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post #1 of 27 Old 02-26-2015, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Simple Distribution Block - Where to Find?

I have a very simple 4-zone audio system consisting of a single output from an AVR (Zone 2) to four in-wall impedance-matching controls. All wiring goes to a "home run" location.

I'd like a better (read: more elegant way) to wire up the 2-wire input to the 8-wire output. Right now, I'm using two big wire nuts to connect all the positive wires and negative wires together. It works -- but looks like you-know-what.

For the life of me, I can't find a simple signal distribution block or something with compression screws that will distribute the signal and look competent.

Any idea what I'm looking for??
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-26-2015, 08:39 AM
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What about just a simple terminal strip? http://www.radioshack.com/12-positio...0.html#start=4

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post #3 of 27 Old 02-26-2015, 08:48 AM
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Niles VCHUB-8. It will handle 8 volume controls; I'm not aware of a similar piece that only has 4 outputs.
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-26-2015, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshepard View Post
Niles VCHUB-8. It will handle 8 volume controls; I'm not aware of a similar piece that only has 4 outputs.
That's the one! And when you see the street price, you'll probably decide you can live with the wire nuts...

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post #5 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, yep the Niles unit would be the exact solution I was looking for ... for maybe a quarter of the price! Even accepts 14-gauge wire -- which is what I have.

I originally looked at the euro-style terminal strip, but is it a barrier strip -- which I take to mean only connect the two opposite points together? Or does one wire connected to any of the twelve positions "share" with all other eleven points?

I can't tell from the image, and I haven't seen one up close.

If the latter, then yes, I think I could use two strips cut in half (left positive, left negative, right positive, right negative). Five connection points per strip.
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post #6 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roknrol View Post
I originally looked at the euro-style terminal strip, but is it a barrier strip -- which I take to mean only connect the two opposite points together? Or does one wire connected to any of the twelve positions "share" with all other eleven points?
Nope, no connections between positions (hence the 'barrier'). You could daisy-chain some very short jumpers to connect to multiple positions, but not sure there's enough space to do that cleanly without too much hassle.

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post #7 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 01:02 PM
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Barrier strip, with jumper





Google barrier+strip+jumper

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post #8 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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You're right in that I could use the barrier strips by employing jumpers -- but I'm not sure that gets me too far away from the wire nuts in terms of "elegance".

I think the Niles box is really the only viable option. Now I just need to decide whether the aesthetics are worth ponying up for it! Too bad no one makes a knock-off. (My impedance units are NXG knock-offs of the Niles units at 1/3 the price).
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post #9 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 03:52 PM
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+1 to Neurorad for the jumper - didn't even think to look for such a beast, but totally makes sense that someone would have figured out the need for that!

As for aesthetics, buy a small wall-mount enclosure / cover to mount the strips in... And really, are the wire nuts the problem when you have a huge bundle of wiring exposed?

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post #10 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roknrol View Post
Too bad no one makes a knock-off. (My impedance units are NXG knock-offs of the Niles units at 1/3 the price).
Like this one?
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post #11 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 07:29 PM
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A couple of these (or similar)? http://www.galco.com/buy/Cutler-Hamm...FY6UfgodT7YAMA

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post #12 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 07:35 PM
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Check out Newark Electronics.

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post #13 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJBaylor View Post
LOL! And OSD has one too, same price range...

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post #14 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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@ Neurorad: Much better than I was originally thinking to use for a jumper setup - good find

@ olyteddy: Was looking at exactly that, but those are for house neutral bus bars and therefore much beefier than I think I was wanting

@ jautor: You make a good point about the nest of wiring -- and thus the reason I'm now revisiting this setup after several years. I'm finally getting around to cleaning this place up!

@ XJBaylor: Um, yeah. That'd pretty much be it. Well, there we go then!

So, lesson learned: instead of thinking of and searching for "distribution block" or "wiring terminal", I needed "distribution hub". Apparently, OSD Audio makes a similar model for a few bucks more than the NXG. (And the Niles unit can be found via Big River for ~$52 if you don't search verbatim for the true model number.)

It looks like the Niles unit might be a little easier to install since it employs spring clamps rather than set-screws for the pluggable terminal units. But for a $20 delta, I'll go with the NXG. Exactly what I was looking for -- thanks XJBaylor! Sad I couldn't find it on my own, but then again -- that's the beauty of AVS Forum!

Thanks again all! Problem solved.
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post #15 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post
LOL! And OSD has one too, same price range...
I saw that too, but since he mentioned NXG by name I had to run with this one. They are both the exact same OEM'd product, which actually works great.

Last edited by XJBaylor; 03-04-2015 at 08:18 PM.
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post #16 of 27 Old 03-04-2015, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, my controls are NXG and the NXG unit shipped is about $13 less shipped than the OSD unit -- so there we go.

Funny thing is, I'm pretty sure this unit wasn't on the market back in 2010 when I bought and installed my impedance-matching controls. And I think NXG (at least at one point) stopped making the NX-VM80 control units a few years back.
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post #17 of 27 Old 03-05-2015, 08:40 AM
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Here's another option I didn't think of yesterday.



Wago Lever Nut. All wires connected, inside the device.



Now available in a clear version



I used smaller ones for connecting speaker wires in my attic, protected in covered single gang junction boxes screwed to rafters; I re-routed my in-wall speakers to run to a different home-run location, in my basement, after I bought the house. For most speakers I could reach the speaker with the new cables, but for some speakers I had to splice. These Lever Nuts offer idiot proof wire splicing, and are very secure. Just don't pinch the insulation, inside the Lever Nuts - make sure you strip enough insulation.



Rated for line voltage, they work perfectly for low voltage splices.

Edit - of course, this would still leave an ugly cable mess. One could hide it inside a cheap ABS project box, or junction box, or inside the wall.

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post #18 of 27 Old 03-06-2015, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I saw those "clamp splicers" for the first time when searching around for terminal strips or something. Where were you able to source them in the US? Most of the places I found were European or Chinese -- though I was really only following links through Google Images ... so wasn't looking too hard for them.

They look pretty slick -- especially since they would work equally for solid or stranded wires.
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post #19 of 27 Old 03-06-2015, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roknrol View Post
I saw those "clamp splicers" for the first time when searching around for terminal strips or something. Where were you able to source them in the US? Most of the places I found were European or Chinese -- though I was really only following links through Google Images ... so wasn't looking too hard for them.

They look pretty slick -- especially since they would work equally for solid or stranded wires.
Amazon carries the Wago clamps:

http://www.amazon.com/Wago-222-415-L.../dp/B003K12QN0
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post #20 of 27 Old 03-06-2015, 02:59 PM
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I beleive they are called Terminal Block, Plugable or Plugable Terminal Block. The levers look really convieniant. I would have to see one to see how secure the lever holds the wire. I think they also make them with screw downs instead of levers.

It may be hard to find ones made in the US Of A.

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post #21 of 27 Old 03-06-2015, 04:28 PM
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I bought my box of Wago Lever Nuts about 4 years ago, through Amazon.

I've also tried the Wago push-in connectors, in place of wire nuts, for Romex. Worked very well - better than wire nuts. Also idiot proof.
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post #22 of 27 Old 03-06-2015, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post
I bought my box of Wago Lever Nuts about 4 years ago, through Amazon.

I've also tried the Wago push-in connectors, in place of wire nuts, for Romex. Worked very well - better than wire nuts. Also idiot proof.
I wouldn't use them for that any more than I'd use the 'stab' option on switches and outlets. If you feel these are superior to twisting and wire nuts then IMO you've been using wire nuts wrong. I've chased too many electrical problems from loose 'stabs' and these honestly don't look any better.

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post #23 of 27 Old 03-06-2015, 10:36 PM
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Yes, I understand it's heresy. You'll come around.

Edit - try the Wago brand.

Last edited by Neurorad; 03-07-2015 at 05:14 AM.
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post #24 of 27 Old 03-07-2015, 05:02 PM
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Nope. I don't trust any connector that doesn't create a mechanically sound connection. If I wouldn't use it for Fire Alarm wiring I wouldn't use it at all. Lever Nuts, maybe...Push On NEVER!

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post #25 of 27 Old 03-07-2015, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post
Nope. I don't trust any connector that doesn't create a mechanically sound connection. If I wouldn't use it for Fire Alarm wiring I wouldn't use it at all. Lever Nuts, maybe...Push On NEVER!
The WAGO levers are rock solid, I trust them much more than wire nuts, simply because the install is even more fail proof.
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post #26 of 27 Old 03-07-2015, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
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Nope. I don't trust any connector that doesn't create a mechanically sound connection. If I wouldn't use it for Fire Alarm wiring I wouldn't use it at all. Lever Nuts, maybe...Push On NEVER!
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The WAGO levers are rock solid, I trust them much more than wire nuts, simply because the install is even more fail proof.
I acknowledged that the lever lock was a bit better. I still wouldn't use them for power or alarms.

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post #27 of 27 Old 03-09-2015, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I'll get a set of the Wago lever connectors to have on hand. The beauty of those connectors is they will accept stranded and solid wire.

I've been using the push connectors for several years now for some Romex connections. They only accept solid wire, but create a very strong connection point (good luck removing the wire -- it can be done but not easily). Oddly enough, I never connect outlets using the "stab" method outlined by olyteddy -- for just the reasons he outlined (high fail rate) -- but don't have any concern about the push connectors. You can find them at HD (Ideal brand, IIRC). More expensive than wirenuts and not as easily disconnected, but they are really handy for tight boxes and/or short leads.
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