[mythtv-users] New house - any advise?

David Brodbeck gull at gull.us
Wed Jan 17 01:34:09 UTC 2007

Chris Ribe wrote:
> Veering off topic here, but this sound like a really questionable
> idea.  CAT5 is cheaper than speaker wire because copper is expensive,
> and CAT5 doesn't contain much copper.   It just isn't designed for a
> high current application like driving speakers.

It depends on how long the run is.  CAT5 has a resistance of about 3
ohms per 100 feet -- which means 6 ohms for a pair.  If the run is only
50 feet or so, I think it'll work fine.  If it's more than that, the
loss of volume may get excessive.

Commercial PA systems routinely use CAT3 or CAT5, but they get around
the resistance problem by using transformers.  The line gets run at a
high voltage (usually 70 volts) and low current.  Step-down transformers
are used at each speaker.

I usually use 18-gauge zip cord for my speaker wiring.  It tucks neatly
between the carpet and the baseboard. ;)

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