Battery Cable Question
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Battery Cable Question

  1. #1
    79 Sanger Picklefork Tittyman's Avatar
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    Default Battery Cable Question

    I need to put a second battery in the boat..The only place for it is in the back. The + cable run will be 7-8 feet to the selector switch. What guage cable should I use? I also heard welding cable will work just fine and is less money...thanks..
    Last edited by Tittyman; 09-30-2013 at 07:08 PM.
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    Senior Member SoldHondaBoughtHondo's Avatar
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    Welding wire? You mean leads for a stick arc?
    Yes they work great. You might want to get next gauge bigger than the rest of your battery cable although the same gauge gauge welding cable will carry more current because it has more strands of wire...I guess the current doesn't actually flow through through the wire, it flows on the outside, more strands=more surface area.
    The ring terminals that weld shop work pretty well to, heat them up with a propane torch, fill half way up with rosin core solder and slowly slide the cable in until the solder wicks up the cable a little.
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    79 Sanger Picklefork Tittyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoldHondaBoughtHondo View Post
    Welding wire? You mean leads for a stick arc?
    Yes they work great. You might want to get next gauge bigger than the rest of your battery cable although the same gauge gauge welding cable will carry more current because it has more strands of wire...I guess the current doesn't actually flow through through the wire, it flows on the outside, more strands=more surface area.
    The ring terminals that weld shop work pretty well to, heat them up with a propane torch, fill half way up with rosin core solder and slowly slide the cable in until the solder wicks up the cable a little.















    Sorry, I was talking about cable, not wire...So is welding cable a lot less money than battery cable?
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    gn7
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    You're going to want a minimum of #1 for a cable that long. 1/0 would be better, and not that much more. Any decent welding shop will have it, as well as the eyelet/ring terminals.



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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoldHondaBoughtHondo View Post
    Welding wire? You mean leads for a stick arc?
    Yes they work great. You might want to get next gauge bigger than the rest of your battery cable although the same gauge gauge welding cable will carry more current because it has more strands of wire...I guess the current doesn't actually flow through through the wire, it flows on the outside, more strands=more surface area.
    The ring terminals that weld shop work pretty well to, heat them up with a propane torch, fill half way up with rosin core solder and slowly slide the cable in until the solder wicks up the cable a little.
    Not exactly. Its the total mass of the cable. There is a reason that main bus bars are solid copper bars and not strips of copper. A solid 1/2 bar will carry more current than a 1/2 diameter cable.
    The finer the strands the more flexible the cable. Welding cables need to be flexible. Main feeds in your house of building don't.

    Due to the vibrations and movement in a boat, the welding cable is a better choice than even auto battery cables. But the smaller stands are more susceptible to corrosion than auto battery cables, so its a trade off.
    Lightening cable is only 32 strands and about 5/8 diameter for most FAA control towers, mainly for corrosion while still able to handle the current. Its all a trade off.



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    Isn't marine wire and cable among the better wire?
    The wire has more strands and is tinned for corrosion resistance.
    When it's soldered to the terminal, the wire would appear to be almost totally sealed.

    It is not less expensive though.

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    I don't feel tardy Hallett Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tittyman View Post
    I need to put a second battery in the boat..The only place for it is in the back. The + cable run will be 7-8 feet to the selector switch. What guage cable should I use? I also heard welding cable will work just fine and is less money...thanks..
    00 welding cable, very flexible and flows current real well, properly crimped, not soldered and heavy duty heat shrink on both ends. Works for me, your results may vary.
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    79 Sanger Picklefork Tittyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hallett Dave View Post
    00 welding cable, very flexible and flows current real well, properly crimped, not soldered and heavy duty heat shrink on both ends. Works for me, your results may vary.
    HD
    Why crimped and not soldered?
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    Already miss the 310/562 2manymustangs's Avatar
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    Seal the ends well with heat shrink tube if possible and apply NO-OX liberally after you decide CRIMP vs SOLDER:


    BELOW is for aluminum, someone makes a copper/lead version...

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    Last edited by 2manymustangs; 10-01-2013 at 09:31 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tittyman View Post
    Why crimped and not soldered?
    I've used the same 00 welding cable in my float for 22 years. No problems. I soldered the lugs on using a propane torch. The idea was to "fill the voids" to prevent oxidation between the cable and the inside surface of the lugs Also, the rubber insulation seems to be holding up at least as well as anything else in the bilge. But that could vary depending on the manufacturer I guess.....

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