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Old 22nd March 2008, 02:00 PM   #1
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Default hookup wire options

I am just about ready to build my budget tube amp, but still did not buy the hookup wire. I am ready to spend around $100 for hookup wire if it is justified. All the components I have chosen so far are good but not the best of their class. Any suggestions for ...

- Solid or Stranded
- Pure Silver ?
- Gauge ?
- General hookup wire (shielded?)
- The signal cable (shielded pair?)
- Ground bus

Do you use the same cable everywhere in the circuit ?
Manual shielding ?
Is CAT 5 or 6 a good candidate ?

There are a lot of posts about interconnect cables but I did not find a good source of information for hookup wire.
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Old 22nd March 2008, 03:41 PM   #2
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Use shielded wire for inputs, RG174 mini coax works well. There was a recent thread here on the same subject you may want to check out. Stranded teflon wire should suit your needs. Its a bit stiffer than regular PVC jacket wire and won't melt from soldering. 22 or even 24 AWG will be enough for short runs in a chassis. My last few amps were built with wire from ebay. Something like 6 different colors in 50 foot lengths for a few bucks.
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Old 22nd March 2008, 08:24 PM   #3
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I find solid wire is easier to work with for a tidy result.
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Old 22nd March 2008, 09:13 PM   #4
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Solid wire is easier to work once, IMHO.

I have stranded patch cable from my PCB up to the valve headers. It's easier to twist together without fear of breaking due to overstress.

That said, I'd love non-breaking solid core for ease of soldering!!

L
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Old 22nd March 2008, 09:52 PM   #5
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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I use plenum rated Cat 5 (solid core 24g teflon dielectric, regular Cat 5 is PVC) for signal path. These guys are a good source to get it by the foot:

http://www.takefiveaudio.com/mall/sh...t=Cable%2FWire

$3 worth will keep you busy for awhile, as you get 8 strands per foot. The twisted pairs are handy too, as they reject noise fairly well. As it isn't an expensive design, I'd use something cheap for the power supply. You can find plenty of options at your local home improvement store. If you want to get fancy, Take Five has plenty of options. I can't imagine that the hook up wire quality will make much difference unless you are building something quite expensive and putting it in a very high end system. I'd put every part higher on the upgrade list than hook up wire. If you really want to spend bucks on wire, spend it on your IC's and speaker cables.

pj
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Old 22nd March 2008, 10:37 PM   #6
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Oh my, what about current ratings, voltage ratings and important also, heat ratings, all play a big part in tube amps.
I use standard #18 copper solid pvc, rated to 100+C and where required, 1000vdc rated which hs a slightly fatter insulation.
Teflon mini tubing is nice for cap and res. wire insulation.
Check out your tube parts supply and use what they recomend/sell.
Using any old wire from a stripped cat5 cable is asking for trouble inside a tube chassis.
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Old 22nd March 2008, 10:46 PM   #7
G is offline G  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by astouffer
Use shielded wire for inputs, RG174 mini coax works well. There was a recent thread here on the same subject you may want to check out. Stranded teflon wire should suit your needs. Its a bit stiffer than regular PVC jacket wire and won't melt from soldering. 22 or even 24 AWG will be enough for short runs in a chassis. My last few amps were built with wire from ebay. Something like 6 different colors in 50 foot lengths for a few bucks.

I must be lucky and live in a are that is relatively free of RF hash but I have never needed to shielded signal wire. I just use 22 guage solid core copper with teflon insulation. "Oxygen free", "long crystal" solid core copper of course.
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Old 22nd March 2008, 11:29 PM   #8
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally posted by itsmejto
Using any old wire from a stripped cat5 cable is asking for trouble inside a tube chassis.
is it?

What troubles do you have as an example?
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regards Andrew T.
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Old 22nd March 2008, 11:57 PM   #9
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IMHO if it's twisted...should be okay! Keeps the EMF in check
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Old 23rd March 2008, 12:03 AM   #10
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quote:
Originally posted by itsmejto
Using any old wire from a stripped cat5 cable is asking for trouble inside a tube chassis.
is it?

What troubles do you have as an example?

I would worry about voltage rating as the few references I just googled seem to say it's only 300 volts.
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