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What AWG Wires To Use
#1
"What kind of thickness wires do you use for ESC, motor, LiPo batteries, signals...." I see this question all the time on social media. 
I thought I might start a post and start gathering some useful info that hopefully answer this question.



Basically there is no overkill when choosing AWG of a wire. You can use thicker wires than you need. Thicker wires give you less resistance in the system. Less resistance means less heat, better safety and higher efficiency. However thicker wires come with extra weight, so if you want to build a light weight quad, you should properly choose the AWG of electrical wires.

Mini Quad components normally comes with wires already, motors, ESC, batteries.... using what you are given should be fine, however when you want to extra wires to connect these parts together, you can simply use the same AWG wires on these components to match them. For example if your lipo comes with14AWG, use 14AWG for the XT60 pigtail to connect PDB (or ESCs if you are not using PDB).. And if motors use 18AWG, but ESC uses 20AWG, I would say it's best to use the thicker wire, i.e. the 18AWG. Note that some manufacturers deliberately use thinner wires so the number in weight is smaller.

For signal and data wires, 26AWG-30AWG should do nicely. They don't really conduct a lot of current so light weight, thin wires should be okay.

You won't find the same answer online telling you the exact AWG vs Current. Because it all depends on the conductivity of the material, length of the wire and many other factors, but here is a simple chart might give you an brief idea - https://oscarliang.com/wire-awg-chart-quadcopter-rc/

Also note that the length of the wires also matters. Basically the longer the wire, the more resistance there is. If you are using a longer wire you normally want to run thicker wires as well to compensate. So you want to keep any wire as short as you possible can.



Finally Study on Ohm's law it should answer some of your questions Smile

Don't be a LOS'er, be a FPV'er :) -- Blog - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Google Plus
[-] The following 13 users Like Oscar's post:
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#2
Hey! That's a really good representation of Ohm's Law! R is one over VI !
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#3
i wish someone showed me this explanation of law during physics in elementary school Smile
it is soooo much clearer than description from books

as for the cables... signals can go basically on "whatever" what to watchout for are power cables especially battery = pdb as most current is flying through there...
All the best
Grzesiek (Grisha/ Greg)

Curently flyable: Nox 5, Nox 3, Minimalist 112, Scrap at the moment... nothing is flyable
Bench / in progres: fixing Nox 5, Nox 3, Minimalist 112, Scrap
thinking about building: 450

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#4
Good chart as a guide line, and the representation of Ohm's law is great.
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#5
Great post!
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#6
The insulation diameter is not very representative of wire AWG as you can see on the photo, especially for silicone wires.
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#7
Recently noticed that Core Electronics (http://www.core-electronics.com.au) has a pretty good range of colours in silicone insulated 30AWG cable at lengths and prices that are compelling.

Hobbyking have some but in general the colour range seems to be smaller - and their 26AWG is too "chunky" for doing much with on small frames.

Obviously largely relevant to Australian members but there's probably various Arduino/Hobbiest suppliers around the globe similar.
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#8
Silicone insulation is the best thing since sliced bread for any multirotor builder.

It doesn't melt or shrink back when you solder to the wire, it's easy to strip and the whole cable is so much more flexible.

There is one small disadvantage that should be considered though. As silicone insulation is quite soft, if any wire rests against a cut edge on your carbon fibre frame, you should reinforce that point with some heat shrink. If you don't, vibration will quickly cause the frame to cut through the silicone insulation and as carbon fibre is conductive, the results won't be pretty if you end up shorting power wires to your frame!

And even if you do reinforce with heat shrink, having any wire going over a sharp edge is a bad idea anyway and you should always try to avoid running cables in that way to start with.
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