What type of speaker cable do I need?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Ryan Donahue, May 4, 2014.

  1. Ryan Donahue

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 4, 2014
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    I am restoring an old radio from my grand father. It had been near the beach and there is a lot if corrosion due to salt air. Can anyone identify what type if speaker cable I need. It looks like a single RCA cable but I'm not certain. [​IMG]
     
  2. w2aew

    Member

    Jan 3, 2012
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    There's nothing special about it - ordinary zip cord with an RCA plug.
     
  3. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    It used what is commonly termed - Light lamp cord.
    Max.
     
  4. Ryan Donahue

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 4, 2014
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    Great, thanks guys. Just want to make sure so I don't mess it up.
     
  5. Ryan Donahue

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 4, 2014
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  6. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

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    Most of the RCA cords you are going to get are probably single conductor shielded, which would work.
    But if you have the ability, make one up.
    Max.
     
  7. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Go to your local hardware store and buy lamp cord or better yet, simply cut off the power cord of any house lamp or electrical appliance, clock or radio that is being thrown away.
     
  8. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    You'll probably notice that one of the wires has a rib or it's insulation is different. I suspect the rib to be connected to the outer part of the cable, but anything is possible.

    If you can't keep the polarity the same, take a 1.5 V battery and brifly connect it to the speaker and note which way the cone moves. When the battery is connected correctly, the cone will push out. Label the wires the same as the battery terminals, + and -.

    If the cone moved inward, label them in reverse.

    The speakers should be wired the same and would expect the outer conductor of the RCA phono plug to be minus.
     
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  9. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    You're running less than half an amp. You need at least 23 AWG wire, and it is impossible to buy a lamp cord too small to carry that much current. Remember, smaller AWG numbers means bigger wire. Us nerds just solder in any old piece of wire we have laying around.
     
  10. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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  11. #12

    Expert

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    These cords seem to accumulate around here because they are used for TV connections. Video plus 2 channels of sound and I have a box full of them. Go rummage around in your pile of leftover TV connectors.
     
  12. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Many "experts" in the audio world would insist you HAVE to use oxygen free large diameter wire with gold plated connectors if you expect the full range of response from your speaker. :) :D:eek::rolleyes:
     
  13. ErnieHorning

    Member

    Apr 17, 2014
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    An "expert" seems to be anybody that says they are. :rolleyes:
     
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  14. #12

    Expert

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    You forgot, "finely stranded" to reduce skin effect at 20 KHz. :confused:

    and in this case, I think it's "expert salesman". :D
     
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  15. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Of course, especially with that quality of speaker! . :rolleyes:

    Phasing is not usually required unless more than one speaker is involved.

    Max.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
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  16. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    It's worth noting that many pre-made wires with a phono connector on them are intended for line-level signals and are not really meant for higher current as needed in a speaker wire. The current involved here wouldn't be much problem one way or the other, but making your own cable with a piece of zip cord would be better than using a cheap A/V hookup cable. You don't need to worry about the shielding or anything else that would matter in a line-level cable.
     
  17. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    The premade unshielded one that I pointed out is made for speakers
     
  18. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    I simply use lamp cord and make my own solder connection to an RCA plug.
     
  19. #12

    Expert

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    It was a long time ago, but I made about a dozen of those cables so I would avoid the cheap crimp connection that goes bad in the retail versions. Pushing 40 years, and zero spotty connectors.:p
     
  20. ErnieHorning

    Member

    Apr 17, 2014
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    Even though the RCA connector became common back in the 40’s, it’s still the cheapest connector that you can buy.

    The biggest disadvantage though is that the hot pin makes before the ground.
     
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