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Thread: Wire gauge ... and cabling stuff

  1. #1
    DtM
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    Question Wire gauge ... and cabling stuff

    I've spent this afternoon looking around to try and figure out which cabling I have to use for my carPC. Unfortunately I found so much information - different information - I kinda lost it... which is frustrating... If anybody is willing to give me some hints on what to do? I'm a bit into electronics, so it may be technical... And I am sure willing to do the calculations myself.

    My carPC will be a simple setup: Epia mobo, slimline CD (DVD is for later, this one was lying around), 2,5" HD powered by an M1-ATX power supply. I mostly want to use it for listening to my music, in the future maybe also GPS (currently using a Palm for that) and DVD playback. But that's about it. Sound is going for now via an FM convertor to my HU. The PC will be in my trunk.

    I'm still stuck with these questions:
    - Which wire gauge I the h*ll have to use? I've found so many different things ranging from 2AWG to like 14AWG. How can I calculate this correctly? (Found an audio start kit with 20mm˛/5AWG power wires -> 450W continuous? correct? sufficient?) I don't want to little but also not too much overkill ofcourse.
    - How can I connect the wire the best way to my battery & M1-ATX supply? (Because, if I use small crimp connectors, what's the use of thick wire...)
    - What rating fuse am I putting near my battery? How do I calculate that? (that kit mentioned before carries a 60A fuse)
    - Do I need more of them in this simple setup? (No, I think, as the power supply also has it's own fuse)
    - The acc line, is this ok if it is just something like 14-16AWG? (yes I think, it only has to carry a signal?)
    - My screen: run a power wire form the M1-ATX back to the front, or is tapping from the cigarette lighter socket ok? (suppose I can tap if of that socket as the screen doesn't consume that much power)


    Are my assumptions correct? Hope anybody is willing to give me a lead...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    DtM, I'm a newbie but I got a lot of answers to the same questions here:

    http://www.bcae1.com/

    and

    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/sho...11&page=1&pp=15

    and

    Lighted rocker switch question
    A pic is worth a thousand words.

  3. #3
    Banned xdjxklusivex's Avatar
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    - Which wire gauge I the h*ll have to use? I've found so many different things ranging from 2AWG to like 14AWG. How can I calculate this correctly? (Found an audio start kit with 20mm˛/5AWG power wires -> 450W continuous? correct? sufficient?) I don't want to little but also not too much overkill ofcourse.
    id run a single 10 guage wire (thats what im using) it gets the power you need and is easy to run unlike other 4guage and 8 guage wires especialy through the firewall

    - How can I connect the wire the best way to my battery & M1-ATX supply? (Because, if I use small crimp connectors, what's the use of thick wire...)
    u can use a distribution block if u want i would just crimp it together (thats what i did)

    - What rating fuse am I putting near my battery? How do I calculate that? (that kit mentioned before carries a 60A fuse)
    damn i knew how to calculate this but i forgot its pritty simple formula but sorry i forgot 60amp shud be good if you need to u can upgrade tho

    - Do I need more of them in this simple setup? (No, I think, as the power supply also has it's own fuse)
    upto you - i have 2 fueses one under the hood and one under the back seat flap

    - The acc line, is this ok if it is just something like 14-16AWG? (yes I think, it only has to carry a signal?)
    if u buy a kit just use what u got with the kit if not run a 12 guage just because they have a thicker jacket and are safer

    - My screen: run a power wire form the M1-ATX back to the front, or is tapping from the cigarette lighter socket ok? (suppose I can tap if of that socket as the screen doesn't consume that much power)
    just tap into the cig lighter if ur using a lilliput make sure u use the egg im not sure how the xanerc works

    hope i helped!! good luck!

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
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    Actually you'll probably want to run an 8ga cable from the battery to minimize voltage loss on the wire. And an 18ga cable should be fine for ignition sense, it's not carrying much current at all.

  5. #5
    DtM
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    Thanks for the info, makes things a lot clearer already. Tips are ofcourse still welcome!

    "use the egg" is unclear to me though?

    Crimping the connectors on is the best way to go?

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate Mad Ad's Avatar
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    i disagree with the cig lighter route, i made the lilliput its own lead (old power brick lead and a bare molex) that plugs into a molex from the 12v-12v supply and ditched the egg

    crimps are useful in most places, just make sure that you use shrouded females on the live ends just incase they end up flailing about by mistake.

    look in your 12v-12v manual for suggested ACC gauges- opus suggest 18AWG for their acc line and 12AWG for the main power - i dont know what the other makes suggest.

    60A sounds a helluva lot, check that

    I have ICE so already had run a line in - best way is as bigger gauge as you can afford into the cabin (at least 4AWG if you want 60A) using 4AWG battery clamp and a 4AWG to 4+8AWG terminal block with screw terminals, and then run things from that. I use 30A cabling (about 12AWG) direct to my Opus (via crimps to allow detatcing from the car to take indoors) which screws into an 8AWG hole just fine. (plus if you make a special lead from a psu with the same crimps its not a hassle testing at home)

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