[kwlug-disc] Multi-zone question for the audio gurus

John Johnson jvj at golden.net
Wed Apr 13 14:34:25 EDT 2011

On 2011-04-13 13:59, Chris Irwin wrote:
> Is common ground for two RCA cables important? I assumed that would be 
> default via the equipment at either end.

This gets messy here. It is generally good practice to ground shielded 
cables at only one end. For multiple cables, the cables should be 
grounded at the same point or at the same piece of equipment. And the 
shield should not be part of the signal circuit.

In your application there should be a twisted pair for the signal path 
inside the shield. The problem, however, is that RCA jacks, plug and 
cables do not conform to this "recommendation". The RCA jack/plug combo 
was designed for interconnecting co-located equipment not equipment in 
different rooms.

The phone jack/plug does conform to the "recommendation". The phone 
jack/plug has two conductors, the "tip" and the "ring". (Recall John Van 
O's presentation not long ago.) As well as the tip and ring conductors 
there is the "sleeve" or "barrel" which used for the ground conductor.

Did someone say "frankenwiring'?


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