# F.A.Q.

www.CurlyCords.com.au F.A.Q.

How do you measure a curly cord?

There are various terminologies used to describe curly cords lengths:

• “Compressed coil length.”
This is where all the coils are pushed up hard against each other. We also measure the straight tails separately to the coiled section. This is our preferred term, as this is how we generally measure them when they are produced.
• “Extended length.” or “Working Length.”
Which is when its pulled out to it’s normal maximum working length. (Being careful not to over stretch the cords)
• “Total amount of cable in the cord.”
In some fields it has become standard to refer to a curly cord by the total amount of straight cable in the cord. Prior to coiling. For example Telephone Handset Cords, Truck Suzi Coils, and when we coil already terminated straight cords. Keep in mind this is not the same as extended length, as you can only extend a curly cord out part way. Maybe 40% to 80% depending on the design of the cord.
• Relaxed.
We don’t use this term, as it  is somewhat ambiguous.
Some people use the term “relaxed” to mean when the cord is extended, then allowed to find its own “at rest point”. Which can vary dramatically. Depending on the construction of the cable, the amount and time it was extended etc.
By using the term “relaxed” I’ve had some people actually mean to the compressed length, others mean the extended length, and others something in between.
• “Uncoiled.”
Another ambiguous term, whose meaning may be unclear. We don’t use this term.
Curly Cords can either be measured including the straight tails, or by measuring just the coiled section. Either method is fine, so long as it’s clear how it was measured.
As different cables/cords extend different amounts:
The extended or working length is normally the most important figure.
We can work back from there to determine the compressed length.
Are the coil I.D. (Inside Diameter) and O.D. (Outside Diameter) important?
Whilst not normally important to the average user, there are instances where it can be significant. For example the cord O.D. is important if the cord is being mounted inside a channel. And the I.D. is important if it is being mounted around a tube. These are probably the only instances where you would need to concern yourself with it. Otherwise I suggest leaving that up to us. We are in the position to determine the optimum diameters, based on the other construction parameters.
If you have such a situation, I suggest you be sure to advise us of this requirement on your e-mail.

What other names are curly cords called?
Curly Cords are also known by many names including:
Curly Cable / Curly Cord.
Spiral Cable / Spiral Cord.
Coiled Cable / Coiled Cord.
Coiley Cable / Coiley Cord.
Spring Cable / Spring Cord.
Curley Cable / Curley Cord.
Slingshot Cable / Slingshot Cord
Suzi Cable / Suzi Cords / Suzi Coil.
Retractable Cables / Retractable Cord.
Several other names.
What types of cords do you make?
Our range is extensive. Examples Include:
Single core cable and cords.
Multi core cable and cords.
Data cable and cords.
Control cable and cords.
Instrumentation cable and cords.
Power cable and cords.
Audio/Video cables and cords.
Custom cables and cords.
Microphone cords
Video camera cables
Specialist truck and trailer cords
Extra long communications cords
We also do Connectors and other Wiring Accessories
…the list goes on….and on…and on…
What applications are curly cords used in?
Curly Cords are used in a variety of ways. Examples applications include:
Pendant lighting and outlets
Robotics
Hand held instruments
Accelerometer cords
Cords for work lights
Lighting tower cables
Laser tag style games
Medical instruments
How long have you been working with cords?
We have been been in business since 1998 & prior to this our principle worked for a custom cable manufacturer, and was specifically involved in the custom cable assembly, & cable and connector field since 1988.
Can I buy my cords from you?
Absolutely. We sell to all levels of the market.
From distributors and electrical wholesalers, to OEMs, particularly to cable assembly houses and harness makers to electricians, installers, contractors, as well as end users
I am in another state can I buy my cords from you?
Absolutely. We sell to all states of Australia.We send our cords all around QLD, NSW, VIC, NT, WA, ACT, SA and not to mention Tazzie 🙂 And even our good mates in New Zealand – they are a bit like a state of Australia. So we count you too. 🙂 *Free Delivery does not apply to New Zealand Orders.
We have great deals with major local and national courier companies for reliable deliveries almost everywhere.
I am in another country can I buy my cords from you?
Absolutely. We sell to most countries.
We have great deals with major international courier companies for reliable deliveries almost everywhere around the globe.

Can I buy curly cord on the roll E.G. 100m?
No. It seems to be a common misconception that curly cords come on a roll like straight cable. But Curly cords are not sold like raw cable.
(i.e. supplied on bulk rolls and priced per meter) but rather each cord is individually formed. We also provide straight tails at each end of the cords to allow for termination.
What are the shortest and longest cords you make?
The retracted lengths we make range from 25mm (1”) to 1800mm (1.8m) (6’)
How far will my cord stretch?
Depending on the construction of the cable itself and the parameters of the coil, the maximum extension ratio can vary quite a bit. As a safe rule of thumb we suggest a 3 to 1 ratio. E.g. a 1m coil will extend to 3m. However that rule is not set in stone and some of our cords are capable of extended much further E.G. 4:1 and even some up to 7:1 when specifically designed that way.
Something to keep in mind:- When we design and make the cords to extend further we usually sacrifice the retractability or the “Spring” of the cords.
What happens if I need them longer?
We can add longer straight tails (we can increase tail lengths to 1m or longer if need be.) In fact the extend length is usually more important than the retracted length anyway. So we can usually adjust the parameters of the coil to allow it to extend further as well. In addition you could also join multiple cords together to reach the desired length.We have a new procedure where we basically make two cords back to back with a short length in between them. This can produce a cord that can be up to  3.6m Compressed. It is a much more difficult procedure than standard, however if you really must have longer cords, this may be the best option.
What’s the best way to handle my cords?
Just because the cords look like steel springs, please don’t treat them like one. Please bear in mind that these cords do in fact contain electrical/electronic wires. And as such if handled roughly can be damaged. To ensure long life please treat the cords with respect.
In most cases Yes. Provided you choose the right cord for the job, and the cords are not overextended.
However this is not necessarily the case with most of the PVC cords. These types of cords are not designed for any use where high retractability is required. They are simply used for “cosmetic effect” i.e. to look nice. Whilst they are curly cords, they are not necessarily self retracting. If you want the cord to return to its fully compressed state, you should consider using one of our higher quality cords.
What happens if I over stretch the cord?
If you over extend the cord, it is likely the cord will no longer return to its fully compressed state, and in some cases the internal wires may be damaged.

On your website you talk about conductor size. How does that work?
Generally we refer to the conductor size by Cross Sectional Area.
To work out the cross sectional area of a wire you need to know the strand size (usually expressed as the Diameter), and the Number or strands.

You take the strand diameter, and square it (multiply it by itself), then multiply this by 0.785, then multiply this by the total number of strands. This my sound complex, but it’s really simple in practice.

In the automotive industry Another common way to refer to wire size is to use the measurement across the wire (including the insulation). As in “4mm auto”. The difficulty here is the insulation thickness varies between different cables. This is largely based on voltage rating, and varying dielectric strength of the insulation materials as well as different Various Standards and relevant manufacturers specifications.
For example “4 mm auto” can be 2 mm²,  But we have heard of it ranging from 4 mm², 2 mm², 1.85 mm², and even 1.25 mm²,
All of which would have a large baring on the current carrying capacity of the cord.
That’s why we normally talk about Square mm (mm²) as there is less chance for ambiguity.

You have a very large range. Do you have all of those in stock?
No. This site is designed to show some of the various types and options available. Because the highly custom nature of the cords, Most of our cords are made on demand (made to order). However we do have several varieties in stock which have become “standard” lines, as well as overruns and other incidental stock.

I want a cord that is not listed. Do you have others?
Absolutely. We have many other cords that are not listed on the website. In fact we probably have the largest range of cords available, and the range is ever expanding! Furthermore if you feel we there is a need for a particular type of cord that we don’t know about, we would love to hear about it!

I have my own straight cable/cord. Can you coil it for me?
Possibly. Some cable work better than others. Whilst we can process most cable, the finished results vary dramatically. A Very small number of cables coil very well (Some off the shelf Polyurethane cables), Most normal cable will not hold a coil. Some will not withstand the coiling process itself, and others can hold the coil, but produce coils that have limited (or non existent) expansion and/or retractability.
We have Many years of experience working with cables and have many of our cables especially manufactured for the process. As I love to say… “One test is worth 1000 opinions.” So…I would be happy to run a trial for you. Please feel free to send me your sample for evaluation.

I am not really sure what I need. Can you help?
Absolutely. In order to help you, it is beneficial to understand how you will be using the cords. So an overview of your application is essential.
Please just drop me an E-Mail with your details together with details of the application, and I will be happy to work with you to arrive at a suitable design.

## 8 thoughts on “F.A.Q.”

1. Ian Fenney says:

i am looking for a curly cable to onsell to my customer.
They are looking for a 4 core wire setup, 2 metre straight length then approx 300mm in the curly section and short tail so a plug can be mounted.
They will be using it in a incubator oven for chickens.
Hopefully you can help us.

• Paul Scott says:

Hi Ian,
A 2m long tail with a 300mm coil, then a short tail is OK
But we need to know about the cable.
Is this for 240v? or some sort of extra low voltage system?
Also what would be the required current rating? (we have different sized 4 core cables)
Is it just a one off ? or do you need a quantity?

All the best…
Paul.

2. Jan Sender says:

Hi

I'm writing you from Norway where I'm trying to find a cable like the one you've got on your picture saying "Pro-F3015". I take it this can be used for 230 voltage as that is what we use here. I need one that stretches out less than 3 meters, but more than 2 meters. I have found a company that sells similar cables here in Oslo, but I'm uncertain wether it can be used for 230 voltage or not. I will check it out and come back to you if necessary. Is there a chance that you can make me one and mail it to me, or do you know of anybody else making the same cables here in Europe. Preferably closer to Oslo, Norway?

I look forward to hearing from you

sincerely yours

Jan Sender

• Paul Scott says:

Hi Jan,

Yes..ours are definatly made to suit 230v ac.

I looked it up and believe registered mail will be quite cost effective.

I’ll email you a propper quote next…

All the best…Paul.

3. Kevin says:

Hi,
Do you guys do mains power extension curly cords? ie: extension cable to attach to a electrically powered device

Thanks,
Kevin

• Paul Scott says:

Hi Kevin,
We do make mains voltage curly cords… in a couple of different types.
But we don’t do them with plugs/sockets.
The plugs ans sockets must be fitted by the electrician.

Best regards

Paul.

4. Glenn Reynolds says:

Hi Paul
I am looking for a solution for my customer that owns various high end mechanical service centres in Melbourne and we need to install 8 x retractable 230v 10amp outlets and 8 x CAT 6 data outlets in seperate locations, these outlets will service the vehicle while it is on the hoist , the concrete ceiling height is approx. 4-4.5m high. could you please recommend something from your range and a price. This is also for my customer to be compliant with OH+S requirements within their service centre.
Regards Glenn

• Paul Scott says:

Hi Glenn,