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I am getting ready to install a Blue Seas 6 place fuse block. What gauge wire should I use to power it up? Any detailed information would be greatly appreciated.

I intend to be running auxillary driving lights and Stebel Nautilus Compact Dual-Tone Air Horn off of it to start. Then maybe some heated gloves later.
 

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I'd say 8 gauge.
For providing power to a buss like that bigger is better. Eight gauge would probably be pretty close.

Wire gauge is based on ampacity (the number of amps flowing through the conductor) since more current flow (amps) causes the conductor to heat up.

With a 12 volt electrical system amps add up quickly because the voltage is so low. Watts is the product of Amps times volts, so if you have, for example, a pair of 55 watt driving lights that is 110 watts total. Divide 110 watts by 12 volts (even though they are nominally closer to 13.8 volts) and that pair of lights will pull a bit over 9 amps all by themselves.

If you can come up with an idea of everything you might plan on hooking to the power block you can come up with an idea for the feeders. Here Is A Link to a page that shows allowable wire ampacities. Use the column for "Enclosed" amps since they are more conservative.

Also, I'd recommend a couple of other things. First add an inline fuse that is rated close to the ampacity of your wire (i.e. for #8 wire that is rated at 46 amps I'd use a 50 amp fuse since the fuse will blow before the wire can heat up). Technically the wire ampacity should exceed the fuse by about 50% (46 amp wire, 30 amp fuse) but for short runs such as this you can cheat a little. If that fuse blows it will shut down everything on your power block, but it is still the safest route to go. Second, make sure that the conectors on your wire are able to handle the current as well. Many automotive connectors are rated at 30 amps, and a mechanical connection is where the resistance is highest.
 

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Nice post Scott. And a great link - I've been looking for a good chart of recommended wire sizes vs. amp capacity and this is a very nice one.

While 8 gauge is certainly fine, it's probably a bit overkill given that the spare alternator capacity of our bikes is only a hundred watts or so. You start pulling 40 amps from your accessory bus and you won't be doing it for long. I'd think sizing the circuit for 25 amps with a fuse of this size would be all you'd every want to consider pulling, even for a short time, and thus wriing it at 12 gauge would be fine, or 10 if you really want to play it conservative.

- Mark
 

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SmkyMtnVStrom said:
I am getting ready to install a Blue Seas 6 place fuse block. What gauge wire should I use to power it up? Any detailed information would be greatly appreciated.

I intend to be running auxillary driving lights and Stebel Nautilus Compact Dual-Tone Air Horn off of it to start. Then maybe some heated gloves later.
Great choice of farkles, ever seen/heard 'em in person? :wink:

Stromette

PS. Maybe this will refresh your memory:






 
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