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Old September 20, 2010, 04:56 AM
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Default 16 awg speaker wire for PSU recabling

Hi,

I have a crazy idea of re-cabling the psu with this:
16-gauge stranded speaker wire - 15m (clear) | Speaker Wire | Ratings & Reviews | TheSource.ca

I think they will look nice for my build (saves some money on sleeving too). Also, panning to braid them together.

IMHO, it should work but what do you guys think?

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Old September 20, 2010, 06:10 AM
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Can you take pictures of the mess your PSU will make when the outside sheathing melts when you do this? Cause that would be awesome.
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Old September 20, 2010, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Rison View Post
Can you take pictures of the mess your PSU will make when the outside sheathing melts when you do this? Cause that would be awesome.
Forgive my ignorance but can you tell me why the plastic sheathing will melt?
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Old September 20, 2010, 10:23 AM
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Actually lowering the gauge size would mean the cables themselves are thicker, as my knowledge standard power supply cables are 18 awg.

Going from 18 awg to 16 awg would decrease the overall resistance in the line as well as increase its maximum current tolerance. I'd go more into details on why this would work however i don't have the time as i'm off to a lab shortly.
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Old September 20, 2010, 10:57 AM
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basically you want as thick a wire as possible, possibly overdoing it just in case. practical? perhaps not :)
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Old September 20, 2010, 11:04 AM
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You definitely don't want to use speaker wire. It is not meant for this application. Also crimping pins on to 16 gauge wire isn't all that easy. The pins and crimpers are not meant for wire that large. And I would know as I currently redoing a lot of the cables of one of my power supplies in 16 gauge wire.

Also unless you have a completely modular power supply I don't think you realize how much work recabling a power supply is.

Personally I think having speaker wire all over the place inside a power supply would be about as ugly as computers could possibly get.
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Old September 20, 2010, 11:09 AM
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You can do it, but like Lowfat said, the weaknesses are going to be in the connections, both to the PSU and to the plug pins. If you're not certain you can do that properly, best to stay away. Otherwise you run the risk of getting a hotspot and experiencing the joy and wonder of melting plug connectors. But electrically, 16G wire is more than enough for the current involved.
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Old September 20, 2010, 12:36 PM
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Thx for the replies. What I was wondering was if there are any difference between electrical and speaker wire.From your responses, they seem to be alike besides from the fact that they are marketed differently.A little googling brings me to the same conclusion. Lowfat, I know how hard recabling a psu is since I have done it before. I am also aware of how a PITA crimping the ends can be even for 18awg wires (sometimes the crimps dont sink in and you have to redo them). I am not leaving the cables all over in my case but I am going to braid them like how Hannes did in his Echo. It might not work out since the cables are pretty thin and the effect might be minimal but I am pretty sure no one has done this before which makes it unique.
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Old September 22, 2010, 06:38 AM
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16 AWG speaker wire is meant for low-current applications (you know.. speakers). Its sheathing isn't designed for high-heat, high amperage enviroments such as a PSU housing.
Thin wire = high resistance = higher heat = catastrophic failure (and lots of lol) especially if you try to braid it. The reason power supply cables get away with it, is they use uh.. I forget the word, but the outside sheathing is designed for the amperage involved.
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Old September 22, 2010, 01:28 PM
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i don't expect a dramatic failure of the speaker wire. Though I know the clear plastic insulation for that stuff does not age well, at all! If thats the look you are going for, it will work in the short term, but tint and brown in the long term.
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