How to Connect an Audio Cable to Alligator Clips


Alligator clips are useful for bridging connections between electrical equipment and components, including audio cables. These spring-loaded clips are serrated, making it easy to establish secure connections while maintaining the ability to disconnect wires easily. While you can purchase audio cables that already come equipped with these clips on the end, connecting an audio cable to an alligator clip yourself is a fairly straightforward process.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire stripper or utility knife
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Soldering iron (optional)
  • Solder (optional)
  • Strip about 1/4 inch of the insulation from the end of the wire. The preferred method to accomplish this is to use a wire stripper or utility knife, but you can also use your fingernails if they are sharp enough. No matter which method you choose, be careful to avoid cutting any of the wire strands. Otherwise, you may lose sound quality.

  • Twist the exposed wires into a single strand. Make the twist tight enough to fit into the hole at the top of the alligator clip.

  • Insert the wire into the alligator clip hole as far as it will go. Depending on the type of alligator clip you have, you will either need to turn a small screw on the side of the clip to secure the wire, squeeze the ends of the clip together with needle-nosed pliers to crimp the connection together, or wrap the exposed section of the wire tightly around the end of the clip.

  • Use a soldering iron to permanently connect the wire to the alligator clip. Heat the iron according to the manufacturer's instructions and unravel about an inch of solder from the roll. Place the end of the solder at the conjunction of the wire and the alligator clip and press the tip of the iron against the solder material until it melts and covers the end of the clip and the wire. Remove the iron and wait 10 to 20 seconds for the solder to cool and harden.

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