DIY Cable safety

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by doggodelafroggo, Aug 26, 2017.

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  1. doggodelafroggo

    doggodelafroggo
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    Hi all,
    I am making some DIY speaker wire. Nothing too fancy, just 4 16 guage wires braided per channel into UGREEN banana plugs.
    My question is as to whether I should be concerned about damage to my amp or speakers.
    I am essentially following this tutorial- Low-Inductance DIY Braided Hi-Fi Speaker Cables
    Do you think I should get a multimeter to test continuity and resistance or in reality do you think there will be no issue and I needn't bother? Is capacitance something that could be an issue?
    I think its likely the cables will be fine but would be a real shame to bust a high quality amp...
    Best wishes,
     
  2. larkone

    larkone
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  3. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
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    The finished cable will either work or it won't, there's no middle ground. All seems fairly pointless to me but each to their own & I'm not going to kick off another cable "debate". :D

    In a previous life I had to make up twisted pairs so knocked up a device to save the fingers. Just a piece of wood around 3" long with a nut & bolt through the middle & two holes either end. The bolt went in an electric screwdriver & a cable tied through each hole. Then you just need someone to keep tension on the other end of the cable or tie it off to something. This gives a nice tight twist.

    You ideally need variable speed on the driver or it can get very messy very quickly!
     
  4. doggodelafroggo

    doggodelafroggo
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    Thanks guys, appreciate the help.
    I think i'll skip out the multimeter as its pretty much a given that the resistance will be low, and so long as there are no blaring mistakes I cant see where there could be a short circuit.
    As to whether its worth it, I'm mainly doing it because I enjoy making things like this. Plus I'll probably put a cable or 2 on ebay and maybe make back the money I spent on supplies.
    Crocodile- That does seem like a good technique. Maybe If I ever start selling lots of speaker cable I'll give that a go haha!
     
  5. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    The sort of inductance and capacitance values found in pretty much all speaker cables make no difference in the audio frequency bandwidth with the low impedance and relatively high voltage levels found in speakers.

    A basic multimeter won't be able to measure the resistance accurately - you would need a special low ohms meter for that.

    Feel free to make them up, you won't risk damaging anything.
     
  6. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Give us a link to the Wire and to the Banana Plugs you will be using.

    I assume you are going to model you cable after the "Low-Inductance DIY Braided ... Cables" you linked to.

    Individual wire are twisted together into pairs. Then Two of those twisted pair are again twisted into a bundle of 4. That gives one cable. It is easiest to twist the wires using an electric Drill, you don't want to twist them too tight, but you want them tight enough that they will hold their twist.

    Though I think the person in the link bundled 4-Black and 4-Gray into one cable. That's probably overkill, but personal choice.

    Keep in mind that as you twist the wires they are going to get shorter, so make sure you cut the wire longer than you need. Better to have a bit too much than too little.

    Assuming you bought color coded wire, in the linked to example - Black and Gray - there should be no problems. Even one 16ga wire (1.31mm²) would be enough, but two twisted together is the equivalent of a single 13ga wire (2.63mm²). That assumes one cable has 2-Black and 2-Gray wires. If you go with 4-Black and 4-Gray, then the total is 5.24mm², which is exceptionally large wire, the equivalent of about 10ga wire. Which is massive overkill unless you happen to have a gang of individual 1000w/ch amps.

    The potential problems are -

    - You twist the wires so tight you start to break internal wire strands. The makes the wire functionally smaller, and potentially not working at all because the wire is completely broken.

    - The collection of wires becomes so big that you can't get it into the banana plugs.

    - Assuming you use reasonable and common precautions, there is really no danger to the amps. If you are disconnecting the wires will the amp is turned on, the banana plugs could short together, but you really shouldn't be doing that.



    You should test the continuity to make sure you have consistently followed the color coded wire. And to make sure the wire does not have an internal short (not likely, but conceivable).

    In the linked to example of DIY wire, he has made GRAY the RED/Positive wire, and Black the Black/Negative wire. Make a choice for the colors and stick with it consistently. Though logically Black Wire to the Black Banana Plugs makes sense.

    Capacitance is not a problem, I calculated the Capacitive effect on a wide range of wires, and Capacitive Reactance (resistance) never effected the audio range.

    However, Inductance could, but for inductance to matter, the overall wire has to be pretty long, and at those long, roughly 50ft, lengths, it simply starts trimming away at the high frequencies. 50ft of 2.5mm² wire has about 10% loss at 12.5khz and about 3% loss at 3.5khz. That sounds like a lot but converted to dB, even 10% loss is not that much, barely noticeable. But at that length with that wire, you are starting to trim away at high frequencies and it is going to get worse the longer the cable gets.

    And this cable, because of the many twisted wires, is low inductance, so at common reasonable lengths, it is not really going to be of any concern.

    The Cable is Higher Capacitance, but as I said, in all my calculations, never has Capacitance reach down into the audio range.

    There is no danger to the sound or the amp, assuming you have observed the very simply common sense precautions in building the cable.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  7. doggodelafroggo

    doggodelafroggo
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    Thanks Blue wizard, Helpful as always!
    This is the wire I'm using. https://www.amazon.co.uk/AmazonBasi...3843239&sr=8-1&keywords=16+gauge+speaker+wire
    One wire has a black stripe so polarity won't be an issue.
    My banana plugs are these- https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01KSUANUS/ref=s9_dcacsd_dcoop_bw_c_x_3_w
    Which should be OK for 10 guage. But as they are yet to arrive, I can't be certain. Although again this won't be an issue as i'll use 3 strands per channel instead if they don't fit.
    Here is what I have done so far, Which is 8 16 guage wires braided. I'll proceed further once the banana plugs arrive.
    The braiding seems natural for this cable and I can't see that it could have damaged the wire. IMG_1972.JPG IMG_1971.JPG
     
  8. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Braiding 4 individual wires, especially since they are the same color, does open the door for potential error. The wire you bought should be marked. That is, you should be able to tell one wire from the other. You must make ABSOLUTELY sure that all the marked wires are bundled into one lead, and all the non-marked wires are bundled into the other lead. If you have a marked and non-marked wire bundled together, then you have probably created a short circuit. Depending on whether the mistake only occurs on one end or both ends.

    Keep us posted on your progress.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  9. doggodelafroggo

    doggodelafroggo
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    Hey Bluewizard, So here's my progress. I've split the braiding so that the black line marked wires are seperate as shown by the photo so shorting shouldn't be an issue.
    I am reasonably pleased with progress, the banana plugs were more than happy to accept the four strands twirled together at the end.
    However, the joining of the banana plug to wire isn't exactly beautiful so I think I'll try to hollow some wood to place just behind the banana plugs to give them a sort of wooden grip- Might not work, but i'll give it a go and hope for the best.
    Sure thing, the braided sleeve should arrive tomorow and I'll keep you guys updated :)
    IMG_1975.JPG IMG_1976.JPG IMG_1977.JPG
     
  10. doggodelafroggo

    doggodelafroggo
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    UPDATE- I drilled a hole in some kindling and did a hella lot of planing to add a sort of wooden grip :) I think it looks better now. The fitting is very snug, but the wire should be insulated by the tape albeit may be a little squished. Still, can't imagine that could be an issue due to how little power actually goes through the wire compared to how thick the wire is (I hope at least) IMG_1979.JPG IMG_1980.JPG
     

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