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Discussion Starter #1
Back in Dec-2007 I wired my HT with CL3 14ga/4C AWG wire from parts express prior to drywall, I plan on twisting (2) wires per polarity, giving approx equiv 11ga wire (so I was told and read elsewhere) 14 AWG 4C Audiophile Grade Speaker Cable


Quote:
This audiophile grade speaker cable features 99.9% pure copper wire. A high strand count improves skin effect and provides maximum conductivity. The flexible white jacket eliminates kinking and makes in-wall installation simple and hassle free. UL approved, CL-3 rating. Made in the U.S.A. 41 strand construction.

99.9% pure copper wire

Flexible outer jacket

High strand count

Marked in 2 ft. intervals

Now;

I'm finally finishing my IB sub and was wiring that Monday, I used (2) runs of the PE 14ga/4C from my Berringer 2500 amp to the IB manifold, and I was "shocked" at the Home Depot 12ga/2C clear outside wall copper was so much thicker than (2) strands of the PE 14ga/4C stuff, see picture:



What's up with that?

I can't believe there is a different wire strand/thickness spec for in wall vs external wire, or is there?

Did I get "cheap Chinese knock-off" wire from PE and not real 14ga/4C?


This is 1st time for me to use in-wall rated wire, my experience has always been the basic HD/Lowes clear 12AWG stuff.
 

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Wire size or gauge for solid condctors is determined by the diamter and the equivalent cross sectional area for stranded conductors. The insulation or jacket is not included.


12AWG is 0.0808" in diameter


14 AWG is 0.0641" in diamter


12 AWG is 120% the size of 14 AWG


By way of illustration some Monster 16 AWG speaker wire has an overall diameter >.5".
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by trekguy /forum/post/14214467


Wire size or gauge for solid condctors is determined by the diamter and the equivalent cross sectional area for stranded conductors. The insulation or jacket is not included.


12AWG is 0.0808" in diameter


14 AWG is 0.0641" in diamter


12 AWG is 120% the size of 14 AWG


By way of illustration some Monster 16 AWG speaker wire has an overall diameter >.5".

Ok;

This is going to sound like very basic Q;


14AWG/4C has 4 individual wires, each in itself is considered one 14AWG wire, correct? The description from PE says "41 strand construction", so each individual wire has 41 strands, therefore 4 *41 = 164 strands total?


I'll count tonight and measure the dia and calc equiv AWG via experiment, since for their 14AWG/2C also same strand count, I was not sure if somehow that was for all the individual wires.
American wire gauge (AWG) wiki



I ran just "one run" of 14AWG/4C for each of my HT speakers.


(sorry for being anal on this....it's my nature as engineer to really understand the details)
 

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Time to get out the old micrometer!


In your example of 14 AWG /4, each of the four conductors is a #14


The individual wires should be about #30 in size. The cross section of #30 is .051 mm^2.

41 x.051 mm^2 = 2.091 mm^2


The cross section of #14 is 2.081 mm^2


There is some allowance made for the "lay" in computing the equivalent cross section, but #30 should be close. The diameter of #30 is 0.255 mm.
 

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Before you go dig out the scanning electron microscope, strip off the insulation of the 14ga and twist two together then compare the size of the copper, not the insulation.


I think you'll be convinced enough without the additional effort.


The clear-jacketed wire has what is called rope lay and that will be a larger physical diameter than the same gauge of wire having a normal twist. In other words, a 12ga rope lay wire will look larger than a 12ga wire with normal twist, but they both still have 12ga worth of copper. Also, the clear jacket seems to add somewhat of a magnifying glass effect.
 

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The air between the strands can make a course strand wire appear bigger than a fine strand wire of the same total gauge (or course a single conductor wire will have the smallest size for the gauge, but after that, the more strands in the wire the closer they can pack together and the smaller they will appear).
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 /forum/post/14219679


Before you go dig out the scanning electron microscope, strip off the insulation of the 14ga and twist two together then compare the size of the copper, not the insulation.


I think you'll be convinced enough without the additional effort.


The clear-jacketed wire has what is called rope lay and that will be a larger physical diameter than the same gauge of wire having a normal twist. In other words, a 12ga rope lay wire will look larger than a 12ga wire with normal twist, but they both still have 12ga worth of copper. Also, the clear jacket seems to add somewhat of a magnifying glass effect.

I was visually comparing the size of the copper, not the insulation, that is what I was trying to show by taking picture, maybe not clear in my explanation.


However you and others are right, I did take two strands of the 14ga wire, twisted them together, and they did "feel" with my expert fingers as thick as or even slightly thicker than the twisted copper in the 12ga HD wire.


Yea, sometimes I get too much into details and make things complex, but I had some concern for my in-wall speaker wire, after reading all the news reports about fraud items getting into market/etc, lead in paint, etc.


I feel better, my IB sub build/HT speaker install is proceeding.


FWIW, just upon stripping the 14ga wire I was totally amazed how fine those 41 strands are, yes 41 strands/each 4 wire (I counted those small strands for 2 and stopped, convinced) , and how compact they were inside their insulation casing. Once I stripped them and twisted 2 together they did "grow" in dia as air got in the strand. I never would have guessed at that. Live and learn, I went to local install shop, Paulsons 12 mile/Halstead here in SE Mich during lunch, they use 14ga/2ca per speaker for 99% of their HT installs unless a specific customer really wants thicker wire ,not even 14/4 like I did.


So, I never did take out my Mitutoyo caliper:
 
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