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Old 02-04-2013, 05:28 PM   #1
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Battery cables

Started assembling my new battery cables and ran into a problem. I bought 4/0 cable(clearly marked AWG 4/0) and 4/0 crimp on lugs. Started first end, and the lug is no where near big enough to go over the cable. I thought well darn, they sent the wrong lugs. Looked up the specs,4/0 cable end is supposed to be .548 mine measure .548. I looked up cable specs, 4/0 is supposed to be .460, that would fit very nicely. My cable measures, on average about .600. Since I wouldn't be making the cable less than 4/0 is it permissible to cut enough strands off to fit into the lug? I can do that but what a PIA for 20 ends. What other options?

On another electrical question I have a new ammeter and shunt. It says to put the shunt on the negative side. I have found a number of wiring diagrams with it on the positive side. Is there any reason I can't put it on the positive side?

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Dick
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: Battery cables

I would get the correct connections but that's just my opinion.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:48 AM   #3
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Re: Battery cables

My Trimetric battery monitor also specifys mounting the shunt on the negative side of the battery. No idea why that is but the instruction were very specific.

Not sure whether this is the problem but when I made my battery cables I tried cutting them with a hack saw and that jacked the copper conductors around enough that the lugs wouldn't fit over the conductors. Finally cut them with my woodworking chop saw and got a nice clean cut.

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Old 02-05-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: Battery cables

My electrician nephew said that the shunt is on the negative side so it won't be hot. If you accidentally ground the negative side nothing happens; that's why negative posts on batteries are left uncovered. If you ground the hot (positive) side life gets interesting in a hurry. So I'd assume (and I'm sure you know what ASSUME does to U and ME) the shunt would work when hooked up to the positive side but you'd just need to put some kind of protective cover over it.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:20 PM   #5
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Re: Battery cables

Food for thought on the cable... you may want to go to a welding supply shop. They have lugs and can usually crimp there on the spot?
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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Re: Battery cables

RE location of the shunt: put it where the ammeter manual says to. A shunt is just a calibrated resistor. The ammeter works by measuring voltage between the two ends of that shunt/resistor (current flow is proportional to voltage drop and resistance). I'll guess that your ammeter has three wires: battery +, battery -, and sense input? Then the battery - connection is doing "double duty" by providing power to the ammeter and also providing the reference for the shunt sense input. There are other ways of doing it too and no one is inherently better than the others (although some may require more circuitry in the ammeter, which translates to higher cost of components to make the thing).

In a nutshell: the shunt has to go where the manual says to put it because the circuits inside the meter are designed around this. If you have some circumstance where you really need the shunt on the other side, you'll have to get a meter that supports it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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Re: Battery cables

If you put the shunt in the positive side you'd have to hook it up backwards. ;)

It's probably like the rule that you can't put the main fuse in the negative side; mostly tradition I assume.
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