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Old 07-14-2002, 04:49 PM   #1
Lee

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What is the best power wire to use?

Quote:
2.3 What is the best power wire to use? [JSC]
There is much debate over the benefit of certain wiring schemes (oxygen-free, multistranded, braided, twisted, air core, you name it). However, most people do agree that the most important factor in selecting power wire is to use the proper size. Wire is generally rated in size by American Wire Gauge, abbreviated AWG, or commonly just gauge. To determine the correct wire size for your application, you should first determine the maximum current flow through the cable (looking at the amplifier's fuse is a relatively simple and conservative way to do this). Then determine the length of the cable that your will use, and consult the following chart, taken from the IASCA handbook.

Code:
                          Length of run (in feet)
Current     0-4  4-7 7-10  10-13  13-16  16-19  19-22  22-28

   0-20A     14   12   12     10     10      8      8      8
  20-35A     12   10    8      8      6      6      6      4
  35-50A     10    8    8      6      6      4      4      4
  50-65A      8    8    6      4      4      4      4      2
  65-85A      6    6    4      4      2      2      2      0
 85-105A      6    6    4      2      2      2      2      0
105-125A      4    4    4      2      2      0      0      0
125-150A      2    2    2      2      0      0      0     00
If aluminum wire is used instead of copper wire, the next larger size (smaller number) should be used. You should also consider the installation demands: will you need to run the wire around corners or through doors or into the engine compartment? These sorts of problems in the car audio application require some special care in cable selection. You will want to have cable that is flexible; it should have thick insulation as well, and not melt at low temperatures. You don't want to install wire that is rigid and prone to cracks and cuts, or else the results could literally be explosive.
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