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RCA cable grounding

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have a Yamaha RX-A720 receiver. I ran three 14-2 speaker cables (actually, landscape lighting cables) out to the pool house to take advantage of the two-zone capability. The first two cables are for the speakers, of course, and the third I ran to an RCA wall plate to use as an auxiliary input connected to an audio input on the Yamaha (for IPods and such that are not AirPlay capable).

I ordered two of these - http://www.amazon.com/electronics/dp/B009B8EJYU - to convert the speaker/landscape cable to RCA connectors.

My question: do I need to ground both ends of the cable? After looking for an hour online, my best guess is that I should ground only the end of the cable in the pool house (the source end), but I couldn't find anything that made it 100% clear what to do.

Any advice is very much appreciated!
post #2 of 6
So you are running audio from an Ipad back to the main house over speaker wire? That may not work very well as it might pick up a lt of hum and noise. Depends on what EMI sources are around.

In any case do not ground anything. The devices have AC power grounds where required and externally grounding the speaker cables could render the system unsafe.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much for the reply.

Just to clarify, will the AC grounds on an iPod also ground the 3.5mm headphone jack on the device? I should clarify, at the RCA wall plate in the pool house I'll be using a stereo RCA to 3.5mm cable to plug into the iPod.
post #4 of 6
For speaker cables, you do not want to ground either end.

Doing so can make the amplifier unstable and it can oscillate at ultrasonic frequencies and overheat.

An audio line-level (input) signal should not be run more than 10 feet with an unbalanced (coaxial) cable, and should also not be grounded except at the amplifier end.

Long runs must use BALANCED circuits at both ends and the appropriate BALANCED cables with XLR connections.

You can't do that with an Ipod, so forget it.
post #5 of 6
The speaker cable you ran for the iPod can only carry 1 channel.
The iPod doesn't have an AC ground, it's a battery operated device.
post #6 of 6
You don’t need to AC (to the power grid) ground RCA cables.
You need a 3 core cable to do stereo sound, left + right + and a common ground –
Looking at that pic the 2 grounds (-) for the RCA adapters you have are Black and the black with white stripe so just join them together and then the other two (white and grey) are your positives + for left and right channels
You will lose a bit of quality with the big runs you’re probably going to be doing (???1-30m???) But it should be ok quality for background music in a pool house (probably will not even tell)
Just make shore you do your runs away from any other cabling so you don’t get any interference
Edited by Tappits - 6/11/13 at 9:59am
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