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16awg cables instead of 18awg?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I have a quick question to ask. Currently I am using silverstone strider plus 600w power supply. I want to make custom cables for it & I checked the stock wires are labeled as 16awg. Based on what I read cable sleeving for 18awg wires are easier than 16awg.

So my question is can I use 18awg instead of 16awg that the manufacturer used? Will this cause any problems? Because I plan to extend my 24pin atx cable to about 2.5ft-3ft, and the default length was 2ft. Some say we cant use higher awg cables for longer length otherwise this will cause the cable to melt.
post #2 of 25
Its generally a bad idea to both decrease the diameter and increase the length of wire. Who knows if it would melt, but I know I would rather not find out in the first place.
    
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post #3 of 25
no, dont.. You will have voltage drop. if you are going to extend it 2 feet then try thicker wire maybe 15 or 14AWG.

the longer the distance the more the voltage drop, I once shifted my PSU and did some cable management and extended my 18AWG 12" PCI Express 6 pin + 8pin power cables to around 25". And after a few mins of gaming my GTX 480 would crash and the PC would reboot after a while.

use thicker wire on longer cable to eliminate voltage drop. am sure the resistance can cause the extra wire to get really hot and seriously damage your motherboard too. dont do it. maybe get a nice sleeved extension for a few buck or use thicker gauge wire. smile.gif
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdman74 View Post

I once shifted my PSU and did some cable management and extended my 18AWG 12" PCI Express 6 pin + 8pin power cables to around 25". And after a few mins of gaming my GTX 480 would crash and the PC would reboot after a while.

OP is talking about 3 feet total, not 25 feet.

Use a actual voltage drop calculator and you'll see that v-droop over 3 feet on AWG18 wire running 2 amps is less than 0.04 Volts. That's well within ATX spec and quite normal situation. For PCIe 8-pin cables that goes up to 4 amps, but still only 0.08V droop.
http://www.stealth316.com/2-wire-resistance.htm

Absolutely no chance of anything melting, and for this you can easily use 18AWG for all wires. Maybe above 12 feet you'll start to be able to measure significant v-droop and possibility of over heated wires, but for 3 feet it's no problem smile.gif
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post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies...I guess it should be fine with 18awg cable then...
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiSK View Post

OP is talking about 3 feet total, not 25 feet.

Use a actual voltage drop calculator and you'll see that v-droop over 3 feet on AWG18 wire running 2 amps is less than 0.04 Volts. That's well within ATX spec and quite normal situation. For PCIe 8-pin cables that goes up to 4 amps, but still only 0.08V droop.
http://www.stealth316.com/2-wire-resistance.htm

Absolutely no chance of anything melting, and for this you can easily use 18AWG for all wires. Maybe above 12 feet you'll start to be able to measure significant v-droop and possibility of over heated wires, but for 3 feet it's no problem smile.gif

Hi I am back again, just another quick question. What if I reduce the cable length for like molex cables? Increasing the cable length causes voltage drop so when I decrease the length I assume the voltage will increase? If I do this, it will burn my components due to the high voltage?
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymofo View Post

Hi I am back again, just another quick question. What if I reduce the cable length for like molex cables? Increasing the cable length causes voltage drop so when I decrease the length I assume the voltage will increase? If I do this, it will burn my components due to the high voltage?

No. The way it works is that your PSU has +12V on the yellow wire going to the component, and +0V on the black wire coming back. If your wires are zero length then your component will get exactly 12V. As your wires get longer, some of the voltage is lost in the wire itself, due to electrical resistance. So your components will never get 'too much' voltage.
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post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiSK View Post

No. The way it works is that your PSU has +12V on the yellow wire going to the component, and +0V on the black wire coming back. If your wires are zero length then your component will get exactly 12V. As your wires get longer, some of the voltage is lost in the wire itself, due to electrical resistance. So your components will never get 'too much' voltage.

I see, ok I get it...so only less voltage is possible if the wires are extremely long. Thanks for the reply smile.gif
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiSK View Post

OP is talking about 3 feet total, not 25 feet.

Use a actual voltage drop calculator and you'll see that v-droop over 3 feet on AWG18 wire running 2 amps is less than 0.04 Volts. That's well within ATX spec and quite normal situation. For PCIe 8-pin cables that goes up to 4 amps, but still only 0.08V droop.
http://www.stealth316.com/2-wire-resistance.htm

Absolutely no chance of anything melting, and for this you can easily use 18AWG for all wires. Maybe above 12 feet you'll start to be able to measure significant v-droop and possibility of over heated wires, but for 3 feet it's no problem smile.gif

I know, Thats what I told him 25 inches = 25". wth.gif
Do you know the difference between Inches " and feet ' ?? lachen.gif

OP Use Higher gauge Wire, 14 AWG or 16 AWG. take it from me, 3 Feet or 36" You are going to have voltage drop, just a spike is enough to crash, damage the components. it may cost a few dollars more or be a bit more time consuming but thicker wire is better for length.

Look, ATX specs dont matter, Your PSU Is not going to be 100% efficient or accurate but it was Made to deliver X amount of Power using X Thickness Gauge Wire up to X length properly. When you alter, extend it then there will be voltage drops.
Edited by TheBirdman74 - 3/3/13 at 9:15pm
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdman74 View Post

I once shifted my PSU and did some cable management and extended my 18AWG 12" PCI Express 6 pin + 8pin power cables to around 25". And after a few mins of gaming my GTX 480 would crash and the PC would reboot after a while.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdman74 View Post

OP Use Higher gauge Wire, 14 AWG or 16 AWG. take it from me, 3 Feet or 36" You are going to have voltage drop, just a spike is enough to crash, damage the components. it may cost a few dollars more or be a bit more time consuming but thicker wire is better for length. Look, ATX specs dont matter, Your PSU Is not going to be 100% efficient or accurate but it was Made to deliver X amount of Power using X Thickness Gauge Wire up to X length properly. When you alter, extend it then there will be voltage drops.

If you had some problems yourself in the past making a new harness, then did you take any measurements confirming your suspicion that voltage drop was actually the problem? If so, how much voltage drop did you measure? Was it consistent across all three 12V wires?

And how did you extend the harness exactly? Did you cut the wires in the middle and solder in between? Did you check for cold solder joins?

When you changed your wires for 14 AWG, how did you crimp on the new pins? Which crimper did you use that can do 14 gauge?

Also, which sleeve would you recommend for these larger wires?


The fact is that voltage drop in a 18 AWG wire running 2A @ 12V is less than 0.04V. That means it's less than the ripple you'd expect the PSU to generate anyway.
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