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connecting speaker wire to receiver terminals???

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Andrew O'Brien, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Well-Known Member

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    This may be the dumbest post ever placed here but...

    I've hooked up a zillion stereo systems over the years, usually is a simple task but the new fangled methods of connecting the speaker wire to the receiver has me quite frustrated. Maybe I just dont "get it".

    My Panasonic SA HE-100 has type of speaker terminals for the surround sound and center speakers that results in either keeps coming loose, or it shorts out, I'm not really sure what I am doing wrong.

    After a couple of days with the receiver I lost sound to the rear speakers and could not for the life of me figure out what was wrong. Eventually I discovered the speaker wires were not making a good connection at the receiver's terminals. The receiver has speaker connections for the fronts that are straightforward and not a problem, but the surround/rears require one to insert the wire into a hole and then push the red or black tab UP (for red) and DOWN for black. Not the spring loaded, push tab terminals that I am used to.

    My 14 gauge wire seemed too big for these terminals, but even after trimmming the width I had difficulting make a connection that would withstand movement of receiver or slight touches of the wire associated with me installing other connectors nearby. I tried 18 gauge wire and had a similar problem with it, it would fit nicely into the little hole but it too would come loose with slight touches or movement.

    So now my connections but any touch to the wire will cause it to come loose of short out. Am I missing somthing really obvious about this type of connector? I do not understand the way they are supposed to work. The old fashioned push-tab ones were easy, maybe there is a trick to working with these nasty push up/pull down types?

    Believe it or not , I have spent two hours trying to solve this problem without success.
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Well-Known Member

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    The type connections you mention, should be spring loaded, to keep the pressure on the speaker wire. If the receiver is new, or still under warranty, I'd take it back and exchange it. If it's out of warranty, just figure a way to make it keep pressure on the wires......such as wire ties pulled tight or bread ties twisted tight, etc.... Good luck!
     
  3. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Well-Known Member

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    Shorting out wires is a big problem. Get yourself some speaker wire "pins". The pins will fit inside the terminals with no problem, plus they will have a much better grip than bare wire. Cutting excess wire so that it can fit into the terminals (holes) is making your 14 guage more like a 16 or 18 guage wire and defeating the purpose of the heavier guage wire.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt Well-Known Member

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    Andrew,

    These speaker terminals are not the common spring-loaded variety. The tabs lock into place when you push them to the right position.

    Unfortunately those push-tab speaker connections are pretty much the bottom feeders of speaker terminals. I had a lot of trouble with them with my sister’s old Pioneer rack system stereo.

    As you have found, these terminals do not like large-gauge wire at all. The big problem I’ve seen with them is that if you use oversized wire and try to force the tab, it will break. The fact that you were using 14ga. wire before and now you’re finding that not even 18ga. will work tells me that’s probably what’s happened here.

    With my sister’s I had to install new speaker terminals. Fortunately there was enough internal room to accommodate them. In your case, since you’re probably under warranty, I’d do as Ed suggested and return it.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Well-Known Member

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    Try the Radio Shack Pin connectors (279-309). Wrap the body with tape to avoid shorts. These pin's have groves in them that allow the spring clips to bite and hold.
     
  6. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. I suspect that Wayne is correct and that tab no long functions as intended. Bob answered what was going to be my next question...where do I get pins. I'll head to Radio Shack tonight and see if they help.

    Andy.
     
  7. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, the part number suggested by Bob does not come up as speaker pins. I did find these...

    [​IMG]

    Are these what you mean?
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Well-Known Member

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    Opps :b The Radio Shack number is 279-309

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, been there ...picked 'em up. Will install later when kids are in bed.
     
  10. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Well-Known Member

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    Hint: A few inches of wire two sizes smaller (16 gauge if you are using 12 gauge) attached to the end of your speaker wire will not degrade anything if you need it to connect to the receiver terminals better. Cutting some strands off so the rest of the strands fit in the hole also won't degrade anything.

    If you can't buy pins mentioned above but have some solid 14 or 16 gauge wire lying around the house, you can cut an inch of it to use as a pin to fit into the terminal if that fits better than the stranded ends of the original speaker wire. You would need to solder the joint and wrap all but the last half inch of the pin with electrical tape.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm

    It is the total resistance of the entire length of too-thin speaker wire that results in degradation. Just a few inches of slightly thinner wire has negligible added resistance.
     
  11. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Well-Known Member

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    An update.

    I did buy the gold pins from Radio Shack and they too kept coming disconnected. The surround speaker posts would not "snap" into a place that permanently held the pins in place. This was a royal pain since I would lose the connection if I moved the entertainmnet center that the receiver and TV are placed in.

    So, last night I replaced the unit before the 30 days return date expired. Swapped it for another Panasonic SAHE100. The new one was fine and the binding posts keep a tight grip on the speaker connections.
     
  12. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Well-Known Member

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    Good to know.

    It's not one of the more 'glamorous' things to look for in a reciever, but little things like binding posts for all speakers can make a difference between something that works vs something you really like.
     

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