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Old 07-13-2016, 08:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noserider View Post
I'm not familiar with cable lingo. Is 3/0 the cable gauge size? Any idea what gauge size house battery cables are? They seem pretty solid.
Just to be a little more clear, as the gauge number goes down, the vable gets bigger. once they hit zero, then they just add more zeros as it gets bigger.

5
4
3
2
1
0
00
000
0000 <--this is REALLY BIG

Regards,

Dan
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:15 AM   #16
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Thanks for the clarification. I was trying to understand what the first number is in 3/0 or 1/0. I gathered from an earlier post it mean how many strands of wire?? Still curious what gauge wire my house batteries have. I did not see any markings on them.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:57 AM   #17
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Ok. After doing some research online (and surprisingly it took a while) I finally found some info on wiring sizes and a little history behind them. The gauge of the wire was based on how many draws a rod through a smaller hole during manufacturing to make the wire it's desired diameter. The more draws the bigger the gauge number and the smaller the diameter. I was confused because some wire like romex uses numbers like 12/3 and then single conductor heavy gauge wire uses numbers like 3/0. The relationship of the first and second number means different things in these examples. Maybe I knew that at one time but needed a refresher as I get older.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:39 PM   #18
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The added confusion is number of strands.
ONce wire gets to be 10 or 8 ga., it becomes too stiff toe handle easily.
So they make the larger gauge cables with stranded wire.

If you go to home Depot, you can get 1/0 cable, but it has big strands and is not very flexible. Made for one time installation. You can go to a welding store and get welding cable that is 1/0, but is made up of many more strands of smaller wire. Still the same basic capacity regardless of the number of strands (actually slightly different).

Regards,

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Old 07-13-2016, 07:59 PM   #19
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Hi Ho: First the easy part: 12/3 means 3 wires each 12 AWG (American wire gauge). 3/0 means wire that is 000 size. Common wire sizes (each larger than the previous) are: 16 AWG, 14 AWG, 12 AWG, 10 AWG, 8 AWG, 6 AWG, 4 AWG, 2 AWG, 0 AWG, 00 AWG, 000 AWG etc. If you want details about diameter, resistance (in ohms per foot), or rated current carrying capacity, just type "Wire Table".

Now, how to make cables. I believe that a soldered connection is always better than a crimped connection. The reason is that the individual strands are connected to each other and to the terminal with a solid non-moving connection. Water and corrosion are kept out of the joint, so they last as long as the wire and have a low resistance. Why don't the battery folks use solder more? It's simply a more costly process in material and time than a crimp connection. but, we seldom need more than a handful of wires, so 2 minutes per connection as apposed to 10 seconds really doesn't matter.

Welding cable is far easier to work with and allows much tighter bends than stranded battery wire. Again, it's simply a matter of a few dollars more in cost (if at all).

And, if you really want a tight connection use heavy shrink tubing that has been loaded with sealant. With solder connections it isn't really a requirement, but it looks good.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:36 PM   #20
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Stopped in my local electrical supply store today. They had an aluminum set crew lug that should fit my cable nicely. This should work until I either solder a copper compression lug or remove the cable and crimp it on.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:55 PM   #21
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Also note the wire commonly used as welding wire is often referred to as sound stage cable.

It has the finer strands to allow more flexible cable for easy deployment of lighting equipment and high power audio equipment.

The bonus is due to the fine strands the net cross sectional area of the wire is larger than normal wire of same size resulting in higher current flow so smaller wire can be used or better performance.

You will pay more for it.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:09 PM   #22
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I recently bought ring terminals that already have the solder in them. You just insert the wire and heat up the terminal with a torch until the solder melts. Bought from Del City I think.

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Old 07-13-2016, 10:40 PM   #23
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I recently bought ring terminals that already have the solder in them. You just insert the wire and heat up the terminal with a torch until the solder melts. Bought from Del City I think.

ronspradley
Thanks Ron. I did some research on those and believe I also saw them at Del City. I looked around locally and could not find them.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:24 PM   #24
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Also note the wire commonly used as welding wire is often referred to as sound stage cable.

It has the finer strands to allow more flexible cable for easy deployment of lighting equipment and high power audio equipment.

The bonus is due to the fine strands the net cross sectional area of the wire is larger than normal wire of same size resulting in higher current flow so smaller wire can be used or better performance.

You will pay more for it.
That's the type of cable that came with my RV on my house batteries. I still don't know what size gauge it is but it's big. I would guess either 1/0 or 2/0. I went out to the storage lot today to install the new connector but the place was on fire. I was being passed by fire engines and as I got closer to the storage lot my heart dropped when I saw the fire was at my storage lot. It's a 10 acre complex and thankfully my coach was in a building a good distance away but not that far. I went back tonight to see if I could get in but no luck. The police and fire guys were manning the gates and said it might be next week before we could get in.



Firefighters battle big storage fire in Bacliff | abc13.com
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:17 PM   #25
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Stopped in my local electrical supply store today. They had an aluminum set crew lug that should fit my cable nicely. This should work until I either solder a copper compression lug or remove the cable and crimp it on.
Sorry to be negative, but using aluminum along with copper is not a good idea. You will get galvanic action at the interface that will destroy the terminal and result in a high resistance contact. There is a grease that is supposed to be a solution, but I have not had really good success even using the stuff. It is better than nothing, but you are on a slippery slope downhill. Just get copper terminals. They are readily available in any hole and wire size.
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:05 PM   #26
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Sorry to be negative, but using aluminum along with copper is not a good idea. You will get galvanic action at the interface that will destroy the terminal and result in a high resistance contact. There is a grease that is supposed to be a solution, but I have not had really good success even using the stuff. It is better than nothing, but you are on a slippery slope downhill. Just get copper terminals. They are readily available in any hole and wire size.
I also thought about this. I did some research on these aluminum lugs. They are plated with both copper and tin so that direct contact of copper wire and aluminum is prevented. This prevents galvanic activity and prevents surface oxidation of the aluminum. Their words not mine . I also purchased Noalox which is an anti-oxidant joint compound. I have not been able to get access to my coach due to the fire at my storage lot. There was a lot of damage and the fire marshal has not given the green light. I will most likely solder a copper lug to replace this aluminum lug as you suggested. Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:54 AM   #27
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Do not use aluminum, even if plated, on copper dc wires.
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:19 AM   #28
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Do not use aluminum, even if plated, on copper dc wires.
I would like to know more about this. Battery terminals come in lead, brass, copper and aluminum. The battery post themselves are usually lead in automotive with lead battery terminals and copper wire. So it's ok to use copper lugs with copper wire but nobody has a problem that the lug is bolting to a dissimilar metal post??
Almost all new electrical lugs used in commercial and residential today are aluminum with different alloy metals used in the process Your saying there is a difference in using this type of lug (aluminum) because I have copper DC wire? So there is a difference in using aluminum lugs with AC vs DC? Any others with electrical background or specific knowledge care to chime in? It's my understanding the biggest problems come from not getting a tight connection between the connectors and the wire resulting in heat and corrosion.
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