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Old 28th November 2014, 01:45 PM   #1
Jeffs is offline Jeffs  United States
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Default wiring color code rant

I'm not really bent so bad than I need to rant on this, but as I'm getting to the wiring phase of my first audio build I'm realizing there are a completely foreign set of rules for amps. Unsoldering only one pair from the switch, because once inside the chassis it seems white no longer refers to neutral, but blue... blue. Yes, blue wire. WTF. It doesn't really matter for DIY, but considering some day the amp will no longer be in my possession it would be nice if it were consistent. Either after I die, am institutionalized, someone steals it, I sell it or trade it.

Another delay of a week while I order a bunch of wire off of ebay by the foot.

Unless someone in South to central Austin is going to chime in to let me know they are selling some out of the back of their truck...

ok, so it's not blue in all guides. now i've seen black with stripe, red, and the more i read the more different sets of standards

Last edited by Jeffs; 28th November 2014 at 01:57 PM.
Old 28th November 2014, 02:22 PM   #2
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Old 28th November 2014, 02:24 PM   #3
apw is offline apw  United Kingdom
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Outside the US and Candida Blue or Black on the neutral is quite common.
Europe, Japan. China, Russia and others all use blue for neutral .

Cable Colour Code - Open Electrical
Old 30th November 2014, 09:15 AM   #4
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Just my opinion,

I think you should always use a recognised colour "Type" for your country.

Ie in the UK mains Earth is yellow & green so any earth connected to the mains is this colour..however I use green for Ground on signals.
Mains live in the UK is Brown, Neutral blue..so I stick with these colours as much as possible with any mains cables inside equipment.

I like white for HT just because it stands out so I use white for supplies to the top of anode resistors etc. Or to the anode of tubes.
I tend to pick a colour for the heaters so they stand out..I like to use pink YMMV..

From the point of view of cost it was custom and practice to use black for signal cables on industrial equipment or pink so I often use black PTFE and sleeve the ends with a colour code of heat shrink just a piece as a marker. I often use a piece of yellow heat shrink and write on it something like B+ or Gnd or B- or bias L etc. Using Black indelible marker.

I prefer the marker system with the black cable it looks neater. Not a jumble of colours and its fairly universal.
So if I was to give an example an amp would be all black cables with yellow markers or green markers for ground. (possibly white heat shrink marker on HT)
HT would be white and ground green, pink for heaters or if I want to get phase of heaters correct I might use two different colours twisted pair.

Mains supplies are the colours of your country.
What this means is you can just have good black PTFE and heat shrink markers (tube cut to size)..its a lot easier than a supply of multi colour cable and looks OK.

M. Gregg
What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Last edited by M Gregg; 30th November 2014 at 09:45 AM.
Old 2nd December 2014, 07:25 PM   #5
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And now for something completely different:
One of our DIYAudio vendors, ApexJr has nice wire for sale:
Old 3rd December 2014, 12:13 AM   #6
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Blue is neutral in the UK.

I use UK mains wire for my amplifier power supply leads.
Brown is B+, green/Yellow is zero volts and blue is B-.
Old 3rd December 2014, 01:10 AM   #7
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Old 3rd December 2014, 04:36 PM   #8
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The first bit of old american gear i bought had me stumped with its Black/White mains wires, i had to google it to figure out which was which as i come from a Brown/Blue world. Personally i never just go by just the wire colours, always trace them and work out what each is for yourself. When building amps i have my own colour scheme i adhere to, but most important is to use a different colour for everything to avoid confusion.

Conversely that's the very reason why car alarms have every wire in black, you have to trace every single one of them if you want to figure out which is which.

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