Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets (
-   -   What do you call this type of cable? (

Zero_Enigma 01-26-08 04:15 PM

What do you call this type of cable?
I've been to two local electronics parts shops and Radio Shack and I can't find this type of cable. The cable says it's 18 AWG.

Is that cable solid or strand inside? Also I'm looking for like the smallest bulk size you can get. I'm thinking 10ft if possible. It's a round yet soft flexible cable with two wires inside with red/black. When I tried looking for something like that at my local shops all I ended up with was the speaker wire which was basically two wires glued in the middle. Not what I wanted.

Someone thought it was called 'hook up wire' for the cars and such so I searched that term up and still only ended up with single wire units and not ones that are in the same tube together.

Does anyone know how many amps 18 AWG, 24 AWG, and 20 AWG cable can take?


I plan on wiring the insides of the case with the LED's using 24 AWG but outside using something like 18 AWG for the cable for the helmet/bar mount. I think my NiteHawk AL-X uses 18 AWG which is what I like because it's flexible.

va_cyclist 01-26-08 04:22 PM

Your link is broken, but this one should work:

Two conductors for battery power, 18 gauge ought to be plenty -- ordinary lamp cord (120v, 10-20 amp) is 18 gauge. It's most likely stranded conductor. You don't often see solid conductor wire outside of telephone, coax, or digital applications. For ordinary AC or DC power, stranded is fine.

BTW, I think that's usually called "jacketed wire" or "jacketed cable".

Here's somebody on Ebay selling 18-gauge jacketed unshielded 2-conductor cable:

hopperja 01-26-08 05:10 PM

Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma (Post 6055621)
I've been to two local electronics parts shops and Radio Shack and I can't find this type of cable. The cable says it's 18 AWG.

I bet it's stranded cable (low voltage). This is mostly used in automotive, motorcycle, boat, or any other 6 or 12 volt applications. I bet you could pick some up at any auto parts store.

Edit: it is low voltage cable, but this is not the bulk stuff you'd buy at an auto parts store. It already had the connectors pre-connected. Sorry I can't help!

Good luck!

Litespeedlouie 01-26-08 08:25 PM

Welcome to the wooley world of wire. Technically, wire is a single conductor and cable is 2 or more conductors together. Any wire or cable meant to flex will be stranded. The more strands and the finer they are in a conductor, the more flexible it will be for the same gauge. Then you consider the insulation and the jacket, too. The 18 AWG is American Wire Gauge, the diameter of each conductor, not the jacketed cable. The larger the number of the AWG, the smaller the diameter. You can spec everything about the cable, from the number and gauge of strands in each conductor, tinned or copper, direction of twist, material/size/color of insulation on each conductor and jacket, etc. You almost have to examine it to see if its what you like.

The current capability is easily gotten from a standard data book - probably Google it, too. There is no problem with 18-24 AWG for a light; usually the weak point is the connectors.

Good luck getting 10 feet. I doubt even Radio Shack sells that little, so you need to go to a vendor that sells by the foot. Maybe even Lowes or Home Depot. Something like intercom wire might work, although it typically isn't flexible enough.

So do you have a flex and size characteristic in mind? has several cables that might do, some by the foot, or as small as 50 foot spools.

bikingbrit 01-29-08 07:23 AM

Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma (Post 6055621)
Does anyone know how many amps 18 AWG, 24 AWG, and 20 AWG cable can take?


Depends on the application. Usually the concern is how hot the wire gets. A single wire in the open air gets plenty of cooling and can handle more current. Wires buried in a transformer get very little cooling and must be much bigger for the same current.

A medium type rating is used for wires in a cable, bundle, or conduit. A handbook I have lists the following:
18 AWG 10 amps
20 AWG 7.5 amps
22 AWG 5 amps

24 AWG is not listed but since it has about 2/3 the cross sectional area as 22 AWG a rating of about 3 amps is appropriate.

Of course if you want maximum efficiency and /or maximum voltage to the load use a thicker (smaller number) gauge.

jeff-o 01-29-08 08:33 AM

It's 18 AWG stranded rubber jacketed cable. You should be able to find what you need at or at, though they might have either a minimum quantity or a minimum order amount.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:49 AM.

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.