Audio basic installation inquiry

Last Modified:Thursday, April 22, 2010 Last Modified By: Administrator Type: HOWTO
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ARTICLE # M422-11609

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Installing an amplifier in a vehicle and need to run power and ground wire. How can you determine the proper wire gauge to use for the amplifier

It is extremely important to choose the correct gauge wire for the amplifier/amplifiers being installed to allow for maximum current draw. Using a larger gauge wire than necessary will not hurt anything but heavy gauge wire can get expensive.

Refer to the attached chart which can be used as a guide for the most appropriate gauge wire for the expected amount of current draw and length of the run. Obviously, the power and ground input connectors of the amplifier will dictate the largest gauge wire that can be directly connected to the amplifier. This limitation doesn't always mean that the corresponding wire gauge will be sufficient for the run from the battery. In some cases you may find that an amplifier with 4 gauge power and ground inputs can draw over 100 amps at full power. If you look at the attached chart you will notice that 4 gauge would be fine if the length is kept under 10 feet. If the length of the run is more than 10 feet, 4 gauge will not be sufficient to handle the current requirements of the amplifier. In this case you would want to run the appropriate gauge wire based on the length of the run and current demand of the amplifier. Run the wire to a distribution block mounted close to the amplifier. Use the distribution block to step down to the size wire that the amplifier's inputs can accomodate. This same method would apply to systems incorporating more than one amplifier.

This article requires an advanced understanding of the installed system. Please contact your local Authorized Directed Dealer or Retailer if you require additional assistance.

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11002_Wire_Length.pdf 11002_Wire_Length.pdf (91.31 KB, 669 views)


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