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70-Volt Distributed System


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#1 guzi

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 03:23 PM

Hello!
I've been given the task of installing a 70-volt distributed speaker system in a non-profit museum-type atmosphere and I have 2 questions:

1) I've seen listed elsewhere that 18- or 16-gauge, two conductor, stranded jacketed wire is best for such an application. Is this correct? I assume this refers to speaker wire, rather than regular electrical wire, correct?

2) Can the 18- or 16-gauge wire listed above run alongside (parallel to) 110-volt electrical wire? I'm worried that a hum or buzz may result from the close proximity of the two.

Thanks!

#2 DGlass

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 12:49 PM

My apologies for the delay in responding as I have been out of the office overseas for two weeks.

1) I've seen listed elsewhere that 18- or 16-gauge, two conductor, stranded jacketed wire is best for such an application. Is this correct? I assume this refers to speaker wire, rather than regular electrical wire, correct?


It would be best to use speaker wire as it has easily determined colors for polarity as well as identifying it as an audio cable rather than electrical cable.
Electrical wire would work just stay away from zip cord (lamp cord) in most cases it's hard to tell which wire is which as well as don't use solid core wire.
Here is the catch. If the wire is running through an air Plenum, like the area above most drop ceilings the wire will need to be Plenum rated. Also some building inspector consider 70 volt speaker systems, in commercial buildings, to be covered in the general electrical code rather than the communication section of the code and will require conduit or armored flex cable for the speaker wire runs. Check with your local Codes Inforcement Officer or Underwriter on this.

2) Can the 18- or 16-gauge wire listed above run alongside (parallel to) 110-volt electrical wire? I'm worried that a hum or buzz may result from the close proximity of the two.

It is never a good idea to run lower voltage wires along with higher voltage wires not only for the possible crosstalk issues but the electrical hazard it represents.(especially if you are using electrical wire for the speaker cable) sad.gif