Best bare copper cable for Phoenix connectors?

Primo109

Member
Hi all,

I'm trying to find a bare copper conductor equivalent of Belden 9451 for an amp install that uses Phoenix connectors. I know you're not supposed to use tinned copper in those, so I want to find something else, but I still want the quality and reliability of 9451 or an equivalent from Gepco, Canare, or the like. What would you recommend? Thanks in advance!
 

MNicolai

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Conductors tinned by the manufacturer are not a problem. All of the wire strands are still flexible and independent. It's when people try to tin the leads with solder before they dump them in the screw-down terminals that becomes a problem. That makes for a connection more likely to fail due to strain and as the tin/solder gets compressed by the screw-down terminal over time, it can allow the cable to work free over the terminals. The general difference here is that "tinned copper" when you find it on a cable cut sheet means that additional compounds are mixed in with the copper to resist corrosion. This happens to the raw metal before it is ever turned into conductors for wire. When people talk about "tinning the leads", that's where things get dangerous. That is someone adding a surface application of tin/solder to the ends of the wire that will get inserted into the terminal blocks.

Belden 9451 or West Penn 454 are my go-to's for installation cable. I have no preference between them. Some installers prefer one over the other because they get a better price on one or it's easier to strip the jacket or conductors (an important consideration when you have to do thousands of these and have to worry about repetitive stress injuries), but both are the most common installation cables you will find across the entire industry.

I would never use Canare for it tends to be a portable-grade cable, not an installation grade. The cable is designed more to be flexible which means it does not cable management in bundles as well as and is more likely to create problems at the terminal blocks if the cables have lots of play in them and are not rigid enough to stay firmly and squarely in place.
 

Primo109

Member
Conductors tinned by the manufacturer are not a problem. All of the wire strands are still flexible and independent. It's when people try to tin the leads with solder before they dump them in the screw-down terminals that becomes a problem. That makes for a connection more likely to fail due to strain and as the tin/solder gets compressed by the screw-down terminal over time, it can allow the cable to work free over the terminals. The general difference here is that "tinned copper" when you find it on a cable cut sheet means that additional compounds are mixed in with the copper to resist corrosion. This happens to the raw metal before it is ever turned into conductors for wire. When people talk about "tinning the leads", that's where things get dangerous. That is someone adding a surface application of tin/solder to the ends of the wire that will get inserted into the terminal blocks.

Belden 9451 or West Penn 454 are my go-to's for installation cable. I have no preference between them. Some installers prefer one over the other because they get a better price on one or it's easier to strip the jacket or conductors (an important consideration when you have to do thousands of these and have to worry about repetitive stress injuries), but both are the most common installation cables you will find across the entire industry.

I would never use Canare for it tends to be a portable-grade cable, not an installation grade. The cable is designed more to be flexible which means it does not cable management in bundles as well as and is more likely to create problems at the terminal blocks if the cables have lots of play in them and are not rigid enough to stay firmly and squarely in place.
Ah, okay, that makes a lot of sense! I was wondering why I was having such a hard time finding something. I will go with the 9451, I found a better price on it. Thank you so much, this is super helpful!
 

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