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Navy Electricity and Electronics Training Series

Module 4 -- Introduction to Electrical Conductors, Wiring Techniques, and Schematic Reading

Chapter 2 -- Wiring Techniques

( Thanks to Michael N7WSB for helping on this chapter! - NěPU )


Conductors within equipment must be kept in place to present a neat appearance and aid in tracing the conductors when alterations or repairs are required. This is done by LACING the conductors into wire bundles called cables. An example of lacing is shown in figure 2-39. When conductors are properly laced, they support each other and form a neat, single cable.

A narrow, flat tape should be used wherever possible for lacing and tying. This tape is not an adhesive type of tape. Round cord may also be used, but its use is not preferred because cord has a tendency to cut into wire insulation. Use cotton, linen, nylon, or glass fiber cord or tape, according to the temperature requirements. Cotton or linen cord or tape must be prewaxed to make it moisture and fungus resistant. Nylon cord or tape may be waxed or unwaxed; glass fiber cord or tape is usually not waxed.

The amount of flat tape or cord required to single lace a group of conductors is about two and onehalf times the length of the longest conductor in the group. Twice this amount is required if the conductors are to be double laced.

Before lacing, lay the conductors out straight and parallel to each other. Do not twist them together because twisting makes conductor lacing and wire tracing difficult during troubleshooting.

A lacing shuttle on which the cord can be wound keeps the cord from fouling during the lacing operation. A shuttle similar to the one shown in figure 2-40 can easily be made from aluminum, brass, fiber, or plastic scrap. Rough edges of the material used for the shuttle should be filed smooth to prevent injury to the operator and damage to the cord. To fill the shuttle for a single lace, measure the cord, cut it, and wind it on the shuttle. For double lace, proceed as before, except double the length of the cord before you wind it on the shuttle. For double lace, start both ends of the cord or tape on the shuttle in order to leave a loop for starting the lace. This procedure is explained later in the chapter.

Some equipment requires the use of twisted wires. One example is the use of "twisted pairs" for the ac filament leads of certain electron tube amplifiers to minimize radiation of their magnetic field. This prevents an annoying hum in the amplifier output. You should duplicate the original layout when relacing any wiring harness.

Lace or tie bundles tightly enough to prevent slipping, but not so tightly that the cord or tape cuts into or deforms the insulation. Be especially careful when lacing or tying coaxial cable. Coaxial cable is a conductor used primarily for radio-frequency transmission. It consists of a center conductor separated from an outer conductor (usually called a shield) by an insulating dielectric. The dielectric maintains a constant capacitance between the two conductors, which is very important in radio transmission. The dielectric is soft and deforms easily if tied too tightly or with the wrong type of tape.


Do not use round cord for lacing or tying coaxial cable or bundles that contain coaxial cable. Use only the approved military specification tape to lace or tie coaxial cables or bundles containing coaxial cables.


Single lace can be started with a square knot and at least two marling hitches drawn tightly. Details of the square knot and marling hitch are shown in figure 2-41. Do not confuse the marling hitch with a half hitch. In the marling hitch, the end is passed over and under the strand, as shown in view A of the figure. After forming the marling hitches, draw them tightly against the square knot, as shown in view B. The lace consists of a series of marling hitches evenly spaced at 1/2-inch to 1-inch intervals along the length of the group of conductors, as shown in view C of the figure.

When dividing conductors to form two or more branches, follow the procedure illustrated in figure 2-42. Bind the conductors with at least six turns between two marling hitches, and continue the lacing along one of the branches, as shown in view A. Start a new lacing along the other branch. To keep the bends in place, form them in the conductors before lacing. Always add an extra marling hitch just prior to a breakout as shown in view B.

Double lace should be used on groups of conductors that are 1 inch or larger in total diameter. Either a single lace or a double lace may be used on groups of less than 1 inch.


Double lace is applied in a manner similar to single lace, except that it is started with a telephone hitch and is double throughout the length of the lacing (figure 2-43). Both double and single lace may be ended by forming a loop from a separate length of cord and using it to pull the end of the lacing back underneath a serving of approximately eight turns (figure 2-44). An alternate method of ending the lacing is illustrated in figure 2-45. This method can also be used for either single- or double-cord lacing. Another method is by using a marling hitch as a lock stitch (figure 2-46) to prevent slippage. This procedure will also prevent unraveling should a break occur to the lacing.

The spare conductors of a multiconductor cable should be laced separately, and then tied to active conductors of the cable with a few telephone hitches. When two or more cables enter an enclosure, each cable group should be laced separately. When groups are parallel to each other, they should be bound together at intervals with telephone hitches (figure 2-47).


When cable supports are used in equipment as shown in figure 2-48, spot ties are used to secure the conductor groups if the supports are more than 12 inches apart. The spot ties are made by wrapping the cord around the group as shown in figure 2-49. To finish the tie, use a clove hitch followed by a square knot with an extra loop. The free ends of the cord are then trimmed to a minimum of 3/8 inch.

Frame: 90402014

Write down the answer to this question:

Q44. Besides presenting a neat appearance and supporting each other, what is the other purpose for lacing conductors?

Q45. Why is flat tape preferred instead of round cord when wire bundles are laced?

Q46. What amount of flat tape or round cord is required to single lace a group of conductors?

Q47. What is the purpose of a lacing shuttle?

Q48. When should wires be twisted prior to lacing?

Q49. What precautions should you take when tying bundles containing coaxial cables?

Q50. How is the single lace started?

Q51. What size wire bundles require double lace?

Q52. How is the double lace started?

Q53. How are laced cable groups bound together?

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