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What type of wire do I need to order?

post #1 of 6
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I'm trying to just get some multi-purpose wire for some soldering jobs I plan on doing. From what I hear I cannot connect an aluminum wire to a copper wire due to some connectivity problems that cause the wires to heat up and possibly start a fire.

I'm not sure if this applies to low voltage (12v for instance) situations but I just want to be safe, I spliced a spare molex connector cable and noticed it was simply aluminum (atleast I think it's aluminum, maybe it's tin-coated copper?).

I'm really not sure, on the wire itself it reads 20AWG 300V 80C and a bunch of other abbreviations that most likely correspond to a part number (which I have searched with no luck).

So what I'm asking here is a wire recommendation that will be safe to use in my computer or other hardware jobs. I plan on using this wire to hook up fans, LED's and possibly some controller modding, all that good stuff.

The main reason I need some extra wire is because I would like to route all of my Coolermaster red LED fans to the LED on/off switch on the HAF-X, I would like all of the fan LED's to turn off with the push of this one button so I need some extra wire to solder onto the 200mm fans and onto the LED on/off switch wire on the HAF-X.

I hope I explained it thoroughly so people get an idea of what I'm talking about, any help is greatly appreciated!
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Crimson Obsidian
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post #2 of 6
AMP (part of Tyco) manufactures the COPALUM system. It's a form of pigtailing, but the electrician uses a special machine that applies (IIRC) over 20 tons of force to the crimp. When it's done, it is as safe as you can possibly get with the notoriously unsafe aluminum wiring.
12-gauge aluminum and 14-gauge copper both handle 15 amps, so that's okay.

i hope i helped you out!!! (:
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post #3 of 6
Shouldn't cause a fire or anything, but the joints will deteriorate quicker because the two metals react with each other. Shouldn't be much of an issue though, just tin the ends before you solder them.
    
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrjaay View Post
AMP (part of Tyco) manufactures the COPALUM system. It's a form of pigtailing, but the electrician uses a special machine that applies (IIRC) over 20 tons of force to the crimp. When it's done, it is as safe as you can possibly get with the notoriously unsafe aluminum wiring.
12-gauge aluminum and 14-gauge copper both handle 15 amps, so that's okay.

i hope i helped you out!!! (:
Helpful information, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secretninja View Post
Shouldn't cause a fire or anything, but the joints will deteriorate quicker because the two metals react with each other. Shouldn't be much of an issue though, just tin the ends before you solder them.
I've never tinned ends before, what would I need to purchase in order to do this (obviously some tin lol) but I'm curious to know if there is a technical term for it that is used to locate it in places such as a hardware store.

Soldering tin or something? Now if I tin the ends together does the deteriorate still occur or is the tin simply a reinforcing agent that ensure longevity of the connection?

Also I would really appreciate some sort of wire recommendation, preferably one that I can find on ebay.com and order.

Would something like this work?

http://cgi.ebay.com/WIRE-20-FOOT-24-...4#ht_512wt_905

or

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-RS-75-Ft-UL-...ht_1583wt_1139

Sorry for all the questions, just want to make sure I get this thing right lol. I wouldn't want anything in my computer short circuiting or something. :X
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post #5 of 6
Tinning is just a term for melting some solder and covering the wire before actually soldering the two wires together. Just use regular solder, preferably one with a small amount of silver in it if you are not in a country that has it outlawed or whatever. Tinning the wires is a good practice to get into, as it makes the actual connecting solder stronger and easier to do. It is especially useful for multistranded wire that tends to unravel until you tin the end.

Honestly I would just go to the local hardware store and get a couple feet of wire. I prefer solid wire to stranded, as stranded can be a pita to work with, imo. I have a 75 foot coil of wire that I picked up from radioshack for like 5 bucks, it is 4 separate wires together. I can pull off single wires if I need them, or use the whole wire if I need 4 connections.
Edited by Secretninja - 4/26/11 at 12:11am
    
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yeah then you probably got this one; http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-RS-75-Ft-UL-...ht_1583wt_1139

I'll pick it up tomorrow, I appreciate the help guys really helped me out. Hopefully my project ends up successful, I'll be sure to post the results when I get around to it.

Thanks again!
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Crimson Obsidian
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