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Outdoor speakers wiring

 

New member
Username: Tpryor

Salisbury, NC US

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-05
I am wanting to install speakers around my pool. The wiring run would be 150+' and 75' would be under ground. What wire (gauge) do I need to run and what are my distance limits? Thank you for any assistance you may be able to provide.

As well, what speakers would you recommend to put in my landscape?

Thank you,
Tim Pryor
 

Silver Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 104
Registered: Apr-04
Those are really long runs, really long.

You are going to need thick wire, at least 12 guage if not 10 guage or so.

You can do this inexpensively or expensively. Since outdoor sound is not exactly hi-fidelity, I might suggest the cheap ways.

Probably the cheapest way I have seen people do this is to use 12 or 10 guage cable made for outdoor low voltage lighting. That wire is heavily insulated and made for lots of outdoor abuse. Depending on the connecters on your speakers, you might need either to cut some of the strands to get it into the connectors, or to splice it to a smaller guage. If you do splice it, use wire nuts of the proper guage and rubber outdoor electrical tape.


You can get rolls of stranded 10 guage in colors at most hardware stores (i.e., red and black). Run it in underground conduit (the plastic stuff for burial) to get it to the pool and then from there to the speakers.

There is also expensive outdoor speaker wire that you can buy, but expect to spend a considerable sum for it.

Good luck, enjoy the music at the pool.

 

Silver Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 105
Registered: Apr-04
ooops, forgot;

make sure you leave at least a foot extra around the speaker connections. Wire outside oxidizes much more frequently and you are going to need to occasionally to trim it and re connect it to the speaker with a fresh connection. If you do splice it, cover it with wire nuts/rubber tape and try to make it as waterproof as possible. This helps minimize the oxidization.
 

New member
Username: Tpryor

Salisbury, NC US

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-05
Thank you very much for the response. This is very helpful. I think wire is better than wireless, but wireless is much more easy to setup. Do you have an oppinion on wireless and if ok, do you suggest any particular speaker?
 

Silver Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 107
Registered: Apr-04
Wireless outside is nice with these caveats:

1. The speakers are usually 900mhz and thus the range is limited. Maybe 60 feet or so (think cordless phone range).

2. What are you going to use to power them. They generally use batteries, adapters, or power cords. Power cords around a pool generally not a good idea. Tiny adapters plugged in need weather protection. Batteries get expensive after a while.

3. Most of the outdoor wireless are 10 to 20 watts RMS. That is not a lot of power.



I am not a big fan of wireless at this point.
For my outside system, (which lives in the garage) I have an old Sherwood receiver (a nice receiver bought at a neighbour's garage sale) that is 100 watts per channel. I have a set of those cheesy (but not bad sounding for outdoor) "rock" speakers in my front patio, and in the back I have outdoor "Planter" speakers under for the deck (the top holds flowers, the bottom looks like a terra cotta planter but has a speaker in it).

The rocks can handle 100 watts, the planter's 85 watts and the sherwood can easily supply enough power to make listening pleasant or enough to seriously disturb the neighbours.
 

New member
Username: Tpryor

Salisbury, NC US

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jan-05
Thank you for your response. I think I wil go wired speakers.
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