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M2 ATX AWG questions

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  • M2 ATX AWG questions

    Hi, this is my first post, however I have been following, and reading posts on this amazing site for the past 2 years, just picking up information and researching for my car pc project. The depth and detail of the information here is incredible, and has made my transition a lot easier from knowing nothing about car pc's (but knowing I really want one!) to getting close to installing a system in the car!

    My question is about the M2 ATX PSU which will power the following components that I bought; a Voom 2 enclosure, with the Asus At5iont-i motherboard, 64 GB SSD (for OS, apps, etc.), 1 TB external esata HD (media), 4 GB Ram, slim optiarc Sony DVD RW (it will also power a 10" display, not sure which to suggestions...!). I also bought the quick release power kit from the store, for the M2 ATX.

    I want to connect directly from the battery an 8 AWG cable, fused at the battery, going to the trunk, I then want to solder it to the 16 AWG wires on the quick release kit, going into the enclosure to the PSU. I'm sorry if I'm asking an obvious and dumb question, I'm very nervous as it's my first install, I don't want to end up with the car in flames...! Is it ok to connect the 8 AWG cable to the 16 AWG cable on that end, and do I need to add an inline fuse at the other end near the 16 AWG, some threads have mentioned fusing when stepping down a size. Is there anything I'm forgetting or missing with that setup? I also would do a similar connection for the ground.

    Also what type of inline fuse would you suggest would work best for this type of wiring setup? Opinions seem to differ greatly all over the net and on these forums, I'm much more concerned about safety and doing it well, than cost.

    Thanks for any help you guys can offer me!

  • #2
    if you are only running the 8ga for the m2, then the fuse near the battery is all you really need. if you are going to have multiple devices connected to that same 8ga, it can be helpful to fuse them individually, this is mostly in regards to troubleshooting(2 devices each with a 10A fuse and a 20A main-- the defective device will blow the 10A fuse first, aking it easier to figure out which one is defecting), but it is really not needed unless the components are on opposite sides of the car. as long as you have the fuse at the battery, it will be fine. remember, the main reason for the fuse is if the car got cut in half in a horrible wreck, it would blow the fuse and prevent a fire.. it is not to protect the device at the end of the wire..
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided


    • #3
      I always fuse when stepping down a wire size. Simple fact is if you go to a wire size that isn't capable of carrying as much current as the fuse you have before it, then that wire will act as the fuse and burn up. Last thing you want is that wire to catch fire because it was carrying to much current for its size but the fuse was sized to large to offer any protection.

      And fuses aren't there only if the car gets in an accident. What if you knick the insulation, have an accidental short, or with time the insulation of the wire gets worn away and shorts to chassis. Those are all this the fuse protects against.

      Fuses are cheap. When your two choices are either to play it safe or "you may get away with it" why take the risk? Put the fuse in and have the piece of mind its done right.

      Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2


      • #4
        thanks so much for the quick and helpful replies, really appreciate it! I hate to sound dumb, just want to make sure that I do this right, first time, and also I agree with you cd36, I would much rather go overkill on safety aspects of the install than too little. so from what you're saying I would connect up the 8 awg to the battery, obviously with an inline fuse there, then in the trunk when I connect that to the 16awg coming from M2 ATX I need to put a fuse onto the 16 awg wire itself, or would I put it on the end of the 8awg cable? It seemed like you were saying the point of this fuse is to protect the 16 awg wire. Can you envisage any problems soldering together such a large wire to the 16? Thanks so much for the help again!