A few cable questions...

Les E

Active Member
Hope you guys can help with these...

I am wondering if a Mains block would be a better way to go with an install instead of having 4 or 6 wall mounted sockets which are not RFI screened?

Also if I installed an IEC plug to a mains isolation switch, is there a quality screened mains cable I could run from plug to switch in the ceiling and walls?

And finally, I am looking for some quality banana plugs and I can can only find very cheap versions (this isn't a complaint...it just seems too cheap considering how much other cabling etc. costs). So is there any quality plugs I should look out for?

;)
 

Peridot

Well-known Member
Les E said:
Hope you guys can help with these...

I am wondering if a Mains block would be a better way to go with an install instead of having 4 or 6 wall mounted sockets which are not RFI screened?

Also if I installed an IEC plug to a mains isolation switch, is there a quality screened mains cable I could run from plug to switch in the ceiling and walls?

And finally, I am looking for some quality banana plugs and I can can only find very cheap versions (this isn't a complaint...it just seems too cheap considering how much other cabling etc. costs). So is there any quality plugs I should look out for?

;)

Les,

Good quality socket outlets are better than any of the commonly available mains blocks.

I haven't grasped what you're trying to do with the IEC plug, but in general you should worry about screening with signal cables not mains cables.

The cheap banana plugs will perform just as well as more expensive ones provided you have a good connection to the cable. You may be able to terminate the cable directly to the equipment terminal posts and avoid the need for the plugs at all? There can be no better way to improve a connection than to eliminate it!

__________________
Dermot
 

Knightshade

Active Member
Will second Peridot. A cheap well terminated cable will work better than an expensive badly terminated one.
The only disadvantage with hard wiring cables is that it's permanent especially if you do it properly and solder the connections. If you move your kit around then you'll loose that ability.
As for the mains? There are plenty of power cleaners and expensive cables on the market. I personally find a Computer type UPS with standard 'Buddy Leads' to the equipment to work very well. Cheaper than the Hi Fi equal and every bit as good.
If your re wiring are you putting in a new ring main?
 

Les E

Active Member
I was looking at some of the mains blocks you buy especially for cleaning up RFI screened rather the cheapo mains sockets you can buy from B&Q. However if you think staright wired into the walls would work more to my advantage then maybe that's the way to go...I know alot of other forum members on their HC installs have 4 or 6 sockets wall mounted.

The only thing that was concering me was that if I do it this way, and I have all my video cabling hard wired into the walls, it's not going to be to be too far from the mains sockets (see diagram). Will this cause a problem?

As for my IEC socket, that will be dropped thru the ceiling to a PJ which is hard wired to a switch on the wall to turn the power on. My video cables will be coming from the front of the room and the power cable at the back so as they meet at the ceiling outlet I want little or next to no interference on the video inputs (hope that makes sense!).
 

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Peridot

Well-known Member
Les,

Looking at your proposed layout, you won't have any problems. I'd put at least six sockets in - you can never have too many.

If you wanted an RFI filter you could always use one of the plug-in ones but you don't need it - the power supply units in your equipment will take care of everything :)

_____________________
Dermot
 
B

bobbypunk

Guest
With banana plugs try and get some crimped onto the cable or if you're up for the cost QED Airloc plugs (£5 each) give a very clean termination.
 

Les E

Active Member
Can I get QED airloc plugs to crimp myself? Most places I have seen do an in-house service with the speaker cable...so I would need to buy the cable at the same time!

Unfortunately, I already have my cable (QED Silver Anniversary) and planning to add plugs after the install...any suggestions?
 
S

simwilk

Guest
regarding the banana plugs I noticed as well plenty of cheap looking plugs however I have bough 20 red and black mixed gold plated plugs from CPC av00066 (red)_and av00065 black 67p +vat . They look great and will take a large diameter cable with a screw clamp termination,then apply solder to finnish off and heat shrink. I am still building my AV system and have not had the chance to hear it all yet but perhaps another member may have used this plug before and can pass judgment


Happy wiring Simon
 
D

dmurfet

Guest
Peridot said:
Les,

The cheap banana plugs will perform just as well as more expensive ones provided you have a good connection to the cable. You may be able to terminate the cable directly to the equipment terminal posts and avoid the need for the plugs at all? There can be no better way to improve a connection than to eliminate it!

__________________
Dermot

Given this, why do people not prefer bare wire srewed in with the posts on the back of equipment? Does it not get a good enough contact?
 

Knightshade

Active Member
Copper oxidises when exposed to oxygen thus over a period of time the connection will become less and less conductive. Though why a couple of screws in a plug will stop this (according to some retailers!) is beyond me.......
There is also the convenience of banana plugs or spades, if you move your equipment round a lot.
 
D

dmurfet

Guest
Knightshade said:
Copper oxidises when exposed to oxygen thus over a period of time the connection will become less and less conductive. Though why a couple of screws in a plug will stop this (according to some retailers!) is beyond me.......
There is also the convenience of banana plugs or spades, if you move your equipment round a lot.

Any recommendation of where to get the self assembly banana plugs? I see Richer Sounds sell them, but surely we can do better?
 

Knightshade

Active Member
I have heard people say good things about QED Airloc. I know a special tool is required for this so it may be pricey and the plugs aren't cheap.
You can't really beat a soldering iron and some decent solder.
I find these are pretty good: http://www.homegrownaudio.com/diy_banana.html
A reasonable price and quick delivery.
I think you can get locking plugs from the likes of Furatech but at a price. I know there are others but i'm afraid I don't know the sites.
 

Peridot

Well-known Member
simwilk said:
regarding the banana plugs I noticed as well plenty of cheap looking plugs however I have bough 20 red and black mixed gold plated plugs from CPC av00066 (red)_and av00065 black 67p +vat . They look great and will take a large diameter cable with a screw clamp termination,then apply solder to finnish off and heat shrink. I am still building my AV system and have not had the chance to hear it all yet but perhaps another member may have used this plug before and can pass judgment

simwilk,

I've used those plugs exactly as you've described and have had no problems. The screw is pretty weak and the head tends to break as you tighten it up. However as you're going to fill it with solder that's not an issue.

_________________
Dermot
 

Peridot

Well-known Member
dmurfet said:
Given this, why do people not prefer bare wire srewed in with the posts on the back of equipment? Does it not get a good enough contact?

You really need to pass the cable through the hole in the binding post and screw the cap down onto it. That way the sharp edges of the metal post bite into the conductor, cutting through any oxide layer and giving a good contact. With larger diameter conductors, or the multiple conductors of CAT5 cable this can be difficult to do and plugs may be an easier option.

Wrapping the cable around the post and screwing the cap down gives an unreliable connection and is a recipe for a short-circuit disaster.

________________
Dermot
 

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