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Thread: Bgw amp plus eq for free!

  1. #241
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Sea,

    I understand you've navigated the Pacific ocean a lot with the Navy, i haven't. So this is like your backyard, and i'm confident you know the name of each girl and of each club between Portland and Sydney, lol. The uniform attracts ladies as you already know... Hence the song "In the Navy" i guess.

    Its said to take 2 wks or so to cross the Atlantic by ship from eastern Canada to Europe.

    Therefore, I would assume it might take a month from Australia to Canada's west coast Vancouver? What do you think, am i right or wrong?

    Unless that ship goes straight to the Panama Canal to stop at... PUERTO RICO!!! LOL, after on to eastern Canada, in which case the journey might take an extra month.

    The hazards of free shipping...

  2. #242
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Sea,

    I understand you've navigated the Pacific ocean a lot with the Navy, i haven't. So this is like your backyard, and i'm confident you know the name of each girl and of each club between Portland and Sydney, lol. The uniform attracts ladies as you already know... Hence the song "In the Navy" i guess.

    Its said to take 2 wks or so to cross the Atlantic by ship from eastern Canada to Europe.

    Therefore, I would assume it might take a month from Australia to Canada's west coast Vancouver? What do you think, am i right or wrong?

    Unless that ship goes straight to the Panama Canal to stop at... PUERTO RICO!!! LOL, after on to eastern Canada, in which case the journey might take an extra month.

    The hazards of free shipping...
    never made it to Oz .... tho have shipped a lot to there. have a good friend in Sydney, who I partially converted to a JBL fan (L250's & L166's) . AFAIR , sea shipping is abt 3 weeks, but their customs is very strict and items can hang up there for another 2-3 wks.

    I'm often invited to his places in Sydney & Lipari , we had planned a long trip to VN then down under, but SWMBO's health has been iffy the last couple of years. Recently made a new friend in Nha Trang and the thought of someone to visit there (besides family) has perked her up a bit.
    we never fail to fail, it is the easiest thing to do

  3. #243
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. In my case the parcel has already been cleared by AU outbound customs for air travel which was later cancelled. Hopefully they won't repeat customs clearance procedures again to get aboard the ship.

    So when the book does leave AU i can expect about 3 wks to Canada, unless its a "milk run" type of ship stopping at places on the way to unload stuff. That remains possible since this could be a cargo ship, considering there aren't many cruise ships left on the oceans these days with the pandemic, likewise with passenger planes in the sky.

    Well, if SWMBO is being perked up by the prospect of visiting a new friend, that's nice, then you have to find a plane, or even a ship, hopefully not cargo one not really romantic, to get to VN/AU. Key word: Obeying...

  4. #244
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    SOME PRACTICAL ELECTRICAL STUFF

    Spent a lot of time recently doing electrical work in/out the house. Haven't had time to spinn some records nor turning on an amp in over a month. I've been wanting to beef up some electrical circuits for a while and making space for others, then "Stay Home" finally provided a good opportunity. Though not over yet...

    "Juice" is an often forgotten prerequisite for good audio. Knowledge of electrical circuits/cables/practices means, in my view, being better equipped to make decisions related to electricity powering audio gear, as well as in dealing with licenced electricians.

    Been doing electrical work at home for decades. Learned it early 90's (and before that) from helping electricians coming at home, getting the tricks and basically paying to learn how its done. Also have some "How to" books from a while back (see pic).

    However, one of the most useful, nice overview with many specifics, remains Engineer Brian Roth's PRACTICAL ELECTRICAL, Parts 1, 2 & 3, Modern Recording & Music magazine, March, April & June, 1981. Have the original paper version of it in a binder since that year, from being a subscriber, with other electrical stuff (pics shown for identification purpose only). Great background info, where more advanced fellows will also find interesting data: e.g. large AC cables capability. Still quite relevant for the most part for North American electrical systems. If time allows the reading of a single doc only (12 pages total, not a book), this may be it, PDF version: worldradiohistory.com ; on left side "Find a specific title" click letter M for Modern Recording; on left side list click Modern Recording; for year 1981 click on check mark for each relevant month, one at the time (March, April and June); table of content for pages. Don't know if copyrighted.

    Before doing my own things, I turned away a few electricians with the info from Brian Roth. Over the years i've seen many wrongs done by licenced electricians, such as:

    1- 25 Amp breaker for a 12 AWG wire! (should be 20 Amp)

    2- Alu wiring used to power a whirlpool outside, water & power! Use of alu wire mostly forbidden (very few exception(s); sister's house has some alu cables i've seen (more later on why Alu wire is practically banned, one explanation not mentioned by Brian Roth though he talks about Alu wires on first page of Part 2);

    3- General absence of a proper color piece of electrical tape near the connections to indicate when a wire's normal purpose was changed, usually allowed except for GND, providing its identified, hence the piece of tape (e.g. red wire normally hot, but used as a neutral (white), or a white wire normally neutral, but used as a hot one (black). "The next guy will figure it out" is their answer!

    4- Inverted hot/neutral wires on a GFIC safety device!

    5- No junction boxes used to connect wires in an attic, only twist wire connectors!

    6- 2/0 main cable used in a conduit allegedly providing a 200 amp Service Entrance...

    Never had any problem with my electrical work, do it very carefully & take my time, more so since working in a live 200 amps/120-240 Volt breaker box (DON'T DO THIS, FOR SAFETY REASONS), cutting power only on a specific circuit i may be working on. Learned to work this way early on, as turning off power for the whole house would get me "drama" from wife for having nothing left being powered...

    More to come.

    Richard

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  5. #245
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    OTHER ISSUES WITH ALUMINUM WIRE

    Alu wire is also "handicapped" by two other aspects related to alu's nature.

    First, Alu is a "softer" metal than copper. Its main problem in AC circuits use, as mentioned to me by electricians, is connections reliability. Wire more subject to break with bending and twisting for example. If you missed the nice bending around the duplex receptacle screws, straightening it then starting again it could become an issue or the weakened alu placed around the screw may not hold reliably, wire breaking loose touching the metal box leading a short circuit.

    The safest thing with Alu wires is minimizing handling/bending, pulling and screwing around with the connections, i.e. to get it right the first time. Alu cable going through holes made in studs, staying there for years, isn't really the issue. Its more at each end where things might go wrong. Hence why its almost out.

    Second, Brian Roth mentions the use of a somewhat larger size cable with Alu vs copper. Though he didn't expand on this point, after making some verifications it turns out to be a red flag. "The resistivity (reciprocal of conductivity) of aluminum is about 1.6 times that of copper, ..." (J. Eargle, Loudspeaker Handbook, P. 34). Alu's 60% more resistivity isn't a trivial amount. There's resistivity tables for various materials on the Net, checked a few and calculated 1.577 times for Alu, on par with Eargle. So another weakness for Alu wiring.

    Have no AC Alu cables in the house. Many do, maybe not by choice, but it seemed to have been a trend at some point in time because of its lower cost. Which reminds me there was also a period where cheaper counterfeited circuit breakers hit the market! After some safety problems occured these were banned.

    Btw recently looked at some Speaker cable which, at first sight, seemed like a good deal. Looking closer and reading the small text revealed one conductor was copper and the other Alu (with 60% more resistivity...). Guess that's how they saved money making the speaker cable a "deal". Both conductors appeared to be the same size. Wonder what would be the impacts with one side of the cable not as conductive as the other. Have some ideas in mind but haven't had time to check that (e.g. on Back EMF?).

    Richard

  6. #246
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    House electrical service entrance was replaced in 1995 or so, had no problems with the previous one, simply getting too small for evolving needs at 100 amp/20 or 24 circuits. Licenced master electricians i knew did the job once and for all, to meet 1995 requirements and future possibilities... I used some of Brian Roth's info in Practical Electrical to spec some items.

    First pic, the two juice providers installed to feed the replacement Square D, 200 amp/40 circuits breaker box (Made in USA). As seen just before the cables go in the 2" hole made in house foundation to reach the box in the basement: Belden, 1000V, 3/0 AWG, with 6 AWG main ground copper wire, both in a conduit. Providing two 120V lines, also allowing 240V for power hungry appliances with double size circuit breakers.

    Spent a lot of time recently moving circuits, reassigning things, shortening some wires in order to create space in the breaker box. Big panel but getting closer to full. Second pic shows it was overcrowded to install new lines i need, plus these must enter the breaker box on the right side of it re distance measured vs 30M cable length purchased (divided in 3).

    Plan is to add three new 12 gauge cables (3 wires each) to bring 120V/20 amp lines in audio room, to power more equipment, on top of the two 15 amp ones there. Phase one breaker box cleanup is done (third pic), phase two new installations should get off the "drawing board" in the near future.

    Initial plan A got wife's veto with loaded 105mm cannon in her eyes, too much "demolition"/removing stuff just for cables; a modified plan B also got wife veto, this time with .50 caliber machine gun in her eyes, still too much hassles for cables; after reconsidering/measuring everything another time re where the cables could be routed, i'm at plan C now with my back to the wall. Tested the waters with wife on plan C, got no objections this time!! More work for me though, and part of it needs to be done in a small closet...

    NOTES ON SECOND PIC: bottom right, on neutral bus bar, two red wires (usually hot) are used here as neutral wires (usually white), so a piece of white tape on each near the connection indicates their modified use. Moreover, near the bottom a 12 gauge red cable crosses from left to right at an unusual place. This is an "RMC Special", lol. DON'T DUPLICATE THAT FOR SAFETY REASONS. What works fine in my situation may not be the case for yours. It was done this way because of cable lenght available and balancing loads between both sides of breaker box. Normally the wires should go all around the top (like an inverted "U") for left side wires connected on the right side. Things were checked carefully before implementing that solution.

    NOTES ON FOURTH PIC: what is seen here is in reality the top right side of the breaker box. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 are the cable connectors i installed after the panel "cleanup" for the upcoming three 12 gauge lines to audio room. Number 4, while at it i removed the knock out and put a cable connector to cover the bare hole for safety reason, like preventing a mouse from being shocked in the box, lol. In other words a spare cable entry for future use. Number 5 the black hot wire will be moved from there when the three new lines go in.

    Richard

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  7. #247
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Some of the electrical supplies i bought for the upcoming three new circuits going to audio room. Real 20A lines made of 12 gauge cables, 20A circuit breakers and 20A rated duplex receptacles, on 120V.

    US made Yellow jacket 12/2 cable bought at Depot will differentiate it easily from the other 12 gauge red cables often used in the house. Same specs and price as red, except has black, white, GND instead of black, red, GND wires. 98.4 ft roll allows 3 lines of 32.8 ft and minimum i need is 32.9 ft with the connections. One-tenth of an inch difference isn't enough to call mother.

    Anyway learned the electricians' trick i'll use (more later) to extend a little the wires in breaker box part, therefore giving a little more length to the cables outside the panel (leeway for AC receptacles location). While still remaining within the 35 ft total length for 12 AWG mentioned in Brian Roth's article for 2% voltage loss with 20 amps (Part 2, P.38, Fig. 3).

    Before getting the missing stuff at Depot, made a quick distance calculation from the top of my head for cabling required, figured i could do two circuits (three??) with 30M cable. So bought two 20 amp breakers to replace two 15A (spares). With actual measures taken i can do three, so next trip to Depot one more 20A...

    While at Depot i needed some more larger twist wire connectors having almost depleted those i keep due to other recent electrical work. Sadly Depot discontinued keeping and was clearing out nice ones made in Canada, exactly those i was looking for. Good deal, but future availability? Then took two boxes since well made & have copper inside thread, not cheap metal alloy (resistivity). Plus the list of wire combinations these connectors can accomodate is pretty long as shown on box side, a few seem optimistic though.

    With electrical hardware people tend to purchase the cheapest stuff they can find, regardless of quality. Similar with electricians who bid on jobs, lowest price gets it. Very few folks care about "juice".

    Richard

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  8. #248
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    On pics, the dark brown 20A/125V single receptacle was purchased while ago to get higher AC capacity than the usual 15A. Bought it new, never used it since i found a more useful model for my needs. In accordance with usual 20A receptacles it has an horizontal slot on the left and vertical one on the right, plus ground. Spec grade is engraved on it, Depot site says good for commercial use with that mention, Spec-Master red cardboard came with it. Some larger power tools may require 20A as i recall, i have no big ones re space.

    Because i later found some duplex receptacles (beige ones on pics) that can do 20A plus accomodate both 20A and standard 15A plugs, therefore i don't need the dark brown, meaning its AVAILABLE FOR FREE if you need it. They all have metal on the back, brown one also CSA certified, might have been made in Canada. For shop use color won't really matter i guess. NOT FOR RESALE. If interested PM me.

    Made my 20A shop AC receptacle, next to breaker box, using one from the beige model, hence the "RMC Special" red 12 gauge cable crossing from left to right in the breaker box as previously shown. Plus the plan is to use three of the nicely made beige ones for the new circuits that will go to audio room.

    Not long ago bought a Leviton China for testing, newer version of the beige here, well not the same quality for sure and goodbye to metal on the back... Will show next time.

    Richard

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  9. #249
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    More recent China version of the beige AC receptacles shown on the previous post.

    Manufacturer worked on changing the appearance a little and reducing cost. There's metal at each end only, not on the back as before, and that metal is a bit easier to bend.

    The previous model was shiny beige whereas the newer one is low gloss. For those who need installation instructions note they're printed on the inside of the box, hitting two birds with one stone.

    Handling/inspecting the receptacle doesn't give the same quality feeling as the former did.

    Possibly because of the higher 20 amp capacity vs standard 15A ones, they added a protective slide down with plug in/slide up with none white cover having a little resistance to hide the hot and neutral blades inside. Presumably to prevent kids from being tempted to put some objects in it that may cause a shock or short circuit.

    The sliding mechanism on the way in feels a bit scratchy at times. However its not the type of device where one would typically plug/unplug frequently an amplifier for example, the latter normally being plugged for a while. So a minor issue.

    Globally, not as high quality as the former model, but ok.

    Richard

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  10. #250
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    CONNECTING CABLES TO BREAKER BOX

    Had three blue plastic cable connectors holding cables to breaker box (e.g. first pic. Small rope on each cable is holding a tag indicating where/what:e.g. to kitchen-dishwasher). The connectors were transfered from older panel to new Square D box with the cables by electricican at time of its installation. Now have only two plastic connectors left. Pulling a cable slowly in my moving things around that cable lightly touched a blue plastic connector next to it and two pieces fell off! removed what's left of it (second pic) Had to replace that faulty connector, and did with a metal one this time.

    Never trusted plastic connectors for reliability, never bought any nor installed some. That event confirmed my suspicion about these. Unfortunately, with time plastic gets dry breaking easily. Metal variety you install forever, none ever failed on me, whereas plastic ones get brittle and let you down easily as years go by. Not good enough for the long run.

    Saw recently in a store bags of a more recent dark grey plastic connector for cheap, didn't bother getting any. When the two remaining ones on my panel break, for sure they will sooner than later, i'll replace them too with good old metal ones, done for the last time.

    Third pic (all metal stuff, no plastic for me)

    Top left, older connector for large cables like 8/3 + GND (240V/40A, electric range/oven)

    Middle left, older connector, nice with 14/3 or 12/3 + GND cables

    Bottom left, connector for a main ground wire to house main water supply copper pipe, sending any current in GND wire to earth

    Middle, the two types of connectors i prefer using for 14/2 and 12/2 + GND cables, the similar bottom three being the ones i prefer most; saw China copies of these two recently, metal is thinner, not as robust but ok

    Top right, the more recent trend for breaker box metal cable connectors. Have used many since my stock of older prefered connectors is low, but i don't really like them, the result isn't as good as with the previous ones.

    Richard

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  11. #251
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    EXTENDING SOME WIRES IN BREAKER BOX

    The more cable pulled inside breaker box to make the connections, the less cable there's left outside the box for routing to audio room, since the cable roll has a determined length (divided in 3 lines here). Having a little more cable leeway would give more flexibility for AC duplex receptacles location at the other end.

    The only upcoming wires in breaker box i plan to extend for my project are the three neutral ones, because cables' entry in the box is near the top of it as shown before, but the neutrals need to be connected on that bus bar near the bottom of the tall panel. On average for the 3 lines, i figure about a foot gained on each, determined by where 3 free breakers are for black wires connection. Gnd wires length not a problem.

    From years of house electrical work i kept many short wires (black, red, white, GND), sizes 8 to 14 gauge, 1-3 ft long. Need that once in a while, like here. Pic shows the best prospects on-hand for that job: 10-12 AWG. Plus if need be i can change their purpose/color with a piece of white tape (neutral) near the connections.

    The typical electrician's trick to extend wires when there's none left that can be pulled inside the panel, or to repair a broken wire in it, is to use crimp connectors, specifically the commonly called "sleeves". Looking around to see what folks had to say about their use, two comments raised an issue regarding their connection reliability (see highlighted part on two pics from Home Depot web site).

    I have a few similar sleeves (see pic), mine SEEM to have the groove in cylinder mentioned in one comment but still, am i willing to take a chance with those? This is a concern in a critical application like in electrical breaker box.

    Critical application to me refers to the potential consequences/danger if something goes wrong. Its possible an extension on AC wire breaks loose from the sleeve and touches a live breaker screw = short circuit). A speaker cable extension, for example, getting loose or out of a sleeve, isn't as critical situation in my view.

    Haven't decided yet which way i'll go for breaker panel wire extensions (with sleeves or those nice twist wire connectors Marrette 35 i bought). Extending wires with sleeves makes a better looking job, but using the Marrette 35 connectors would provide reliable connections. Need to test that sleeve option to see if it can be pulled apart easily = danger.

    Richard

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  12. #252
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention in previous post.

    On one of the two Home Depot pages re crimp connectors there's another comment about needing a heavier duty crimper for the 10-12 AWG sleeves, and requiring a good amount of force to crimp them. Yeah it does, they're relatively tough to crimp and its hard on the hands.

    On pic attached of some tools i use, the one in the middle lacks proper handle padding for hard to crimp connectors. Other than that its quite useful and the one i use most with wiring.

    With 10-12 gauge crimping jobs though its preferrable to use a tool like the yellow handle one on the right. Its handle is much better padded than the other making things way more comfy for the hands.

    The one on the left is simply a screw/nut size adjustable wire cutter/insulation remover that works pretty well.

    Richard

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  13. #253
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    BALANCING ELECTRICAL LOADS

    Balancing loads in a breaker panel is a worthy objective. Note this is different than balanced power systems sold by firms such as Equitech.

    When electricians install a new breaker box, usually along with new main electrical supply wires, they more or less try to assign an equal number of amperes, as shown on each breaker, to both sides of the breaker box so the electrical system "works equally hard" on each. They generally try to avoid having all the energy hungry stuff on the same system leg.

    Main feeder wires are chosen to go with the expected juice requirement in view of circuit breakers, and the assumption made is these wires are ok for the number of amps (e.g. 100A).

    Looking at the number of amps indicated on each breaker, then adding these for each panel side, should reveal about the same amp total for left and right sides. This to avoid having a line (side) pulling say 150 amps while the other is loaded with only 50 amps, in a 200 amp box. That example would reflect a notable imbalance of loads and potentially make a smaller feeder wire work at its limit, getting hot.

    Though balanced loads appear to make sense, in practice the balancing act may not deliver the proportions that one expects with regards to the actual electricity used. Things, such as appliances and others, don't actually work all at the same time/duration. Plus some are more seasonally used, unless the climate is about identical year-round.

    Think of electric range/oven, hot water tank, audio gear, clothes dryer, etc. as devices often used regardless of weather, whereas central air conditioning & pool pump are on summer time vs electric baseboard heating being turned on mostly in winter. Then the actual electrical loads are quite dynamic, not a static thing.

    Thus the actual vs potential current drawn will go up and down, with amp number indicated on the breakers being a maximum only, leading to the total amps for each breaker side also varying based on real use. If all breakers were used to capacity the limiting factor would be the main feeder wires. Since this is rarely if ever the case, then each circuit's capability becomes a limiting factor.

    Richard

  14. #254
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    The plan with the three new 12 AWG electrical lines going to audio room is to use a few of thirteen power bars i have! (five in use around the house) to be plugged in the 20A AC duplex receptacles, allowing more flexibility for gear connection, as separate systems for example. How i ended up having that many power bars remains a mystery to me. Remember purchasing some, then recovered two from my parents home when they passed away, as for where the others come from have no clue, lol.

    Those power bars represent various models from different manufacturers, some better than others. All have 14 gauge cable, their AC cord length being 4 ft for most, though three have 6 ft, but one is only 2 ft long which i like a lot for adding next to zero resistance loss. The better ones will be used to protect more valuable equipment from power surge for example.

    Recently seen a local musical instrument/PA shop selling a Furman power bar for $60 CAD. Construction seems ok but it has a 15 ft long AC cord! Add say 5 ft AC cord from an amplifier plugged in it and you're already at 20 ft with this bar. Pretty long. Wouldn't power an amp with that one for sure, maybe for lower power stuff i guess, considering it has a 14 AWG cable.

    Regular home wiring being also 14 gauge, if that wiring has say 25 ft from breaker box to duplex receptacle used for audio, well adding all these lenghts (5+15+25) yields a total of 45 ft. Then you have an actual 10 ampere line for audio, not 15A, has shown in one of Brian Roth's tables from Practical Electrical. Hence the interest in keeping the above cables as short as possible or to use lower AWG ones if available.

    Connecting the elements of a particular audio system on the same AC electrical circuit is generally a good idea, when feasible ampere wise, as it increases the chances of having all that gear at the same ground potential, thus reducing risk of ground loops/noise. That also explains the intended use of power bar(s), as long as its short cable.

    Pic shows a sample of the various sizes power strips on-hand. At top of pic box says 5 ft cable, i measured 4'2" so croosed out 5 and wrote 4 ft, more realistic. The one with 2 ft cable is on top of another's box.The two in their box, from parent's home, look like new. These have some AC filtering and power surge protection which might be nice for some equipment (e.g. A & H mixer). Older ones were made here and built for the long run, whereas more recent models come from you know where...

    Richard

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  15. #255
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    Went to another Depot store few days ago, this one owned by Lowe's. Looking at things in electrical parts dept. i came across the good old and best cable connectors to breaker box i know. Haven't seen them at the other Depot which seems to get rid of better little more costly stuff (e.g. Marrette 35) in favor of cheap lower quality products. Bought a bag of those connectors for sure, since my stock of that model was down to three units prior shown, and sadly with the trend for cheaper stuff these good ones may not be available in the future.

    By the same token purchased a few more Iberville duplex receptacle installation metal boxes, three of the same which i'll need for my project. Pretty much THE standard one for that purpose. One (top left on pic) is slightly different and smaller size to go in my stock. Iberville brand is usually good quality material, with a lot of it made in Canada and USA, part of Thomas & Betts, Memphis, TN and ABB Group.

    Richard

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