Ribbon Cables and their applications

Single- and multi-coloured ribbon cables are used e.g. in fixed connections in telecommunication devices or electronic control systems for machines.

Telephone cables in practice

These cables are used not only in telecommunications, but they also proved to be good for standard telephone connections with the most common number of cores.

Wire wrapped joints

 Wrapped joints
Fig. 1. Wire-wound connection – a pin with a wire wound onto it.

Wrapped connections are created by tightly wrapping a few coils of a wire, i.e. a single core cable, around a tall metal pin. The pin, with the cross-section of ca. 1 x 1mm, has sharp edges, and it may be an element of the mounting panel or a part of a special connector designed for wrapping.

Such electrical connections are similar to joints created by strongly stranding two wires together with the use of pliers, which has been used for ages by electricians to create connections in grid installations.

Characteristics of wire wrapped joints

While wrapping, the edges of the pin pierce through the surface of the wire, which results in both metals penetrating each other and having diffusive contact. Wrapped joints have high mechanical resistance and electrical durability.

They are used in:

  • industrial devices,
  • military devices,
  • telecommunications.

Wrapping is generally considered more reliable than soldering, as, with the use of specialist tools, it does not involve the risk of cold joints or component and connection overheating while connecting.

 Wrapped joints
Photograph 2. A manual winder that resembles a small screwdriver.

Creating a wrapped connection

Creating a wrapped joint is quite easy. There are specialist tools on the market that facilitate this task; you can choose from manually operated tools, similar to a screwdriver, or automatic tools, looking a bit like a pistol (electric or pneumatic).

Wrapped joints can be repaired by unwrapping and re-wrapping of a wire. If the wire becomes rugged, it can be replaced or shortened by the damaged part.

Limitations for wrapped connections

A disadvantage of wrapped connections is the limited scope of applications.

This method can be used only with single core wires with the diameter of 0.25 to 1mm with mounting pins. It is also necessary to adjust the ends of the wrapping tool to pin size and wire diameter.

Furthermore, the method cannot be used for connecting wires of different structure. The joint can operate up to ca. 70oC, and above that, the stability of the joint decreases.

See also:


Due to the small diameter of a wire, wrapped connections are suitable for connecting low power circuits.