Basic wiring question, need quick answer

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Shervin, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. Shervin

    Shervin Agent

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    Guys I need help. The 14g speaker wire I bought from home depot does not have anything to indicate which side is which? So my question is, while I am crawling through the attic how can I be sure I hooked up the + input of the speaker to the + output on the tuner and the same for the negative. Will it just sound bad if it is hooked up with the wrong polarity? Before I get flamed I checked the forums and could not find anything specific to tell me if I did it Wong. Please help this lowly newb.
     
  2. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Are you sure? It may just have the manufacturer label on side (not necessarily + or -). If the polarity is incorrect, the speaker will be playing out of phase. This will not dammage anything... it will just result in bad imaging.

    If you have not run the cable yet, be sure to mark the polarity and connection with tape (i.e. FL/+, FL/-, etc.).
     
  3. Shervin

    Shervin Agent

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    How can you tell if it is out of phase? I will try to mark the wire the best I can. Thanks for the help.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Shervin,

    Grab a 9 volt battery. Connect the wires to the speaker. Touch the battery to the other end of the wire (one terminal to pos, one to neg) and note [or have someone else note] if the speaker cone moves IN or OUT.

    If it moves out, then how you have the battery is correct (the wire touching + on battery should go to + on receiver). If the speaker cone moves IN, then obviously it's backwards.

    Don't do this more than necessary- on full range speakers, repeatedly doing so runs a risk of damaging the tweeter. However, if you need a quick check, this should work (although I'd bet there is SOME marking on the wire, even if it isn't obvious-- some have text print every 10 feet!)

    -Vince
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    there's gotta be some kind of marking on the wire. or, the wire itself may be a slightly different color. or, one side of the wire may be ribbed (not for your pleasure). or, there will be some writing on only one side.

    believe me, there's gotta be some kind of marking.

    vince - i always thought a 9v was too much? a d-cell would be better???
     
  6. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    yes, there will be some identifying markings. One of the wires will have printing on it or even some ribs running the length of the wire coating. Just make sure if the ribs/writing is connected to red on your receiver the ribs/writing is connected to red on your speaker. Doesn't matter whether the markings are red or black, just that you connect the same one to that color on both ends.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Note: install the wire. You can figure out the polarity later.

    Some of the setup DVD's like Avia or Video Essentials have a "Polarity Check" that can tell you if you have things reversed.

    But think about this: if you wire it backwards, chances are you wont even notice - it's that subtle.
     
  8. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Yeah, the lettering is there, but you need to get a strong light in order to see it. I think it is red and about every foot apart.

    Glenn
     
  9. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Might be a good suggestion- in pro audio you always use 9-volts, easier I guess... I've used 9v on my home speakers to test polarity, and haven't had any problems that I know of...

    -V
     

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