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Old 03-26-2015, 05:25 PM   #1
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Adding a 30 A 12V circuit

Now that I've recovered from my "Self inflicted wound" I'm off to another electrical project and would like some advice from experts.

I want to add a 30 A 12V circuit for one of my Icom ham radios and according to the WFCO owner’s manual circuits #’s 10 and 11 can be used.
“DC Fuses (12 Volts)
- Eleven 12 Volt circuits (including two circuits for slideouts)
- Maximum of 30 Amp fuse for DC circuits 10 and 11 (all others max. 20 A)
- Reverse battery protection fuses; replace with
ATC “Littelfuse ” Type 257 fuse”


Now I need to clarify the proper wiring; the positive would go to either 12V circuit # 10 or 11 and the negative to the upper buss bar on the left. I’ll be using 14 gauge wire terminating a short run from the converter with an Anderson Power Pole. This is going to be an experiment to see if the batteries and solar system are able to handle the load. If all is good then I'll decide on a location for a permanent plug.

Another option would be to tap into the incoming battery feeds. The power line to the radios has inline 30 A fuses so I’d still be protected but somehow I feel better with 2 forms of protection.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:22 PM   #2
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For 30 Amp circuits, the wire size should be 10 gauge. 14 gauge wire is rated for 15 amps.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:25 PM   #3
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Amps and Wire Gauge - 12V Circuit
14 and 10 gauge AWG are both too small.
The correct wiring gauge would dependent on the length of the wire in the circuit.
The circuit should be fused at the distribution panel or you may not be able to escape the reality of a shorted circuit. A shorted fuse saved you before.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdornbush View Post
For 30 Amp circuits, the wire size should be 10 gauge. 14 gauge wire is rated for 15 amps.
Good catch, bdornbush, I know better, really I do. It's a good thing the wire I'd be using is the same that comes with the radios and it's 10 feet long - more than enough for what I need.

I was thinking about 2 projects at the same time, one of them actually using 14 gauge.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:38 PM   #5
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I need to do the same thing for my Icom IC-7000. I hadn't considered going through the WFCO panel, since the Icom manual recommends connecting directly to the vehicle battery. My radio draws 22 amps when transmitting, so I have to do this right.

I guess you could connect directly to the battery feed and use two 30A fuses in series for extra protection.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I need to do the same thing for my Icom IC-7000. I hadn't considered going through the WFCO panel, since the Icom manual recommends connecting directly to the vehicle battery.
The shortest possible run of DC wire has another advantage besides minimal voltage drop: It will minimize pickup of the transmitted RF. I would consider a connection at the panel to be subject to multiple pickup paths for RF, so as Icom recommends - direct to the battery, if possible.

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Old 03-26-2015, 06:55 PM   #7
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I guess you could connect directly to the battery feed and use two 30A fuses in series for extra protection.
Is the radio load that inductive that you need to series the fuses?
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I need to do the same thing for my Icom IC-7000. I hadn't considered going through the WFCO panel, since the Icom manual recommends connecting directly to the vehicle battery. My radio draws 22 amps when transmitting, so I have to do this right.

I guess you could connect directly to the battery feed and use two 30A fuses in series for extra protection.
The power cable that came with both my IC-746PRO and IC-756PROIII have a 30 A inline fuses for both sides, red and black.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
The shortest possible run of DC wire has another advantage besides minimal voltage drop: It will minimize pickup of the transmitted RF. I would consider a connection at the panel to be subject to multiple pickup paths for RF, so as Icom recommends - direct to the battery, if possible.

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Alan, thanks for reminding me about RF. Between you and Mike jogging my poor memory I'm going to do the battery hook up.

I really getting anxious to give this a try before getting out to the boonies.
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:09 PM   #10
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Yeah, I think it has a fuse. I have only used the radio a few times, and those were at home via a plug-in power supply. But it's meant for vehicle use and I intend to become a more active ham. The skill could come in very handy when boondocking. Well, with a big battery and solar panels, that is...
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