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Old 05-30-2014, 12:53 PM   #1
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Calling all electrical experts!!!!

I'm not sure of the gauge, but the cables that connect our house bats together and also the main "bus" cables are HUGE (like as big as my thumb).

I bought an extra to install my battery monitor and all NAPA had (in a short length) were "starter" cables. I figured that most starters pull up to 250 AMPS (or more), so thought I'd be OK.

Now I'm pretty sure the new cable is NOT large enough; it's smaller than my little finger. It is not getting warm to the touch, but it might someday.

So, question is should I replace the added cable with one the same size as the original cables..... And is so, where do I get something that huge??

Boowho??
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:38 PM   #2
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Stay with the current (ok, pun intended) wire gauge, probably a 2 or 4 right now. The one you bought is maybe a 6 or 8 ga so considerably smaller. Smaller number, bigger wire. There is a guide sheet, not at my fingertips, which shows what you need for length of run vs volts/amps needed for the application. Go with what is currently in place and you should not have any problems.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:50 PM   #3
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What you will need is welding cable. There are many websites that will guide you to the right size
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:59 PM   #4
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Not sure what type of ends you want - but here is a source for pre-made battery cables. They go up to 2/0, which is probably large enough. Or if you just want plain wire w/o the ends - they go up to 4/0.

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Old 05-30-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boowho View Post
I bought an extra to install my battery monitor and all NAPA had (in a short length) were "starter" cables. I figured that most starters pull up to 250 AMPS (or more), so thought I'd be OK.
Not sure what the extra cable is for but if your battery monitor is more or
less a volt meter that tells you the amount of charge remaining in your
batteries- just about any size wire will work. IF the extra wire you need
is passing the total CURRENT to/from your batteries then it needs to be
big.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:16 PM   #6
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If the monitor has a shunt you need the same size cable.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
Not sure what the extra cable is for but if your battery monitor is more or
less a volt meter that tells you the amount of charge remaining in your
batteries- just about any size wire will work. IF the extra wire you need
is passing the total CURRENT to/from your batteries then it needs to be
big.
I am with you on this...I can't imagine why the OP needs this type of wire for a "monitor". Normally some 16 gauge would work fine to monitor the volts on the battery. If he were going to measure current, he should be installing a "shunt" in line with the batteries and then measure the millivolts produced across the shunt and convert to current flow.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:26 PM   #8
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I don't quite understand you are adding a battery display monitor, something to read what your voltage is in your battery bank? If that is what you are talking about what you bought would be fine. I agree with KYDAN.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:42 PM   #9
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Background: this is what Boohoo did concerning the question he posed. More info to follow:

Just finished installing the Battery Monitoring module for the Magnum 1212. Install was quite easy; mostly plug and play.





It took the system right at 20 hours to get an accurate reading on State of Charge. While waiting the display simply reads "Thinkin'" !!





Paid $170 for the kit (with shunt), but almost $60 additional for stuff they do NOT include.





Going to experiment/test it out over the next week or so, to determine exactly how much good it does for me. Initially, I think it will be a great asset.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:43 PM   #10
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Clarification

I should have posted this earlier, but here's a drawing, both before and after. The before pic is one top. After on bottom.

The number 1-4 indicate the pos and neg of TWO output circuits; one to the house 12 volt circuit, the other to the Inverter.

The after after drawing shows how I added the shunt to the negative. While not a shunt, I added a terminal block to the positive side. All the wires in the before drawing are the "huge" ones ( 0/4, I believe ). All in the after drawing are the same EXCEPT the two attached DIRECTLY to the posts.

In other words the black wire from the bat to one side of the shunt PLUS the red wire from the bat to the terminal block are the lighter gauge ( 4 ).

Thanks for the replies so far.

Boowho??
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