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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through January 14, 2005 » "Amp wire" What size ? « Previous Next »
By Mike Snyder (rem_pss308) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 5:26 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I am curious how everyone has there toys wired.
I have three sets of wires running from the battery to the front. ( both positive and negative are 8 gauge)One set for my tower lights. One set for my amps, and one set for my radio. I was thinking of running just one large wire from the battery to the dash area and go from there to the accesories. Any one have any input on wire size and if this will work, or maybe work better.

By Jason Pribyl (skibum69) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 12:38 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
depending on the amp draw of your amps you should run 4 or 0 gauge to a distro block then run 4/8 gauge to your amps and 10 gauge(2 sets) to your lights and radio
By Tom Barnard (tlb) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 7:05 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
If you're going to spend the time and money to do this use the big wire. Later on you may add an amp or upgrade what you have, then you'd have to have the big wire anyways.
I ran 0 gauge to the fuse block up front and used 4 gauge to each amp. I had been using 8 gauge to the amps and one of them would always cut out. After changing to the larger wire it has never happened again.

By Mike (mikeski) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 11:12 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Use oil, gas and water resistant cables like MTW or THHN per the wire ampacity tables. The automotive designer cables are not really suited for the marine environment. Minimize connection points, fuse at the battery and run straight into the amp, every break in the cable is a point for corrosion. One black negative cable and one red positive cable for each amplifier. Number 6, 8, or 10 should work fine for most amplifiers (55, 45, 35 amp respectively) anything larger is overkill. This is what I would do as an electrician/electrical engineer.
By Tom Barnard (tlb) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 6:27 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Mike, let me make sure I understand. I should use 10 ga wire to run the 20 feet from my battery to my amps? Are you kidding?

By Mike (mikeski) on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 1:13 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

First off no I was not kidding, number 10 THHN wire is rated at 35 amps per the National Electrical Code. Looking through the NVS post I see you have the PPI-4125 so you should be looking at the bigger wire size from my previous post not the smaller size.

Rereading this post I see you already have individual #8s to each amp right? Why do you want to change things, are the wires getting warm, is the voltage dropping? My preference is to keep the wiring the way you have it now, but many others will disagree (like Grant). My reasoning is that every break in the wire is an opportunity for troubles like corrosion or loose connections. One connection at the battery and one connection at the amp is two opportunities for troubles, with a distribution block you have more fuses and connections (sources for problems). If you are worried about voltage drop go to www.electrician.com under calculators select voltage drop calculator. Assuming that PPI-4125 draws an average of 30 amps you lose about 1 volt with your number 8 wires. At 40 amps it goes to about 1.3 volts.

What the heck, you have over $2k into tower speaks, spend $50 at your local home depot and run some dedicated #4 THHN to your amp (each amp), it will raise the voltage to your amp and you might notice a difference. Any hardware should have it. You might need to get the fuse lead from somebody like partsexpress.com. Crimp, solder and shrink wrap the terminals and add some anti-oxidant, you should be good for years to come.

One more thing, with the 20 foot wire run you might start seeing some inductance from the wire, a cap MIGHT help, but I prefer the wire upsize.

(Message edited by mikeski on October 09, 2004)

By Duane (nvsairwarrior) on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 9:15 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Up a little to late are we?
I thinks we got Tom B and Mike S mixed up.
BTW Mikeski, how is your back doing?
Hope all is well.
D out

(Message edited by nvsairwarrior on October 09, 2004)

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