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Outdoor Audio Question

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by StephenGencs, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. StephenGencs

    StephenGencs Agent

    Aug 6, 2004
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    I am helping a friend design a whole home audio system. Everything is pretty much all set, but we were discussing the wiring of a speaker/jack outlet to the deck. He has a pretty big yard, so instead of running conduit and wire 100 or so feet, we figured it would be good to have the jacks there and just run the speaker wire when that part of the yard would need audio....

    My question is....what would be the best/most practical type of outletjack to use -- binding posts? bananna jacks? Others?

    Thank you much!
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt


    Aug 5, 1999
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    Corpus Christi, TX
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    Banana jacks and binding posts are the same thing.

    This would be the connector plate of choice for a professional installation:


    However, you don’t see 1/4” jacks and plugs used very often in home installations, but it might be worthwhile here.

    It’s more than just selecting a connector scheme – I assume you’ll also want to protect it from the elements. Certainly, you can get wall plates with binding posts already installed, but the plates are plastic and I don’t expect they would hold up to sunlight and other weather conditions.

    I doubt you’re going to find anything off-the-shelf to fit your needs. You’ll probably have to do some fabrication. Your best bet is to utilize electrical components, housings, etc. designed for outdoor use. Like the flip-up covers you find on outdoor electrical outlets: It shouldn’t be hard to utilize those with a 1/ 4” jack installed in a blank panel (internally, you’ll have to solder the speaker wire to the jack).

    If you want to stick with binding posts, that’s a little more of a challenge since they stand off the plate and the regular flip-down cover will not work. For those you’ll have to use a cover that’s designed for “wet use.” These typically are clear plastic covers with enough depth to close over both the electrical outlet and a plug. I.e., they protect the outlet while it’s being used. As with the 1/4” jack, you would have to install banana plugs in a blank plate.

    Hope this helps.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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