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Speaker cable basics...

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Speaker cable basics...

Postby minstermineman » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:14 pm

New to all things sound - not my main job at all.

Have been placed in charge of a small (to most people) PA setup.

It connects to its speakers using SpeakOn connectors which are on the ends of 2.5mm wire.

If I want to make up some more cables - what exactly am I looking for with regards to the wire specification?

The existing have no marking on the cable except for 'speaker cable' - not the most helpful cable coding !

I know it is 2.5mm as I have replaced a couple of the SpeakOn connectors already but need to know specifically what cable I am looking for.

2.5mm comes in many varieties!

Thanks

Gerry
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Re: Speaker cable basics...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:29 pm

minstermineman wrote:If I want to make up some more cables - what exactly am I looking for with regards to the wire specification?

Again, without knowing what speakers you are using, it's tricky to say.

But fundamentally, you want rugged, outdoor-capable PA speaker cable. It will probably be available from most music shops as well as online cable suppliers. Don't buy hi-fi speaker cable!

For moderate cable runs to passive speakers I often use lawnmower mains cable...

But wire size matters. PA speaker cables are typically available in 1.5, 2.4, 4.0, or 6.0mm cross-sectional areas.

2.5mm2 is the smallest I would use, for runs of 30m or less. If you need longer runs than that, I'd go to 4.0mm.

Also, you're probably working with 2-core cables at the moment, but some systems either requires, or can benefit from using use 4-core cables, so it will help to know what your speakers are.

In Europe, VDC trading are popular cable suppliers, and here's a link to their range to give you some ideas of appropriate cable specs.

https://www.vdctrading.com/shop/van-dam ... n-Core-AX/

https://www.vdctrading.com/content/2018 ... peaker.pdf
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Re: Speaker cable basics...

Postby tomas » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:31 pm

minstermineman wrote:If I want to make up some more cables

Sure, a bit of DIY can be fun, but why would you want to assemble speaker cables?

Considering the readymade ones are so cheap...
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Re: Speaker cable basics...

Postby minstermineman » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:01 pm

Not as cheap as just buying connectors though

If the actual type is not vital (for our use anyway) - as long as it is suitable for outdoor use and of a suitable gauge then if we already have cable to hand I only need to cut to length and add connectors.

For our firing system wiring we use 2 core rubber sheathed cable - and as this gets replaced every now again through us buying full coils of it - it could be utilised to make up our speaker cables too.

That is the plan anyway !

I already have enough of the longer cable required, but would be good to make up some shorter ones and have a couple of spares - nine times out of ten when we clear up at the end of a show it is dark - wet, and the ideal time for a black cable on the ground to miss being packed away.
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Re: Speaker cable basics...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:46 pm

minstermineman wrote:If the actual type is not vital (for our use anyway) - as long as it is suitable for outdoor use and of a suitable gauge then if we already have cable to hand I only need to cut to length and add connectors.

Quite so. Standard two-core mains (or similar) cable with 2.5mm square cores (or larger).

... nine times out of ten when we clear up at the end of a show it is dark - wet, and the ideal time for a black cable on the ground to miss being packed away.

Another good reason for using orange lawn-mower cable (9 Amp or higher capacity)... :-)
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Re: Speaker cable basics...

Postby ef37a » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:06 am

".. nine times out of ten when we clear up at the end of a show it is dark - wet, and the ideal time for a black cable on the ground to miss being packed away."

So, put 100mm of pink heatshrink each end when you make up the new cables. Also acts as an extra strain relief.

Dave.
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Re: Speaker cable basics...

Postby minstermineman » Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:45 pm

Excellent idea!
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