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Old 09-23-2007, 09:06 AM   #1
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I am in the process of cleaning up the battery compartment. Specifically, the crowded battery posts. This involves placing additional distrubution posts on the frame to move the extra cables to. To connect to these posts I will need suitable size battery cables. Since the largest cable involved is 1/0 ga. that is the size I think will need. Length of the 3 cables varies from 10", 11", 12". I can go to my local marine supply store and make these up myself (liability concerns)at $12/foot. Since I would rather have soldered/welded eyes on the cables can someone direst me to a custom cable supplier. I have checked the 'net and was not satisfied. Also, if I have to make these myself, should I coat the cables with an oxidation preventer before crimping?
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:06 AM   #2
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I am in the process of cleaning up the battery compartment. Specifically, the crowded battery posts. This involves placing additional distrubution posts on the frame to move the extra cables to. To connect to these posts I will need suitable size battery cables. Since the largest cable involved is 1/0 ga. that is the size I think will need. Length of the 3 cables varies from 10", 11", 12". I can go to my local marine supply store and make these up myself (liability concerns)at $12/foot. Since I would rather have soldered/welded eyes on the cables can someone direst me to a custom cable supplier. I have checked the 'net and was not satisfied. Also, if I have to make these myself, should I coat the cables with an oxidation preventer before crimping?
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:19 PM   #3
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How about an auto parts store, NAPA or similar. Ones that have machine shops often make cables and hoses or know who will.

$12 a foot seems pretty steep even if that includes lugs for 1/0. I wouldn't coat the exposed cable with anything before crimping, you could limit the amount of contact area.

When I make cables I slip a couple of pieces of heat shrink tube over the cable, crimp the lugs. Seal any space between the cable insulation and lug with liquid electric tape, let it dry well the solvent is flammable. Pull the heat shrink over and shrink.
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:19 PM   #4
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The marine cables are pricey but meet Coast Guard standards for fuel & oil resistance. They also tend to have more strands (more like welding cable) for better current carrying capacity. You may not need 1/0 gauge if the wire & insulation is designed for high current loads. Go with the amp ratings, not the gauge size. $12/foot still sounds awful high, though. I bought some about 5 years ago for around $3/foot, but the gauge was a bit smaller than you want.

Major battery cable lengths of 10-12 feet make me nervous - do they have to be that long? Anything over 4 feet is a major impedimet to high current loads, e.g. a starter motor or big inverter. OK for 30-40A loads, though.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for your replies. I found a starter/alternator rebuilder,locally, that made the cables up for me. He used 1/0 starter cable Price was $10 each and the ends were soldered. He also suggested for oxidation prevention I should use an anti-seize compound on the terminals and cable eyes.
BTW, the cable lengths were in inches.
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:44 PM   #6
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Gary,
A good type of antioxidant is called
" NOALOX" you can find that at Homedepot in the electrical section if you decide to crimp the terminals on.

If you do solder them on remember a cold solder joint is hard to find .
The temp. has to be very hot to run the solder into the terminal and wick up in the cable.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:32 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RV Roamer:
They also tend to have more strands (more like welding cable) for better current carrying capacity. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Number of strands of wire in a cable at 12 VDC does not affect the current carrying capability. The only thing that larger numbers of strands at this voltage and direct current will affect is cable flexibility.

Yup, I'm splitting hairs, but we need to keep the facts straight.
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:18 PM   #8
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Too late now, but in our race cars, we use welding cable and I think Moroso has ends that crimp down by tightening with a wrench. Very neat and secure.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:28 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Number of strands of wire in a cable at 12 VDC does not affect the current carrying capability. The only thing that larger numbers of strands at this voltage and direct current will affect is cable flexibility. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are of course right about strands and AC vs DC current carrying, Alvin. My mistake - mea culpa! But marine cable usually does have more strands and is more flexible. In terms of current carrying capacity, it also generally has superior insulation, rated for much higher temps and loads as well as exposure to fuels and oil.
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:48 PM   #10
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I've made my own cables for years from welding cable. I bought one of the large, high quality crimping tools and use the cast terminals. I've never had a problem with a crimp. I've done alot of inverter installations, some of them using 4/0 cable. Boat wire is excellent (and probably the best) because the strands are coated. However, it is always the most expensive. To balance cost with performance, I usually use welding cable with heat shrink at the ends of the cable/connectors.
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