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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings:


I am moving in a few months from a no-basement townhouse to an old 1930's house with a wide-open basement. I'm salivating at the opportunity to finally be able to easily wire my place the way I want (in the place I'm at now, running wire from downstairs to upstairs is nearly impossible due to layout, whereas in the new place, it is a ranch with a basement, holes can be drilled in floors and what-not).


So anyways, I plan on setting up whole-house audio, but I am not looking for stellar quality or anything like that. Heck, I'm using a set of computer speakers for each room for starters, so that'll give an idea of how low of quality I'm considering. ;)


My question though is this. I have a source that has stereo RCA outputs (its a SliMP3 device), and I have an RCA distribution panel (1 in, 8 out, amplified). Now after the RCA panel, I have a total of about 400 ft. of cable to run from the source to each room (400 ft. total, not per room). After doing some pricing, I am finding that the cost of RCA cables for this job is going to get expensive, so I started thinking of alternatives. Is it technically "OK" to get some RCA connectors from radio shack, and attach them to speaker wire? I have a spool of 1,000 ft. of speaker wire that I picked up for real cheap ($30 at a garage sale). It is NOT high quality speaker wire, but it is just good ol' generic 14 gauge.


Thoughts? I appreciate any input on this. The cabling appeared to end up being the most expensive, running about $200-$300 for 400 ft. worth of RCA cable in varying lengths.
 

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Yeah, you can do that! Your only problem will be noise due to a lack of RF shielding. In other words other RF frequenices can get into your cabling. It would be a bummer to get to that quiet intense part of the moive only to hear a commerical for Q105 bleeding over in the back ground.
 

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Speaker wire dosen't need to shielded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, it is entirely possible that the interference won't be enough to be noticable to my ears (I'm tone-deaf). Like I said, I'm not going for quality at least at the beginning, because funds are limited. I am buying cheap $10-per-pair of computer speakers for each room, until I can afford a nice speaker distribution panel/amp, and get decent speakers for each room. I plan on slowly upgrading the setup over time.


I suppose the only thing to do is just give it a try. Another possibility that I considered was to modulate the audio signal into a TV signal, then run it over regular coax, and then demodulate it at each room, but that might get pricey with the demodulators..
 

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You can use the speaker wire, and it will probably work, but it might have noise problems. Also, the capacitance of the wire may be too much for the amplifier and degrade its stability. If you are thinking of using coax, such as RG59 or RG6, that will work fine as an RCA cable.


Tim
 

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NightHawk, true, speaker wire doesn't require shielding, but using speaker wire where you should be using shielded wire doesn't mean that shielding is no longer necessary. It still is here.


Ego, I recommend RG-59. It's the right combination of well-shielded, decent-sized, and flexible. You can either find F-connectors for it, or use adapters and/or short RCA cables at each end.
 

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Larry, I don't understand what your trying to say.


I agree that RG59 will work, but I don't agree with people who insist that speaker level circuits need any sort of RF shielding, unless you live next door to an ICBM tracking radar. The radiated power required to induce audible energy into an 8 ohm speaker circuit is pretty high. If you doubt this walk around with a pair of unplugged headphones on your head and see if you hear anything.
 

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Quote:
I agree that RG59 will work, but I don't agree with people who insist that speaker level circuits need any sort of RF shielding, unless you live next door to an ICBM tracking radar
Problem is, NightHawk, that this is not a speaker-level circuit. Ego is proposing to replace coax with 2-conductor speaker wire for line-level runs throughout the house.
 

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I'd recommend calling around the electrical supply places and ask for a price on a "500 foot put up" of some decent coax. Of course you could check Lowes or Home Depot as well, on bulk prices. It doesn't have to be Belden's best to do this job. Then get some RCAs that are designed to work with whatever coax you get, RG-59, RG-6. (Radio Shack) They make some you can just cut the coax off as prescribed, and screw on. If not, you can buy F-connectors that way, and then use F-connector to RCA adapters. (More expensive though.) Or you could learn how to solder, and use solder on connectors. (best option).


As for the speaker wire. Need a clothesline? LOL. It also makes great tie down straps for trucks. No, seriously! I like the heavy 12 gauge zip for this though.


Lex
 

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oops
 
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