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  • wire performance

    just curious, i know this may be a newb question

    but does cutting a wire degrade its performance, like if the power wire from my batt to the powersupply is one constant line, will it perform better than if the line was cut say twice and put back together?

    thanks
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  • #2
    You might gain some resistance on the wire, especially if it's high-quality wire.
    But I think the resistance gain would be minimal, if any at all.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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    • #3
      it also depends heavily on how you put it back together. if you do a crappy job twisting the cut ends back together, then it could be a poor connection, meaning higher resistance and if current gets high enough, that spot is going to get hotter than the rest of the wire, making it a weak point.

      if you do it properly, then it will be fine. Soldering is usually a good option, if you can manage it in the car, but if not, high-quality crimp connections are probably a safe bet.
      But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
      Originally posted by Viscouse
      I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
      eegeek.net

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      • #4
        im just twisting them together and using electrical tape (lots) to wrap it up. Each end has about an 1.5inches of wire twisted.

        Just wondering cuz i just installed a switch to cut the power line going to the Opus so it'll stop draining my damn battery at night. Too lazy to do the usb mod (this should have been done in the original design).

        but since i installed the switch, im getting more automatic shutdowns sent from the psu cuz it thinks my bat is droping in power (it may be, but i dont think it is).
        I have the computer inside the house now (first time in 3yrs) to do some basic upkeeep and rule out anything wrong with the actual computer.
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        • #5
          twisting wires is a NONO in a car envioronment, just as using those wire nuts and stuff for your home is a bad idea in a car as well. cars have vibrations. vibrations will shake your wires around like crazy giving the wires a chance to break free, a chance to have a bad connection, and might even be poor enough to short something out. Always! use automotive either crimp connectors, or use solder w/ heatshrink tubing (electrical tape can be used too) on connectons inside the car. Sure it might be saving you a few extra bucks since you dont have to buy connectors, but its just not worth the risks damaging the wire, your car, or your components.

          in a home environment, where wires dont usually have a chance to move and wiggle around, wire nuts are usually fine. twisting wires is usually never a good idea unless you plan to solder them after twisting.

          just eliminate any doubts about your wiring and make sure to do it properly the first time. make sure you have solid grounds, no corrosion on your connectors, etc.
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          • #6
            i have no idea what wire nuts are.
            I am using electrical tape, and i doubt that the wires are or would come loose at any point. There not just hanging around or anything. Have to be some pretty strong vibrations
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            • #7
              Solder and heatshrink is the only way to go.
              The interior of your car will get hot enough to melt the adhesive of electrical tape. The vibrations can cause the tape to move along the wire and expose the bare wire.
              Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
              How about the Wiki?



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              • #8
                Originally posted by liquid_smoke
                Have to be some pretty strong vibrations
                Indeed they are. I've seen T-taps and crimps completely cut through wires due to vibration, and in a very short period of time when the wire wasn't well secured but just hanging.

                Electrical tape won't last. Cloth tape is a lot better. Solder and heatshrink is best.
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                • #9
                  Electrical tape seems to be a decent TEMPORARY means to an end. I would never trust electrical tape to be the final solution. Wire nuts are fine for electrical work such as installing a ceiling fan or a light fixture, but I would never put it on any heavier of a load then that. Regardless, like it has already been said, the tape adhesive may melt, exposing wires, and wire nuts can get shaken loose, I've seen it myself (Back when I was in high school and poor and my idea of my "system" was a couple 6x9s in shoe boxes in my 1982 Volkswagon Quantum) Long live the Quantum!!!
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                  • #10
                    well im sure all those things may be true in other situations, but ive had these wires in my car for about 3years now and none of the elec tape as come off or even starting too. When i rewired everything the other week to install the switch, takeing the existing electrical tape off proved to be a bit of a task. Its not regular electrical tape, its some stretchy type ****, not sure what the name is, but it dosent stick to your fingers at all, only to itself but you have to stretch it out first. Holds very well.

                    But to use electrical tape or not really isnt the issue im having.
                    I just wanted to know if cutting a wire and putting it back together (by any means, elec-solder etc) would degrade the wires performance at all.
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                    • #11
                      *sigh*

                      I know more than you! na na na na na na!

                      I know more than all of you who obviously have more experience and more brains than i do!

                      look d00d, you come in here asking why this is happening, we're telling you it's because you have done an extremly shoddy job of hacing together your wiring.

                      Do it the right way or go home, because as it is now, simply twisting your wires together is a sure fire way to melt your car to the ground. It might not happen over night, but it will eventually happen.

                      It's a dumb move. Quit being so cheap and do things the right way.
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                      Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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                      • #12
                        first of all, dude why be an *******, im trying to be polite here. Obviously you dont have any mannors.
                        Second, it funny how all the rude comments allways come from people who arent even trying to answer any of the questions but only post to add smart *** comments.
                        You have no idea how my wires are put together and calling them shoddy and hacked together is somehing you wouldnt have any idea about unless you actually saw how my wires are put together. The simple act of using electrical tape is not a hack job.

                        If you dont have anything constructive and polite to say or add to the thread, then shut the **** up!
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                        • #13
                          Having your wires twisted together means they are free to move around. Not much, with lots of electrical tape, but a little, and air can get in all through it. When you have high current through a twisted joint like that, you can end up with some corrosion on the wire surface building up over time, which increases the resistance of the connection, which causes it to heat up more, which degrades it further, etc. (vicious cycle) and depending on how much current the wire is carrying and what it's used for, it can lead to performance issues, or start a fire (depending on which you notice first, I guess).

                          If you have had your wire in place for years and you opened it up and it's not all corroded, then you are probably OK, but it would STILL be a much better idea to use decent crimp connectors or solder instead. You say you're noticing low voltage issues, well poor connections seems like a prime suspect (I would also verify how much of a voltage drop you are seeing from that switch, if I were you, usually it's negligible, but a poor switch might have some). The point of running a power wire to the battery in the first place is for a low-resistance, high power lead from the battery. If you are introducing extra resistance through poor connections, it kind of defeats the point. And after all, you can do it with crimp connectors or solder for just a couple of dollars, and it will take you significantly less time to do it right than it is taking to rationalize on this forum why you're not doing it
                          But don't take it from me! here's a quote from a real, live newbie:
                          Originally posted by Viscouse
                          I am learning buttloads just by searching on this forum. I've learned 2 big things so far: 1-it's been done before, and 2-if it hasn't, there is a way to do it.
                          eegeek.net

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Eternalodyssey
                            Electrical tape seems to be a decent TEMPORARY means to an end. I would never trust electrical tape to be the final solution.
                            lol.... this was just proven to me last week... it didn't even work as a temporary fix cuz when my system stopped workin within 2 days, i opened up my dash and there were like TWO of the TWELVE connections still covered by electrical tape... there was a random mass of melted tape chunks at the bottom too lol.... apparently my head unit got [email protected] somehow by this and now the cd player doesn't work =(

                            luckily: 1- it's within manufacturer's warranty
                            2- my computer is goin in like this weekend... just finishin up w/ software stuff

                            listen to them dude... they're tryin to help you... i was only using the tape as a temp ghetto rig and it STILL crapped out on me cuz its too hot out and it all melted off....

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                            • #15
                              im not trying to rationalize it, im just trying to find out if it could be a source of the problem. Im not even sure the problem is low voltage,(likely though) just trying to rule out things.
                              This only happens mind you if im sitting in my car for an extended period of time without driveing. The Opus will send a shutdown command. I do understand what your saying about using crimps or solder. Ive never soldered anything so i prob wont go that route, but crimps sound good and prob easier than wrapping elect tape over and over. When i took everything out and replaced my wires i didnt notice any corrosion or wear or tear at all. The wires look just as they were the day I installed them 3 years ago.
                              Verifying how much of a drop im seeing from the switch is a good idea, and i think the switch is prob the source of the problem. Started around the same time i installed the switch. It prob cant handle the power load, i have another switch just like it but on much less load and it seems fine. But this one has an led thats supposed to light up and for some reason its not, at first i just thought the led was broken somehow, but that may also be causeing an issue with the switch.
                              Im gonna go pick up a new/better switch today (grab some crimps too) and see if that fixes it up.

                              also, thanks your coments and good explanation instead of just being an ******* like other people who, judgeing from there most recent posts, seems to be the only thing they are good at.
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