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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having never done any kind of electrical wiring before, I have a few questions. I've watched a bunch of how-to videos explaining how to strip wire and put banana plugs on the ends, but my wire isn't like the type I keep seeing on the videos and it's confusing the out of me.

It's 16 gauge Rocketfish speaker cable wire (they threw it in at half-price with my Energy Magnolia speakers). So instead of 2 copper wires, each wrapper in a red or black jacket, and those both wrapped in a third jacket together, mine is just a pair of copper wires each wrapped in a very thick, clear plastic insulation, joined together but easily pulled apart. When I tried to use the stripper I bought to remove the insulation, I keep tearing off more than half the wires, even when using a bigger gauge hole/notch on the stripper tool (14).

My second issue is that when I tried to thread the wire through the Sewell banana plugs I bought, the insulation is too thick to go completely through; I hit an inner rim about 3/4 of the way through. My question is: if I want an airtight connection, should I try to squeeze the insulated part further into the banana plug, or would that damage the copper?

I don't have any experience or desire to solder the connections-I have a thing about poisonous fumes in my home. Yet everybody here talks about how important airtight connections are. If I have to I'd rather just use electrical tape to seal it off, but why bother if I can make use to the thick, rather gummy insulation the wire is already wrapper in?

I'd also appreciate any other tips for a complete newbie when it comes to anything electrical-I never even took shop class in high school.

Thanks~
 

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Have you tried using #12 stripper?
You simply need to remove the soft clear plastic from the wire. Sometimes you can scare arounf the outside and then pull the insulation off.
Once you get the wire stripped you open the banana plug as much as you can, twist the ends of the wires and the should go in OK.

Some pics may help if you still have issues.

Cheers,
Bill.
 

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Hey Gem,

There’s no way the 14-gauge stripping jaw would cut through a 16-guage wire. From your description it sounds like you’re using standard zip-cord style speaker cable and sticking the whole thing into the stripper. You have to separate the two halves before you insert one of them into the jaw of the stripper.




It sounds like you’re misunderstanding the air-tight thing as well. That merely refers to the point of connection between the wire and connection, and is accomplished automatically by whatever means the connector uses to secure the wire – crimp, screw-down, etc. As long as you end up with something that looks like this, you’ve done it right and you’re good to go. :T




Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, Wayne,
No, I'm not sticking both halves into the stripper together-sorry if I misrepresented my dilemma. It's just the the insulation around each wire just barely too thick to fit into the banana plugs I bought, so I'm faced with the choice of squeeze the last quarter inch inside the banana plug, or trim it off. From reading about wire stress points, I thought leaving the insulation on would provide better support.

So would squeezing the wire cause any problems-fire, bad connections, etc...?
 

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so the wire insulation is too big for the hole in the cover piece? if so you might try to ream it out with a bit bigger drill bit till it goes in. also on some of the zip cord style wire has a bit of a ridge from where the wires were together in the middle. get a new razor and trim the ridges off. has happened to me once when i was using some car audio speaker wire.
 
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