try Hosfelt or allelectronics. Uninsulated, it's called bus wire.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:34 PM   #4
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Where to find bulk small wire?


Oh and it has to be insulated still, What I'll most likely be using this for is connecting arduino boards up to terminal strips so I can access the inputs better. The whole contraption is put into a small plastic container of some sort that I cut holes for the terminal blocks.

I just thought of this now but I may be able to get my hands on telco frame wire at work, It's in a pair but easy enough to separate them as they are just twisted and still individual so that may actually work if I'm allowed to grab some. It is solid wire and easy to shape and bend so it would be perfect. They have a huge bin where discarded wire is put in and it gets sent to be recycled, so I can't see why I can't grab a small box full. I'll have to ask my boss tomorrow.

I also just thought of ebay, actually finding some stuff there.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:41 PM   #5
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Where to find bulk small wire?


I have bought doorbell wire in a large spool that is only two wires like a smaller version of a lamp cord and you can just pull the two wires apart and you have two wires. Have you tried the local supply house to see if they can order what you need in a large spool? I do similar projects but just use scrap cat 5 that I save.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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Where to find bulk small wire?


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Oh and it has to be insulated still, What I'll most likely be using this for is connecting arduino boards up to terminal strips so I can access the inputs better. The whole contraption is put into a small plastic container of some sort that I cut holes for the terminal blocks.

I just thought of this now but I may be able to get my hands on telco frame wire at work, It's in a pair but easy enough to separate them as they are just twisted and still individual so that may actually work if I'm allowed to grab some. It is solid wire and easy to shape and bend so it would be perfect. They have a huge bin where discarded wire is put in and it gets sent to be recycled, so I can't see why I can't grab a small box full. I'll have to ask my boss tomorrow.

I also just thought of ebay, actually finding some stuff there.
A good quality lighting showroom, especially if they do lamp repair, should have smaller than 14. The lamp repair guy at our shop stocks 16, 18, 20, and 22 gauge 2 wire cords.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
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Where to find bulk small wire?


If there's one in your city, Fry's Electronics has wire. Otherwise electronics surplus websites are the best source. All Electronics, Alltronics, American Science and Surplus, Electronics Goldmine, H&R, Fair Radio Sales, etc.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:16 PM   #8
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Where to find bulk small wire?


http://www.alliedelec.com/search/pro...x?SKU=70002855

1000 foot spool black 24AWG solid wire.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:19 PM   #9
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Where to find bulk small wire?


http://www.parts-express.com/wizards...TOKEN=77371293 is the best solution. Forget Google. All it is going to do is return who either paid them the most to stick their link at the top, or a bunch of crap.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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Where to find bulk small wire?


Thanks for the links. None in Canada though so I'd end up paying lot of duty fees but turns out I can use the wire from work, so I'll stick with that. It's 20-22 awg or at least around that range, so it should work out ok.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:39 PM   #11
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Where to find bulk small wire?


Check the habitat stores. Dad used to part stuff out back in the day, and keep a lot of the wire, connectors, screws, just in case.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:09 PM   #12
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Where to find bulk small wire?


At work, we generally order from Digi-key, MCM electronics or Newark Electronics. We need to supply our students with wire in the ranges of 12awg to 28awg. They sell it in any length you need. Good luck with your search. Roger
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:08 PM   #13
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Where to find bulk small wire?


http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-FT-24-AW...ht_2436wt_1061
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:38 PM   #14
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But thanks anyways, managed to get some from work, well I did not get it yet, but I'll probably grab some tomorrow. Asked my boss and it's ok! It's all scraps getting recycled but some runs can be like 10+ feet depending on where they went on the distribution frame.
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