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Thread: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

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    Senior Member CornwallPhil's Avatar
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    Default Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    I was investigating a QL site in Cornwall today with the landowner, when I uncovered a number of coils of wire. At first I thought I'd found some old barbed wire, but this had no barbs and seemed too thick and heavy. Is it possible this is the remains of some of the wiring used for a QL site that perhaps got left behind when the site was dismantled? I'd appreciate the collective wisdom of forum members.
    Wire 1.jpg

    Wire 2.jpg

    Wire 3.jpg

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    A lot of electrical cable was used to connect from the Control Shelter to the decoy fire baskets and lightning and provide power from the generator. To reduce voltage drop over the distances involved the cable was 'heavy' and suitable for external surface use. At least one and probably two qualified electricians were assigned to cover the shifts on a QL site and maintain serviceability.

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    Default Re: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    there does'nt appear to be any remnants of insulation left and it does seem to be single core? how thick is it? looks like possibly old straining wire to me

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    Senior Member CornwallPhil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    It's about the thickness of a pencil, about 7mm. In photo 2 you can see on the piece nearest the ivy in the middle there seems to be some kind of covering that is splitting off or is that just the metal flaking?

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    Default Re: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    the fact that it IS rusted, ie, not a copper core, make's me think its not electrical, when you say 7mm, is that the diameter of a section that hasn't corroded?

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    It's not clear from the photographs that the 'cable' is rusted. I assumed Phil knows the difference between rusted steel wire and electrical cable. Tough Rubber Sheathed cable was often used and in some case lead sheathed. Is the rusty looking split and flaking exterior deteriorated insulation or is it corrosion? If the latter, it aint cable!

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    Default Re: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    in the first photo you can clearly see the oxidised dark core of the wire on a couple of the wrapping coils, ive dug up enough rusty old metal over the years to know what it looks like! im positive we are looking at some discarded fencing straining wire or similar, corrosion over the years will "blow" the cable from the inside effectively doubling the diameter in appearance.

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    I'm not criticising your comments but since Phil asked the question and has seen it first hand I thought that he would be able to confirm whether it was rust (or corrosion). I would expect cable to be fairly flexible whereas if it is heavy gauge wire it would be stiff.

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    Default Re: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by PETERTHEEATER View Post
    I'm not criticising your comments but since Phil asked the question and has seen it first hand I thought that he would be able to confirm whether it was rust (or corrosion). I would expect cable to be fairly flexible whereas if it is heavy gauge wire it would be stiff.
    Please think nothing of it Peter, I didn't think for a moment that you were being critical! my comment was a general observation and not aimed at anyone in particular, rest assured Peter I have nothing but respect for your undoubted knowledge in all matters Airfield.

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decoy Site Electrics - Help Needed

    And, in particular, in my RAF BD days I was obliged to remove electrical cabling from disused airfields in order to...er... safeguard it from looters

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