ESL wiring?

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
I've just started on my long journey towards ESL bliss. Yesterday I orderd my first batch of electronics.
However there are still blank spots I need to fill.

I expect I'll have some 3kV polarizing voltage (1/16 ds) and 1:68 transformers for the audio signal.

What kind of wiring is safe?
What cables/wires should I use from the panel to the psu/trannies?

I was looking at lab cables but the ones I found was rated 1.2kV at most?

The electronics will have a free standing box of it's own so I'll be needing connectors/jacks as well in addition to the cables.

What should I use?
What's safe

I was thinking 4mm banana plugs but they all seem to have very low voltage ratings?

You can use surplus high voltage wire which is often offered for cheap. Another possibility is silicone coated test lead which can be bought at any electronics parts store. If the box is not near the speaker it is a good idea to put the three wires in a protective sheat, such as woven nylon tubing. This is to protect the cables insulation against physical damage.

Do not use spark plug wire from cars, it has too much resistance.

For connectors I can recommend three separate insulated 4mm banana plugs and sockets. There are types of banana plug which make it impossible to touch the pin when it is unplugged, try to get those.

The voltage rating of banana plugs is not a problem as long as you don't mount them on a conductive panel. Mounted on wood, there is no problem.

Better to put the current limiting resistor of the polarizing voltage inside the electronics box, right next to the supply itself. This reduces the energy to non-lethal levels when accidentally touching the membrane output.

Note, if you ensure that the secondary circuit is floating then in theory you would be protected from shock if you touch ONE stator output even with music playing. Only when touching BOTH stator outputs you would "feel the music."

It might be a good idea to build the polarizing voltage around a store-bought 12V adapter ("wall-wart"). This would automatically make your speakers compliant to all the rules concerning mains voltage...

So, standard test leads are good?
And no problem with regular bananaplug/jacks?

How important is the silicone cable bit? Looking in the Farnell catalogue most test leads seem to have PVC insulation?

The leads will be short, possibly 0.25-0.50m.
The transformer for the polarizing voltage will be "grounded" to the centertap of the step-up trafo.
I'm watching this thread with interest because I may want to upgrade my wiring. As I recall, I just used standard (can't recall if it was 16 or 18 gauge) insulated wire from Rat Shack for the trannies to stator wiring and for the bias supply to diaphragm and so far I've had no problems with it. Maybe I'm just lucky so far.
johnmarkp> Over seas ordering is a little pricy when ordering small quantities but thanks anyway. :)

SM7UYJ> Good to know. :)

CharlieM> Great to have you on board. Your webpage is a great source of information and I'm using it as inspiration for my build.

Thanks Markus,
The blog page is a labor of love and it's rewarding to hear that. But when I see the other great ESL projects and posts on this forum, I realize just how little I know about electrostats. Even so, I managed, with lots of help from the guys here, to build a simple inexpensive ESL that sounds great. My beam splitter bass cabinet was a bitch (I don't recommend it) but the stat panel and electronics are about as simple as it gets. Thanks again!
I've been using normal low voltage rated PVC for the *internal* wiring of my speakers, too, without any problems. But I wouldn't recommend it for external wiring between the speakers and an outboard electronics box.

BTW, silicone is not mandatory but I mentioned it since test leads are often made of that stuff.

One other possible source that comes to mind: go to a company that makes custom neon signs and ask them for some surplus HV cable...

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.