Author Topic: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?  (Read 713 times)

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2018, 04:24:57 PM »
That's why this wire call Low Power https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0002YVWTW/ref=gno_cart_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A13RJIMC40OSS9.  See technical details section.  I prefer speaker wires anyway.

If that is 12 gauge wire, the the 12 Watts in the details section is a typo or cut and paste error.  12 Watts would power only a couple of the low voltage lights people use in their yards since some of these are 4, 7, and 10 or more watts each.
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Chris

Offline pixelpuppy

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2018, 04:51:41 PM »
I agree, that has to be a typo in the description.   More likely its 12 amps, which is still low for 12-gauge wire but more believable than 12 watts.  Besides that, its very uncommon to list a "wattage" spec for wire. 
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Offline DaveM

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2018, 05:28:30 PM »
That's why this wire call Low Power https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0002YVWTW/ref=gno_cart_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A13RJIMC40OSS9.  See technical details section.  I prefer speaker wires anyway.

If that is 12 gauge wire, the the 12 Watts in the details section is a typo or cut and paste error.  12 Watts would power only a couple of the low voltage lights people use in their yards since some of these are 4, 7, and 10 or more watts each.
I think someone from Coleman merged a couple of descriptions by mistake. It also says type LED. I'm not familiar with any LED type cable... 😀

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Offline tbone321

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2018, 09:16:02 PM »
That's why this wire call Low Power https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0002YVWTW/ref=gno_cart_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A13RJIMC40OSS9.  See technical details section.  I prefer speaker wires anyway.

I believe that you may have misread the specs.  It shows 12W at 120V, not 12V and even there, it appears to be under rated.  I use this cable on my deck where every other post has a cap light.  That came out to 20 light fixtures and each one currently has a 15W bulb in it.  Simple math makes that 300W connected to a 400W supply over 100 ft of cable and the last light in the string is as bright as the first so the cable is more than capable of handling way more than 12W.  I will be replacing the bulbs with LED versions this year to cut down on the amount of power being used as well as the need to replace bulbs every few years but for the last 5 years, everything worked well. 

Offline MrTeaIOT

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2018, 08:35:52 AM »
The manufacture stated LOW POWER cable for a reason.  You might be able to carry more that 400W but not manufacture recommended and the wire might get warmer than normal.   12W at 120V = 0.1A for same 0.1A at 12V => 1.2A.   I would not use it.  I email the manufacture of the speakers wire regarding the rating and they would not recommend for intended use at 12v at 5A => 60W.  How about using regular house electrical wire https://www.amazon.com/Southwire-Building-Wire-Conductor-Yellow/dp/B001B178TI/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1518708063&sr=8-13&keywords=electric+wires+12%2F2 ?  Rated 20A at 600V that's 1000A at 12v.  ;D

Offline DaveM

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2018, 09:57:27 AM »
The manufacture stated LOW POWER cable for a reason.  You might be able to carry more that 400W but not manufacture recommended and the wire might get warmer than normal.   12W at 120V = 0.1A for same 0.1A at 12V => 1.2A.   I would not use it.  I email the manufacture of the speakers wire regarding the rating and they would not recommend for intended use at 12v at 5A => 60W.  How about using regular house electrical wire https://www.amazon.com/Southwire-Building-Wire-Conductor-Yellow/dp/B001B178TI/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1518708063&sr=8-13&keywords=electric+wires+12%2F2 ?  Rated 20A at 600V that's 1000A at 12v.  ;D
Current rating stays the same at any voltage. 12 ga is rated for no more than 20A whether at 120v or 12v. Google ampacity chart or amp ratings and you will see different wire types listed but no mention of voltage.

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Offline k6ccc

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2018, 09:57:53 AM »
There seems to be a MAJOR flaw in understanding what ratings are for wire, so let me explain a bit.  A wire will normally have two types of ratings. 

The first is one or more voltage ratings.  The voltage has nothing to do with the conductor, and everything to do with the insulation.  For the type of stuff we're dealing with, there will only be one voltage rating.  That applies for the allowable voltage from other stuff outside the cable, and also for the voltage between conductors of a multi-wire cable.  For some types of multi-wire cables, there may be a different voltage rating between each wire of the cable and stuff outside the cable.  That's normally only for high voltage stuff, and very unlikely to apply to anything dealt with in this hobby (addiction).

The second rating is one or frequently more than one current rating.  This largely deals with the conductor, BUT also includes the insulation, type of cable, and even the installation or use.  This is where heating and the ability to dissipate that heat gets involved.  Unless we're dealing with super-conductors (we're not), ALL electrical wire has resistance.  When you pass a current through a resistance, you get two important things: voltage drop and heat.  The voltage drop part is important in that too much voltage drop and whatever load is connected is not getting the voltage it needs to operate properly.  The heat part means that the wire gets warm - or hot - or REALLY hot.  Let's start with the conductor itself.  Most electrical wire is made up primarily of copper, or aluminum.  Each has advantages and disadvantages.  Without this getting far longer than it already is, I'm going to skip most of the technical part and simply state that most of the stuff we will deal with is copper.  Might also run into copper clad aluminum (commonly called CCA).  Copper is a very good of electricity, but it does have some resistance, and therefore passing a current through it results in some heat production.  The insulation of the wire restricts the ability of that wire to dissipate the heat, so in general terms, the more insulation, the less ability to dissipate the heat and therefore, the lower the amperage rating.  Similarly, bundling multiple wires together either in a multi-conductor cable or to a somewhat lesser degree in conduit, also lessens the current rating because of the inability to dissipate the heat.  What this all means is that the same conductor that can carry 20 amps (for example) if it is a bare wire suspended in free air, might have an 18 amp rating with insulation around it, and 16 amps when bundled together with two other similar wires into a cable.  This is why almost all the power wire on electric utility poles or tower have no insulation on the wires themselves.  Insulation in that case serves no useful purpose and reduces the current carrying capability of the wire.  For any given wire, as long as the voltage is low enough that the insulation is sufficient, as far as current capacity is concerned, voltage has no bearing - current is everything.

Most of the ratings that are being talked about here are a simplified set of ratings, and for general use, that is sufficient.  If you want to get an understanding of how complex it can get, do some reading in the National Electrical Code.  It's really dry reading, but there is a lot of information there.

With all that said, in general terms, a 12 AWG two conductor cable is generally rated for 20 amps (for our purposes).  It does not matter if it's "speaker cable", "low voltage lighting cable", an extension cord that you cut the ends off of, or much of anything else.

Here's your little wire capacity trivia.  You go to Home Depot and buy a high quality 100 foot 12 gauge extension cord that has a 20 amp plug on one end and a 20 amp outlet of the other end.  You also buy a nice cord reel to store it on.  You think that you can use that cord for 20 amps - right?  Did you know that if you have the cord on the reel, it is de-rated because it can no longer dissipate as much heat that is generated in it.  You're supposed to unreel the entire cable.  Does anyone actually do that?  Likely very few - I don't.  Now if you are drawing small amounts of power for short periods of time, it's not a problem.  However for example if you were to unreel 40 feet of that cord and plug in 1800 watts of work flood lights and leave them on all night, I can guarantee that the 60 feet of extension cord still on the reel would be VERY hot.
Jim

Offline MrTeaIOT

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2018, 10:08:11 AM »
The manufacture stated LOW POWER cable for a reason.  You might be able to carry more that 400W but not manufacture recommended and the wire might get warmer than normal.   12W at 120V = 0.1A for same 0.1A at 12V => 1.2A.   I would not use it.  I email the manufacture of the speakers wire regarding the rating and they would not recommend for intended use at 12v at 5A => 60W.  How about using regular house electrical wire https://www.amazon.com/Southwire-Building-Wire-Conductor-Yellow/dp/B001B178TI/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1518708063&sr=8-13&keywords=electric+wires+12%2F2 ?  Rated 20A at 600V that's 1000A at 12v.  ;D
Current rating stays the same at any voltage. 12 ga is rated for no more than 20A whether at 120v or 12v. Google ampacity chart or amp ratings and you will see different wire types listed but no mention of voltage.

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The power law equation state that P =IxV.  Then current Amp = Watt / Volts.


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Offline tbone321

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2018, 10:13:19 AM »
Current rating stays the same at any voltage. 12 ga is rated for no more than 20A whether at 120v or 12v. Google ampacity chart or amp ratings and you will see different wire types listed but no mention of voltage.


This is correct IF the capacity is measured in AMPS.  When the capacity is measured in WATTS, then the voltage NEEDS to be taken into account to see what the current actually is. 

Offline k6ccc

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2018, 10:26:16 AM »
Current rating stays the same at any voltage. 12 ga is rated for no more than 20A whether at 120v or 12v. Google ampacity chart or amp ratings and you will see different wire types listed but no mention of voltage.


This is correct IF the capacity is measured in AMPS.  When the capacity is measured in WATTS, then the voltage NEEDS to be taken into account to see what the current actually is.
Wrong.  Current capacity of a wire has NOTHING to do with watts.  If someone specifies the current capacity of a wire in watts, then they don't know what they are talking about.  That would make about as much sense as specifying the time required to break the Olympic record for 1500M speed skating, in feet.  Wrong unit of measure.

Offline tbone321

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2018, 10:41:43 AM »
The manufacture stated LOW POWER cable for a reason.  You might be able to carry more that 400W but not manufacture recommended and the wire might get warmer than normal.   12W at 120V = 0.1A for same 0.1A at 12V => 1.2A.   I would not use it.  I email the manufacture of the speakers wire regarding the rating and they would not recommend for intended use at 12v at 5A => 60W.  How about using regular house electrical wire https://www.amazon.com/Southwire-Building-Wire-Conductor-Yellow/dp/B001B178TI/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1518708063&sr=8-13&keywords=electric+wires+12%2F2 ?  Rated 20A at 600V that's 1000A at 12v.  ;D

You keep saying that the manufacturer states LOW POWER but I can't find that anywhere.  I do see where they say LOW VOLTAGE but that is NOT the same thing as low power.  12 gauge wire is 12 gauge wire and should laugh at 5A, regardless of voltage.  Regular house electrical wire is not designed to be used as an extension cord.  It is usually solid wire and does not like to be flexed around like stranded cables.  It is also somewhat stiff and will stand out like a sore thumb in your display.  Speaker wire works well if you are using it for a single point to point connection but if you need to tap into it in more than one location, it becomes a real PITA.  This is where landscape wire works well.  It tolerates exposure to the weather well, is easy to tap into, can handle fairly high current when using 12 gauge, and hides itself well, even in daylight.  You can use what you want to but there is nothing wrong with using landscape wire for things like power injection on smart strings.

Offline K-State Fan

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2018, 10:56:05 AM »
The manufacture stated LOW POWER cable for a reason.  You might be able to carry more that 400W but not manufacture recommended and the wire might get warmer than normal.   12W at 120V = 0.1A for same 0.1A at 12V => 1.2A.   I would not use it.  I email the manufacture of the speakers wire regarding the rating and they would not recommend for intended use at 12v at 5A => 60W.  How about using regular house electrical wire https://www.amazon.com/Southwire-Building-Wire-Conductor-Yellow/dp/B001B178TI/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1518708063&sr=8-13&keywords=electric+wires+12%2F2 ?  Rated 20A at 600V that's 1000A at 12v.  ;D

You keep saying that the manufacturer states LOW POWER but I can't find that anywhere.  I do see where they say LOW VOLTAGE but that is NOT the same thing as low power.  12 gauge wire is 12 gauge wire and should laugh at 5A, regardless of voltage.  Regular house electrical wire is not designed to be used as an extension cord.  It is usually solid wire and does not like to be flexed around like stranded cables.  It is also somewhat stiff and will stand out like a sore thumb in your display.  Speaker wire works well if you are using it for a single point to point connection but if you need to tap into it in more than one location, it becomes a real PITA.  This is where landscape wire works well.  It tolerates exposure to the weather well, is easy to tap into, can handle fairly high current when using 12 gauge, and hides itself well, even in daylight.  You can use what you want to but there is nothing wrong with using landscape wire for things like power injection on smart strings.

This is the spec for the wire. Under 30 volts but nothing about current which is common since there are many different applications that can change the capacity that was point out earlier.

Offline tbone321

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2018, 11:48:06 AM »
Current rating stays the same at any voltage. 12 ga is rated for no more than 20A whether at 120v or 12v. Google ampacity chart or amp ratings and you will see different wire types listed but no mention of voltage.


This is correct IF the capacity is measured in AMPS.  When the capacity is measured in WATTS, then the voltage NEEDS to be taken into account to see what the current actually is.
Wrong.  Current capacity of a wire has NOTHING to do with watts.  If someone specifies the current capacity of a wire in watts, then they don't know what they are talking about.  That would make about as much sense as specifying the time required to break the Olympic record for 1500M speed skating, in feet.  Wrong unit of measure.

I hate to burst your bubble there Sherlock, but your example is complete BS.  Current capacity has EVERYTHING to do with watts AT A SPECIFIC VOLTAGE.  If you break out your beginners electrical manual, you will see that power (watts) = Voltage * current.  Notice that Key value here, CURRENT.  If I know the voltage they are using and the max wattage given, a simple calculation of Watts / Voltage will give the current capacity of the wire.  Sure, when dealing with household wiring, using wattage is not the best unit of measure since we don't know what the voltage may be and the watts at 120V are not the same as they would be at 240V so why calculate for current when it can simply be stated.  But wattage IS used in things like low voltage landscape lighting where the voltage IS KNOWN and lamps are measured in WATTS, not AMPS because people can relate the light output to watts much easier than they can to amps.  Then all that the installer needs to do is determine what wattage bulbs are needed where and keep that total wattage below the max wattage rating of both the transformer and the wiring for a given circuit. 
 
In your example, you are trying to use just distance but that is not what is being used here.  In the wiring example, we are using both wattage and voltage, not just wattage.  To equate that with your example, then it would be feet and either speed or total time, not just feet like your example.  If you have the distance and either speed or time, then you can calculate the other value to know what it will take to break that record, both in average speed and total time. 

Offline tbone321

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2018, 12:03:10 PM »
This is the spec for the wire. Under 30 volts but nothing about current which is common since there are many different applications that can change the capacity that was point out earlier.

Thanks for the link.  As you said, low energy is due to the voltage restriction but that restriction is due to the insulator being used, not the wire itself.  Nothing is going to change the capacity of the wire as far as current goes but the resistance per meter listed is helpful in determining the voltage drop over distance which can be important in low voltage high current DC circuits where maintaining a minimum voltage is important.

Offline Todd

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Re: What type of 12-16 gauge wires to use for Power Injection long run?
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2018, 05:45:12 AM »

I used 12/2 for the long runs and tapped into them multiple times with 16/2 to each injection. Thinking about just burying the 12/2 and putting some power distro boards through out the yard as I too like to centralize everything from my garage.  Landscape lighting has the right idea I think.




https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0002YVWTW/ref=pe_861660_138883610_fxm_4_0_n_id
https://smile.amazon.com/Moonrays-11604-Connectors-Landscape-Lighting/dp/B0024NK0OM/ref=pd_bxgy_60_2




Greg

Let me add....I have 12v landscape lighting I installed years ago with buried low voltage wiring and used these connector blocks originally. Over time the light output of the lighting degraded. When I started looking into it I discovered the problem was at the way these connectors worked. They are not sealed, the points puncture the wires and over time water had gotten into the wire. When I started cutting things apart the wire inside the sheathing was corroded. I cut out all the connections which pierced the wiring, cut the wire back to good wire and used waterproof wire nuts and shot some silicone in around the wires and have had no more issues since then. If you decide to bury the wiring I would not use these connectors.
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