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Category: Alpha Wire

3 Types of XTRA Guard Multi-pair Cables

XTRA Guard Multi-pair Cables A multi pair cable has more than one conductor in them. Each of these conductors is also covered in a PVC insulation. This is to extend the life of the cable. The multi pair cables are most commonly used for high technology applications, medial electronics, point of sale equipment, computer peripherals and industrial controls.


The unshielded multi pair cable is the more basic version of these cables. It still does have the same temperature range rating. It is also approved to be able to handle 300 volts of electricity. The only difference between this and the shielded version is the shield. This cable has the conductors wrapped in a PVC jacket and then the conductors are all wrapped together in another PVC jacket. The cables also are made with a nylon rip cord to make it easy to get the jacket off.


Shielded Multi-pair Cables The XTRA Guard shielded cable is approved for 300 volts of electricity. The cables come in a range of sizes starting at 24 AWG and going all the way up to size 18 AWG. They have all stranded copper conductors. The shield on this cable is made out of three layers, aluminum, polyester, and aluminum again. This gives the wire added protection against interference from other wires that could be in close contact. The temperature rating for the cable is between -20°C and up to 80°C.

SUPRA Shielded

The SUPRA shielded version of the XTRA Guard multi pair cords is very similar to the others. It has the same intended uses and it’s even made of the same materials. There is however a difference between the standard shield and the SUPRA shield. The SUPRA shield has even more added protection for the conductors. The SUPRA shield is made of layers of aluminum, polyester, aluminum foil shield with a 70% braid shield. The braid gives the cable added protection from EMI.

The XTRA Guard multi pair cables have devoted their energy to flame and moisture resistance, fast and easy stripping of the jacket and being used in flexible cable routing systems. Plus the cables are all both UL and CSA approved. Each cable has a different level of protection against outside interference. The cables with shields are better protected than the unshielded version. Then the SUPRA shielded cable is even better protected than the shielded cable. However each cable is approved for the same uses and they are all made with the same materials.

Written by: WesBell Electronics

An Electronic Cable for Extreme Environmental Use

Xtra Guard Electronic CablesAlpha Wire manufactures electronic cables with the word extreme in mind each and every time. Alpha is the place to go when you need a cable with higher or lower temperature ratings than normal. It’s also the place to go when you need a cable that will last longer than typical electronic cables, because it will be too expensive to replace once the equipment is running. Alpha is hard at work making cables more efficient so that people can increase manufacturing time and decrease maintenance and repair costs. We all understand how expensive down-time can be for a company.

Xtra Guard® Products

Alpha takes all of that into consideration when designing and engineering their products. You’ll see a “®” next to most of their products because they design it themselves and stand by it 100% of the time. Alpha also makes sure to include UL, CSA, RoHS and REACH approvals for installation inspections, equipment approvals and other industry standards. The approvals are expenses that generic brands of PVC cables may not carry.

FIT® Heat Shrink Tubing

Alpha’s FIT® heat shrink tubing matches its Xtra Guard® cables in extreme environments. For instance, Xtra Guard® 5 cable can work comfortably in temperatures of -80°C to 200°C when basic PVC electronic cables are rated from -20°C to 80°C. Alpha FIT® 500 heat shrink tubing also meets the temperatures of their Xtra Guard® 5 cables allowing them to be used in synchronized conditions. Each cable in Alpha’s catalog usually has a matching tubing product so that you don’t have to search for it yourself.

You won’t have to worry about the quality-of-product when you buy an Alpha Wire product from WesBell Electronics.

Buy Alpha Xtra-Guard® 3 Cables Online

Xtra-Guard® 3 cableAlpha Xtra-Guard® 3 cables are used for electronic applications that require the highest level of design and protection. Alpha isn’t in business to just make another cable, they’re in business to have the best product on the market. They’re in business to supersede the competition by remembering that details count. So, if you’re looking for your average multiconductor cable you can find it here at a reasonable price however, if you’re designing satellite communications equipment that needs five times the water resistance of a standard PVC cable, then you can find what you’re looking for in an Alpha Wire catalog.

Unshielded and Shielded Underground Cable

Underneath the incredibly strong EPC (Ethylene Propylene Copolymer) jacket you’ll find PVC insulated copper strands. The copper strands are commonly connected to outdoor security systems, scoreboards and displays. Once connected, the cable is approved to travel underground to the power supply without the use of conduit. Sometimes it’s cheaper to purchase an underground cable instead of purchasing tray cable and conduit together. If however, you already have conduit installed you may want to consider a cable that’s not approved and designed to be installed directly in the ground. It sounds expensive just describing it (300 Volt PLTC cable and 600 Volt tray cable are available for those installations).

Multipair Supra-shield®

When a cable needs to “shield” electromagnetic interference it’s common to see it designed in multiple pairs of two twisted wires, along with some kind of shield to limit the span of the magnetic field. Take a look at the shielding in the picture to the left. There’s a layer of tin foil like material called an aluminum polyester foil shield and it blocks EMI. A third, and even stronger version of blocking EMI is a tinned copper braid shield, which is copper strands woven together, and Alpha has a branded braid shield called Supra-shield®.

Alpha Supra-shield® is designed with flexibility in mind. They designed both the Xtra-Guard® 3 EPC jacket and the Supra-shield® while specifically sandwiching the shield between two jacket layers because it created a higher level of flexibility and protection.

View all of the Xtra-Guard® 3 Products by shield type and voltage level here >>

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 >>

Alpha PTFE High Temperature Electrical Wire

Alpha PTFE WireAlpha Wire engineers and manufactures Certified Performance High Reliability TFE PTFE insulated electrical wire for high temperature applications. It has all of the necessary approvals needed to meet Type E, M16878/4 and UL1213 specifications for 600 volts and 200ºC. Alpha stocks many different gauge sizes, color options and spool sizes to fit the needs of its customers.

Alpha Wire is a manufacturer that doesn’t sell to the general public. They take on distributors of wire and cable that need to meet certain dollar amounts in sales each year in order to remain a stocking supplier of their material. Alpha is known for manufacturing performance enhanced wire and cable that’s slightly advanced to its competitors in order to develop a brand name product.

TFE PTFE high temperature electrical wire (Buy here) comes in AWG (American Wire Gauge) sizes 30 through 10 depending on the amount of amperage you need to support. The voltage, temperature rating and applications remain the same because the insulation over the copper remains the same. The difference between each gauge size lies in the amount of copper which directly relates to the amount of power your application needs.

Alpha’s TFE PTFE wire is an upgrade to standard PVC insulated hook up wire because of the temperature increase. PVC wire is rated for 105ºC while TFE PTFE wire is rated for 200ºC due to the specially engineered TFE insulation. This particular high temperature wire meets the Military Specification M16878/4 but you can upgrade once again to the M16878/5 for the same wire with a 1000 volt rating.

Also known as Type E, M16878/4 insulation will resist all chemicals; have low coefficient of friction and outstanding electrical properties in applications reaching up to 200ºC. PTFE wire is commonly used in military harnessing, medical electronics, power supply lead wire and appliance wiring when temperatures get higher than 105ºC and as high as 200ºC.

There are also flexibility differences between the 7 strand and 19 strand options. For instance, Alpha 5853 and Alpha 5853/19 are both 26 AWG Type E wires but 5853 has 7 strands of 34 AWG copper and 5853/19 has 19 strands of 38 AWG copper. Both equate to the same diameter to exert the same amount of amperage but the smaller copper strands used in Alpha 5853/19 create more flexibility for the user during the assembly process.

Make sure you speak to your wire and cable supplier to make sure that you need this particular type of electrical wire. There are many options for hook up wire out there with all different price differences that match their abilities to perform. Buying the correct type of wire could save you money or aware you of the fact that you’re not quite buying enough to fit your application.

Written by: Chris Bell

Electronic Cable For Wiring Of OEM Equipment

OEM Electronic CablesElectronic cables for OEM equipment come in many variations due to voltage, conductors and shielding differences. If you can use an unshielded cable compared to a shielded cable you’re going to save some money, so make sure you understand the application before you purchase your cable, unless you’ve already consulted with an electrician.

Alpha Wire XTRA GUARD® 1 cables are ideal for OEM equipment because they’re flame and moisture resistant, color coded and covered with an extra premium grade PVC jacket for added life. Specifically, their applications include high technology applications, medical equipment, point-of-sale equipment, computer peripherals and industrial process controls.

Electronic Cable Voltage

OEM equipment cables are typically manufactured in 300 or 600 volts with as many as 60 conductors inside of a single cable. The jacket thickness of a 300 volts cable is .032” compared to the jacket thickness of a 600 volt cable at .063”. You’ll have to make sure the cable track can handle the additional diameter of the 600 volt electronic cable.

Shielding For OEM Equipment

A shield is needed when cables run next to each other in cable track because there is EMI (Electromechanical Interference) which can hurt the performance of the conductors. Electronic cables for OEM equipment come in unshielded, Foil shielded and Braid/Foil shielded. A foil shield is a basic way to block small amounts of EMI, such as running two cables next to each other. A Braid/Foil shield is required when multiple cables run together in cable track creating a much higher rate of EMI that needs to be limited with the shielding.

Conductors and Pairs

You might hear the term “multi conductor” which means more than one wire inside of the cable. “Stranding” is mentioned when discussing the very thin copper strands inside each wire of the cable. A “multi pair” cable has pairs of two conductors twisted together which also blocks EMI. So, a 4 conductor electronic cable will have a total of 4 wires inside while a 4 pair cable will have a total of 8 wires inside with each pair twisted together. Many twisted pair cables also have a shield covering each pair along with an overall shield for very high amounts of EMI.

We higher recommend Alpha XTRA GUARD® electronic cables for OEM equipment installations. They have engineers that devote a lot of time to making sure their cables outlast the competition and provide the absolute best performance while running the equipment.

Written by: Chris Bell

Alpha Wire XTRA Guard® Cables

Alpha Wire is a manufacturer of electronic wire and cable that has branded their own XTRA Guard® cables. Other manufacturers might say they can manufacture something similar but it won’t contain all of the same elements used in the “real” XTRA Guard® cables. There are 6 versions of XTRA Guard® cables that will be listed and discussed below.

Alpha XTRA Guard® 1 Cables (Popular)

XTRA Guard® 1 cables are used in applications such as medical electronics, point of sale equipment, computer peripherals and industrial process controls. There are unshielded, shielded, SUPRASHIELD® and multi pair options to choose from. The SUPRASHIELD® is another Alpha branded product in place of a common foil/braid shield. It’s similar, but manufactured with Alpha’s own recipe. This version has an extreme premium grade PVC jacket rated at 300 or 600 volts and 80ºC.

XTRA GUARD 1 CableSee XTRA Guard® 1 here >>


Alpha XTRA Guard® 2 Cables

XTRA Guard® 2 cables are used in CNC machine centers, automotive assembly plant operations, military ground support systems and packaging machinery. This version offers the same shielding options as the 1 series. XTRA Guard® 2 has unmatched resistance to oils, fuels, solvents and water due to the industrial strength extra rugged polyurethane jacket. These cables are rated at 300 or 600 volts and 90ºC.

XTRA GUARD 2 CableSee XTRA Guard® 2 here >>


Alpha XTRA Guard® 3 Cables

XTRA Guard® 3 cables have an extra durable outdoor direct burial jacket so that it can be buried in the ground without the use of conduit or raceway. Common applications are inter building communications, satellite communications equipment, land irrigation systems and pipeline sensor controls. All of the variations of XTRA Guard® 3 cables have a voltage rating of 300 or 600 with a temperature rating of 80ºC.

XTRA GUARD 3 CableSee XTRA Guard® 3 here >>


Alpha XTRA Guard® 4 Cables (Popular)

XTRA Guard® 4 cables are commonly used in wood, paper, pulp and plant operations, mining instruments and controls, food and beverage plants and arctic pipeline controls. This version has unmatched performance in both high and low temperatures reaching as low as -60ºC and as high as 125ºC. Whether shielded or unshielded, the XTRA Guard® 4 cables have an extra protective high/low temperature TPE jacket.

XTRA GUARD 4 CableSee XTRA Guard® 4 here >>


Alpha XTRA Guard® 5 Cables

XTRA Guard® 5 cables are used in applications such as military electronic, steel, glass and metal foundries, mining instruments and controls and in food and beverage plants. With an extra high temperature and chemical resistant FEP jacket, XTRA Guard® 5 cables have unmatched performance at temperatures from -80ºC to 200ºC. This version only comes in 300 volts but still has all of the shielding options including the SUPRASHIELD®.

XTRA GUARD 5 CableSee XTRA Guard® 5 here >>


Alpha XTRA Guard® Flexible Cables (Popular)

The difference between “flexible cables” and “XTRA Guard® Flexible Cables” is more than just the brand name by Alpha Wire. A flexible cable can be bent into an application where an XTRA Guard® flexible cable can be bent back and forth while the machine is running. Some machines that move around will require the cable move with it, so this is the perfect cable to use for such an application. It’s stated in the catalog that it’s a “permanent solution for critical flexing applications” and it’s manufactured in the USA.

XTRA GUARD Flexible CableSee XTRA Guard® Flexible here >>


For questions about our XTRA Guard® cable by Alpha Wire please call us at (800) 334-8400.

Written by: Chris Bell

Alpha Eco Wire and Eco Wire Plus Recyclable Hook Up Wire

Alpha Wire never ceases to amaze the wire and cable industry with the imagination and quality of product. Alpha Eco Wire is the latest engineering breakthrough with increased performance and minimized environmental impact. It’s lighter, tougher, smaller and more durable than conventional PVC hook up wire.

Alpha Eco Wire is rated at 600 volts with a temperature of 105°C. It contains no halogens, phthalates or heavy metals. It meets RoHS and WEEE standards for the elimination of hazardous substances and recyclability. Eco wire has a much better perfornamce rating than PVC with a 45% smaller diameter, 40% lighter weight and 10 times the abrasion resistance.

Eco Wire Plus is rated for 300 volts and a temperature of 110°C. It’s designed for industrial applications with exposure to oils and other hazardous fluids. It contains the characteristics of standard Eco Wire with the additional fluid resistance for demanding factory applications.

Eco Wire and Eco Wire Plus come in guage sizes 28 through 10 with 11 different color options to choose from. They’re both manufactured with stranded tinned copper and a polyphenylene ether insulation to resist the worst of chemicals and fluids. They meet the UL and CSA requirements along with being CE, RoHS and REACH compliant.

Alpha engineered the Eco Wire to replace PVC hook up wire and they engineered Eco Wire Plus to replace XLPE hook up wire. Both types of Eco Wire will save space due to it’s smaller diameter and last longer due to it’s tougher, more durable, insulation.

Alpha Eco Wire will cost more than conventional PVC wire so if you don’t need the added protection, durablilty, lighter weight or abrasion resistance then you’ll be better off spending less on standard hook up wire. However, Eco Wire has been engineered to be safe for the environment and its insulation is completely recyclable.

If you have any questions about Alpha’s Eco Wire then please contact us. We have all of it listed on our website for sale so you can also visit us there for more information.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Alpha Wire FIT Fabric Heat Shrink Tubing

Alpha Wire has a new item in their heat shrink tubing products section called FIT Fabric heat shrinkable tubing. FIT® is the Alpha Wire brand name that they use to set their tubing apart from other manufacturers who try to compete with the quality of their tubing.

FIT Fabric has a superior abrasion resistance to temperature over a wide range from 67°C to 125°C which means that even in high or low temperatures this type of tubing will remain fully abrasion resistant. It’s a woven fabric tubing with a 2 to 1 shrink ratio and has excellent flexibility and durability.

Alpha Fabric tubing is extremely easy to install and resistant to harsh environments where other types of heat shrinkable tubing aren’t. It’s very soft, safe handling and can be easily cut with scissors. When shrunk, fabric tubing has a very type grip compared to standard polyolefin tubing (without adhesive) giving it a good hold on the application.

FIT Fabric tubing is most commonly used for mechanical abrasion protection and severe environment protection due to the quality manufacturing job done by Alpha Wire. They make sure, through testing, that their product will perform or even outperform the characteristics it states in their catalog.

Alpha’s woven fabric shrinkable tubing is also used for noise and rattle protection, halogen free environments and high flexing applications. The tight grip and woven fabric material keeps the noise and vibration low and gives it the clearance to be used in a halogen free environment.

Alpha recommends using their fabric tubing with their Xtra Guard 4 and Xtra Guard 5 electronic cables because the similar characteristics of both products will work together for maximum results.

There are about 10 different sizes available in Alpha’s catalog from 1/2 inch to 2 1/2 inch. The 3 largest sizes (3/4″, 1 1/4″ and 2 3/4″) come in a 2 to 1 and 3 to 1 shrink ratio option for a wide range of applications that may need more than the standard 2 to 1 shrink ratio.

Alpha stocks a wide range of heat shrink tubing and non shrinkable tubing in their catalog. WesBell Electronics stocks their Xtra Guard cables and heat shrink tubing that work hand in hand to give applications the maximum protection and longest lasting life possible. They pride themselves by making a superior cable and have created a great name by doing just that.

Please call us if you need any type of electronic cable or shrinkable tubing by Alpha Wire.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400

Alpha FIT Heat Shrink Tubing Polyolefin and PVC

Alpha Wire engineers and manufactures heat shrink tubing to best fit their Xtra Guard electronic cables and many of their other products. Their brand name is FIT® shrinkable tubing which is a very advanced type of tubing compared to traditional polyolefin and PVC shrinkable tubing.

The most basic 2 to 1 polyolefin shrink tubing is Alpha’s part number FIT 221. It commonly used for general purpose repairs, wire and cable harnessing and cable and connector protection. The Alpha FIT 750 is a similar version with an adhesive inner lining to adhere much better to the application. The FIT 221 version also comes in a FIT 221V that makes it flame retardant to the UL VW-1 and CSA OFT flame retardancy approvals.

There are also a few options for 3 to 1 and 4 to 1 shrink ratios that allow the tubing to shrink down to different diameters for odd shapes that need tubing. Sometimes a cable is 1″ in diameter with a connector over it that’s 2″ in diameter which means it will need a tubing that can shrink down to 2″ and 1″ for a nice fit to both parts. An Alpha Wire FIT 321 tubing in 3″ will shrink as far down as 1″ giving the connector and cable a snug fit.

There are about 20 different types of FIT heat shrink tubing in Alpha’s catalog that offer water resistance, chemical resistance, protection and repair, splice protection, underground splice protection and temperature ratings reaching over 250°C.

The bulk of FIT tubing is irradiated polyolefin and PVC, but there’s also an FEP and TFE tubing available that offers shrink ratios of 1.2 to 1 and 1.5 to 1. This is high temperature shrink tubing in 200°C and 250°C which is commonly used for fiber optic applications, high temperature wire and cable, digital electronics and extremely caustic environments.

WesBell Electronics has had a great relationship with Alpha Wire for over 20 years which gives us very competitive pricing and quick answers when you need your wire, cable or tubing “yesterday”. Please call if you have any questions about our standard polyolefin tubing or Alpha Wire brand name FIT heat shrinkable tubing.

WesBell Electronics Inc
(800) 334-8400