Diving into the World of Spiral Cables

curly cords clip art

Spiral cables, also known as curly cords, are those cords with a distinct spiral or curly shape that can be found anywhere from mobile cell phone car chargers to heart defibrillators.

According to cable assembly expert and Meridian Cable owner Bud Kinzalow, “spiral cables connect two devices where one or both need to move with relation to the other.” For example, the cables that connect telephone handsets to bases are retractable spiral cables. There are some spiral cables that remain stationary, while others are pulled out and retracted hundreds of times per day (like the spiral cables that are frequently used in the medical field).

Though spiral cables can be found connecting common household electronics, Mr. Kinzalow notes that they can also be found in many other places that might actually surprise you. His examples include factories and tractor-trailers: “if you find yourself in a factory or warehouse, you will see spiral cables controlling the up-and-down movement of large overhead doors. If you are driving near a tractor-trailer on the highway, you will see these cables between the trailer and its load connecting the air-lines, brake lines, brake line lights, surge breaks turn signals and any power units for refrigeration in the vehicle.”

Mr. Kinzalow adds, “Spiral cables are donned daily by military and public safety personnel. Coiled cables connect mics for two-way communication – those that clip to the shoulder of police officers or military personnel – to their batteries.” These are just a few of many examples of the vastly different industries that utilize spiral cables.

Spiral cables penetrate many industries

defibrillator cables clip art

Probably the most common places to find spiral cables are in your home and in your car. Your telephones and cell phone car chargers, for example, would not be so convenient without spiral cables. According to Mr. Kinzalow, “the cellular telephone industry finds a great deal of use for these cables. Spiral cables attach cigarette lighter adapter plugs, used to power up cellular phones inside cars, to the connectors that plug into cell phones. GPS units, radar detectors, and even powered coolers for heating and cooling also plug into the cigarette lighter plug in your car and therefore also utilize spiral cables.”

Mr. Kinzalow also notes another particularly important use for spiral cables: they protect items on display at retail stores from theft; they are attached to the top-dollar items so that you can only pull them towards you so far until the cable stops you. So, we can add the retail industry to the following list of those that value spiral cables: the cellular telephone industry, the public safety industry, the medical industry, and the GPS and radar detection industries. Clearly, there is nearly no end to the industries that are penetrated by spiral cables.

Spiral cables in manufacturing and construction

When you get into your car, do you expect that the seemingly insignificant spiral cables that connect your telephone handset to its base are also critical for the technological integrity of your vehicle? Well, according to Mr. Kinzalow, they are: “If you travel to any car manufacturing plant where robotics and/or power tools are used, you will see spiral cables being used to transfer power and, especially in newer cars, to collect data.”

But spiral cables don’t just streamline the car manufacturing process; they have also modernized construction. Mr. Kinzalow explains, “If you are on the highway and come across a construction site, you will see spiral cables connecting GPS units to small computers on the equipment that moves or paves earth. These spiral cables enable communication between the two and the construction company’s corporate headquarters so that information can be wirelessly transmitted about elevation, how much dirt is moved, and how much concrete is poured. The process can be remotely monitored this way.” All of this is made possible by multifaceted spiral cables.

If you have more questions about spiral cables, contact Meridian Cable. Call Meridian Cable at 1-866-866-0544 to speak with a qualified engineer!