How FlatWire Works

FlatWire Connectors

A little concealing compound and some paint can hide FlatWire from view.
A little concealing compound and some paint can hide FlatWire from view.
© Southwire

Most people eventually ask the same question about FlatWire: how do you hook it up to power sources and devices? If the wires come in a flat, wide form, how do you attach a connector? Southwire answers that question with a collection of custom connectors.

­Most of the FlatWire speaker wires require the installer to use a guide Southwire calls the FlatWire Ready Strain Relief. This is a guide that you adhere to the section of FlatWire you need to trim. The guide shows you where to cut along the wire. Then you can peel back the polymer film and expose the copper. The guide also acts like a clamp on the end of the FlatWire so that the polymer film doesn't peel back further than necessary.

The speaker FlatWires require some work on the part of the installer. For speakers that use banana plugs or pin connectors, Southwire offers roller connectors that fit directly on the end of the wire. FlatWire speaker wires have two parallel strips of copper -- one is the positive connection and the other is the negative. You insert the end of each wire into its respective adapter. The adapter has a plastic sleeve that rotates, allowing you to wrap the copper around the pin inside the sleeve. This creates the connection necessary to conduct electricity.

Another option for speaker cables is to use Southwire's wall-mountable box. The box has speaker wire jacks on the outside and a pair of gold spring contacts inside. To attach the FlatWire to the box, you need to use a Strain Relief guide to peel back the polymer coating on the FlatWire. You fold the exposed ends of the FlatWire over the back of the guide, place both the guide and the FlatWire inside the wall box, make sure the wire touches the gold spring contacts and seal the box.

FlatWire cables like subwoofer wires come with custom connectors that have a special tab with a clear plastic section that lays flat against the wire. You can slide these connectors down the wire to adjust to the length you need. The copper in these wires is in a special wave pattern -- in order for the wire to work the wave must align with the respective circuit board. You have to make sure the copper band in the wire lines up with the window on the connector before clamping the connector and cutting the wire. Otherwise your wire won't carry a signal properly.