convert an RCA jack to copper wire


Old 04-15-09, 08:41 AM
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convert an RCA jack to copper wire

I need to come out of my satellite receiver with an RCA audio jack and connect it to a wall fitting that accepts copper wire. I have an RCA red, white yellow cable that I don't need. Can I just cut one end off this cable and not use the yellow wire? Does the RCA jack use any shielding wire that is in the cable? Is there as better alternative? I have plenty of speaker wire. Can I purchase some type of adapter to connect the speaker wire to the RCA female fitting on the back of the satellite?
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Old 04-15-09, 12:05 PM
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Each of the three colors carries a signal down the center pin and the outer shell is attached to the shielding on each end. One color carries video while the other two carry right and left channel audio. Speaker wire would work, but poorly, for the audio channels but would be really bad for trying to carry video.

Check out a RF modulator which would then send both audio and video down line on RG 59 coax.

Being frugal is not the way to go for this project.
Old 04-15-09, 01:18 PM
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Thanks for your comments. I am trying to send the left and right audio signals down cat5 cable that has already been run through the walls into the lower level of the house. I am not using the video at all. This is to distribute the music channels off the satellite to my central music system. The cat5 cable terminates in a wall jack that is the kind where you loosen a red or black nut (one for left and one for the right audio signal) and insert copper wire through a hole and then tighten the nut back down. The problem I have is finding a way to use RCA jacks on one end of a cable to fit into the satellite receiver and just copper wire on the other end to fit the wall jacks. If I cut off the RCA male fittings from one end of a standard three wire RCA male to male cable, do I just use the center wire in the wall jack? Do I need to use the shielding copper in any way if I cut off the ends?
Old 04-15-09, 02:17 PM
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You normally need two wires for each speaker channel, although sometimes the shield is common to both chanels. This means that using Cat. 5 cable you would need to use two of the four pairs, one pair for each speaker channel. This would require four of the binding posts you have described, a black and red for one channel and a black and red for the other channel. You would connect the center of the coaxial cable to one color and the shield to the other color binding post for each channel.

Yes, you could cut off the end of your two-channel audio and video cable and just use the two audio channels. Understand that Cat. 5 cable is usually 26 gauge and NOT meant for low-level audio transmission. You will likely have poor fidelity on your remote speakers.
Old 04-15-09, 05:18 PM
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I agree with Furd. Using Cat5 cable for speakers is not the smartest thing to do. Why not get the appropriate speaker wire?
Old 04-15-09, 06:55 PM
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I have done the same, and it worked well.

What I did was take an ethernet cable cut it in two and put RCA plugs on the ends. I minded the pairs, and use the white wire in the pair as signal, colored as ground.

You could splice the end of an RCA audio cable to it, but should solder it.
Old 04-16-09, 05:11 AM
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The RCA audio outs from a satellite receiver are not speaker lines -- they are line-level audio signals.

Cat 5 has 4 twisted pairs of wires -- the same configuration that telephone systems use to send line-level audio signals thousands of feet.

However, the RCA outputs are unbalanced, while telephone signals are balanced. Balanced signals over twisted pairs use a method called Common Mode Rejection to reduce noise on the lines. Unbalanced signals cannot do this.

To do this properly you need to convert the unbalanced RCAs to balanced for the Cat5, then do the opposite at the other end. The device is called a balun, and you'll need one for each end. Here's a sample.

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