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 Post subject: Audio: Terminating speaker wires
PostPosted: Mar Fri 25, 2016 9:43 pm 
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Hi, Vacuumlanders,
I often find myself changing amplifiers and speakers in my vinyl stereo system, aka: "playing with the toys." :-)
Some of my speakers have large screw terminals that take bare wire or spade connectors or have banana plug sockets. Others are plain screw terminals. Same for the amplifiers. Clearly, the best speaker wire terminations are those that match these... but they are not always handy. So, the default is bare stranded wire (assume 16, 14 and 12 gauge, the latter only needed for long runs.)
Here's the point. Don't solder the stripped bare wire end to "make it look tidy". This practice causes the terminal or screw to contact at two or three high spots and, over time with temperature cycling, it can come loose. Use the bare, stranded wire. Twist it tightly before insertion - this allows a multiple of contact points, and the terminal or screw snugs down more easily with less torque. Also, the joint resistance is less than for the soldered wire.
Warning: don't let single strands escape and short out to ground or other terminal. For speakers, there's generally enough space to avoid this easily. But there is a work-around: after stripping the wire, solder only the strand ends together, less than 1/16th inch of the bare part. Now the terminal or screw can still snug down but the strands stay put. But still check!
In the case of small screw speaker terminals, such as are on some vintage amplifiers, forget about the above. Just crimp on a small spade! When you change the unit to another termination, just cut it off and start again!
Hope this helps,
Cheers,
Roger

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Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Audio: Terminating speaker wires
PostPosted: Mar Sat 26, 2016 5:14 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
Posts: 9947
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Quote:
Don't solder the stripped bare wire end to "make it look tidy". This practice causes the terminal or screw to contact at two or three high spots and, over time with temperature cycling, it can come loose.


Or maybe just "tin" the very end of the twisted strands to keep them together in a bunch? That way, the screw can still contact copper, though frankly I don't worry much about temp cycling. With enough screw force, solder will deform and flatten.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Audio: Terminating speaker wires
PostPosted: Mar Sat 26, 2016 6:18 pm 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
+1
tin the wire and tighten the screw. If it gets loose, re-tighten.

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"Measure voltage, but THINK current." --anon.


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 Post subject: Re: Audio: Terminating speaker wires
PostPosted: Mar Mon 28, 2016 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Nov Fri 10, 2006 12:24 am
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Rich, W3HWJ wrote:
Quote:
Don't solder the stripped bare wire end to "make it look tidy". This practice causes the terminal or screw to contact at two or three high spots and, over time with temperature cycling, it can come loose.


Or maybe just "tin" the very end of the twisted strands to keep them together in a bunch? That way, the screw can still contact copper.... Rich
From my original post: "But there is a work-around: after stripping the wire, solder only the strand ends together, less than 1/16th inch of the bare part. Now the terminal or screw can still snug down but the strands stay put."
Cheers,
Roger

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Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Audio: Terminating speaker wires
PostPosted: Mar Mon 28, 2016 10:19 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Details..... I always miss details.

Sorry

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Audio: Terminating speaker wires
PostPosted: Mar Thu 31, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Rich, W3HWJ wrote:
Details..... I always miss details. Sorry. Rich
Hi, Rich. No need to apologize, we all do it! Just keep those filaments glowing!
Cheers,
Roger

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Thornhill, Ontario
Ontario Vintage Radio Assoc. http://www.ovra.ca


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 Post subject: Re: Audio: Terminating speaker wires
PostPosted: Apr Fri 01, 2016 9:01 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Mpls, Minnesota
If the solder melts turn the volume down.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Audio: Terminating speaker wires
PostPosted: Apr Sat 02, 2016 1:50 am 
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Joined: Oct Thu 18, 2007 11:34 am
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Location: Port Orchard, Wa 98366
We humans can adapt, by making things simpler. Take all you screw type audio connected terminals and make adapters from spade lug to the same type of connector.

I am running into the same thing with my power supply(s)' voltmeters, test equipment and such. So what I am thinking about is make all connectors the same on one end. Whether it's an automotive power type plastic squares with spade lugs inside, or a power strip designed for pin jacks, with banana jacks, and spade jacks all on one strip (just like a power strip). I have also decided to make an adapter for my multimeters from banana plugs that go into the meter, to a standard power plug that goes into the wall of an AC power outlet. I get tired of having to hold two probes into a wall socket just to monitor line voltage. It would be safer also.

That way if you can't find the correct connector, at lease you will have something you won't have to cobble together in the desperation of getting the correct connectors.

Your needs can change and if you make everything uniform on one end you will have less headaches.

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