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Old 03-17-2005, 01:48 AM
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Plug wires

I was offered Accel Super Stock wires by Northern when I asked about a replacement set (Monte Carlo hei ignition). The problem is these are copper core wires. Generally I thought you should never use copper cores on cars with stock graphite cores, furthermore I'm going to operate radios in my car and think copper cores are less rfi suppressing than graphites.

What can you tell me? Are these things not true anymore with modern wires or should I really get graphite cores as a replacement?

Regards
Martin

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Old 03-17-2005, 08:10 AM
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plug wires

Use MSD, Taylor or Accel 8 mm helically wound wires.

Last edited by bracketeer; 03-17-2005 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:05 AM
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If what you are asking is whether or not your copper core wires will cause radio interference, than the answer is that yes, they most likely will. I would suggest eithr using the graphite, or like was mentioned above...helically wound wires. Hope this helps
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:03 PM
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how do copper wires cause radio interference? by radio are you talking about a music radio or like a cb radio of some sort?
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:19 PM
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Graphite core wires are usually labelled as rfi suppressing wires, hence follows that copper cores do cause rfi. I'm talking about 2way radios, cb and hopefully ham in the future. As suggested I think I'll get some spiral cores, I didn't know about these beflore.

Regards
Martin
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:53 PM
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Wires

Doc Here,

Copper cores act like "little Antennas" Where RFI is concerned. RFI in the AM spectrum, is abysmal. It is especially bad in the 3 to 300 Khz range (Amateur HF Bands) and gets better as you go higher in Frequency.

The HF AM and upper / Lower sidebands bands will pick up noise from just about any source in a mobile operation. Something as little as a fender skirt and fender rubbing together can make "Noise" in a mobile.

2 meters, 220, and 440 and 1.2 Ghz FM are least likely to be affected by RFI by virtue of the fact they are FM and higher in Frequency.

If your planning to do HF mobile, plug wires may be the least of your problems with RFI. Some BIG offenders are, Alternators, Vehicle Computer and Computer driven devices, Electric Fuel pumps, Auto warning Buzzers, and related items.

After all, what is HF anyway, but a HIGH powered Spark at a low frequency in the AM / Sideband spectrum .... Remember the old "Spark Gap" Transmitters that started the whole idea 100 years ago? I could also be describing RFI if you look at it that way...

To start with, get some ground strap (or the stripped Shield from RG~8 coax) Put connectors or ring terminals on each end and run straps from the hood to the firewall, The fenders to the firewall, the doors to the door posts etc..well you get the idea. You want one solid Ground-plane platform.

Decide on which Frequency's you will plan to operate on, and get or build some low pass filters for that range to install on the Alternator and power wires going to the radio equipment. Ferrite beads help in this area too.

When you install your radio equipment, Keep Antenna Coax well away from power and audio leads, and keep it as short and direct as possible.

Make sure your antenna has a good solid ground, add ground straps if necessary. (usually mag or bumper mounts aren't good enough)

Add Ferrite beads and chokes to both power and ground of the transceiver, and be sure the wire is large enough to support the transmitter at full power!

Location of the Antenna is important too...Roof Center is Ideal, but in HF , usually not practical. Farther away and above the engine the better, and remember too, they can become directional so you may want to figure out the pattern before you permanently mount the antenna.

If your planning on HF equipment, remember, this stuff is high power...you can't run it from a cigar lighter...you'll at the very least blow a fuse if not fry the vehicle harness the first time you try 10 meters at 1500 watts!

Run Redundant Power and Ground Cable directly from the battery AND Fuse both Sides with a proper fuse.

The Same applies for any linear Equipment you plan to run, DON'T try to "Piggyback" a 1000 watt linear off the HF power feed! supply it with it's own fused power.

Another Thing too is RF Safety at those frequency's and that power...Be sure your antenna won't fry some pedestrian passerby, your passengers or yourself.

I have a 1.2 Ghz Television Transmitter and 38 watt linear installed in my Corvette, (I do mobile TV, Up-link or STL 1.289 Ghz, down-link 427.25 Mhz or Cable Channel 6 on TV) and the first time I used it, The RF Video carrier at full black screen (Peak power) completely erased the EPROM in the Car's Computer! It took 100 or so miles to reboot it with new data.(The Computer is mounted behind the Driver!) This is only 300 MHZ higher Than you use to cook your Dinner on in a microwave!

You can read more about RF safety if you get a copy of FCC Part 97 and study it. Those questions will also be on your license test, So It's good to know.

For more about HF and Mobile Operations, how to set up a mobile, get a copy (or do an online search) For The ARRL Handbook. It covers it all from A to Z...

If you go to QRZ.com, You can take practice license exams online, and most of this is covered in the test also...AND the site has lots of good info too.

As For the wires, as stated before, 8 MM spiral core non copper is about the best you can do...If you still get RFI, One thing you can try...

Corvette C3 & C4 generations makes a housing for SBC's that is made of some kind of insulating material, that is metallic shielded which fits over the Distributer and plug wire loom, it offers a lot of RFI shielding and SHOULD fit on any SBC Chevy provided you have a few inches between the firewall and distributor.You Could probably Find one at a Vette Wrecking yard or pay full retail at Corvette Central and order it online.

Sorry for the long dissertation, But there is lot's to consider when setting up mobile operations Especially in HF....

Hope it helps, and if you already haven't passed it yet, Good luck on your license Exams.

Doc
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Old 03-18-2005, 02:26 AM
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corvette shields

Quote:
Corvette C3 & C4 generations makes a housing for SBC's that is made of some kind of insulating material, that is metallic shielded which fits over the Distributer and plug wire loom, it offers a lot of RFI shielding and SHOULD fit on any SBC Chevy provided you have a few inches between the firewall and distributor.You Could probably Find one at a Vette Wrecking yard or pay full retail at Corvette Central and order it online.
The shield directs the wires under the exhaust manifold. There is shields under there to protect wires from heat. The #1 plug wire is 4 feet long. The shields have to be removed to run headers. So anyone with headers would not be able to take advantage of a Corvette shield.
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Old 03-18-2005, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bracketeer
The shield directs the wires under the exhaust manifold. There is shields under there to protect wires from heat. The #1 plug wire is 4 feet long. The shields have to be removed to run headers. So anyone with headers would not be able to take advantage of a Corvette shield.
Doc here,

The shield I think you are referring to, is the tin runners located below the headers, and run from the front to the rear, These are only good for heat reflection/deflection and not RFI isolation/Suppression.

The Shield I am referring to is mounted over the HEI (encases it ) and captures both wire looms as they are directed off the sides and rear to a point just about head height...
IT is made of a semi flexible fiberglass material, and the inner "SKIN" Is bonded with a metallic sheet that kinda looks like mini diamond plate..but not.

This Shield acts as an RF trap of sorts I will attach photos of one I went out and took off one of the C4's in my shop. hope they come out haven't posted a photo since before they changed the site.

Doc
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Last edited by docvette; 03-18-2005 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for these detailed explanations! I haven't thought about it in such detail just knew that I have to get new wires because the old ones are fried so I thought I'd get some that minimize rfi regarding a future radio usage.

Regards
Martin
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Old 03-19-2005, 05:38 AM
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Have to ask once more... I'm ordering a bunch of parts at Northern anyway so I want to order the wires there as well. They don't stock the Accel spiral wires I wanted to order. But they have Crane Fire Wires and Accel 300+ and MSD Heli-Core. Which one to choose? I'd go for MSD or Crane.

Furthermore, are straight or angled ones the way to go for a 1980 Monte Carlo? The ones that were in had half straight and half angled plugs. I'd go angled but don't know what was originally in. And the MSD wires are offered either in a universal set or in a kit for 1975+ cars and trucks with the wires over the valve covers. Montes have them under the manifolds, what difference does this make?

Regards
Martin
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:15 PM
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Really old thread. I know.

I was doing a search on metallic core plug wires and was drawn to this thread.

Needless to say, Doc, what a brilliant man. How we miss ye.
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