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Old 13th December 2010, 02:41 PM   #1
dazed is offline dazed  Norway
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Default Teflon insulated speaker cable

I'm sorry if this has been answered before, but here goes anyway.

I want to make a batch of speaker cables, but every cable I'm able to source, has PCV insulation and jackets. (Belden 5000-series, for instance.)

I'd prefer teflon or PE insulation. Can anybody recommend a good cable for making speaker cables, with about AWG 10 (or thicker) conductors?

It would be good if it could be bought in lengths of (considerably) less than your typical 1000 feet spools as well.

Thanks!
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Old 13th December 2010, 03:01 PM   #2
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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In the USA it is easy to find teflon insulated, silver plated copper wire in many sizes. Often in surplus houses at good prices. ApexJr., for example.
No idea if you can find the stuff way up north, where you are.

Teflon does have triboelectric effects Triboelectric effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, but at the low impedance of speaker drivers, it may not matter.
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Old 13th December 2010, 07:33 PM   #3
dazed is offline dazed  Norway
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Thanks. So, you mean there's not really a point using teflon instead of PVC for insulation?
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Old 13th December 2010, 08:01 PM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Teflon is good if you are planning to have a fire in your house. Burning PVC emits toxic fumes.
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Old 13th December 2010, 08:24 PM   #5
dazed is offline dazed  Norway
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OK, so no point in getting it for better sound, then? Then I guess Belden 5T00UP will do just fine.

I've been told that PVC insulation might have negative effects (something about dielectric loss), but I guess that's also prety negligible.
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Old 14th December 2010, 04:24 PM   #6
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And another urban legend!
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Old 14th December 2010, 07:00 PM   #7
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Dielectric loss is only an issue where capacitance is an issue. Speaker cables have fairly low capacitance (relative to the relevant circuit impedances) so a lossy dielectric is irrelevant.
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Old 15th December 2010, 08:38 AM   #8
dazed is offline dazed  Norway
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Great. Cheaper cables for me! Thanks guys.
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Old 16th December 2010, 11:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
Teflon is good if you are planning to have a fire in your house. Burning PVC emits toxic fumes.
Better yet, when teflon is burned it produces phosgene gas. Much more toxic than PVC burning. Several workers lost their lives in the 60's in the US when teflon insulated wire became available for aerospace applications. Several deaths were associated with the space program. Workers were using thermal strippers, burning small amounts of insulation with each lead. For a few it reached toxic levels.

paul
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Old 30th December 2010, 09:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phaselag View Post
Better yet, when teflon is burned it produces phosgene gas. Much more toxic than PVC burning. Several workers lost their lives in the 60's in the US when teflon insulated wire became available for aerospace applications. Several deaths were associated with the space program. Workers were using thermal strippers, burning small amounts of insulation with each lead. For a few it reached toxic levels.

paul
Hmm, never heard that one. Phosgene Gas is one of the chemical agents used as chemical warfare in WWI (invented and first used by the French).

It is extremely deadly ... accounting for 85% of all casualties due to chemical attack, despite not being the most widely used agent by a long shot. It prevents absorption of oxygen and thus it's method is suffocation.

It is very commonly used in industrial processes and is required for the manufacture of polyurethanes and polycarbonates. If you wear glasses, there's probably polycarbonate at the end of your nose right now.

Exposure badges are readily available. It is also relatively easy to generate accidentally, in the home, in welding, in HVAC systems.

I am very surprised to hear that deaths occurred due to inadvertent exposure in a workplace, especially when it's distinctive odour is noticeable below lethal concentrations. It kills quickly; if exposed to a deadly amount you will drop dead; it's not something that takes days to work.

Do you have any news reports or citations you could give me regarding death due to Teflon heating?

Now, if we're talking PVC, the industrial dangers to those who work in the manufacture it are well documented. Class action lawsuits; EPA regulations, workers compensation and long-term disability claims, the works.

Eats the liver; causes cancers, attacks the respiratory system, eats bone tissue, attacks blood vessels, skin, etc.

Somewhat back on topic, the reason PVC is not ideal for loudspeaker cable has nothing to do with electrical properties but instead its enviromental properties (ie not in the "tree hugger" sense of the word) ... it allows oxygen migration through the PVC dielectric which oxidizes (corrodes) copper.

I am sure everyone has seen examples of aged speaker cable with green conductors visible through the clear PVC jacket.
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 30th December 2010 at 09:16 AM.
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