Pure Copper Banana Plugs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-05-2014, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone know a place where I can buy pure copper banana plugs with gold plated?

I am hearing pure copper plugs will sound much better than brass plugs. Most of the banana plugs out there are made of brass metal with gold plated.
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-05-2014, 01:49 PM
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There are no pure copper banana plugs, because that would be stupid, for a couple of reasons.

Pure copper is soft and would not retain the springyness required to fit tightly.

Pure copper would also corrode quickly and contact would be bad.

What you want is banana plugs that are gold-plated for long-term corrosion resistance.

A brass alloy that has good spring qualities is used; that's what is required.

Gold is one of the few metals that does not corrode.
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post #3 of 25 Old 03-05-2014, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

There are no pure copper banana plugs, because that would be stupid, for a couple of reasons.

Pure copper is soft and would not retain the springyness required to fit tightly.

Pure copper would also corrode quickly and contact would be bad.

What you want is banana plugs that are gold-plated for long-term corrosion resistance.

A brass alloy that has good spring qualities is used; that's what is required.

Gold is one of the few metals that does not corrode.


Thanks for the advice!

So what you are saying is that all banana plugs will sound the same as long as they are gold plated.
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post #4 of 25 Old 03-05-2014, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantaraydesign View Post

So what you are saying is that all banana plugs will sound the same as long as they are gold plated.
All banana plug materials sound the same, with or without gold. The only advantage to gold plating is that it won't corrode, but for that matter neither will tin.

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post #5 of 25 Old 03-05-2014, 08:22 PM
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When I used banana plugs, I use the Orange County Banana Plugs (google it)

However, just a few weeks ago actually, I decided it was better to connect my speaker wire directly to my receiver. I always have had a hard time getting the cables connected to the receiver, so that is why I used Banana Plugs. However, unplugging everything, and turning my receiver upside down to connect the negative posts worked perfectly.

Also, what I noticed, was that several banana plugs became "loose" since the last time I checked them, and I can get a better, tighter, more secure connection connecting my cables directly to my receiver.

I also feel better knowing that there are fewer "breaks" in my speaker wires.
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post #6 of 25 Old 07-16-2014, 11:25 PM
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Pure Copper Banana Plugs

There are Copper banana plugs - I just purchased and received 24 pieces and have Copper Spades on the way. I'm going to use a RESPONDERS advice (actually lack of advice) to guide you!

There are no pure copper banana plugs, because that would be stupid, for a couple of reasons.
There is a brand name called Nakimichi that are copper - you can find identical units with various names. But are they Copper ?- I sawed one in half to find that telltale pink metal within. Copper and brass, by the way, is not magnetic. Look on E-Bay or Amazon
I've seen a popular plugs selling for 4 for $30.00 WOW - I just paid $20.00 for 24 pieces- 12 red/12black - they have double screws and screw on sleeves.

Pure copper is soft and would not retain the springyness required to fit tightly.
Hmmm - I always found it annoying to find the pennies in my pocket all bent out of shape. Copper Banana plugs DO have quite a snug fit (the Nakimichi I purchased but IF you are that concerned use SPADES

Pure copper would also corrode quickly and contact would be bad.
So I guess - it is bad to also use copper wire??? Copper changes color to a greenish patina. I wonder IF the Gold plating would prevent copper from corroding?!

What you want is banana plugs that are gold-plated for long-term corrosion resistance.
Yes, Gold plated COPPER!

A brass alloy that has good spring qualities is used; that's what is required.
ABSOLUTLY NOT!!! Amplifiers have copper wiring within as well as speakers. They are connected with COPPER wire. Why would anyone BREAK that chain by introducing a BRASS element??? That IS STUPID!
The International Annealed Copper Standard material conductivity study reveals the following FACT:
Silver - 105%; Copper - 100%; Gold - 70%; Aluminum - 60%; Brass - 28%

Gold is one of the few metals that does not corrode.
Well you got one right!

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post #7 of 25 Old 07-16-2014, 11:26 PM
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So what you are saying is that all banana plugs will sound the same as long as they are gold plated.[/quote]


NO! That is WRONG!
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post #8 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 02:56 AM
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NO! That is RIGHT!
Any conductive banana plug that is firmly connected to both the wire and the jack it goes into will sound EXACTLY the SAME!
Measure the resistance from tip to the wire connection of any 2 banana plugs. Use a sensitive ohmmeter. Do you really think you will notice a difference?
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post #9 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 05:25 AM
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Look to Monoprice.
I've bought all my plugs from there as well as several for family members. Never had an issue and they're great build quality.
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post #10 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph1975 View Post
There are Copper banana plugs - I just purchased and received 24 pieces and have Copper Spades on the way. I'm going to use a RESPONDERS advice (actually lack of advice) to guide you!

Nice sales pitch but this is not the place to misinform people that wire conductivity affects sound. We all know better than that. For the OP, the very best way to connect speakers is to tin the ends of the speaker wire and connect them directly with no connectors at all. It is certainly more time consuming but certainly more secure. If you want banana plugs, the Monoprice connectors work just fine.
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post #11 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jdcrox View Post
Any conductive banana plug that is firmly connected to both the wire and the jack it goes into will sound EXACTLY the SAME!
+1. For the sound to be different the plug would have to present a resistance load at least 10% of that of the speaker impedance load. With a 4 ohm speaker it would take a brass plug thirty feet long to affect the sound.

Measure the resistance from tip to the wire connection of any 2 banana plugs. Use a sensitive ohmmeter. Do you really think you will notice a difference?

Only with a laboratory grade meter capable of 1/1000 ohm resolution.
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post #12 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 08:11 AM
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Get'em Bill! I swear by my $350 hdmi dinosaur cables. Better picture and much better audio!



















A $10 high speed hdmi cable is just as good as a $100+ monster if you ask me. The only cable I've ever spent more money on was a 25' high speed hdmi cable to connect to 4k pj and that was probably overkill.
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post #13 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by audiovideoholic View Post
A $10 high speed hdmi cable is just as good as a $100+ monster if you ask me. The only cable I've ever spent more money on was a 25' high speed hdmi cable to connect to 4k pj and that was probably overkill.
I have a 25 footer connecting my computer to my TV. It cost me four bucks, works perfectly. One of the benefits to digital transmission is that it's far less susceptible to noise and interference than analog, and is far less demanding of wire and connectors. That hasn't stopped the cable crooks from taking advantage of those who don't know that.

I remember when the CD was introduced, and suddenly you saw 'digital ready' stickers plastered all over everything from amps to speakers to wires. The inference was that if you didn't go out and buy all new 'digital ready' gear that you wouldn't be able to play CDs. The only difference between 'digital ready' labeled gear and that without those labels was the labels themselves.
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post #14 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantaraydesign View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by commsysman 

There are no pure copper banana plugs, because that would be stupid, for a couple of reasons.

Pure copper is soft and would not retain the springyness required to fit tightly.

Pure copper would also corrode quickly and contact would be bad.

What you want is banana plugs that are gold-plated for long-term corrosion resistance.

A brass alloy that has good spring qualities is used; that's what is required.

Gold is one of the few metals that does not corrode.



Thanks for the advice!

So what you are saying is that all banana plugs will sound the same as long as they are gold plated.
I didn't know banana plugs had a sound.

The is news to me. I just use them to make a quick, easier and convenient connection to the speaker terminals on both receiver and speakers.

http://sewelldirect.com/Sewell-Deadb...gs-12-Pair.asp

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post #15 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 09:50 AM
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there just always seems to be some kind of sales pitch in these types of threads. guess those 1k dollar interconnects aren't selling to well.

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post #16 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 10:21 AM
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I have 2 sets of these in different lengths from Sewell Direct. I have to admit, I only bought them because the price was reasonable, and they looked pretty good. I had no expectations of better sound because it won't happen, and that's good because I didn't get it.

http://sewelldirect.com/Silverback-Speaker-Wire-by-Sewell-15ftTerminated.asp
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post #17 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 10:47 AM
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I'll second the monoprice ones, they are what I'm using. As others have said, banana plugs won't do anything for your sound, it's just a matter of convince.

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post #18 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
I have a 25 footer connecting my computer to my TV. It cost me four bucks, works perfectly. One of the benefits to digital transmission is that it's far less susceptible to noise and interference than analog, and is far less demanding of wire and connectors. That hasn't stopped the cable crooks from taking advantage of those who don't know that.

I remember when the CD was introduced, and suddenly you saw 'digital ready' stickers plastered all over everything from amps to speakers to wires. The inference was that if you didn't go out and buy all new 'digital ready' gear that you wouldn't be able to play CDs. The only difference between 'digital ready' labeled gear and that without those labels was the labels themselves.
Yea I think most of my hdmi cables were under $10.

I don't remember the digital ready era but obviously used what cables I already had when got my first CD player without issues.
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post #19 of 25 Old 07-17-2014, 11:41 AM
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Now it's "HD anything" from TVs to cables to eyeglasses to an "HD Makeup Mirror" I saw at Wal-Mart (last time I go with wife-unit ).

I owned a heavy set of pure-copper banana plugs and jacks for a while. Proved to corrode and exhibit poor capture just like any other despite a design that improved contact (basically a screw down the middle of the plug to expand the spring strips). I much prefer to tighten down bare wire.

BTW, while you can plate Au on Cu, with pure copper the underlying metal is soft so chances are you'll quickly scrape off the gold. Brass instruments and fine gold-plated igtems tend to plate with Ag (silver) or Ni (nickel) first to provide a hard base layer, then plate gold on that.

If you want high conductivity, gold-plated solid silver should do it. I am sure the sonic benefits over regular Cu alloy and gold plating will be immense, as anyone who sees the gold/silver plugs will say.

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post #20 of 25 Old 07-20-2014, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTW SAID
Nice sales pitch but this is not the place to misinform people that wire conductivity affects sound. We all know better than that. For the OP, the very best way to connect speakers is to tin the ends of the speaker wire and connect them directly with no connectors at all. It is certainly more time consuming but certainly more secure. If you want banana plugs, the Monoprice connectors work just fine.

I appreciate your advice to posters - BUT your accusation towards a SALES pitch - is out of line!
The OP ASKED - where can He purchase Gold plated copper banana plugs. He did NOT ask what would result in the best connection. As You can see He was advised there is no such thing - that is INCORRECT.
He was also advised COPPER is too soft...this worries me as my home is full of copper pipe! If copper is too soft to simply connect to a speaker terminal THEN it must be inappropriate for WATER.
I alluded to the fact with the CONDUCTIVITY information provided - IF HE CHOOSES to get the most minutest connection IMPROVEMENT & CONVENIENCE then GOD PLATED COPPER IS the way to go!
Be advised that IS the reason most knowledgeable Folks USE speaker wire ENDS - convenience. Especially IF you are changing between more than one Amplifier. I would further advise IF you are changing wires from one amp. to another - repeated removal of banana plugs will wear down little by little - consider SPADES Gold plated copper that is!
I mentioned a name as the plugs are very reasonably priced - and are actually COPPER. Many plugs out there are brass. The OP - I'm sure knows how to perform computer research; knows how to CONTACT PLUG sellers to ASK what metal is used - but chose to come to THIS FORUM to ask the POSTERS here. I gave Him the answer to His question. I DO NOT profit from giving advice! Just desire to HELP.

Last edited by Joseph1975; 07-20-2014 at 11:06 AM.
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post #21 of 25 Old 07-20-2014, 01:25 PM
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Silver is more conductive than copper or gold. If the OP wants to get "the minutest connection IMPROVEMENT..." he should get pure silver instead.

BTW, unless your water is very hard, speaker terminals are harder than water.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #22 of 25 Old 07-21-2014, 03:53 PM
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This is my first post. I felt compelled to sign up and correct some of the tragic misinformation being pushed in this thread. I am not an audio expert, I only know what I've learned through reading this and similar forums quite a lot over the last 6 months. What I do have is a degree in Physics (which contained electrics modules and audio/sound modules) and some minimal experience experimenting on my own system with the effect of different guages of wire on audibility, trying to find out what is the smallest wire I can get away with for a given distance because I'm on a tight budget.

Quote:
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Pure copper is soft and would not retain the springyness required to fit tightly.
Hmmm - I always found it annoying to find the pennies in my pocket all bent out of shape. Copper Banana plugs DO have quite a snug fit (the Nakimichi I purchased but IF you are that concerned use SPADES
Copper is soft, but its harder than lead which was used for pipes for centuries, flexibility over brittleness is necessary. The coins in your pocket are mostly zinc with a small amount of copper. Copper is not 'springy' like brass, you could still make a reasonably snug fitting plug using a different design but it would not remain snug fitting past a few dozen insertions/removals.

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Originally Posted by Joseph1975 View Post
Pure copper would also corrode quickly and contact would be bad.
So I guess - it is bad to also use copper wire??? Copper changes color to a greenish patina. I wonder IF the Gold plating would prevent copper from corroding?!
Copper wire is always coated in plastic insulation which prevents any corrosion. The ends that you've exposed for connection WILL corrode, and should be removed and fresh wire exposed every time you reconnect the wire or every 6 months, which ever is LESS frequent. (For example if you reconnect the same piece of wire a dozen times in a month, you don't need to expose new wire every time, but if its been a year since you removed that particular end of wire it will be significantly corroded and should have fresh copper exposed.) Gold is often used as a coating, because it does not corrode AT ALL, its very conductive and its ductile (easy to apply a very thin coating).

In dry air copper will not go green for a long time, it will dull significantly though. In very moist air or exposed to water and air it will turn a bright green quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph1975 View Post
What you want is banana plugs that are gold-plated for long-term corrosion resistance.
Yes, Gold plated COPPER!

A brass alloy that has good spring qualities is used; that's what is required.
ABSOLUTLY NOT!!! Amplifiers have copper wiring within as well as speakers. They are connected with COPPER wire. Why would anyone BREAK that chain by introducing a BRASS element??? That IS STUPID!
The International Annealed Copper Standard material conductivity study reveals the following FACT:
Silver - 105%; Copper - 100%; Gold - 70%; Aluminum - 60%; Brass - 28%
This is the crux of the error and misinformation in your gibberish Joseph. Firstly, giving conductivity as a percentage of copper is misleading (even though the figures are technically correct). For example stainless steel is 40 times less conductive than copper but it is still considered well within the realm of conductors in general, and therefore an inch of steel wire in a 10ft analogue signal chain would almost certainly be inaudible. Sea water is about a million times less conductive than steel, yet eels can use electricity to shock prey. Drinking water is about a thousand times less conductive than sea water, but is still dangerous around only 220v (even 110v for you yanks) of electricity. Glass, rubber, wood and air are about a billion times less conductive than drinking water, and only now are we firmly in the realm of insulators.

See what I mean? So a tiny layer (microns) of air is enough to disrupt your signal chain only because it is 20something orders of magnitude less conductive than copper. Unless your analogue signal chain has more than 1/40 of its length (so more than an inch of steel for every 3ft4 of copper say) made of steel, the steel will not add any audible effect whatsoever aslong as both wires have equal guage. The banana plug is a big lump of metal, much thicker 'guage' than the copper wire, it is also shorter by 100 or even 1000 times, so one sixth the conducitivty (for brass for example) will make absolutely no audible difference at all. Your nonsense about 'breaking the chain' is just that, nonsense.

A good rule of thumb is, as long as your entire analogue signal chain has less than 1/10-1/20 the resistance (impedence) of your loudspeaker there will be no audible effect. For digital signals the resistance of the wire only has to be low enough so the signal can be detected the error correction can do its thing, beyond that it makes no difference.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
Now it's "HD anything" from TVs to cables to eyeglasses to an "HD Makeup Mirror" I saw at Wal-Mart (last time I go with wife-unit ).

I owned a heavy set of pure-copper banana plugs and jacks for a while. Proved to corrode and exhibit poor capture just like any other despite a design that improved contact (basically a screw down the middle of the plug to expand the spring strips). I much prefer to tighten down bare wire.

BTW, while you can plate Au on Cu, with pure copper the underlying metal is soft so chances are you'll quickly scrape off the gold. Brass instruments and fine gold-plated igtems tend to plate with Ag (silver) or Ni (nickel) first to provide a hard base layer, then plate gold on that.

If you want high conductivity, gold-plated solid silver should do it. I am sure the sonic benefits over regular Cu alloy and gold plating will be immense, as anyone who sees the gold/silver plugs will say.
This, everything you said is spot on apart from the last sentence which is obvious (and pretty funny) sarcasm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph1975 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by FTW SAID
Nice sales pitch but this is not the place to misinform people that wire conductivity affects sound. We all know better than that. For the OP, the very best way to connect speakers is to tin the ends of the speaker wire and connect them directly with no connectors at all. It is certainly more time consuming but certainly more secure. If you want banana plugs, the Monoprice connectors work just fine.

I appreciate your advice to posters - BUT your accusation towards a SALES pitch - is out of line!
The OP ASKED - where can He purchase Gold plated copper banana plugs. He did NOT ask what would result in the best connection. As You can see He was advised there is no such thing - that is INCORRECT.
He was also advised COPPER is too soft...this worries me as my home is full of copper pipe! If copper is too soft to simply connect to a speaker terminal THEN it must be inappropriate for WATER.
I alluded to the fact with the CONDUCTIVITY information provided - IF HE CHOOSES to get the most minutest connection IMPROVEMENT & CONVENIENCE then GOD PLATED COPPER IS the way to go!
Be advised that IS the reason most knowledgeable Folks USE speaker wire ENDS - convenience. Especially IF you are changing between more than one Amplifier. I would further advise IF you are changing wires from one amp. to another - repeated removal of banana plugs will wear down little by little - consider SPADES Gold plated copper that is!
I mentioned a name as the plugs are very reasonably priced - and are actually COPPER. Many plugs out there are brass. The OP - I'm sure knows how to perform computer research; knows how to CONTACT PLUG sellers to ASK what metal is used - but chose to come to THIS FORUM to ask the POSTERS here. I gave Him the answer to His question. I DO NOT profit from giving advice! Just desire to HELP.
See my comments above regarding conductivity vs audibility. Yes, with a VERY sensitive ohmmeter you MIGHT detect a brass vs copper banana plug on 25ft of copper wire, but it could not affect audibly any audio passed over the wire, not a chance. You could negate the conductivity difference of the brass vs copper plug (so you couldn't even detect it with any ohmmeter) by just making the copper wire very slightly thicker (or shorter) for the brass banana plug. You are peddling nonsense and misinformation.
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post #23 of 25 Old 07-21-2014, 04:32 PM
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The ends that you've exposed for connection WILL corrode, and should be removed and fresh wire exposed every time you reconnect the wire or every 6 months, which ever is LESS frequent.
Perhaps if you live on a boat or in an ocean side home, but otherwise don't bother. If you want to be safe coat the wire with an anti-oxidant.

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post #24 of 25 Old 07-21-2014, 06:09 PM
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Perhaps if you live on a boat or in an ocean side home, but otherwise don't bother. If you want to be safe coat the wire with an anti-oxidant.
Perhaps I was a little overzealous with my 6 month estimate lol, point taken Yes coating the wires is the best solution, I'm just too lazy for that
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post #25 of 25 Old 07-21-2014, 07:32 PM
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If the connections are properly tightened there should be minimal if any oxidation at the (inner) contact points. "Properly tightened" IME requires something other than banana plugs (something with more positive capture and seal -- like bare wire crush-fit).

There always conformal coating, works in space... A spray-can of commercial-grade coating will run you about $20.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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