Can I splice RCA connectors onto a speaker wire run?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard Burzynski, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Long story short. I have a room with "in the wall" speaker wire runs terminating in banana plug wall plates at both ends of my room. I could really use an RCA connection where one of the unused speaker wire runs are.

    I'm thinking of taking an RCA cable and cutting the ends off and then splicing these ends in a way so that I can connect them to the banana plug wall jacks.

    Isn't an RCA cable made up of 2 strands of copper? One positive and one negative? Can I do this?

    Thanks.

    Rich B.
     
  2. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Sure, positive to the center pin, ground to the shield
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Richard,

    Thomas has the connections procedure right, but that’s not all there is to it.

    For one, it depends on the size of the speaker wire. You can probably pull it off if the speaker wire is 18ga. or smaller Any larger, it’s a problem – how much so depends on how terminations are accomplished on the RCAs you’re talking about. For example, if you’re talking about terminating 14 or 12 ga. wire to an RCA with soldered connections, the plastic insulator in the RCA will melt long before you get it hot enough to solder the speaker wire to it.

    I assume you want to use the cable for a line-level signal. Using a speaker cable for this application can be problematic. Since speaker cable is not shielded, you may pick up noise from near-by electrical lines, etc. The longer the run, the more likelihood of picking up interference. Whether of not residual noise is a problem will depend on how bad it is, and the application. For instance, you could probably get away with it for a sub signal before you could for a full-range signal.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Wayne, you're right it's for a line level connection for a sub. My wall runs are 14G wire, and yes it's unshielded. Turns out Radio Shack sells an 18G speaker wire that is bare wire at one end and an RCA plug at the other. It's worth a try.

    Rich B.
     

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