A Bit Off Topic - Anyone Know What A 9 Pair 22 AWG Shielded Wire May Be?

A little bit off topic, but hopefully someone here will be able to identify the wire. I was asked to move a nurse call station. From looking in the jack, it is a 9 Pair 22 AWG shielded wire.

Any ideas what the wire may be, I need to order more to lengthen the run.


Special communications cables. One of the many reasons I like IP based communications systems. The manufacturer will usually have a Belden part number listed in the specs.

Hold onto your wallet....Specialty Wire

Did you open up the nurse call station to see how many pairs are being used?

9 pairs sounds abnormal to me - a nurse call system would typically have a pair for power and another pair for communications (RS-485/422 or some other similar communication protocol, perhaps proprietary). Maybe also a few pairs for relays or alarm inputs or something but... 9 pairs? This sounds like a wire that was installed that allowed for expansion in the future and would have a number of unused pairs. Or that they are used for something other than just the nurse call system.

I would verify both ends of that cable to be sure that there is nothing else connected to the wire before you decide to move anything. If the current nurse call station is only using the 2 pairs (power and communication, 22 AWG twisted/shielded), then you should check the minimum specifications from the manufacturer as to the cable type and use exactly that. I would be very surprised if the actual manufacturer cable spec was for a 9-pair twisted shielded 22 AWG cable for a nurse call.

Sounds like Belden 8774 060100. Expect to pay ~$560 online.

Also consider Aiphone 82222050C. It's shielded 22AWG 20 conductor. You can find it for just over $400 at this camera store I know.

Ari - what would the 10 pairs be used for in an Aiphone install? Why so many pairs?

Conductors 1-10: station identifiers

11: Common

12: Call Receive

13: LED

14 and 15: positive and negative power

16-18: All Call (if used) and door strike release

Also, Aiphone puts out the best installation manuals in the low voltage industry.

Ok, I can see why they need 10 pairs. So I guess the 9 pair wiring for OP's application would make sense for a nurse call

It depends greatly on the nurse call. If it is an old tone and light system many of them were hard-wired with no real communication bus. Each button, light, audio channel, and so on had its own set of wires. What nurse call system is it?

Im not sure that the brand of the nurse call, but I finally found a bit of wire that had the jacket still on it.

The brand of the wire is West Penn Wire #3655. Adi Prices it out at $299 per 500 feet.

Cornell was big on weird pair counts because, as Austin says, there was no communication bus. There was a dedicated wire for pretty much every function at every station. Also, if you had more than one annunciator, you needed a multi-pair between them with enough pairs for each station. It was a logistical nightmare and everyone I know hated estimating, installing, and servicing it.

Executone maybe? Installed one 20 years ago and all of the cable was proprietary.