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Old 18th November 2009, 05:40 PM   #1
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Default Hook-up wire

I recently soldered together my first electronics project, an lm3886 briangt kit. I am at he point where I am ready to make my connections to my xformer, inputs and speaker connections, but I need some quick info about wire before I proceed. I have no idea what type of wire to use for my hookups, as there seems to be a multitude of options.

A. What gauge?
B. Stranded or solid?
C. What material (copper, silver etc)?
D. Should I use the same type for all of my connections?

Thanks....this forum is great
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Old 18th November 2009, 05:50 PM   #2
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I wouldn't worry too much about the wire. Regular 18gauge hook up wire should be fine. You can get thicker if you want but it makes soldering harder as the thick wire sucks up so much heat.

Stranded is best - it's flexible, less likely to fatigue, easy to form to terminals and can be crimped if need be.

Copper wire is plenty good, silver is a waste of good cash. (spend it on drivers instead)

18g hookup is fine for power & speakers, use shielded cable for signal inputs.

One other thing, twist the power supply wires together so they are tightly grouped together. This will minimize stray magnetic field which can cause hum. Do the same for the speaker wires too.
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Old 18th November 2009, 07:13 PM   #3
Atilla is offline Atilla  Norway
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Also - keep signal and power wires apart and if they have to cross each other, try to do that at 90 degrees angle.

But, considering my spaghetti mess, due to lack of space, it doesn't really matter that much how you lay them out, except if something is way too incorrect.

Wire quality is the last thing you should think about.
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Old 18th November 2009, 07:40 PM   #4
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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I prefer insulated solid core copper. 0.4mm diam to 0.6mm diam.
Twisted pairs are easy to make up. Even for the input leads from RCA to PCB.
Stranded only for connections that must be movable.
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Old 19th November 2009, 01:29 AM   #5
star882 is offline star882  United States
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American wire gauge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Since wire is cheap, use the table to find the minimum size needed to carry the current and meet voltage drop requirements, then go a size or two bigger at least. For low currents, common 22AWG works great.

Something else to keep in mind is to use coax or twisted pair for low level signals.
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Old 19th November 2009, 01:35 AM   #6
cbdb is offline cbdb  Canada
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All great advice with no audiophoolery, cant add anything
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Old 19th November 2009, 08:10 PM   #7
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Let's see:

26AWG is 0.404mm diam.
22AWG is 0.643mm diam.

Seems like a reasonable range for signal wires.
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Old 19th November 2009, 08:25 PM   #8
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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I do like PTFE (Teflon) hookup wire...the jacket can withstand a little more bungling in soldering
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Old 19th November 2009, 09:50 PM   #9
Magz is offline Magz  United States
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OK, I admit I use DH Labs Revelation 18 ga solid core silver, teflon jacketed wire for everything. Does that make me a bad person?
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Old 20th November 2009, 11:27 AM   #10
Atilla is offline Atilla  Norway
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No, but it does make you a little freaky :P
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