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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our home was prewired for a pair of outdoor speakers on the covered deck by the original owner, at least 10 years ago. The speakers and wiring are in place but I didn't have a chance to hook up an amp to the system and test until this weekend.


I can only get sound from one channel (the left). I swapped the speakers, and there is still sound from only one channel (left). I swapped amplifier channels, and still only get sound from the "left sided" speaker.


I spliced fresh ends for the wiring on both ends of the right channel, with no change. Replacing the wiring will be difficult as it runs under the home's crawspace, although not impossible. Is there a way to test the wiring for the right channel to see if there is a discontinuity? I went into the crawlspace (on my stomach) and physically examined it as far as I could and it appears continuous and intact.


What am I not thinking of?


Thanks in advance...
 

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You can twist together the ends of the wire on one end and with a multimeter ring both leads on the other end for continuity.
 

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Before running malovich's test, disconnect the right speaker and amp, and make sure the bare ends of the wires don't touch each other (or anything else). See if an ohmmeter reads open circuit between the two wires. If the resistance is low, the wires are shorted together somewhere.


If they are not shorted, then twist the bare ends together at the speaker end as malovich suggests. An ohmmeter should read very close to zero between the two wires at the amp end. You can do this in the opposite direction if you want, but I'd bet it's easier if you measure from the amp end.


The wire may have gotten damaged somewhere that you can't see.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasterfarian /forum/post/14331934


Before running malovich's test, disconnect the right speaker and amp, and make sure the bare ends of the wires don't touch each other (or anything else). See if an ohmmeter reads open circuit between the two wires. If the resistance is low, the wires are shorted together somewhere.


If they are not shorted, then twist the bare ends together at the speaker end as malovich suggests. An ohmmeter should read very close to zero between the two wires at the amp end. You can do this in the opposite direction if you want, but I'd bet it's easier if you measure from the amp end.


The wire may have gotten damaged somewhere that you can't see.

Thanks for clarifying and diverting any destruction by a short.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, if I identify a damaged area of speaker wire, can I splice in new wire "upstream" of the damage? Replacing the entire wire to the right channel will be extremely difficult.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by milaz001 /forum/post/14338590


So, if I identify a damaged area of speaker wire, can I splice in new wire "upstream" of the damage?

Downstream, right?
 

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As long as you remove the damaged section, have good splices and insulate them, it'll work fine in either direction. Just repairing the bad spot - insulating with tape or splicing a break - will work, too.


You do realize that Murphy's Law requires that the damage occur at the least accessible point, don't you? Anything else is a violation of one of the fundamental laws of the universe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Of course! You should have seen me in the crawl space, trying to access the point at which the wire ascends into the flooring and then the wall. It was obscured by large ductwork. I retreated, went back to the deck and cursed the wiring. I'm going to guess that the damage is beyond the areas I can inspect, and not hidden along the one portion of the outside wall through which the wire was run. It appears to have been at least partially stapled in place, so I'm guessing that one of the staples may be through the wire. Wish me luck.
 

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Is the existing wiring some standard style speaker wire or zip cord? If so, it's probably old with the insulation cracked, and actually no longer to Code for those in wall runs. Any way of you fishing some better CL3 wire through there? You could use the existing wire as a pull string if it's not stapled down in the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jim:


That's something I had considered doing. I could detach the wire from the amp, attach new wire to it, and then pull it through the wall from below (it is not stapled inside the wall). My only concern is the size of the opening into the crawlspace, which I can't visualize. If I tape the two wires together, side by side, with electrical tape, it may be too thick to fit through, but it's worth a try. Any suggestions for a wire to use as a replacement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, the "pull string" technique did not work: the old wire was attached or caught on something. However, I took a guess that the portion beyond the crawlspace and going up to the speaker was the faulty piece and I spliced new wire "upstream" (relative to the speaker). Well, "spliced" may be too fancy a term: I striped the ends, twisted together and insulated with electrical tape (I didn't have those cool little thingies that you can use to crimp wires together). And... It worked! I know have stereo sound outdoors. Huzzah...!...
 
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