jumper cables, length and cable guage??? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 10-21-2011, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default jumper cables, length and cable guage???

I hate the jumper cables on the market, what guage cable and length would be the optimal choice??
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:30 PM   #2
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looking to make a pair, any suggestions??
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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When I am making my own I use LARGE (forget AWG #) welding lead cable. Last time I made a set +/- 15-18 years ago, I paid about $10 per clamp for some real nice ones... I made 20 footers for boat use. Ended up spending years as my go-to set for the trucks and everything...

I think at todays scrap prices, you could sell my leads for what I had in them back then...

Brent
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:05 PM   #4
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thx, I have acess to all size awg and it is the welding lead I would use.(it conducts 600 vs 300 volts compared to batery cable) and is extreemly flexible. I was also going to use the heavy duty cable ends vs copper, crimped on with heavy duty glue release heat shrink then bolted to the clamps. I also have the abrasion resistant sheath to go over both cables to bundle. At the end of the sheath I was going to use heavy duty glue release heat shrink to keep the sheath from unraveling. Should be some BA cables, Just unsure which awg to use. cmon guys someone give some input, I know one of my customers (Arizona chemical in PC) uses 4awg and cable ends for ground straps.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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I have several pair I made a while back which are 4 AWG. They work great. Unless you are jumping high current diesels all the time anything heavier would be a waste in my opinion.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
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yeah, #4 for most. I would go larger for diesel.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:14 PM   #7
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If #4 is nearly a full 1/2" diameter of copper conductor... Yeah that is what I used... If not near the full 1/2" than I had #2 AWG...

Stop your joining method a full 4 feet from clamps for a total of 8' possible span on each end... that lets you clamp on a battery with one pole and to ground or solenoid with the other... Just more versatile...

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Old 10-22-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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For boat or truck, the short version of a 5 gal. bucket (3-3.5 or so) is a good storage place for the long cables and also a place for a rag, WD, wire brush etc...

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Old 10-22-2011, 08:36 PM   #9
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As for length I'd want to be able to use my truck to start the boat I don't think I'd trust a boat motor to work if I just started it on the ramp.

So, I'd pull it out of the water hook it up to a hose, jump it, then let it run for 20 minutes, stop it, then try it on it's own battery.

Best case the full length from the truck battery to the boat battery so you can just leave the trailer on the truck but that will add 20 feet or so to the length. At least though from pulling the truck, front in, to the trailer jack, then from the truck to the boat battery. That way, if it's a tight squeeze to get around the boat, you know you can reach it with the truck's front end at the trailer hitch.

Jim
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:40 AM   #10
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I actually work at a family owned and operated battery store in Montgomery, Alabama and we build custom jumper cables all the time. Our standard jumper cables uses the determined length of paired 2 gauge welding wire and a pair of 500 amp parrot clamps on either end. We also build them with quick disconnects so you don't have to worry about someone borrowing them and not returning them when they are finished. I have also built some for jumping off tractor trailors with 2/0 wire, but you don't want to tote those suckers to far. One thing you have to keep in mind when jumping off any form of transportation is that its only a temporary fix. Your alternator is not a battery charger and you should not trust it as one.
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