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Thread: Running out of wire when winding

  1. #1
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    Running out of wire when winding

    I just finished winding my last coil and noticed the wire left on the spool is very low. I was wondering what procedures other people use when running low on wire. Some possibilities come to mind:

    • Put aside the old spool and use new one. Possibly the experienced eye can tell when there's not enough wire left to complete a coil.
    • Continue to wind with the old spool and splice if it runs out.
    • If the wire runs out, remove it from the bobbin and start over with a new spool.


    Since I'm relatively new to winding, I haven't developed the "feel" for how much wire is left. My plan presently is to take the chance and wind another coil. Since the next bobbin planned is very small, it may make it. If not, I'll get the chance to see a bare spool, which will give me an idea of how much wire is left going forward.

    Thanks for any shared thoughts.

    Bob

  2. #2
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    If you know the weight of naked spool (a lot of wire retailers use standardized spools), you can weigh yours, subtract the naked weight, and, from the original specs from the seller, work out the length of the remaining wire, give or take a few yards...It saves the trouble of having to start over if you run out too soon.
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  3. #3
    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    Measure the resistance of the leftover wire and estimate compared to a finished coil. I have spliced before with no problems. Just make sure you scrape the insulation off and solder good.

  4. #4
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    Interesting, hadn't thought of working off of weight of the spool. That'll take a small bit of research to see how practical. DC resistance sounds good, if the inside end of the wire can be reached without unwinding the spool. I'm not at my shop presently, so can't inspect it for access to the end. I'll check first thing Monday. Thanks guys for the ideas!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jim Darr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcd View Post
    I just finished winding my last coil and noticed the wire left on the spool is very low. I was wondering what procedures other people use when running low on wire. Some possibilities come to mind:

    • Put aside the old spool and use new one. Possibly the experienced eye can tell when there's not enough wire left to complete a coil.
    • Continue to wind with the old spool and splice if it runs out.
    • If the wire runs out, remove it from the bobbin and start over with a new spool.


    Since I'm relatively new to winding, I haven't developed the "feel" for how much wire is left. My plan presently is to take the chance and wind another coil. Since the next bobbin planned is very small, it may make it. If not, I'll get the chance to see a bare spool, which will give me an idea of how much wire is left going forward.

    Thanks for any shared thoughts.

    Bob
    My 2 cents. Splice, Splice, Splice...but splicing, if not done properly, can cause problems down the road with a break in continuity. If your going for A #1 quality you probably want to give notice to the buyer and sell it at a slight discount.
    =============================================

    Keep Winding...Keep Playing!!!

    Jim

  6. #6
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    See thread on low impedance pickups...

  7. #7
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    There seems to be two schools of thought on splicing. A: It's fine if done right. B: Never sell a spliced coil.

    I'm in camp B.

    You can weigh the wire or just do it enough that you'll know there's not enough on the spool to finish a coil. Save that spool for r&d.
    Last edited by jrdamien; 08-18-2017 at 08:01 PM.
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  8. #8
    CNC Trial by Fire kayakerca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrdamien View Post
    There seems to be two schools of thought on splicing. A: It's fine if done right. B: Never sell a spliced coil.

    I'm in camp B.
    Camp "B" here as well.
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    Take Care,

    Jim. . .
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for everyones opinions. On my last coil I ran the wire down so the core of the spool is showing. I now can use this as a visual reference going forward. I measured the inside diameter of the spool and can compare that to others when wire is running low. I could also do a calculation to roughly determine how many turns are left on the spool and very approximate wire length left. Not an accurate number, but a ballpark figure. I was hoping the coil estimator would give wire length of a given coil, but I didn't see that feature. I'd have to do a similar calculation to determine length needed to wind the intended coil. I'll have to think on this a bit.

    In the meantime, since I have an empty spool as a reference, developing a feel for how much wire is left is a good "seat of the pants" approach. I generally don't like splicing, but sometimes it can be appropriate when doing R&D, so I'd have to say I'm in Camp B as well.

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    David, I'll take a look at the low impedance thread. Presently 8 pages long, so will take a while! Thanks for the reference.

  11. #11
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    bmcd,

    Sorry that was a joke or at least trying to be. That said the thread is fascinating but uses a different wire gauge so not really relevant.

  12. #12
    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    I make a pickup that I start out winding with 42 gauge & splice a smaller gauge on & keep winding .
    John_H and ReWind like this.
    "UP here in the Canada we shoot things we don't understand"

  13. #13
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    How did the 2 wire gauges affect the sound?

  14. #14
    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    How did the 2 wire gauges affect the sound?
    The same way i anticipated it would.
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    "UP here in the Canada we shoot things we don't understand"

  15. #15
    rjb
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    Didn't the skinnier wire choke off the sound?
    I'd be afraid of electrons backing up at the splice until the whole thing exploded.

  16. #16
    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    I bottle necked the electrons buy sub dating the electrons between 2 pieces of a special tape . after 6 years it's still holding . with zero Radiation or any increase molecular activity .
    "UP here in the Canada we shoot things we don't understand"

  17. #17
    rjb
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    Quote Originally Posted by copperheadroads View Post
    I bottle necked the electrons buy sub dating the electrons between 2 pieces of a special tape . after 6 years it's still holding . with zero Radiation or any increase molecular activity .
    I have no idea what that means, but I like it.
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  18. #18
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copperheadroads View Post
    I make a pickup that I start out winding with 42 gauge & splice a smaller gauge on & keep winding .
    I do this on a couple of designs.

    There's nothing wrong with a proper splice. If I have a spool of wire that's almost empty, I'll set it aside, and use it for my own stuff, or a tapped coil.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Jim Darr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copperheadroads View Post
    I bottle necked the electrons buy sub dating the electrons between 2 pieces of a special tape . after 6 years it's still holding . with zero Radiation or any increase molecular activity .
    Ah...the "special tape" and using "2 pieces"...I never thought of that!!! It must be NOS tape from the mid-fifties, right?
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    =============================================

    Keep Winding...Keep Playing!!!

    Jim

  20. #20
    Woodgrinder/Pickupwinder copperheadroads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Darr View Post
    Ah...the "special tape"!!! It must be NOS tape from the mid-fifties, right?
    It's a rare blend of Scotch .
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    "UP here in the Canada we shoot things we don't understand"

  21. #21
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Rare aged Scotch tape, has that nice amber patina look!

    T
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  22. #22
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    I like to use two thicknesses of scotch tape for each splice.

  23. #23
    Pickup Maker David Schwab's Avatar
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    I splice. I use a small length (.25") of tined hookup wire... same wire I use to connect the start and finish of the coils. I wrap about 10 turns of each end of the wire, and then solder it. I then use my meter to check from that splice to the start wire. If it reads good, I cut off the excess tinned wire, then tape up the splice with thin masking tape, lay it on the coil, and continue winding.

    I've done this a number of times with no ill effects.

    But... I only spice if I wasn't expecting a break or end of roll. If I see the roll is near the end, I use a new roll.
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    ...and keep the old one for the next Filtertron!

  25. #25
    Member Alberto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Schwab View Post
    I splice. I use a small length (.25") of tined hookup wire... same wire I use to connect the start and finish of the coils. I wrap about 10 turns of each end of the wire, and then solder it. I then use my meter to check from that splice to the start wire. If it reads good, I cut off the excess tinned wire, then tape up the splice with thin masking tape, lay it on the coil, and continue winding.

    I've done this a number of times with no ill effects.

    But... I only spice if I wasn't expecting a break or end of roll. If I see the roll is near the end, I use a new roll.
    Same here

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