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Wire gauge for mobile ICOM in a Jeep

Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,048
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Point Nemo.
#21
So you can trim off excess wire and still be fused.
Right, as FIREUP said. The fuses need to be close to the power source to protect the cable run. Putting the fuses close to the radio is fine if you only have a few inches to your power source.
In a mobile application where you are running the power cable to the battery, it's leaving a lot of wire unfused. Someone that understands this would still install a fuse at the battery, but I suspect there are some amateurs that don't.
 

JeffDS3

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447
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Kings County, CA
#22
Oh, you’re both right, but I think that their thinking is that people are idiots and will just cut the fused part off if it’s at the far end and they want a shorter run. At least putting it closer to the unit means there will be a fuse somewhere in there and possibly save the manufacture from dealing with a burnt out unit.

Plus if you’re trying to squeeze wire through a tight spot, that fuse might get in the way and someone will cut it off and just say “it’ll be fine”.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
24
#23
In my case,
The boxy square plug, for power cable disconnect, was about 6" - 8" away from the back of the radio. And, the double fuse arrangement was only a few inches from that plug. Both were gonna present a problem with my particular installation. So, cut the boxy plug off and installed a Weatherpack sealed, more streamline plug. Then, I ran the 14GA wire through my route which, was to the top of the wind shield, across the top of it, down the pillar, alongside the dash, under the dash and through the firewall, right behind the battery. There, I installed a better fuse system in both positive and negative cables, only a few inches from each battery post. My system is definitely protected.
Scott
 
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Messages
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#24
Oh, you’re both right, but I think that their thinking is that people are idiots and will just cut the fused part off if it’s at the far end and they want a shorter run.
In the spirit of the other thread about updating the amateur radio license testing/classifications, I think this is a good indication that amateurs are not properly prepared for what they are going to be doing. -NOT- directed at you, Jeff, but more at the idea that maybe the current license testing isn't really doing much to help the hobby.
Understanding the fundamentals of DC power and how to properly wire a 12 volt circuit for a radio should be something that any amateur radio operator can do without burning down their home, their car or damaging the radio.

Yet all you've got to do is take a look at some of the install photos that some amateurs proudly post...

Now compare that to:

§97.1 Basis and purpose.
The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
….
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

It's one thing to learn from mistakes, but understanding what a fuse does and how to not start a fire should be one of the top skills that amateurs learn.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
2
Location
Rochester, NH
#25
11 Amps is minimum,
The radio comes with a 20 Amp fuse.
Use a minimum amount of wire, but give a little extra for flex.
As for the radio only use the amount of power needed for the chat. ( If you need only 5 watts then that is enough. )
73 de N1PXF
Karl
 

JeffDS3

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#26
In the spirit of the other thread about updating the amateur radio license testing/classifications, I think this is a good indication that amateurs are not properly prepared for what they are going to be doing. -NOT- directed at you, Jeff, but more at the idea that maybe the current license testing isn't really doing much to help the hobby.
Understanding the fundamentals of DC power and how to properly wire a 12 volt circuit for a radio should be something that any amateur radio operator can do without burning down their home, their car or damaging the radio.

Yet all you've got to do is take a look at some of the install photos that some amateurs proudly post...

Now compare that to:

§97.1 Basis and purpose.
The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
….
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

It's one thing to learn from mistakes, but understanding what a fuse does and how to not start a fire should be one of the top skills that amateurs learn.
I will give you that. Honestly it should be something anyone doing anything with electricity should know. When I wired up an inverter and extra power line in my car, I made sure I knew what I was doing (large enough gauge wire, fused at battery, high quality crimping and connectors, a distribution block with individual fused leads for everything with the right sized fuses, etc).

I just think these companies do it for themselves because I think they just don’t want to deal with damaged returns because people cut the fuses off.
 
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#27
I just think these companies do it for themselves because I think they just don’t want to deal with damaged returns because people cut the fuses off.
It's been a long time since I purchased a commercial Icom mobile radio, but I think they used the same setup on those radios.

Now, buy a Kenwood LMR or Motorola radio, and they'll be set up correctly, fuse on the far end of the power lead.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
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Location
SC
#28
I work for a private company doing Emergency Vehicle Outfitting and typically for radios we run nothing smaller than 10 gauge stranded wire, and this is on a APX 4500 mobile or something like the XTL 2500 mobile 800mhz pulling between 30 to 40 watts depending on the antenna and conditions of the install. I was told to always over run wire like 125 to 150 percent of what is could ever draw, you would rather spend 10 extra dollars on over sizing the wire than to burn up a multi thousand dollar trunked radio or worse burn a customers vehicle up. Another major point always place the fuse as close to the power source as possible. The wire before the fuse is unprotected so you don't want 10 feet un-protected and then put the fuse, that is a major safety concern.
 

kb2ztx

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Jul 29, 2012
Messages
464
Location
South West Virginia
#29
It's been a long time since I purchased a commercial Icom mobile radio, but I think they used the same setup on those radios.

Now, buy a Kenwood LMR or Motorola radio, and they'll be set up correctly, fuse on the far end of the power lead.

I actually have a new in the package ICOM power cable for the 5021. The fuses are 6" from the soldered bare wires at the end of the cable. As I have never owned a ICOM amateur radio I wasn't aware they installed the fuse near the power plug. All the commercial ICOM stuff I ever installed was sent with this type of power cable.

OPC-1132 DC POWER CABLE
 
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