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The stability of magnet conductors may be characterized by their minimum quench energy (MQE), i.e. the minimum energy pulse (of small extent and short duration) needed to trigger a quench, Using small graphite paste and epoxy heaters, we have measured the MQE on a broad range of single wires and Rutherford cables as a function of current, field, temperature and pulse duration. Surface heat transfer to the helium plays an important role. For the cables, we find that specially processed 'porous-metal' cables have by far the highest degree of stability. Measurements are compared with theory.