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Old 31-07-2014, 17:55   #1
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More than one Cable in a Cable Clam?

Simple enough: can you put more than one cable in a cable clam? I have my solar panel cord and my stern light wire, I'd like to have them in one deck fitting. Can I tape them together and put them in one cable clam? Or do I need a series of them? I have the same problem at the mast.

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Old 31-07-2014, 18:31   #2
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Re: More than one cable in a cable clam?

Don't they make different rubber inserts for cable clams? Ones with different numbers of holes in them, or blank ones that you can put holes in? I know we have a couple with multiple wires going through separate holes.

But they were on the boat when we bought it, so I don't know what is commercially available.

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Old 31-07-2014, 18:41   #3
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Re: More than one cable in a cable clam?

We're doing exactly that. Bought the scanstrut clams. They come with a blank rubber plug that you can drill your own cable holes in. Drill a hole in each half of the plug, slice out from the hole and both cables fit fine. You have to buy clams that are large enough, but they come in several sizes so that shouldn't be a problem. We're pairing a 10/2 cable with GTO15 on one side and 10/2 with an outdoor ethernet cable on the other.
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Old 31-07-2014, 18:48   #4
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Re: More than one cable in a cable clam?

For what it's worth, I got the following reply from Tech Support to the same question:

"The cable clams are only designed to seal one cable. The disk will squeeze the inner "puck" evenly around the cable diameter when it is roughly centered in the hole. Drilling two holes can compromise the seal."

I think taping multiple cables together would be worse, since the bundle would be out of round.

I've seen a similar gland designed for multiple cables. Unfortunately, I don't remember who makes it. I think it was a stainless rectangular body with a rubber gland like the cable clam.

Edit: Yes, I think it was Scanstrut.
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Old 31-07-2014, 18:50   #5
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Re: More than one cable in a cable clam?

Hmm - interesting. will have to double-check and see if there are any issues with seepage. If so, then I guess another pair of holes is in order.

Thanks, piggy
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Old 31-07-2014, 18:54   #6
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Re: More than one cable in a cable clam?

Here's the scanstrut I was thinking of:

SCANSTRUT MULTI DECK SEAL F/CABLES UP TO 0.71" 738916
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Old 31-07-2014, 19:19   #7
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Re: More than one cable in a cable clam?

done it. several times. yep, the manufacturers will tell you it compromises the design (and to some extent it does); but I put a wee smear of sika or similar good quality boat goop on the mating faces of the slit plug before assembling, and it makes up for any slight degradation in the original squeeze intended. have had a few do several thousand miles like this without any leaks.

of course, YMMV...
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:06   #8
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Re: More than one cable in a cable clam?

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
...can you put more than one cable in a cable clam?...
What's wrong with doing it right?
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:10   #9
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Re: More than one cable in a cable clam?

I'm going to go with more holes in the deck plus additional holes in my wallet? But I'm not looking to do a crappy job.


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Old 01-08-2014, 14:13   #10
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Re: More than one Cable in a Cable Clam?

I've done it on a number of small boats I worked on with the Blue Sea one. Never had a problem with them leaking. I never bundled the wire but would drill two holes. Now I was using a larger clam with small gauge wires (back when I worked at a RIB dealer I used to use these all the time to wire in a VHF antenna and a GPS antenna, so two smaller holes in a larger puck.
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Old 01-08-2014, 20:34   #11
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Re: More than one Cable in a Cable Clam?

I did it with a scanstrut clam just like you are planning. That was three years ago. No problem yet and doesnt look like there is any reason there ever will be. Go for it.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:45   #12
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Re: More than one Cable in a Cable Clam?

How do you handle non round cable like a 10 g duplex off my solar panel? Just a round hole and hope for the best?


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Old 02-08-2014, 10:12   #13
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Re: More than one Cable in a Cable Clam?

I would try to make the hole similar to the wire profile (X-Acto, Dremel, hot knife, whatever you are skilled with) or wrap the cable with a bit of CoaxSeal or self-amalgamating butyl tape, which will conform and seal any irregularities once it gets some pressure on it and sets up.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:25   #14
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Re: More than one Cable in a Cable Clam?

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
How do you handle non round cable like a 10 g duplex off my solar panel? Just a round hole and hope for the best?
You might consider using round wire instead of flat.

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Old 02-08-2014, 17:25   #15
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Re: More than one Cable in a Cable Clam?

Agree with HelloSailor. Butyl tape can be used to form a very effective seal between the cables, themselves, and then the cable clam rubber portion. It's easy to do.
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