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  • Power & Earth Cables

    I have just been out to but some equipment for my carputer. I did lots of research before I left on the cabling. I wanted 10-12 gauge cable to power my dc-dc psu from the battery. When I got to my local store they didn't measure in gauge only amps?? I bought 17amp (supports 160w) for the power cable and 8amp for the earth, is this ok??

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Look at the package, they should list what size are the wires. In general, the ground/earth wire is the same size of the power wire or bigger.
    For example of an amp wire kits.
    Power 8GA
    Ground 6GA
    Speaker 16GA
    Remote 18GA
    and so on
    You get the idea.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by MatrixPC
      Look at the package, they should list what size are the wires. In general, the ground/earth wire is the same size of the power wire or bigger.
      For example of an amp wire kits.
      Power 8GA
      Ground 6GA
      Speaker 16GA
      Remote 18GA
      and so on
      You get the idea.
      All I got on the package is 2.0mm2
      Max Watts at 12v = 210W

      Im guessing I got the wrong wire big time cause I have been reading up on some 8 Gauge wire and its 22mm2!!??

      I am going to have to stop rushing into buying things!

      As for the ground wire, I know people use different colors but is it the same cable inside?

      Thanks!! I am still learning!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mattsmith999
        All I got on the package is 2.0mm2
        Max Watts at 12v = 210W

        Im guessing I got the wrong wire big time cause I have been reading up on some 8 Gauge wire and its 22mm2!!??

        I am going to have to stop rushing into buying things!

        As for the ground wire, I know people use different colors but is it the same cable inside?

        Thanks!! I am still learning!
        how many watts is the psu?

        for general reference...
        amps * volts * efficiency = watts.
        so
        17 * 13.4 * 1(100%) = 227.8
        8 * 13.4 * 1 = 107.2
        now...you'd better hope that you're not pulling more than 100 watts... (fire hazard). the ground and power must be the same size..and also attatch a fuse to the power..as close to the source (battery, distribution box, etc) as possible. If you pull more watts than the wire is rated for...the wire could heat up to the point of starting a small fire in your car...and nobody wants that. the fuse is to protect the wire...
        color does not make a difference. its only used as a guide (red is usually power, black is ground, blue is remote, etc)

        if im thinking correctly...which my brain is just about fried with finals and all...22mm^2 is quite large...maybe 4 gauge...looking here:
        http://www.ilsco.com/IlscoHome/ilsco...edia/wire.html
        it seems as though 2.5mm2 is only 12 gauge...
        rebuilding carpc... kinda..

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mattsmith999
          I have just been out to but some equipment for my carputer. I did lots of research before I left on the cabling. I wanted 10-12 gauge cable to power my dc-dc psu from the battery. When I got to my local store they didn't measure in gauge only amps?? I bought 17amp (supports 160w) for the power cable and 8amp for the earth, is this ok??

          Thanks!
          Just remember should you cut your ground wire (make it smaller) then the power handling will increase (you can draw a higher current through it)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fantomas
            how many watts is the psu?

            for general reference...
            amps * volts * efficiency = watts.
            so
            17 * 13.4 * 1(100%) = 227.8
            8 * 13.4 * 1 = 107.2
            now...you'd better hope that you're not pulling more than 100 watts... (fire hazard). the ground and power must be the same size..and also attatch a fuse to the power..as close to the source (battery, distribution box, etc) as possible. If you pull more watts than the wire is rated for...the wire could heat up to the point of starting a small fire in your car...and nobody wants that. the fuse is to protect the wire...
            color does not make a difference. its only used as a guide (red is usually power, black is ground, blue is remote, etc)

            if im thinking correctly...which my brain is just about fried with finals and all...22mm^2 is quite large...maybe 4 gauge...looking here:
            http://www.ilsco.com/IlscoHome/ilsco...edia/wire.html
            it seems as though 2.5mm2 is only 12 gauge...
            Thanks for your expert help!

            A few questions if you don't mind.

            You said I don't want to be pulling through more than 100w, is this because of the ground wire only allowing 107.2 through (using your calcs above)? So if I used the 17a cable from above for both the power and ground I could pull through about 210 (227.8) to be safe? Im not going to do this but I just want to understand what you are saying.

            I have just bought some Ring Connectors to connect the power cable to the battery, they are assorted. I guess that the connector has to support the same (or higher) ampage as the wire?

            Sorry for the silly questions, I am a computer techie and have a lack of knowledge on car electronics, Im not a complete newbie as I can install amps and cd units but I usually buy the kits, nothing to work out myself! I think I am a quick learner!

            Thanks again!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mattsmith999
              Thanks for your expert help!

              A few questions if you don't mind.

              You said I don't want to be pulling through more than 100w, is this because of the ground wire only allowing 107.2 through (using your calcs above)? So if I used the 17a cable from above for both the power and ground I could pull through about 210 (227.8) to be safe? Im not going to do this but I just want to understand what you are saying.

              I have just bought some Ring Connectors to connect the power cable to the battery, they are assorted. I guess that the connector has to support the same (or higher) ampage as the wire?

              Sorry for the silly questions, I am a computer techie and have a lack of knowledge on car electronics, Im not a complete newbie as I can install amps and cd units but I usually buy the kits, nothing to work out myself! I think I am a quick learner!

              Thanks again!
              i always suggest using the same size wire for power and ground...and it must be big enough to suit your application. be sure to put a fuse at least 18" from the battery...

              how many watts is your psu?
              ill tell you what amperage fuse to use..and the suggested size of the wire if you want..
              rebuilding carpc... kinda..

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fantomas
                i always suggest using the same size wire for power and ground...and it must be big enough to suit your application. be sure to put a fuse at least 18" from the battery...

                how many watts is your psu?
                ill tell you what amperage fuse to use..and the suggested size of the wire if you want..
                It's a cubid case with a 62.40w DC PSU. I have ordered a Lilliput 7" Screen which I want on its own power and ground.

                Cheers!

                Comment


                • #9
                  A good rule of thumb is 10A per mm2. If you have 2.0 mm2 wire, it should be able to carry about 20A safely.

                  A 60W DC-DC PSU should draw about 6-7 amps at 12V so your 2.0 mm2 wire should be ok for your needs. Of course, it's always better to use slightly thicker wires for power and ground - mine is 12GA which is good up to about 45A. My Opus 150 only draws about 11A max but the advantage of using thicker than needed wire is the lower resistance, and hence less voltage drop (and power loss) across the wire.

                  Comment

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