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Straight wire.



Straight wire is ( apart from being a silly marketing term for an audio amplifier ) very useful for prototyping and Vero-board construction.

Straight wire.

When you take wire off a reel, it will normally coil up, making it difficult to get nice, straight jumpers on your prototype or Vero-board construction.
Getting a piece of copper wire straight is very easy: hold both ends with a tool ( I normally twist it around a screwdriver ) and pull until the wire just start to expand.

If you use a lot of wire, it may be worth stretching it "in volume".
You need a fixed point in one end and a hand-tool in the other.
I normally use the fixed leg of a clamp mounted to a table leg just above the floor as a fixed point and a screwdriver in the other.
Make sure the clamp leg has rounded edges or it will cut the wire.
Do not use furniture, doorhandles or the like as a fixed point - the wire will leave marks in them.
It is easy to stretch 8..10 0.5 mm wires in parallel this way.
Only the 2 ends of the piece of wire you want to stretch should be fixed - the other turns just goes around the fixed point and the hand tool.
The tubes that DIL ICs are supplied in makes for excellent storage of the straight wire. A 0.5 m long tube will hold 10 m..15 m of 0.5 mm wire.

It is possible to stretch insulated single-core wire, but it is more complicated.
You need to stretch both the wire and the insulation.
You need to be able to hold it to the length it is stretched to for some time for the insulation to settle.
After that, cut the insulation in one or both ends and then ( again ) wait for the insulation to settle.
Depending on the insulation material, your mileage may vary.

I have used this with 0.25 mm to 3 mm tinned cu wire and 0.4 mm to 0.6 mm PVC insulated cu wire and it works well ( you need quite some force with the thicker wires though ).

I do not know if this works with silver wire - I have never had the use for it so I have not tried.

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Poul Petersen, C/Faya 14, 35120 Arguineguín, Las Palmas, Spain.
E-mail: pp@poulpetersen.dk

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