WesBell Electronics
Wire and Cable Blog

Olflex® 190 Unshielded Multiconductor Cables

Olflex 190 ShieldedOlflex® 190 and 190CY are the most popular types of flexible control cables manufactured by the company. “Flexible” was the first word spoken by Olflex® before designing a flexible robotic control cable used across the world. Olflex® has UL, CSA, and CE approvals on many of their electronic cables which make them universal.

Unshielded 20 AWG Cables

Olflex® 190 20 gauge cables are available in 2 conductor through 25 conductor. Multiconductor cables range in diameter depending on the amount of conductors and the AWG (American Wire Gauge) size.

Unshielded 18 AWG Cables

Olflex® 190 18 AWG cables are also available in 2 through 25 conductors. The color of the conductors are black with numbers to differentiate and a green/yellow ground wire. The jacket is PVC and protects the copper conductors from dry, damp or wet conditions.

Unshielded 16 AWG Cables

Olflex® 190 16 AWG cables are bigger in diameter because a 16 AWG wire is bigger than a 20 AWG wire. The cable is very flexible thanks to its thin copper strands, PVC insulation and flexible PVC jacket. It’s oil resistant and comes with or without a shield.

Unshielded 14 AWG Cables

Olflex® 190 14 AWG cables are used in machine tool applications, assembly lines, electrical equipment and data processing equipment. Flexible cables are used in equipment that has tight corners, cable track systems and constantly moving parts that drag the cable back and forth.

You can also upgrade to Olflex® 890 cables that are much stronger for heavy equipment that can cause severe wear and tear to the cable. Olflex® 890 series is dually protected by two layers of PVC jacket that need to be torn apart before disrupting the copper connection. Choosing the correct cable for your application will prolong the cables lifespan.

Xtra Guard® 2 Multiconductor Cables For Sale

Alpha Xtra Guard® 2 cablesWe recently started adding Alpha Xtra Guard® multiconductor cables to our website because Alpha Wire has a very popular name in the industry. They design and manufacture cables that are used in the most severe conditions. Not only that, they have the UL, CSA, RoHS and REACH approvals to back it up. If you’re in need for an electronic cable such as that then you’ve come to the right place.

Alpha Xtra Guard® 2 cables are made to order with a 1000’ minimum purchase and 3 weeks to manufacture it. They can be purchased online and you’ll be notified of the minimum and lead time prior to checking out.

Xtra Guard® 2 cables are used in CNC machine centers, automotive assembly plant operations and packaging machinery. The PVC jacket is designed to resist oils, fuels, solvents and water while still holding twice the tensile strength of standard PVC insulated cables.

Xtra Guard® 2 multiconductor cables have ultraviolet light stability, fungus resistance and a temperature range from -20°C to 80°C. All Alpha Xtra Guard®2 cables also come with a Nylon rip cord for ease of jacket stripping.

You’ll have a choice of 24 through 16 gauge copper wires with as many as 70 within one cable. The conductors are each color coded for ease of identification.

You can buy Xtra Guard® 2 cables here >>

Difference Between PVC and PTFE Hook up Wire

Once an engineer determines the amount copper necessary to handle the voltage and power they need to determine what is needed to protect it. Any type of material used over copper, whether it’s PVC, PTFE or something else, protects it from the environment that it’s placed in. Hook up wire may need protection from water, gasses, oils, solvents, heat, and even voltage.

PVC Hook Up Wire

PVC hook up wire provides the lowest amount of protection when compared to other types, but still resists many things. PVC wires are typically used indoors within electronics and appliances so an engineer immediately knows the insulation will need to resist water and oil. When water comes in contact with copper while it’s connected to power it will short, and if the insulation doesn’t resist water it will eat through the insulation and still short the connection once it comes in contact with the copper strands.  Therefore, water should drip off the insulation as if they never came in contact with each other.

Buy PVC Wire here >>

PTFE Hook Up Wire

PTFE insulation is an upgrade to PVC because it offers more protection to the copper. PTFE hook up wire can be installed in the same applications as PVC insulated wire, but it has to be worth the additional costs. PTFE resists up to 200ºC compared to PVC resisting up to 105ºC. The temperature increase is the main difference between PVC and PTFE, whether it’s a cable of a single conductor lead wire. However, the insulation also allows PTFE wires to be installed outdoors because they can resist the environmental conditions it will come in contact with.

Buy PTFE Wire here >>

Remember to ask your supplier, “Is the a cheaper version of XYZ wire that will still meet the needs of my application?” Sometimes customers buy PTFE wire when they could have bought PVC wire for a much cheaper price. That same scenario happens all the time in the wire and cable industry because there are so many different versions of similar wire. Sometimes a UL approval, higher voltage, or higher temperature will increase the price dramatically which may be unnecessary for certain applications.

3 Multiconductor Cable Jacket Options

1. PVC

3 Multiconductor Cable Jacket OptionsPVC is the most popular material used in the wire and cable industry to wrap multiconductor cable. PVC comes with many levels of protection against environmental conditions which each come with a different level of pricing as well. For instance, you might find a PVC cable rated for indoor use and then find another PVC cable rated for outdoor use. Electronic multiconductor cables are used in electronics, devices and appliances, so there’s no need to over protect such cables because they will simply be over-priced.


PTFE insulation is used for multiconductor jackets when the temperature of the application increases. PVC cables are rated up to 105°C and PTFE cables are rated up to 200°C. PTFE cables are much more expensive so be sure you actually need the upgraded version.

3. Rubber

Rubber jacketed multiconductor cables are built to be tough and flexible. They’re used outdoors, in garages and in small shops to deliver power to equipment, generators, welding machines, power tools and more. They are manufactured with the same material as an extension cord and sometimes referred to as portable cord cables.

There are many different jackets available for multiconductor cable that depend completely on the environment of the application. Be sure to tell your supplier how and where you’ll be using your cable so that they can fit you with the most cost effective cable for your situation.

Crimping Two Hole Lugs to DLO Cable

Two Hole LugsDLO cable is thick and heavy because it’s an industrial power cable used in tough environmental conditions. It provides portable power to large equipment on job sites without power. It has a dual rubber jacket so that it can be run over by trucks and still perform just as well.

The introduction is to make you realize why a two hole lug is common for DLO cables. Long barrel lugs are also popular with the diesel locomotive cable because they provide a more secure connection. Long barrel compression lugs are crimped twice with a hydraulic tool so that the lug and the cable are solidly connected. Likewise, two hole compression lugs are bolted twice so that equipment vibration can’t shake the connection loose.

Short barrel and one hole lugs are used for smaller equipment within garages and shops. They also use a smaller cable because there isn’t as much power in smaller machines. Welding cable is a good fit for projects under 600 volts. DLO cable is rated for 2000 volts due to its tough construction.

All of our compression lugs are manufactured by Burndy®.

See Burndy® Products here >>

One Hole Welding Cable Lugs Information

One Hole Compression LugsIn order for welding cable to deliver power it has to have two secure connections via compression lugs. One hole compression lugs with a short barrel are the most basic and affordable. They support applications with the least amount of vibration due to their short barrel, single hole and single crimp design.

If you need to support additional vibration you can upgrade to a long barrel or two hole lug. The long barrel allows for two hydraulic crimps to secure the lug tightly to the cable. Or you can opt for a two hole compression lug that’s bolted twice to its piece of equipment.



Short Barrel Compression LugsWelding cable lugs get cheaper as the quantity increases but you can purchase a single lug at a time on our website. Each gauge size of welding cable has about 4-5 options for one hole lugs. First, you’ll choose between short barrel and long barrel. Then you’ll have to choose the bolt size which range from 1/4” to 5/16”.

One hole lug pricing is available here >>


For Flexible Cables

The lugs throughout the welding cable section of our website are fit to welding cable specifically. The lugs are designed to fit better with flexible cables than nonflexible cables. You can notice it in the part numbers if the end in “FX” for FLEX LUG.

All of the lugs sold on our website are manufactured by Burndy®

3 Reasons to Use THHN Wire

THHN wire is the most popular version of electrical wire in the industry. It’s used to bring power to homes and buildings and to bring power to each light and appliance within the home or building. An electrical cable, as big as your arm, delivers power to the electrical box in your home. From that point, there are multiple electrical cables that deliver power to the lights and appliances.


THHN wire can be used indoors whether it’s a single conductor or multiconductor cable. THHN wires are sometimes bundled together so that the electrician can install multiple wires at once rather than installing each wire individually. However, when they’re bundled together there will be a new name to describe the entire cable such as NMB cable or Romex® Cable. Romex® and NMB cables are both the same except that Romex® is a brand name. NMB Cables are installed indoors only!


THHN wires can be used outdoors as well as indoors. Even though NMB cables use THHN wire they cannot be installed outdoors because there’s a bare copper ground wire included that could be compromised. THHN wires can be installed outdoors but only individually.

If you’d like to bundle the wires together into a cable you would need to use a more protective jacket such as UFB Cable. UFB is an underground feeder electrical cable that can run outdoors or directly underground when necessary. NMB cables use a less expensive insulation that doesn’t provide as much protection. Paying a slightly higher price will get you a more protective UFB cable.


THHN wires can also be installed in conduit without any additional protection. Conduit is typically installed underground and it’s enough protection to support the life of a THHN wire. Again, if you want to bundle the wires into a single cable then you’ll have to upgrade to UFB cable. Otherwise, you can install each THHN wire individually for the same effect.

Underground Cables

THHN wires CANNOT be installed directly in the ground. They need to be installed in conduit first. If you upgrade to UFB cable it protects the THHN wires enough to be installed in the ground without conduit. Simply dig a small trench, place the cable into it and you’re set to power the connection.

Written by: Chris Bell

3 Types of PTFE Wire

1. Type ET Wire

Type ET wire is also known as 250 volt PTFE wire and M16878/6. It’s rated for 250 volts so it’s used for limited power applications. Type ET wire can withstand temperatures up to 200°C due to its high temperature insulation.

2. Type E Wire

Type E wire is also known as 600 volt PTFE wire and M16878/4. It has the same attributes as Type ET wire but it’s rated for a higher voltage. PTFE insulated hook up wire also has silver plated copper strands to limit corrosion in high temperatures. When designing copper wire engineers must first figure out what it will come in contact with in the field, then determine how to resist all of it. In the case of Type E wire it must resist water, oils, solvents and temperatures up to 200°C.

3. Type EE Wire

Type EE wire is also known as 1000 volt PTFE wire and M16878/5. The “M number” is a Military Specification part number which is a standard of how to construct PTFE Type E wire. A particular wire is not labeled M16878/5 until it passes inspection.

All of the versions of PTFE wire above are the next step up from basic PVC hook up wire. The main upgrade is the resistance of a higher temperature through its insulation. PVC insulation only withstands temperatures up to 105°C.

3 Types of Single Conductor Power Cable

Single conductor power cables are used to connect portable equipment and tools in single phase applications. Welding machines, locomotives and stage lighting equipment are all examples of single phase power cables and they all have similar designs.

1. Welding Cable 600 Volts

Welding cable is the most basic type of single conductor power cable but it’s still complex compared to typical electrical wire used in homes. It’s complex because it uses flexible copper strands to increase bend ability and a flexible rubber jacket for protection. Welding cables comes in multiple color options but black and red are the most readily available colors.

There is also an upgrade version with UL and CSA approvals called Super Vu-Tron cable. It has more flexible copper strands and a more protective orange jacket. Super Vu-Tron cables are used in industrial welding machines compared to shop and garage welders.

Buy Welding Cable here >>

2. Stage Lighting Cable

Stage lighting cable is used to connect lighting equipment for theater shows and outdoor lighting. You might see stage cables when you go to a concert or anytime you see overhead lighting. The construction is similar to welding cable because it’s flexible as well but stage cables are more protective and UL approved. Typically, they are laid out on the ground traveling from the power box all the way to the lights which means they will be dragged across the ground and people may step on them. Added protection makes stage cables unique to their field.

Buy Stage Lighting Cable here >>

3. DLO Cable 2000 Volts

Diesel Locomotive Cables are used outdoors for industrial applications that connect large amounts of power. You might see DLO cables on big construction sites that require higher voltage levels that welding cable cannot handle. 2000 Volt cables are also used for oil rigs and locomotives. They have a double insulated jacket for added protection and voltage, and they’re used outdoors in severe environmental conditions. DLO cables can be run over by equipment and dragged across rough terrain without being damaged at all.

Buy DLO Cable here >>