Field cable

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Field Cable
Field cable is telephone and/or telegraph type cable meant for expedient use in forward battlefield areas. Generally of smaller size and weight, field cable offers a trade-off between longevity and ease of use.

Field Cable exists in many varieties as it's use has extended from prior to the Great War right up until today. There were many advances in field cable and its method of use during the Great War, a key time for the use of field cable during positional warfare and before the widespread use of wireless technology, including the use of metallic returns and twisted pair.

Field Cable includes all the "D" series of cables each characterized by a different weight and construction. The modern cable used in the Canadian Army is "WD1".

Types of Cables

D1

Supplied in 1/2-mile coils.[1]

Nomenclature General Description Max external dimension (in) Approximate weight (lbs per mile) Minimum breaking strain (lbs) Number of strands per conductor and S.W.G. Conductivity resistance at 60F (single cable) (Ohms per mile) Insulation resistance at 60F (Mghms per mile)
Designation Detail
D1 Single Tinned steel, insulating paper, impregnated ozokerite,cotton tape, braided black cotton, coated ozokerite. .090 22.5 140 W7/34 106.4

D2

D2 weighs about 20-25 lbs to the mile of single cable and is used for light forward work. It was designed for use in 1/2-mile lengths on Reel Cable No 1, with pack equipment, and on Reel Cable No 2, with waist belt equipment. Generally used where a really light cable is required. There are various marks of D2.[2][3]

Nomenclature General Description Max external dimension (in) Approximate weight (lbs per mile) Minimum breaking strain (lbs) Number of strands per conductor and S.W.G. Conductivity resistance at 60F (single cable) (Ohms per mile) Insulation resistance at 60F (Mghms per mile)
Designation Detail
D2, Mark I Single Seven hard tinned steel, rubber tape or vulanized rubber, cotton tape or braided cotton, black preservative compound. 23 W7/34 1080
D2, Mark II Single Seven hard tinned steel, rubber tape or vulanized rubber, cotton tape or braided cotton, black preservative compound. 26 W7/34 1080
D2, Mark III Single One tinned copper and 7 hard tinned steel, rubber tape or vulanized rubber, cotton tape or braided cotton, black preservative compound. 26 W1/30
W7/34
320
D2, Mark IV Single One tinned copper and 7 hard tinned steel, vulanized rubber, braided cotton, black preservative compound. .093 29.5 140 W1/30
W7/34
277 1.0
D2, Mark IV, twisted Twin Two cables, D2, Mark IV, twisted together with a righthand lay of 12 inches, each cable coloured blue, green or yellow. .186 59 250 W1/30
W7/34
277 1.0
D2, Mark IV* Single Strand as for D2, Mark IV, but insulated pure rubber, cotton tape braided cotton, black preservative compound. .090 24 140 W1/30
W7/34
277 ..
D2, Mark IV*, twisted Twin Two cables D2 mark IV*, twisted together with a right-hand lay of 12 inches, each cable coloured blue, green or yellow. .180 48 250 W1/30
W7/34
277 ..

D3

D3 weighs about 40-50 lbs to the mile of single cable. It was designed for use with the telephone wagon, on drums carrying 1 mile each. Generally used where transport of D8 presents difficulties and largely for artillery work. D7 is a late pattern of this type manufactured in colours.[2][3]

Nomenclature General Description Max external dimension (in) Approximate weight (lbs per mile) Minimum breaking strain (lbs) Number of strands per conductor and S.W.G. Conductivity resistance at 60F (single cable) (Ohms per mile) Insulation resistance at 60F (Mghms per mile)
Designation Detail
D3, Mark I Single Twelve tinned steel, vulanized rubber, braided, red preservative compound. 41 W12/33 535
D3, Mark I* Single Seven tinned steel, vulanized rubber, braided, red preservative compound. 51 W7/27 350
D3, Mark II Single One soft tinned steel, 9 tinned steel, vulanized rubber, braided, red preservative compound. 40 W1/25
W9/33
430
D3, Mark III Single One soft tinned steel, 7 tinned steel, vulanized rubber, braided, red preservative compound. 41 W1/26
W7/30
450
D3, Mark IV Single One tinned copper and 7 hard tinned steel, vulanized rubber, braided flax, red preservative compound. .101 42 196 W1/26
W7/30
136 1.0
D3, Mark IV, twisted Twin Two cables, D3 Mark IV, twisted together with a right-hand lay of 12 inches, each cable coloured light or dark ref. .201 84 354 W1/26
W7/30
136 1.0
D3, Mark V Single One soft tinned steel, 7 tinned steel, vulanized rubber, braided, red preservative compound. 42 W1/26
W7/30
147

D twin

Used for overland routes. may be buried for short routes.[3]

Nomenclature General Description Max external dimension (in) Approximate weight (lbs per mile) Minimum breaking strain (lbs) Number of strands per conductor and S.W.G. Conductivity resistance at 60F (single cable) (Ohms per mile) Insulation resistance at 60F (Mghms per mile)
Designation Detail
D twin Mark I Twin Seven tinned steel, vulcanised rubber, braided hemp, coated compound. 100 W7/34 1080
D twin Mark II Twin Four tinned steel, vulcanised rubber, braided hemp, coated compound. 100 W4/30 1080
D twin Mark III Twin One tinned copper, 2 tinned steel, vulcanised rubber, braided hemp, coated compound. 110 W1/27
W2/27
185

D5

Supplied on 2 mile drums weighing 200 lb.[1]

Nomenclature General Description Max external dimension (in) Approximate weight (lbs per mile) Minimum breaking strain (lbs) Number of strands per conductor and S.W.G. Conductivity resistance at 60F (single cable) (Ohms per mile) Insulation resistance at 60F (Mghms per mile)
Designation Detail
D5 Mark IV Single 5 tinned copper, 14 galvanized steel, vulcanised rubber, braided hemp, coated ozokerite. .145 84 390 W5/30
W14/30
63

D7

D7 is a late pattern of D3 cable manufactured in colours.[2]

D8

D8 is the standard heavy cable designed for use on the Cable wagon. Generally used for long lines or for short lines required to stand a great deal of wear.[2]

Nomenclature General Description Max external dimension (in) Approximate weight (lbs per mile) Minimum breaking strain (lbs) Number of strands per conductor and S.W.G. Conductivity resistance at 60F (single cable) (Ohms per mile) Insulation resistance at 60F (Mghms per mile)
Designation Detail
D8, Mark I Single One tinned copper and 7 hard tinned steel, vulanized rubber, braided flax, black preservative compound. .134 70 280 W1/25
W7/28
106.5 10.0
D8, Mark I, twisted Twin Two cables D8 twisted togehter with a right-hand lay of 12 inches, each cable coloured blue, green or yellow. .268 140 505 W1/25
W7/28
106.5 10.0

Cable Armoured

Armoured cables were designed to be more resilient under battle conditions. Buried, laying in ditches, mud, etc.[3]

Nomenclature General Description Max external dimension (in) Approximate weight (lbs per mile) Minimum breaking strain (lbs) Number of strands per conductor and S.W.G. Conductivity resistance at 60F (single cable) (Ohms per mile) Insulation resistance at 60F (Mghms per mile)
Designation Detail
Cable Armoured, E. and G.P. (Enamelled and Gutta puercha) Twin Copper (10 lbs per mile), both legs enclosed in one sheath G.P. One conductor enamelled and cotton-covered, the other bare, tape and G.I. wire. 260 86
Cable Armoured, G.P. twin iron Twin Copper (10 lbs per mile), each wire insulated with G.P, packed jute, canvas covered. Legs twisted and covered with tape and G.I. wire. 422 86
Cable Armoured, G.P. quad iron Quad Copper (20 lbs per mile), each wire insulated with G.P, packed jute, canvas covered. Legs twisted and covered with tape and G.I. wire. 625 43

WD1

Nomenclature General Description Max external dimension (in) Approximate weight (lbs per mile) Minimum breaking strain (lbs) Number of strands per conductor and S.W.G. Conductivity resistance at 20C (single cable) (Ohms per 1000 loop-feet) Insulation resistance at 15.6C (Mghms per 1000 feet)
Designation Detail
WD1 Twin Three galvanized steel, 4 tinned copper. Individually insulated, extruded nylon compound jacketing. Two conductors twisted together with a right-hand lay of 6 inches. 0.176 48 200 W3/32
W4/32
<46 >10,000
WD1A Twin Three galvanized steel, 4 tinned copper. Insulated in a common extruded polyethylene type compound jacketing. Twisted with a right-hand lay of 12 inches. 0.135 48 200 W3/32
W4/32
<46 >10,000

WD36

MX-6895 1/4-mile dispenser
WD-36, also known as "assault cable", is an ultra-light two-conductor field telephone wire. Its intended use is for short line circuits at brigade and other headquarters of similar or smaller size for wiring of command posts, weapon positions, outpost and short patrols. Delivered in either a MX-6895 1/4-mile dispenser or a MX-6894 1/2-mile dispenser.
Nomenclature General Description Max external dimension (in) Approximate weight (lbs per mile) Minimum breaking strain (lbs) Number of strands per conductor and S.W.G. Conductivity resistance at 20C (single cable) (Ohms per 1000 loop-feet) Insulation resistance at 15.6C (Mghms per 1000 feet)
Designation Detail
WD36 Twin One solid aluminum. Individually insulated, polyethylene low density resin. Two conductors connected in parallel. 0.076 25 W1/24 <125 >500

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Instruction in Army Telegraphy and Telephony, Volume II (Lines) 1909 (Reprinted with corrections November 1914)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Signal Training Volume IV Construction and Maintenance of Lines 1927
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Signal Training Part II (Provisional), Methods of inter-communication (other than visual) employed in forward areas 1920