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Old 01-04-2006, 09:09 AM   #1
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MH wiring ??

I have a 250 watt coralvue MH retro-fit mogul base that has 18 gauge braided wire connections. The connection the the ballast is also wired with 18 gauge braided wire. I was wondering if I need to use braided wire to extend that connnection or can I just use 18 gauge solid copper wire?

Currently I have I with the solid wire because I dont have any of the braided. I have not tested with unit yet as I do not want to damage it by using the wrong wire.
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:36 AM   #2
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I dont belive it maters although I am suprised that your ballst does not include 15' or more of wire from the ballst to connect to the mogul base. The blueline ballast I have came with a very long cord that was to be used to connect the base to the ballast and it was long enought to keep it away from the water and heat of the canopy.

I belive the braded wire has a better conductivity than solid core wire. This might cause the solid core wire to run warmer than the braided but I dont see where it would damage the ballast or bulb because of it.
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Old 01-04-2006, 05:20 PM   #3
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Thanks, I will keep it how it is unless I run into some problem later.

There is quite a bit of wire coming from the ballast to connect the mogule but not alot from the mougle itself. And since the MH that I am talking about is on the opposite side of where I made the hole for the wires to go into the canopy I needed the extra wire to make everything look nice and even.
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Old 01-04-2006, 05:34 PM   #4
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Not to question your knowledge, I thought Solid Copper Core was better for conductivity. Thats why we use it in our homes? Point to ponder...
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Old 01-05-2006, 06:10 PM   #5
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solid wire you can normaly go with one gauge smaller and carry the same current..
in the smaller gauges anyway..
no biggy though.. seems minor to me..
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:06 PM   #6
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It's been over 20 years, but if I recall my electronics classes, the large diameter single wires, running in our homes are required because of the current they have to carry (15 to 50 amps). In electronics and other related areas, increasing the number of conductors in a cable reduces the resistances and current loss to feed the intended receipient of this "juice". It has to do with the way the electrons travel in the wires.

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Old 01-05-2006, 09:33 PM   #7
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ok Serge.. so that means less loss of current from less resistance in smaller wireing right?.. I may just need some sleep..

and he's dealing with ~2.08 amps... so the braided wire would be better if I understand Serge right.. :P
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Old 01-05-2006, 11:17 PM   #8
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That is correct. Ever noticed how your usual household items have braided connection cable? Or extension cords? Now, after all the reading I have been doing lately about ballast and various types of MH systems, it seems like gauge 16 and 18 are popular for hook ups between ballasts and lamps. Probably are braided too, tho I have not yet seen/touched an actual ballast/lamp setup. But that should change in the very near future. Anyway, as usual, I talk too much. So, the short answer is "Yes". :P But if he does not have access to the same gauge of wire, he can substitute larger diameter to connect the parts, like a 14/2 (with ground cable) cable used to make your own extension cords. Most are braided and available at your local hardware store.

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Old 01-11-2006, 06:37 PM   #9
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you can use the solid wire just make sure you use a insulated 110 volt rated crimp stile connector instead of a wire nut so you get a good mechanical contact and less chance of wire breakadge and leave lots of slack incase you wish to redo or change things down the road.
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:17 AM   #10
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Braided conductors are used for extension cords b/c they are much more flexible, and they last longer when faituged, not b/c of higher current capacities. Stranded conductors are only advantageous when used with high frequency AC.
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