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Old 11th February 2009, 03:47 AM   #1
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Default how do I make an amp cable?

I am building a box to hold an amp and jl 13 inch sub to fit behind the back seat of a Mini Cooper. The box and amp will be located only a few inched from the battery. I've determined that 8 awg wire is adaquate for a legnth under 4 ft with a 500 RMS amp.

My questions are:
1 Do I really need to bother with a "recommended" 80 amp fuse on such a short run?

2 I was hoping to save a few bucks and buy some 8 awg wire at home depot. Can I find the connectors that go on each end and attach them witout buying an expensive crimoing tool? Perhaps use a vice or sodder them on with a propane torch? It seems that the last time I tried to sodder a large guage wire, that my soddering gun could not get it hot enough ...

Lastly, some sort of quick disconnect on the power cable would be handy - in case I need to jump my battery and need to move everything out of the way.

I hope I am not gettying in over my head, but the large guage wires make connections more difficult...
Thanks for any advice. Scott
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Old 11th February 2009, 03:53 AM   #2
PH104 is offline PH104  United States
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Yes -- fuse as close to battery as possible.

I used some copper lugs from the hardware store on 10 ga wire and soldered it on the wire. I covered the end of the lug with a short piece of heat shrink.
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Old 11th February 2009, 04:01 AM   #3
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Did you solder the lugs on with a torch or soldering gun?
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Old 11th February 2009, 04:08 AM   #4
PH104 is offline PH104  United States
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I used a 60W soldering iron with a 1/4" tip. Don't use a torch.
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Old 11th February 2009, 05:20 AM   #5
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If you can't find an iron that will solder it (any good quality 50+ watt iron should be able to get it hot enough), you can use a torch but you must not allow the flame to contact the wire. It will oxidize the wire and the solder won't flow onto it. Heat the back of the terminal. If it's tightly crimped, the heat will readily transfer to the wire.

You must have a fuse in the wire. A 50 amp fuse is the most I'd recommend for 8g wire. If the uninsulated end of the unfused wire makes contact with chassis ground, it's going to burn the entire length of the wire and burn everything that's in contact with it.

I don't generally recommend the fully enclosed plastic fuse holders but if you need a quick disconnect, they can serve as one. If you use that type of fuse holder, only use Buss or Littelfuse fuses. The cheap fuses will overheat and fail (and will probably damage the holder).
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