On Apr 18, 2:50 pm, email@example.com (Dave Martindale) wrote:
I haven't checked yet, but I was told it was common in bathroom wiring
at the time. I'm picturing that it would have been used e.g. to wire
those crappy bathroom light fixtures that have an AC plug on the side.
Nifty thread, lots of good info about al oxide, etc.
OK -- some 15 or more years ago I set up a hi-fi system:
the receiver/amp/fm-am were, as usual, in one box,
and I connected it (via cables) to a tape deck
and (later) to cd-player (my terminology!).
When I did this the cable ends were "male" aluminum,
and on the various boxes the "female" sockets(?)
were also aluminum (seemed to me. Maybe it just
*looked* like aluminum?)
Anyway, the other day it was sounding a bit "scratchy",
and it turned out to be cable-connection. After I
got my pocket-knife and lightly scraped the male plug,
it worked fine again.
Someone observing this told me that times had changed,
and that these days pretty much no one used aluminum;
instead, they used gold-plated plugs and sockets, etc.
That I throw away all my (stereo) cables and replace them
all with these gold ones.
So here I am considering this, wondering how much these
new gold-plated things will cost, etc --
and lo and behold, I come across this thread.
QUESTION: once you had scraped clean an al plug,
then would you paint on one of the several anti-oxidation
products you were talking about?
Or maybe that makes no sense at all!
Sounds like shielded cable connected by RCA plugs?
I doubt aluminum was ever used. I would guess more likely tinned or
nickel plated surface. If I was doing it, I would probably use a *very*
light coat of Lubriplate (white lithium grease) or Vaseline. Or pull the
connectors out and reinsert every 5 years to mechanically wear the surface.
IMHO the major effectiveness of gold plated audio stuff is separating
pidgeons from their money.
Better answers might be obtained from sci.electronics.repair. They
probably lack the 'audiophiles' that give bizarre answers. Or
[For an amusing pseudo-audiophile post on alt.engineering.electrical see
message 4 at:
The simplest thing is just to install a GFCI breaker rated Al/Cu. That
will protect the whole circuit. Don't forget to coat the wire with
antioxidant before inserting it into the breaker. It would be a good
idea to redo every device on aluminum wire with modern rated devices.
There was nothing wrong with aluminum wire, it just has different
physical properties than copper, and the old contacts went bad.
Definitely remove all the old stab-in connectors, which were the worst
offenders. Even large gauge wire like service entrance should be re-
torqued every few years. Use a torque wrench and torque the lugs to
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