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Author Topic: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?  (Read 1445 times)

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Offline btulloh

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Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« on: July 05, 2019, 12:53:46 PM »
I know that those three things don't go together, but let's see if there's a way to get some good ones that aren't $250.

My good pair (??) is letting me down and needs to be replaced.  The copper jaws turned out to be copper plated, which are now rust plated.  My bad pair is just, well . . . bad.  They were dedicated to a vehicle for very occasional use, but they're not adequate for tractors and such.

Of course I have a jump box, which is great for it's intended purpose, so we can skip that conversation.  

Looking around today for replacements, I don't see anything that grabs me.  I'm thinking 2 ga. 20 ft is what I can get by with.  I see these ranging from $25 to $250.  Some look too cheesy.  $250 doesn't sound good to me.

Anybody happy with their jumper cables?
HM126

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2019, 01:23:15 PM »
I used to have some made from old welding cable. Not sure what happened to them, but they were the best I had. I think I might have found them in the trash. Don't know how one would get some without working for a welding shop.

Offline goose63

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2019, 01:59:19 PM »
I have 2 sets made out of welding lead you can buy all the welding lead you want at a welding supply store
goose
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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2019, 02:03:26 PM »
LoL! A welding shop! Who'd have thought of that?! Not sure what was going on in my head. I guess I was thinking of getting some as cheap as mine were($0), but that's a tall order regardless of what cables you get.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2019, 02:17:37 PM »
Interesting turn.  I actually have a bunch of extra welding cable.  I also can put new clamps on my "good" cables.  Or both.

So now this comes down to a discussion about clamps.

I am also suffering from too much broke stuff, too many chores, and too many projects.  So there's that.  Recently I've had a number of one to two hour jobs turn into multi-hour jobs.  Like sorting out the cable problems on this tractor, that has become a building new jumper cable project.  ( I could start a whole thread on broke stuff that requires another broke thing to fix, that requires yet another broke thing . . .  But that would empty the room in a hurry.   :D )

Now I'm down to sourcing good clamps that will fit #00 wire AND connect to not only battery posts and cable ends, but a variety of things like solenoid posts, etc.  In many cases, at least at one end, there's no easy access or limited access to the battery itself.  Not to mention that normal alligator clamps don't like to connect to the new fangled terminations they're putting in vehicles now.

So anyway, I've looked at a variety of clamps online and nothing is jumping out as a good choice for #00 cable.  This can't be that difficult.
HM126

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2019, 02:50:53 PM »
How about something like this...

Amazon.com: Heavy Duty 1000A Battery Jumper Cable Clamp Clip Booster Lead Electrical 2pcs Red&Black: Automotive

Add your own terminal ends for attachment.

edit:
As far as that goes, scavenge clamps from dead cables, and bolt them on using your terminal ends.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2019, 03:34:19 PM »
Saw those, and a thousand others.  Connecting them to #00 can be challenging, especially without seeing them in person.

FWIW, I've terminated #00 (and even #2) without proper tools and it takes longer than you would think.  It's a project.  

Ring terminals for #00 cost 5$ apiece, give or take.  So that's $40 for the clamps, $20 for the ring terminals (Which are probably too big to fit).  Time, aggravation, marginal results.  Hmmmm.  Scrounge clamps fromm my clamps that don't work?   Hmmmm . . .

I think there are some $60 cables out there that can be ok for a while, no assembly required. I'll quote a noted philosopher named  . . . . . . . . . "lxskllr" . . . . who recently said in another thread: "Tonight, I could throw out every dollar I have, and I'll have more tomorrow. It's virtually infinite. Time OTOH, is gone forever once it's gone. Every second I spend doing something I don't want to do comes off the ledger, never to be replaced. I'll take time over money every time."

So anyway, I appreciate the link and the thought, but I'm trying to live up to your credo!  :D :D


Offline btulloh

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2019, 03:46:43 PM »
Y'all almost got me to go down the welding cable rabbit hole!!!   :o :o I must be getting weak in the brain!!   :( :(


When I posted this, I was thinking maybe someone would chime in with "I bought some XYZ cables recently at Unknown Auto Parts and they work pretty well".   :D :D

It's early yet, and hope springs eternal.  After dinner tonight, I'm expecting some good traffic on this topic!
HM126

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2019, 04:10:18 PM »
You definitely wouldn't have liked my alternate plan... Pulling parts off the old clamps, and building new ones out of wood  :^D

I take particular pleasure in making something out of nothing, and will spend more time than it's worth playing with trash just for the fun in doing it. I don't have the skills a lot of you have. I can't weld, I don't have metal working supplies, no fancy woodworking tools... What I can do is work miracles with a leatherman, Swiss Army knife, some tiewire, and assorted junk to pick through. It usually isn't pretty, but it generally works. Mostly...  :^D

Offline snobdds

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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2019, 04:30:47 PM »
I have some for the kids, (rarely used) that were  2 g 20 feet for 29 bucks at a black Friday deal at a farm store.  for my truck I had fleet wireing installed so 25 feet with a connection on the front and back of the truck, wired via breaker to the electric system.  the cables have the mated connector so I can jump from 25 feet, front or back of the truck.  worth it since I usually so the jump starting at my house.  although My son is getting asked to do more for the experience.  the cheap ones have and insulation that looks a little cheesy, but the new ones do too.  I tried to buy welding cable but both leads were black and separate wires.  they said there was no such thing available like you see with cables.  would have gotten tangled ect.  If all that is wrong with the old set, is the clamps, I would buy new clamps.  I still have my first pair, but a few melted areas of insulation and clamps also rusted and a little abused.  with the fleet wire, I can jump my truck as well without raising the hood.  I will post pics later.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2019, 04:36:18 PM »
I see an Energizer brand called a permanent installation kit, 1 g, 30 feet.  the connections look like mine.  I had mine professionally installed and paid hundreds.  on amazon for 80 bucks
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.

Offline snobdds

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2019, 04:38:58 PM »
I have some for the kids, (rarely used) that were  2 g 20 feet for 29 bucks at a black Friday deal at a farm store.  for my truck I had fleet wireing installed so 25 feet with a connection on the front and back of the truck, wired via breaker to the electric system.  the cables have the mated connector so I can jump from 25 feet, front or back of the truck.  worth it since I usually so the jump starting at my house.  although My son is getting asked to do more for the experience.  the cheap ones have and insulation that looks a little cheesy, but the new ones do too.  I tried to buy welding cable but both leads were black and separate wires.  they said there was no such thing available like you see with cables.  would have gotten tangled ect.  If all that is wrong with the old set, is the clamps, I would buy new clamps.  I still have my first pair, but a few melted areas of insulation and clamps also rusted and a little abused.  with the fleet wire, I can jump my truck as well without raising the hood.  I will post pics later.
Mine are welding cables and they came separate as well.  I just took some gorilla tape and taped them togheter ever 12 inches to keep them together.  
The ones I linked to are the ones I have and they are heavy, which to me means they are solid copper wire.  

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2019, 04:42:52 PM »
the outer cable (that unplugs and stores behind my back seat) was made from a set of cables, but the permanent truck wire front and back was done with welding cable.  if you wire the batteries to connections at either end of your vehicle, you sure do not want a short!
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2019, 06:44:55 PM »
The ones that snobdds linked are in Canuck Bucks so even cheaper with the current exchange rate.
Just buy some quality ones and be done with it. And don't ever loan them out. Tada done. smiley_beertoast
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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2019, 06:55:55 PM »
I have some real nice ones that were reasonable priced but I don't remember where I got them and have never seen a brand name on any of them. They are blue. Does that help ???
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2019, 07:07:40 PM »
They look good. In my Amazon app it shows $181.xx American US Actual Dollars. I keep waiting for the lower price to show up!!

Im trying to warm up to spending that much. I get it, you get what you pay for. I just paid real estate taxes, auto insurance, three new tractor batteries, an unscheduled $800 lawnmower repair, and couple things I cant even remember. Give me a few minutes to get my spending shoes on.  Oh yeah, I need a new set of 18 tires on the truck.

Maybe someones going to weigh in with almost good enough $60 cables.
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Offline luvmexfood

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2019, 07:14:02 PM »
I got a set at O'Reileys auto parts a few years back. #2 cable, long enough to go from truck battery to tongue of my trailer to supply power to the winch mounted on it. If I need the winch I just hook it up to power with them. One of these days I might get around to running wire permanently. They have the kind of insulation that doesn't get stiff in cold weather. Metal ends. I have used them a bunch and would buy again if needed. Can't remember what I paid but think in the forty dollar range.
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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2019, 07:25:15 PM »
OK, here are the $65.99 cables:  LINK
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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2019, 08:00:44 PM »
The thread will be quiet for an hour or so while everyone jumps on that.
Very good price. Thanks for the link.  8)
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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2019, 08:28:19 PM »
Great link Magicman!  Looks like a fantastic price for 0 gauge cables and the reviews are positive too.

I built my own set years ago from 2/0 welding cable.  They are 26' long, which allows me to park in front of a vehicle jump it off.

For clamps, I used two different sets on each end.  One end has these 500A rated clamps:

https://www.delcity.net/store/Standard-Battery-Clamps/p_1046.h_105440

The other end has these premium rated clamps:

https://www.delcity.net/store/Premium-Battery-Clamps/p_1045.h_105149

The reason that I used different clamps on each end is because the premium clamps are better for connecting to a side terminal battery (such as what GM used for years).  The standard ones work easier on top terminal batteries.

Wire gauge really makes a difference.  There are many times that I can jump off a vehicle or piece of equipment with my 2/0 cables w/o having to wait to charge up the dead battery; whereas with the cheaper, thinner cables I might have to let it charge for 10 minutes or longer.
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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2019, 08:31:27 PM »
My diesel has two batteries, and I get the interstate with both side terminals and top posts.  good for accessories and jumper cables.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2019, 08:38:26 PM »
Those look pretty tasty, MM.  How long have you been using them?

I'd say they are the leader in the clubhouse, with a just a few players still out on the course.  If nobody posts a better score in the next 3hr 24min, I'm pulling the trigger.

The 0 ga. and 25 ft will give me some good options since I only use these for odd, irritating things around here.  The routine stuff gets handled by the trusty jump box, but it has its limitations for gnarly farm work.
HM126

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2019, 09:14:34 PM »
How long have you been using them
I don't have any, just a Google search, but here is something that I just read that is concerning:  "copper-clad aluminum (CCA) conductors".

If they are seldom used that may not be a concern, but aluminum is not as flexible as copper and with constant use the conductors might fail/break.  Not good.  That explains the price.

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2019, 09:29:11 PM »
Add 100% copper to your search and the horizon changes.  :P

LINK
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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2019, 09:31:01 PM »
Hmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmm.

I kinda thought theyd been through vigorous usage and testing at Magicman World Headquarters. Glad I asked.

Thanks for the update.
HM126

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2019, 09:53:00 PM »
The sketchiest jumper 'cables' I ever used was two pieces of rebar. Held another battery up, and bridged the terminals with rebar. Heavy duty and cheap  :^P

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2019, 10:27:42 PM »
1000 amp jumper cables..... @MagicMan are you trying to jump your Caterpillar D11 again, so you can level out your flower beds ?
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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2019, 06:25:23 AM »
For me when It comes to tools. I try to get the best I can. They last forever and only have to get them one time. 
Get what you pay for most times. But that's just me. Good luck.
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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2019, 07:30:24 AM »
I have two or three sets made from #2 welding cables ,20 feet long .The cables were salvaged , the heavy duty clamps from flea bay .I also have  a set made from 4 conductor # 6 cable ,two conductors in parallel each . I probably have enough cable  and clamps to make 4 or 5 more sets < junk yard dawg ya know  ;D

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2019, 07:33:52 AM »
I have two or three sets made from #2 welding cables ,20 feet long .The cables were salvaged , the heavy duty clamps from flea bay .I also have  a set made from 4 conductor # 6 cable ,two conductors in parallel each . I probably have enough cable  and clamps to make 4 or 5 more sets < junk yard dawg ya know  ;D
Sounds like a sales opportunity. I've recently heard there's a buyer looking  ;^)

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2019, 07:38:07 AM »
Let me interject a thought here .Be very careful on a jump start .I've had two batteries explode on me .Make the first connection on the dead battery and the last to disconnect to avoid a spark .Dang dead battery can really gas up with hydrogen and turn itself into a bomb . :o 

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2019, 08:39:11 AM »
Good discussion.  Thanks for all the replies.

All things considered, I'm going to make a tour of the auto parts stores today since it's too hot to do much.  They are all on a stretch of road within 2 miles of each other, so I can hit all six or seven without much trouble.  I think it will be better to see and touch them, although I'd be comfortable buying some that had been used and validated by somebody here.  I don't really want another project right now and there's something out there that's good enough for my purpose.  I'll know when I see them.
HM126

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2019, 09:02:15 AM »
That's kind of expensive for aluminum cables

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #34 on: July 06, 2019, 09:09:19 AM »
Woops....disregard my previous post. You already noticed

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #35 on: July 06, 2019, 09:12:40 AM »
That plus I did not find "copper-clad aluminum (CCA) conductors" anywhere in the product description.  It was only mentioned in a review.  :-\  That also explains the heavy gauge and heavy amp rating.

Using 100% copper in the search finds the "good stuff".  I guess that you get what you ask for, or maybe what you don't ask for.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #36 on: July 06, 2019, 11:21:31 AM »
Let me interject a thought here .Be very careful on a jump start .I've had two batteries explode on me .Make the first connection on the dead battery and the last to disconnect to avoid a spark .Dang dead battery can really gas up with hydrogen and turn itself into a bomb . :o

True dat. Hopefully most people know that. Probably not the younger generation though.

Gassing usually shows up on your positive post connection pretty quick. Space fungus. Good sign something has gone too long without attention.
HM126

Offline luap

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #37 on: July 06, 2019, 12:38:08 PM »
x3 on welding cable, make your own. Quality clamps with strong springs, color coded came from Car quest. I keep mine as separate cables-easier to coil up and store.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #38 on: July 06, 2019, 01:34:03 PM »
For high quality cables, welding cable looks to be the way to go.  I have a couple 50+ footers I picked up for almost nothing at little roadside flea market a few years ago.  20 - 25 ft is the sweet spot for my needs.  I'll pick up some good clamps when the opportunity comes along.  For me, separate cables will be a good thing.  Or I'll tape 'em together.  It's now on the list, but I'll be moving forward for now with something else.  

HM126

Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #39 on: July 06, 2019, 02:32:03 PM »
I used 2 inch pieces heavy duty shrink tube installed BEFORE you attach the clamps on the welding cable. I put one every 12 inches on 24 foot cables. It works well and I have had those cables for about 20 years.
If you ain't livin on the edge you are takin up way to much room. Of course at my age if I get too close to that edge any more theres a good chance I may fall off.
2001 Dodge 1500 4x4. 2018 F150
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Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #40 on: July 06, 2019, 03:52:01 PM »
My beloved 40 year old cables. Trim wire from a project on SSN 688.

 

 
persistence personified - never let up , never let down

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #41 on: July 06, 2019, 05:26:49 PM »
I have 2/0 cables, 25 ft long, with welding disconnects to hook to 2-3' leads on the battery under the hood.  I keep the cables coiled separately under the back seat of the truck.  Put welding clamps on the ends of the long cables. These welding ground clamps are not the best for grabbing battery posts not to mention they're not insulated. 

I've jumped big backhoes and loaders for customers who are a bit skeptical at first when I offer. 
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide, 2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker),  Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Online Al_Smith

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #42 on: July 06, 2019, 08:10:16 PM »
SSN 688 aye .We took a tour of the Oklahoma City the first reunion  of the Sea Devil SSN 664,in Norfolk  my qual boat .

Offline tule peak timber

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #43 on: July 06, 2019, 08:29:05 PM »
Needless to say , I won't ever be replacing those cables!  I also worked on the Puffer in that time period. Cheers !
persistence personified - never let up , never let down

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Jumper Cables - Good, heavy, reasonably priced?
« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2019, 10:23:42 AM »
Needless to say , I won't ever be replacing those cables!  I also worked on the Puffer in that time period. Cheers !
Very cool history on your cables Rob!  
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
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