Electrical wire question

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Steve Kokita, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. I'm relocating the deep cycle battery in my 10' jon boat to the bow. Is house cable (Romex 12-2 MN-B) ok to use with 12 volt? I like that it is coated wire with a rubber sheathing around all the wires. What do you think? I was also going to use some old jumper cables but to feed them through the space between the seats and side walls is minimal. Thanks---Steve :confused:
  2. Don't use NM-B as it has paper in it. You should use something bigger then 12ga. wire. DC is prone to voltage drop. I'd get some 8ga. 2 conductor stranded, SO. or SO-J.
  3. I would go even larger as the the prescribed 8 ga, Not only the voltage drop but better able to carry the amperage.I'm running 6 gage even on my pontoon for my deep cycle to the motor.
  4. look near the wire rack at HD for some short lengths at a reduce price
    save a few bucks
  5. The reason automotive & marine electrical applications use stranded wire is the vibration of cars & boats will in time cause solid wire to break. solid wire is not nearly as flexable.
  6. The guage of the wires on my battery charger are small, seems about the same as the house wire but strands. The jumper cables are way bigger than the cables on my Minn Kota, is 7' too much for house wire? I tried the volt drop site, but I'm no whiz at elec problems. Can this screw up the batt or motor? Thanks for the info so far...:beathead:
  7. The comments you've received so far regarding stranded vs solid are correct. I'm assuming that since you're talking about a 10' jon boat you won't be seeing any salt water time with it. But for future referance, or for others that may be reading this thread, if there is salt water duty involved and you want reliable wiring you would be best served by using stranded marine grade wire, it's tinned so you don't get corrosion over time between strands. Just another thought.
  8. If you use too small a wire. It will get hot. Just like a electric heater. BAD!
    Also the lowered voltage will cause the motor to overheat and burn up prematurely.

    This is NOT the place to cut corners. Get good wire and make sure your connections are good and tight.
  9. The real reason behind the advantage of using stranded wire over solid is that electricity, (ie; the electrons), on it travels on the outside surface of the wire itself, therefor many wires carrying the voltage by doing so, (not through it like a pipe carrying a liquid or gas), multiply the effective surface coverage with each strand, which allows the voltage to maintain an even current flow with little/no variance in the resistance levels. This is why electric welders have/use a 1/0 gauge stranded wire in the cables.
    It is the same principle used in creating a smaller/larger area of sq. footage by changing the shape of a perimeter, that is of equally proportionate lengths. (multiply 12x2 & the answer is 24 sq ft. Now add up the 2 sides +the 2 ends the answer is 26 ft. for the perimeter) to change the sq footage with the same/equal number of perimeter footage of an area take 9x4, which equals 36 sq ft., but if you add 9+9+4+4= 26 ft too. So it is the same covering a larger surface area with many strands, as the wiring which is of a single strand.
    I'm no rocket scientist, & I'm not trying to show off, nor do I understand the math behind it all, but I do understand the principles of the physics involved.

    But hey, here's one for you scientist/mathematician "doctorate" types out there.

    How much space is required for a pound of pure light? I'm basing my Q. on the "theoretical" fact of physics that says that matter can only change from one form to another, correct? And the theory of these physics has also included that it takes different "materials" to change matter from one form to another. Such as a torch to cut steel, a laser to cut steel, or even an acid, or ceramic cutter, can be used to cut steel, ...correct? So if I use a laser to cut a sheet of steel, then the light, (of the laser), must also be made up of "matter" in some form or another. So, .....how much space does it take to contain one pound of pure, (seeable to the human eye, type of radiation), light?

    And if you are installing new wiring in your watercraft, & have the opportunity to utilize the grey Pvc conduit without having to unbuild your craft, then it is advisable to do so, & I only say that from experience because of a fire on board of one of my fishing partner's aluminum boat, it was frying the whole electrical system with a short in the positive wiring, somewhere under the dash. Quite a shocking experience for 12volt dc. He found a loose screw while we were out one evening fishing for bass, grabbed a screwdriver & tightened it down, but did not realize that the screw, ...as he was tightening it, had penetrated into one of the hot leads to/from the radio harness. About an hour later he wanted to listen to some tunes on said radio, & that's when the fireworks began. Boy Howdy, it got really exciting as the aluminum hull got hotter & hotter, shocking me, because I had just landed a decent bass, & was still wet from when it made a big splash next to the boat. We were torn between laughing our butts off & wondering if we could rewire the trolling motor only, just to get back to the dock. From that time on I always secure my wiring inside a electrical pvc conduit as it is the only one type of that won't pass on an electrical short, even if I short out & melt the plastic off of the wiring right @ the batteries.
    Safety, .....1st, Most, & Last will always pop for a more enjoyable, worry free outing.
  10. Light is not matter, it's energy. m2c.
  11. Acid creates a chemical energy reaction, & the heat from turning acetylene, mixed with oxygen into a cutting flame is also a form of energy, correct? But all 3 will distort the matter of steel sheet, plate, etc., if you want to cut through it.
    So tell me, using the wavelength of energy that we can "see" how much space will a pound of that displace in the world of matter?
    With "all" things being proportionate, in nature, how is a cutting laser proportionally different than a gas torch? And yes, both use energy, to create heat, in order to cut through the steel plate. So how come it is not measured in pounds, ounces, tons. gallons, liters etc. ? ? ?
    I firmly believe that in the "future" (god willing that we don't destroy ourselves 1st), that mankind will be able to make a designable sheet of light that one can step up onto, & use this "platform to travel any where he/she/it wants to, programmable source of energy that we won't need to rely on the point of the need to utilize fossil fuels anymore.

    And I know that it's a Jetson's kind of future, but stop & think about it. If you were in the old "Wild West" would you hang someone for using a smart cell phone with a "dataplan"/internet, that could have info for any problematic Q, right at your fingertips? Or declare someone a witch, from the days of the Puritans, for the same reason?
    Welcome to the 21st century! lol ! ! !

    Oops Sorry not meant to hijack your thread, & I apologize completely, my bad.
    If anyone would like to continue the debate of whether radioactivity is, or can be reduced/increased to a tangible form is welcome to start a new thread.

    Again, I'm sorry about hijacking your thread.
  12. Okay you guys, you're making me almost want to just row the boat! How about if I use the jumper cables? Any problems with these? This boat will never see salt water.
  13. Hey Steve
    Do it right by getting new 6 or 8 ga wire. Besides your putting the battery under or near Ms. K. Dont want to get her mad at you if it shorts out and sparks. Either that or lose some weight so your butt does not sink the boat. LOL.

    I want to do the same thing, but first have to get a new prop that I broke.
  14. Ten guage wire is more than enough for a '15 run. I specked it out for my LVM pump: Truck battery to the back corner of my pickup bed, zipped tied it on the undercarriage, snaked it through the taillight run and into the bed of my truck. Made new quick connectors on the LVM and now I fill my raft while it's in the bed of the truck. The LVM has a peak amperage draw of 25 amps and I am sure that is just on start up or if you try to run it too long. Mcclendons harware!!
  15. Sorry, I apologize again Steve, but Yes, you can use jumper cables as long as you keep an eye on the overload/heat factor, but just check that the resistance (of trying to carry the load of the voltage to the trolling motor), doesn't overheat the cable wires, melt through the plastic sheathing, & short out against the frame, or the metal body of your craft. Check the temperature with your hands (from time to time), on the wires going into the motor, if it starts feeling really warm then reduce your load pull by slowing down the amount of thrust (reduce speed), on your trolling motor. (especially if you find yourself in a mat of really thick weeds, & this is where by using an extendable/collapsible extension pole with a gator foot on it, & move the craft along like they do in Venice, Italy. I thought it was crazy the 1st time I saw it, but it actually does work better than trying to force your way through by the prop alone. much easier than burning up your battery's strength, as well as not taking a toll on the trolling motor, or prop itself.)

    Oh yeah, & BTW, PLEASE, do make sure that you also carry a paddle, or a set of oars with you, just in case your motorized equipment does fail. And yes it has happened to me, but I was lucky enough to be by the shoreline & wound up towing my boat with the bowline wrapped around my waist. (This was when I was much younger & full of piss & vinegar, (as well as outrage @ the fact that I had another battery sitting in the truck all charged Up & ready to go, but once I got there, I was worn out from the tow job, & the fact that there is always tomorrow.) It's definitely not the fastest, or even the most convenient, but it could save you, & your trip from being @ the very least a flop, that could graduate into a tragic disaster, faster than you can blink.

    As I've said it before, & I cannot overemphasize the three safety factors that are most important when out on the water, Safety, 1st, most, & last!

    I know it's somewhat of a pain in the backside, but trust me, & better yet, trust your own judgement, if you answer this Q. Should the event happen that something goes wrong, (insert & apply Murphy's Law here,), are you prepared to deal with the situation properly, safely, & with the confidence in your equipment & ability to overcome most any adversity?
  16. QUOTE:"Sorry, I apologize again Steve, but Yes, you can use jumper cables as long as you keep an eye on the overload/heat factor, but just check that the resistance (of trying to carry the load of the voltage to the trolling motor), doesn't overheat the cable wires, melt through the plastic sheathing, & short out against the frame, or the metal body of your craft." End Quote. I know you the info on this subject, but voltage is not the load....amperage is the load and is what will heat up wires or burn up any 12 volt motor if the size of the wire guage is inadequate. Same thing with electric weedeaters: do not use a 14/3 extension cord longer than 50 feet. Any longer and it will not carry the "amperage" even though you will have 110 volts at the end.
  17. As others have said, stranded is the best wire for the application. You definitely need to match the gauge of wire to the amount of current your motor will draw.

    Here is a chart that should be of some help to you:

  18. I just rewired my Minn Kota. I needed the power cables to be 4 feet longer than the factory cables. I went to Shucks and bought a set of 10 guage jumper cables for $11 and they work like a dream. We are just talking about a trolling motor here, not the theory of relativity. K.I.S.S.
  19. That should work OK. Hooking up a motor isn't rocket science, but, you still have the law of physics that are in play, and that you can not fool. It's really not that complicated matching wire gauge to the your current needs.

Share This Page