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Stoplight Wire Gauge

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Bill Blue, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    I bought 60 feet of 16 gauge primary wire for the stoplight switches, cut it up and started crimping on the connectors. It became obvious this stuff was mismarked, it is really 18 gauge. So much for paying for name brand (Dorman), made in China stuff. Might as well pay as little as possible.

    Question(s) of the day:
    Will this be okay to use? Anyone know what gauge is used in the stock wiring harness?

    Bill
     
  2. V_Mad

    V_Mad Donation Time

    For stop lamps these are 2 x 21Watts, which takes about 3.5 amps, so 9/0.3 auto wire should be OK.

    In the UK we use wire that has strands of copper wire 0.3mm thick, and select the number of strands depending on load. 9/0.3 will be OK for up to 5.75 amps. Not sure how that relates to your awg gauge. Is your wire a single strand of 18 gauge then?
     
  3. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    Wow! People sure have different ways of specing wire. The wire I have is 19 stands of .011" wire. I think .011" equals .27 mm, so it appears I am safe in using this.

    Bill
     
  4. V_Mad

    V_Mad Donation Time

    When I worked in electronic equipment design, we used a lot of stranded cable and wire which I think is called hookup wire in the USA. It was always spec'd as 'No of conductors'/'No of strands' in metric sizes (although I remember some imperial (inch) sizes in the sixties).

    We used 7/0.2 for general signal routes, and 19/0.2 or larger for DC power supplies (5V, 12V etc). I think we had 0.3mm conductors as well.

    Classic car wires in Europe tend to be 0.3mm strands, PVC covered which come in the following sizes:

    9/0.30, 0.65mm2, 5.75A
    14/0.30, 1.0mm2, 8.75A
    28/0.30, 2.0mm2, 17.5A
    44/0.30, 3.0mm2, 27.5A
    65/0.30, 4.5mm2, 35A
    84/0.30, 6.0mm2, 42A

    I believe recent changes in motor technology have introduced cable with a thinner layer of improved insulation. This allows a higher current rating for a given weight or overall size.
     
  5. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thanks Chris. All the hookup wire I have seen is single strand, usually 20 ga. or smaller. Multistrand wire for automotive duty is usually called primary wire. Why, I don't know. It is interesting to see how various cultures handle the problem. I've got to say, I think I prefer your method. Over here, 18 ga. wire can be anything from single strand to X number of Y diameter strands.

    Regardless, it appears the stuff I have can handle 10 amps, which should be ample for any Alpine.

    Bill
     

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