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Wire reels/Winders...
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Author:  NCA75 [ Mon May 30, 2016 12:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Wire reels/Winders...

I'm trying to find any info on what signals wire winders looked like...the type used for Telephone sets F ect...any help would be great as ive got a huge reel of D10 wire and I want something more period to wind it onto.Thanks.

Author:  McVickers [ Mon May 30, 2016 13:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wire reels/Winders...

The most common winder of the period was the ACL No.2 ("Apparatus, Cable Laying, No.2") which was a hand-held ash-frame cable drum holder and dispenser for manual line laying. It was an old interwar design (1920s) that went on being used well into the 1960s.

Attachment:
ACL_No2.jpg


Introduced in 1943, was the ACL No.6 ("Apparatus, Cable Laying, No.6") which was a back-pack cable drum carrier and dispenser for manual line laying. It's design was based on the 'Everest' carrier framework. These are rather rare and I've only ever seen photos of one real one which some chap was restoring. Never seen one in a museum and never seen any period photos of them in use.

Attachment:
ACL_No6.jpg


Also you could consider a RMCH No.12 ("Reeling Machine, Cable, Hand, No.12") which was used to both dispense and re-reel cable drums. Though you may not think this is quite "line laying", these were seen Jeep-mounted for dispensing of cable from the rear of the Jeep when laying long lines with larger non-man-handleable reels. The replacement version, the ACL No.11 ("Apparatus, Cable Laying, No.11") looks quite similar, but is a post-war developed item, being introduced around 1947.

Attachment:
RMCH_No12.jpg


Also for heavier drums there is the BDWD MkIV ("Barrows, Drum, War Department, MkIV") which were used by both on-foot and truck-mounted line-laying parties. Quite incorrectly some people thing these are 'airborne' items, seemingly confusing these with the airborne carts, etc... or thinking that only airborne forces had 'trolly'-like things and the regular army would use a motorised vehicle.

Attachment:
BDWD_MkIV.jpg


I also know of photographic evidence showing British units using US comms' wire on US DR-8 reels mounted on US DR-39 hand reelers.

Image

Author:  McVickers [ Mon May 30, 2016 13:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wire reels/Winders...

NCA75 wrote:
...as ive got a huge reel of D10 wire and I want something more period to wind it onto.Thanks.


As much as you may want a period looking winder, if your want it all to 'look' correct, then the use of D10 would show you up a bit. It looks nothing like period British telecoms cable (the most common in use during the period being D3 and later on the "throwable" D8). Also to note, modern British/NATO cable drums as found being used for D10 are different sizes to WW2 period British drums (and have different sized square spindle holes) which may not fit on some of these British winders.

Author:  NCA75 [ Mon May 30, 2016 16:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wire reels/Winders...

Thanks for your help, much appreciated.The first pic of the wooden framed type look interesting...I wonder what the small leather pouch is for?and how big it is?

I have a new question then...anyone know of a source for D3 or D8 cable?

Author:  McVickers [ Mon May 30, 2016 20:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wire reels/Winders...

NCA75 wrote:
Thanks for your help, much appreciated.The first pic of the wooden framed type look interesting...


If it's just going to be you enacting being part of a 4-man foot line laying team, then that'd be the most ideal one to aim for. I got mine by pure luck for very cheap (£12) on eBay. They usually sell for much more. You may fine some which look the same but painted green - don't worry these are the same item, but a lot were subject to the big kit refurbishment which went on circa 1953 and got a liberal slather of post-war 1950s green paint. You could try stripping it off if you did find one of these and wanted it to look more 'war time'.

NCA75 wrote:
I wonder what the small leather pouch is for?and how big it is?


Early versions had a leather pouch, later versions has a webbing material pouch. I've a 1940 dated ACL No.2 and it's got the web pouch. The pouch is to contain the locking plate/ring which is affixed to the spindle to allow you to "free spool" the drum on only the spindle/winding handle part (not shown in pick - removed from frame). The spindle/winding handle part is also designed to act as an impromptu emergency earth pin (earth spike) and has a wire terminal binding post on it for this very reason.

NCA75 wrote:
I have a new question then...anyone know of a source for D3 or D8 cable?


It's hard to come by now. I've seen some drums of D3 a couple of years back which were silly money, and I've only just recently got myself half-a-drum of D3 on a period MkV drum for £30 from Stoneleigh this year. And that's saying something as I've been collecting signals gear for years....!
Even then, I'd never 'use' the cable, it's far too "valuable" to me as it is for display then to reel it out and get it covered in mud or cut into smaller lengths, etc...

If you can find cloth-covered wire, either new stuff made for vintage automotive restoration use which has an outer diameter of approx 3mm, coloured red, then that'd be the nearest thing to "repro" D3.

Red cloth-covered mains wiring recovered from old houses which are being rewired is also a good source of very close D3 looking cable, but is noticeably stiffer to lay, and only available in the short lengths recovered.

D8 is effectively the same just slightly thicker and smoother outer jacket, and coloured black.

Author:  NCA75 [ Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wire reels/Winders...

Bringing this up again...there was the wooden framed winder on ebay recently that went sky high price wise.Never mind.

I have picked up a full wartime drum and the cable is a sort of dirty yellow colour?It is proper comms wire though.

McVickers..if you see this would you be as kind as to send me the dimentions of the wooden frame?I could make something similar (apart from the winding mechanism) Thanks.

Author:  McVickers [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wire reels/Winders...

NCA75 wrote:
I have picked up a full wartime drum and the cable is a sort of dirty yellow colour?It is proper comms wire though.


Yes, that sounds like the predecessor to D3, which was yellow and called D2. Though it was classed as obsolete (due to the introduction of D3 during WW1) there was still large stocks of it and it was relegated to training use; as WW2 kicked off and wire production was at a strain, the stocks of D2 were put back into service (as it was still good usable comms' cable after all), especially in uses where it was more likely to be sacrificed/not recovered - you see a lot of airborne jeeps with large reels of D2 on the front.

NCA75 wrote:
McVickers..if you see this would you be as kind as to send me the dimensions of the wooden frame?I could make something similar (apart from the winding mechanism) Thanks.


This evenig, I'll try to remeber to post up a copy of a picture I annotated for a friend a year or two ago when he was looking to make a repro' one.

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