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Discussion Starter #1
I am running a kicker zx400.1 and zx200.2. Was going to run 4awg power to back where amps are (about 10-12ft) then 8awg to each amp(maybe 2-3ft) through a distro block. The manual for zx400.1 recommends 4awg power and ground (the inputs are for 4awg), of course zx200.1 8awg pwr/ground. I was going to be safe and run 4awg from the distroblock to the 400 watt amp as well as 4awg ground BUT...cant find a distro block that has a 4awg in and 4 awg out with an additional 8 awg out. Looking at different charts at 400-450 watts I should be ok with 8awg power and ground but i just want to be sure for my 1st install :) Every distro block I find has 4awg in and two 8 awg out...even though the manual and holes are for 4awg, i feel the 8 awg at a short run from the distro block should do correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For the price and amount of power...is it ok to run the KCA cable instead, i know its not pure copper but this is a baby system lol
 

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To make your install cost effective and to cater for upgrading needs next time, I would suggest the main power cable from battery till distribution block using 1/0 Knu's KCA(it is flexible) then 8AWG Knu's OFC to your amps....
But then for normal usage, Knu's 4AWG OFC from battery are more than enough....
Using CCA are not an issue, as long as you terminate them properly and using silicone grease to protect them....
 

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want 4 gauge because of any upgrades you might do and eliminate any loss that will occur. Sure you can choose to run 8 gauge but that won't leave any upgrading and is the minimum I would let you do.
 

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The stinger HPM distro block I have has adapter rings, so you can run either 0/1 or 4g in and then either 4 or 8g out. All you have to do is leave 1 ring in for the 8g and take the other out for the 4g run. It is a fused distro block.
 

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The idea is keep the 8ga short from block to amp, like 3' or less is better in particular to the larger (usually sub) amp. The 8ga will handle the power fine but what happens is over distance it lowers the voltage and reduces the output of the amp at max. So a short piece has much less of this effect than the length of your car, that is why you can run a little piece of 8ga and it will not make much difference even if you are borderline max power for 8ga wire (which you are not). So I'd not worry about it and do it like you figured, just try to keep the block close to the amps and the 8ga shorter to the larger amp if you can. If you go to bcae1.com to the wire page there is a calculator you can figure all your sizes and also charts for wire size.

Far as the ground I much rather run a ground direct and not use a block. It is another point of possible failure in fact two points (two set screws/connections). I would recommend you just ground each. I would rather put two grounds on one bolt into the car body and a bolt for each is better. At least I can get that larger bolt tight even use a locknut on it where I don't much care for set screws in blocks. That said I have a ground block in my car now, at least it is in my amp rack and well protected. But I don't care that much about max output/voltage loss and have it there to facilitate swapping amps easily. If I kept the same amps in I would get rid of it. I worry about a bad ground damaging my equipment more than anything else I've seen HU and amps blown from it.
 

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I'm a big fan of Kicker amp kits... great wire, great blocks...

 

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Knu is better then welding cable.
 

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Yes it is
 

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Yes it is
No it's not and yes it is, depending on what your definition of "better" is. I've done much research on the topic before buying up my current system and here is what I've found. The only difference between a welding cable and a high-quality Knu wire is the strand count and jacket. Nothing else.

On the jacket - matters very little to me - all of them are more then sufficient to protect the wire. If you really care about protecting it - get some corrogulated split loom - will protect the wire from abrasion/heat/chemicals better then any jacket available on the market. No jacket on the market will offer your wire true protection from such elements if the environment the wire is placed in requires such protections.

Disclaimer - I am not an electrician and I cannot explain the fundemental concepts that follow - I just know that it works, but not exactly how or why. There is a "myth" out there that higher strand count actually improves amperage of the wire. This is a myth because it does not apply to DC - which is what car audio runs on. The reason people think this is that for AC current, electron (current) flow is on the conductor surface. The the more surface area - and this increases dramatically with higher strand count - the better the amperage of the wire. However DC current does not care in the slightest about he surface area - it is reliant entirely on the cross-sectional area of the wire. Hence, 1/0AWG of pure oxygen-free copper (OFC) is going to have the exact same electricity carrying properties no matter who made it, no matter how many strands there are. In other words, Knu is no better then welding, no better then Monster, Stinger, whatever.

On strand count - this is one area where I'll give you that one wire can be 'better' then another. Higher strand count = more flexibility. For 1/0 cables - this is kind of important in car installations as you will need to make tight bends in the cable. That said, welding wire is more then flexible enough for this purpose. "Audio" power cables are even more flexible, but is it worth the extra money? I don't think so - I'm running Stinger HPM 1/0 from battery to distribution block and then to ground point. Yeah, its nice and flexible. My big 3 was done entirely with welding wire. Just as nice and almost as flexible - no trouble at all getting it to tuck away and make tight bends. Again, comes down to - is flexibility worth that much to you that you'll spend that much more money on the same exact amount of copper. That is a question I cannot answer - but it is the ONLY difference between a "high-quality" branded power cable and your standard welding cable.

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
 

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The skin effect only matters in AC, and even then, in high frequency AC only. I have never had an issue with the flexibility of the welding cable that I use, nor do I feel that the jacket is inadequate.
 

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There is a reason why we have AC power lines and not DC.

AC is moved with more voltage then current. DC is moved with more amperage.

Car is amperage and that requires a THICK wire to handle the extra load. This is why we can use 16 gauge speaker wire up to 20 feet with a 150 RMS load with NO ill effect.

Yes you can use welding cable and will do fine for your needs but as I see it, why not get something better for your car? It is only about $115 or so after shipping/ tax for a complete 0 gauge kit from Knu.
 

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again, that "better" word - by no quantifiable measure is Knu any better then stinger, monster, kicker, or weld - again, unless you care about flexibility. That said - I do love Knu fuse holders/distro blocks. The way I see, why spend more when your only benefit received is a brand name on a cable that, once installed, noone should ever see?

You can get a full 1/0 install kit right one these forums and save a few bucks. Considering the magnitued of the OP install, this is the prudent route. Of course, one cannot put a price on the need to 'overkill' an install - I should know first and foremost considering how much sound deadening I put in a 2002 Camry with almost 100,000 on the o-meter....

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
 
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