What are the Different Types of Coiled Cord?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

A cord is a thin, flexible, insulated electric wire with plugs or other connectors on at least one end. It is available in a variety of circumferences and colors, and may tend toward flat or round in shape, but unless otherwise designated, electric cords are straight. In order to make electric cord that is capable of being used at short or long distances and that stays neat when not in use, coiled cord, also called coil cables, is formed in a helix shape and may be used instead of straight cord.

Connecting a landline telephone to the wall continues to be a popular application for those who maintain a landline at home.
Connecting a landline telephone to the wall continues to be a popular application for those who maintain a landline at home.

Coiled cord has some commercial uses. Coiled cord with 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, or 15 conductors and .5 AMP rating can be purchased in stock lengths and custom extended lengths can be made to order. Shielded communication coiled cord with 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 12, 15, and 27 conductors and 1 AMP rating is also available. Retractable coiled cord or cable that are chemical- and abrasion-resistant and are UL and CSA approved can be used for robotics, hand tools, portable appliances, stage lighting, generators, and soldering irons.

Consumers are likely to find home electronics uses for coiled cord. Connecting a landline telephone to the wall continues to be a popular application for those who maintain a landline at home, but even those who don’t may find a use for coiled cord in a mobile phone charger. Headphones often come equipped with a coiled cord, and coiled cord products are available for microphones. Anti-static wrist straps for working on computers often come with a coiled cord connector to help keep the workplace neat while doing delicate repairs. Coiled extension cords for use with a variety of appliances are another application and are available specially adapted for indoor and outdoor use.

Accessories for PDAs and handhelds, such as chargers, as well as camera accessories may come equipped with coiled cables. The coil is very popular for flash attachments. It is also used for connecting a remote so that the camera can be operated at a distance.

Vehicle accessories is another realm in which coiled cables are found to be useful. The coil is a frequent feature of a car charger cigarette lighter adapter. Car racing enthusiasts may be familiar with the remote launch control button called a “mushroom cap button” mounted with a spiral cord. These buttons provide a workaround for the racer who wears heavy gloves.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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