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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

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Old 26th March 2003, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default Cat5

I'm using Radio Shack 18-guage wire to my speakers now. It's yucky. I don't like Radio Shack wire. (Mostly because of the brand name. But anyway.)

I've cut myself the right lengths of Cat5 wire, and I'm stripping the ends now, so I can have the superior noise-rejection of twisted pair, but I'm concerned that 4x 24 AWG might not be enough wire to support my loads. I don't know how the guaging system works so I can't be sure.

(My first guess was that 4x 24 would be the equivelant of 6-guage wire, and I immediately tossed that out the window. No way that's equivelant!)

So, what's the scoop? What guage am I running if I use all 4 pairs in the Cat5 cable?

(By the way: Yes, I am wiring this correctly! All the + wires are going to +, and all the - wires are going to -, such that the +'s and -'s are twisted together, and rejecting more noise!)
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Old 26th March 2003, 07:57 PM   #2
Bob2 is offline Bob2  Canada
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Default Cat5

Nappylady

http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/cat5questions_e.html

This site has a spreadsheet that will tell you what you need to know.

Bob2
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Old 26th March 2003, 08:00 PM   #3
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I think you're missing the boat.

I would twist all 8 conductors to make 1 conductor, do the same to another cable of the same length, and there are your 2 conductors.
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Old 26th March 2003, 08:01 PM   #4
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(Another thought: What if you had a 4-way speaker (is there a purpose to that much crossovering?) and used one of the pairs in the Cat5 for each speaker--wow, aside from the greatly reduced power handling of the wire, you have one wire to control all four speakers... hmm!)

I just tried running one speaker with Cat5 and the other with the previous stuff, and I must say the difference is audible! While the speaker is now quieter than before (by perhaps .4 dB) the highs are extended higher and clearer, while the lows are more... I don't know if tighter is the right word. There is less bass but it's not a really big deal, because the bass that's there sounds better, in my estimation.

I like this. I think I'm going to stick with it. :-)
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Old 26th March 2003, 08:06 PM   #5
Bob2 is offline Bob2  Canada
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Default Cat5

I used 3 lengths of cable, 12 wires + and 12 wires -. Twist the 3 lengths about 1 turn every foot. Use as many lengths as you need to construct any gauge you need.

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Old 26th March 2003, 08:15 PM   #6
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here's what i did for my bi-wire. (i found the recipe online, but i can't remember where.)

3 lengths cat5: 1 for tweeter, 2 for lower freq. all the stripes are +, solids are -. or vice versa. label the ends. braid the 3 lengths together. put em in a sleeve. voila.

/andrew - now thinks he overdid it
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Old 26th March 2003, 08:22 PM   #7
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Each AWG 24 wire has 404 Circular Mils (area in thousands of inch) so 8 wires will add to 3,232 CM

The area of a AWG 15 wire is 3,257 CM, so there is your equivalence.

If you use 2 pairs for each leg that will be 4x404=1616 CM

AWG 18 has 1624 CM so there is the equivalence for using to legs on each Cat5. Means two AWG 18's.
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Old 26th March 2003, 10:43 PM   #8
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But if you don't use the twisted pairs, you don't get the noise rejection.

Therefore, I'm using one cat5 cable for each speaker, with all the +'s tied together and all the -'s tied together.

If you simply tie them all together, you lose the advantage, and you would actually be better off using ordinary cable, because in ordinary cable, at least the individual strands make better contact.
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Old 26th March 2003, 10:50 PM   #9
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Yeah, you're right.

I was thinking along the lines that twisting them all together would still be better than stranded cable because surface oxidation would be negligible, but you are much better off separating pairs into + and - and using more than 1 length of cat5.
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Old 26th March 2003, 10:55 PM   #10
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Perhaps the ideal solution is to tie the + together and the - together (like I have) and then bi- or tri-amp the solution... of course, the next thing after that is active crossovering, and after that you're only half an inch from just building an active speaker....

*thinks about active speakers*

*hijacks his own thread*

Are there any decent HT recievers that give preamp outputs?
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