Manual wire wrap

Manual wire wrap

Dec 13, 2016

A manual wire wrap tool resembles a small pen. It is convenient for minor repairs. Wire wrap is one of the most repairable systems for assembling electronics. Posts can be rewrapped up to ten times without appreciable wear, provided that new wire is used each time. Slightly larger jobs are done with a manual "wire wrap gun" having a geared and spring-loaded squeeze grip to spin the bit rapidly.
Such tools were used in large numbers in American telephone exchanges in the last third of the 20th century, usually with a bigger bit to handle 22 or 24 AWG wire rather than the smaller 28 or 30 AWG used in circuit boards and backplanes. The larger posts can be rewrapped hundreds of times. They persisted into the 21st century in distribution frames where insulation-displacement connectors had not taken over entirely. Larger, hand held, high speed electric wrap guns replaced soldering in the late 1960s for permanent wiring, when installing exchange equipment. In the middle 1980s they were gradually replaced by connectorized cables.
The Apollo Guidance Computer with its short production run and stringent reliability requirement was one of the early applications of wire wrap to computer assembly.