12V power source faq

For everything related to the inside of the car!!

Postby WarTowels » Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:16 pm

Can I make a "common" ground for all my electronics- say 3 gauge pods.

Short wires (14gauge) coming off the three gauges, and then connecting to a 8 gauge amp wire which would then be grounded? Instead of using 3 long wires and grounding them all, they would just connect to a thicker gauge and just the one wire would be grounded.

Hopefully that makes sense.

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Postby bluemonkey » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:12 am

IMO, I would go that route just make sure the wire will have a good contact. I figure, that way if there is a problem with the wiring, it'll be easier to point out which one has the problem. If all three go out at once, you know its the ground unless more devices go out that are set on this ground.

One thing though, should one of the gauges get a large charge that exceeds how much it can handle, would it toss the extra into the ground and pass to the other gauges? I really doubt that can happen but I'm not 100%.
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Postby txironhead » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:33 am

CMS-GT4 wrote: I really wish there was a simple how to book to into car electronics.


http://www.amazon.com/Automotive-Electrical-Handbook-HP-387/dp/0895862387/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235366019&sr=8-14


We did a distribution block on my nephew's Mustang, the PO had about 15 wires running to the hatch where there used to be several amps, crossovers, neons and all kinds of crap. We yanked all but two, used one to pull a single heavy gauge (2ga, I believe) wire for the distribution block and the other to connect to the radio's acc wire for the relay to the distribution block. We mounted everything to the back of his subwoofer box, and after 2 12" subs, 2 6X9's, two amps, powered crossover and several ducted cooling fans were installed, you really had to look to see the wires. We got the positive distribution block at an audio shop, the relay from a local supply store (forget which one), and for the grounds we actually got a "ground strip", the kind you'll find in your house's circuit breaker, from the local hardware store and grounded it directly to a body-to-chassis bolt. Everything was tested for correct voltage and worked like a charm. We did an inline fuse before the relay and most of the electronics had built-in fuses. Later on, we wired in a "bypass" so he could "daisy chain" with his friends when they had a party and have several speaker systems in different cars running off of the same cd. Apparently one of his friends had one of those "welder" alternators on his big truck and had the setup to power several systems with only one vehicle running.

It's not a hard thing to install and set up, but once you do, it makes later electronic addons, not to mention hiding the wiring, SOOO much easier. Also, most things that require a "constant on" need it for flash memory, like the radio settings on your stereo, and they don't require mega amperage, so having a smaller, lower draw block for those might be a good idea, and just set it up with it's own master fuse before the relay going to the big distribution block.
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Re: 12V power source faq

Postby DudeMan » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:12 am

Is it okay to use glass style fuses in the distribution block?

There's a ton on eBay that use the glass style but none that use blade like Gary posted.
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Re: 12V power source faq

Postby CMS-GT4 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:20 pm

So I made this to connect all my under dash grounds. MWP says not to. Can someone explain why?
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Re: 12V power source faq

Postby celicat93 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:22 pm

Here's a YouTube demonstration of the Blue Sea Systems Fuse Blocks. This one has 12 terminals as well as six ground terminals. http://bluesea.com/category/81/21/productspecs/5026

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IZMujk3Pgk

I have no plans to use them all, but I figure I'll spend an extra ten bucks, you never know when you'll need more connections.
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Re: 12V power source faq

Postby concealer404 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:30 pm

celicat93 wrote:Here's a YouTube demonstration of the Blue Sea Systems Fuse Blocks. This one has 12 terminals as well as six ground terminals. http://bluesea.com/category/81/21/productspecs/5026

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IZMujk3Pgk

I have no plans to use them all, but I figure I'll spend an extra ten bucks, you never know when you'll need more connections.



Holy hell!!!

That's awesome. I just ordered 3. :twisted:
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Re: 12V power source faq

Postby soarer.jzz30 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:11 am

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Re: 12V power source faq

Postby MWP » Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:00 am

CMS-GT4 wrote:So I made this to connect all my under dash grounds. MWP says not to. Can someone explain why?
Image


Because when you pull more current through one, youll get a voltage drop across the rest.

Dirty ASCII:
Code: Select all
CHASSIS GND ------ wire ------- JOIN |--------- wire1
                                     |--------- wire2
                                     |--------- wire3
                                     |--------- wire4


An extreme example...
Assume you pull 10A through wire1, which due to the resistance of the wire creates a 1V drop in the wire section from CHASSIS GND to the JOIN.
All the rest of the wires will no longer be at 0V (chassis ground level), instead they will be at 1V.

You may pull far less than 10A, so have much less of a voltage drop, but some equipment (like gauges) will be very sensitive to this and it'll throw off readings.

Im not saying it'll create problems, but in practice it is a bad thing to do if you can avoid it.
This is how ground loops are created (audio guys will know all about this).
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