Different Ways Of Using Cca Wire

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    Power cords When it comes to high-current wiring in vehicles, there are two types of stranded power cords available: solid copper wire and copper-clad aluminum wire. This article looks at the differences between each type of wire and explains the challenge of ensuring that your high-current equipment gets the power needed to do the work you want to accomplish.

    Car audio power cord
    For power cords in mobile applications, or wherever conductors may be subject to movement or vibration, it is recommended to use only stranded conductors. For a given wire diameter, solid wires (such as single-strand house wiring) may provide slightly more conductor area, but over time, solid wires will work harden, become brittle, and eventually break due to repeated back and forth movements. Imagine using large-gauge solid copper wire on the wire cover of the door frame or the trunk lid or hatch. That is the secret of disaster.



    The term OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) has been abused and is used synonymously with solid or all copper conductors. In fact, OFC is a solid copper. When molten copper is cast and drawn into conductors, the manufacturing process of OFC conductors reduces the oxygen content of the wires. If all goes well, the oxygen content of copper is about 42 parts per million (PPM), while the content of traditional copper is about six times that.

    In the mobile electronics industry, there is no way to know if the solid copper conductor you buy is oxygen-free unless you have witnessed the casting process. Everyone in the industry uses "OFC" for a non-copper-clad aluminum (CCA wire ) wire.

    Looking at the alternatives, we have CCA conductors. In these conductors, the core of the wire is an aluminum cylinder surrounded by a layer of copper. From the side, it looks like copper, but if you cut a piece and look at the end, you can see the gray aluminum content.

    There are further changes. Some companies produce all-copper stranded wires, but coat the outside of each stranded wire with a thin layer of tin to help prevent corrosion.

    Car audio power cord: size
    When it comes to flowing current, or more specifically, flowing electrons, the most important thing to consider is wire size. In the mobile electronics industry, we use the American Wire Gauge (AWG) standard. This sets a specific diameter for the conductor. This is not a controversial number-the conductor either meets the standard or doesn't.

    This is where the game starts. There is a second term in our industry: instrumentation. In the steel plate industry, specifications are an important tool for specifying material thickness. In car audio, it doesn't make any sense. If you have worked in the industry for a while, you will see wires that claim to be 0 gauge but have a conductor area equivalent to 6 AWG. If a wire is marked as No. 4 wire, then unfortunately, you can't know how big it is other than trying to measure it.

    Cutting the wire and observing the area does not always explain the problem. Some wires are wound loosely. This makes the wire very flexible, but it does so because there is space around the wire harness. For flexibility, you sacrifice the effective cross-sectional conductor area.

    Car audio power cord: material
    The power cord is in solid copper stranded wire, and we ideally want everything to be pure copper. In other words, although the cost of pure copper has declined in the past few years, pure copper is still quite expensive; currently, its price in the commodity market is about US$2.00 to US$2.25 per pound. When a manufacturer wants to buy a wire, there are many choices: the number of strands, how the strands and wire bundles are braided, how tight the braid is, and so on. Manufacturers can also choose the "kind" of copper for which the conductor is made. It can be pure copper, recycled copper or copper alloy. Likewise, unless you have witnessed the process with your own eyes, you will not know.



    Don't let the changes in copper scare you. Solid copper conductors are always better than CCA conductors. The biggest challenge of car audio CCA cabling is that it does not and will not specify the copper-to-aluminum ratio. There are publicly displayed measurement results of different CCA wire samples, in which the smaller diameter wire is better than the larger wire because it contains less aluminum and more copper. Unless you measure it yourself, you just don't know.

    For its part, at a pound per pound, aluminum’s resistance to electrical current is about 60% higher. When we talk about the CCA line, there is some copper in it; in most cases, the difference will shrink to 30% to 40%.

    Car audio power cords: challenges
    power cable

    When you look at the car audio wiring, there is no way to know what you got with a CCA amplifier kit or a roll of wire. The CCA wire produced by some manufacturers has almost the same function as solid copper wire. In fact, a company made an oversized CCA with a lower resistance per foot than solid copper. The disadvantage is that wires are not suitable for many connectors or terminals. In general, unless you want to spend time measuring the performance of the kit you buy, it is best to stick to solid copper.

    From a long-term benefit point of view, solid copper wire is more resistant to corrosion than CCA wire. In the winter where road salt or salt water is used to keep the surface ice-free, we have seen unprotected CCA power cords completely fail in less than two years. Why risk the performance of your audio system when you can simply choose solid copper wire?

    How do you know what good things you got? The Consumer Technology Association (formerly the Consumer Electronics Association) developed wiring standards. It is called the CTA-2015 (formerly CEA-2015) specification. It describes the minimum standards for wiring used in mobile electronic applications. The criteria include that the wire must be stranded solid copper wire, the minimum number of strands for a given AWG wire size, and the area of ​​the wire and its maximum resistance. If you insist on a brand that supports the CTA-2015 standard, you should not have any problems.

    But in real life, the magnet wire you will use is not only CCA wire, but also many other wires, just like aluminium Magnet wire is often used.