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Can speaker wires be used for power transmission? Answered

I am making my own bicycle light and I decided to use 18 gauge speaker wire.  Speaker wire works well because positive and negative are glued together in the insulation.  It makes for a cleaner wiring job.  I am using the RCA plugs as well.  The light runs at 4.2 volts and 1.5 amps.  Speaker wire is not designed for power transmission but I can use it for that purpose can't I?  Do RCA jacks have a significant amount of resistance?  

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steveastrouk (author)2012-03-02

You should be OK with that.
RCA jacks won't like getting wet on a bike though. You could do with something more waterproof.
Steve

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canucksgirl (author)steveastrouk2012-03-02

Heat shrink tubing over the connections might work.

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steveastrouk (author)canucksgirl2012-03-02

Its corrosion inside the connector, if he intends to make these things disconnectable that worries me - the front end, rather than the back. I've seen some horrible messes caused by damp RCAs.....

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Noblenutria (author)steveastrouk2012-03-02

I do want it to be disconnect-able. Would it be better to use DC plugs? I would have used DC plugs but the ones I had were too small for 18 gauge wire. If you wanted disconnect-able water proof or water resistant plugs what would you use?

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steveastrouk (author)Noblenutria2012-03-03

I'd tend to favour professional connectors, which you might not be able to justify. The ones I use at work are called Trident connectors
http://www.peigenesis.com/en/itt-cannon-connectors/186:itt-cannon-trident.html

They are available from several different suppliers.

Steve

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thegeeke (author)2012-03-02

Actually, speaker wires are designed to carry power. In order for a non-powered speaker to operate, it needs amplified signal (which is your signal plus power). So the bottom line is that the wires should be fine, but I would stay away from RCA jacks. If you must use RCA, heat-shrink it as canucksgirl says, but that will not solve all your problems.

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nurdee1 (author)2012-03-02

I think your wires will work fine.

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