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Dew heater ribbon stuff


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Can anyone tell me where I can buy the stuff that is used to make dew heaters - the resistance wire or ribbon I mean.

I made a dew heater out of several carbon resistors in parallel wrapped up in some heat shrink sleeveing. It works well, but I'd like to get hold of some propper resistor wire or braid that I've heard can be used to the same effect. Its probably going to be a bit more flexible and perhaps cheaper.



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Hi Richard. I just bought materials to make mine and found a couple of cheap suppliers on eBay who delivered quickly:

4m of 26swg resistance wire for only £2 (incl post) from:

26SWG Nichrome Resistance Wire (4M) Heating Element on eBay (end time 24-Jan-11 16:19:15 GMT)

They also sell other gauges depending on length/ resistance you want (I found 12 watts was the most I needed for a 10" SCT)

And 2m of very thin (1mm bore) silicon sleeving to insulate the wire (and spread the heat a little). Another £2 or so from fishing equipment specialists, for example here:

2m BLACK SILICONE TUBE/ TUBING OD 2mm / ID 1mm - CARP on eBay (end time 30-Dec-10 21:09:38 GMT)

or here:

1.5 Metres, of Black Silicone Tube, 3mm O.D., 2mm I.D. on eBay (end time 11-Jan-11 21:17:39 GMT)

I also got some 1" wide webbing from a local dressmaking shop and will stitch up two lengths on wife's sewing machine to make a cloth 'tube' to take two turns of the insulated wire inside, to wrap around the OTA.


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Thanks. I was looking at that stuff they use for fishing tackle myself and wondering about its suitability. I think I'll give it a go. Will let you know how I get on.

This could be the first project for the new year. And probably the cheapest.

The next one is going to be a roll off roof observatory. I'm just starting to gather ideas and make some sketckes.



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There is a very good "project" on the iceinspace site, Alan Sheehan builds with resistors, but provides calculations and a spreadsheet to help.

Build a Dew Heater from Resistors - IceInSpace

We found with wire matching the length to the circumference was the balancing act, but you only need to be close with the wattage.

We used 2" velcro to make the heater, covering the nichrome with heatshrink tube layed between the velcro.

JCJC's dad

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