Speaker wire/bell wire?

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  #1  
Old 11-15-06, 03:55 PM
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Speaker wire/bell wire?

Is speaker wire the same thing as bell wire? I have a small radio/tape/CD player with two separate speakers. My favorite FM radio station is too weak, so I string a wire across the wall, around a closet, across another wall to a window. Right now I have an ugly mixture of black wire (TV antenna?) and what I've been told is clear bell wire. The black stands out like a sore thumb against the wallpaper. I want to make it all clear wire, which is almost invisible, but I don't have enough and I need to buy some more.

I am confused by all the options available on the internet.
Can I use speaker wire? What guage do I need? And what is polarized wire? Is there anyplace I can buy a small amount? (I think maybe 25-35 feet maximum.) Is there anything else I need to know?

In your answer, keep in mind that I only know enough about electricity to change a light bulb. Thanks!
 
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Old 11-15-06, 05:21 PM
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Lets see................ 2 ways we can do this.

You can buy some clear speaker wire, (14guage min)run it around the house, then move it each time the wind changes.

Or... Buy Good, loud, speakers for the computer (you have one right?)
And find the station and log on.
I have the same problem. I feel your pain.

#@keep in mind that I only know enough about electricity to change a light bulb.**

Keep asking, You'll keep learning.
 
  #3  
Old 11-16-06, 02:34 PM
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[QUOTe---"Is speaker wire the same thing as bell wire?"

" keep in mind that I only know enough about electricity to change a light bulb. Thanks![/QUOTE]"

"Bell wire" is a "solid conductor", and speaker wire is a "stranded" conductor.
 
  #4  
Old 11-17-06, 10:09 AM
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Are you using this wire for an antenna or a speaker extension?

For an antanna, just get one of those T shaped FM Diplole antennas, which are often made from twinlead.

For speaker wire on a small stereo system bell wire can work, but it is easier to use speaker wire.

Bell wire is solid copper, typically a twisted pair, and either 22 or 24 awg. Speaker wire is usually stranded 24 awg or heavier, and in a zip-cord form, sometimes clear, but you can get a couple colors. You can buy maybe 50 or 25 ft packages, larger rolls, or at some places, a custom length from a bulk roll.
 
  #5  
Old 11-25-06, 08:19 AM
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More on speaker wire for antennas

Thank you all for your suggestions, which have been very helpful.
I looked at t-shaped, Dipole antennas, but they all require a speaker jack, which my radio/CD/tape system doesn't have. (For mine, you insert the wires and push down some little clamps.)

I do have one more question. I thought that my husband had just run out of clear wire and attached some old TV antenna wire to get enough length. However, I just noticed that he did the same thing to the radio antenna in his office. It's also part clear and part TV antenna wire. Did he do this for a reason? Does that improve reception somehow?

Also, I forgot to mention that with the current clear and black TV antenna wire that I have in my room, it runs across the room, up and around the closet, across the room and to a window. However, the last three feet is free and can go any which way around the window or down to the floor, so I can always find a place where I can pick up my favorite FM station.
I just need to make it look more invisible.
 
  #6  
Old 11-25-06, 09:31 AM
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You simply need an antenna. Go to any big box store and get some clear speaker wire. They usually sell small coils. The wire is usually two side by side wires. just split them into two single wires. If you only have one spot to hook the antenna to the radio, just run the single wire. If it has two plug-in spots, then run another single wire from it - in the opposite direction from the first wire. Usually about six feet in each dirction should be good. You can run it longer if you wish. The length is critical if you were broadcasting the signal, but not for receiving. Be sure to remove the outer covering from the wire where it attaches to the radio.
 
  #7  
Old 11-26-06, 07:57 AM
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bitbybug, you are confusing antenna and speakers.
It is still not clear whether you are extending the speaker or antenna wires.

Antennas need to have specific lengths and configurations for the radio wavelength used, for best performance. For FM radio, those twinlead dipole antennas are manufactured to the required dimensions. The receiver would have coax, screw, or push type terminals. You can extend that with
more twinlead, not speaker or bell wire.

Twinlead is that flat cable with a wide gap between the conductors, and is used for VHF/FM/UHF antennas, or at least was before coax took over.
 
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Old 11-26-06, 08:08 AM
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"Thank you all for your suggestions, which have been very helpful.
I looked at t-shaped, Dipole antennas, but they all require a speaker jack, which my radio/CD/tape system doesn't have. "

that is probably a jack that is intended to connect to a coax connector on the back of a radio or TV. You could just cut the cap off, strip the wires, and insert them into your pressure connectors on the back of your radio.
 
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Old 11-26-06, 08:45 AM
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Or use an adaptor from coax to 300 0hm cable. Easier IMHO to cut the spade lugs off the 300 ohm side and strip the wires of the adptor.
 
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Old 11-26-06, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047
Or use an adaptor from coax to 300 0hm cable. Easier IMHO to cut the spade lugs off the 300 ohm side and strip the wires of the adptor.

Very good thinking. I think that the adaptor also has a resistor that will make the signal even better.
 
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