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Extending PSU wire length


kiwwanna

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Ok so I want to lengthen some wires on my PSU its a modular 850. What gauge wire is uses for the different wires, are they all the same? What I want to do is add a 12-15 inch piece to the ones I need longer and solder them together. I want to do it this way so its cleaner then using extensions. Yes I know this viods warrenty but thats not a big deal. ( If anything happens I'd gladly purchase another awsome PSU from Corsair :biggrin: ) So ya does anyone here know the gauge?
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Which cables are you wanting to extend? The modular cables are all 18 guage (it's printed on the wires in teeny, tiny print). The hardwired cables vary according to load, the larger ones appearing to be 16 guage (don't quote me on that; I haven't calibrated my eyeballs lately).

 

The thing you have to worry about is voltage drop. You just shelled out some serious shekels for a tightly regulated PSU so it would be a shame to negate that by introducing too much resistance into the cables, causing excessive voltage drop. Which cables are you extending? A quick and dirty rule of thumb, albeit inexact) is if it's one of the sata or peripheral cables and you are lightly loading it (i.e. using only one or two of the four provided sockets), then you most likely can get away with extending the cables. If the cable is fully loaded, then you would be pushing your luck although you could give yourself more headroom by building an entirely new cable using 16 gauge wire (14 guage could also be used but the cable would be getting pretty large and getting the wire to fit connector pins would be...ah...challenging). Since you care about appearance, this kludge would be attractive (pardon the pun) since you wouldn't have lumpy solder joints bulging mid-cable. It's extremely dangerous, though, since one mislocated cable could barbeque your entire system, including the PSU. Be sure to check your voltages on the extended cables under your load, using an good multi-meter, to ensure any voltage drop isn't excessive.

 

In the case of the hard wired cables (and the modular cables if you want to be more accurate), you need to determine how heavily you are going to load it, based on amperage (which can be derived from wattage) and guess at how much load the manufacturer considers maximum (I'm finding getting that info from them is like pulling teeth). You might be able to get an idea of what the max load might be by reading reviews that torture test your PSU, checking to see at what loads the voltages start to degrade, or by finding specs similar equipment that draw more than yours and uing those figures as a max load rating. If your load is significantly lower, extending the cables will probably be alright. To get a more accurate idea, you will have to actually calculate voltage drop at full load on the stock cable (try this site for a voltage drop calculator: ) then calculate the voltage drop on the extended cable using your load. If your load's voltage drop is similar or less than the factory's fully loaded rating, then you should be alright. If more, you could risk killing your compnents prematurely. Keep in mind that with low voltages, a seemingly small voltage drop can have a significant effect on how well your equipment will run. Also, keep in mind some equipment, such as fans, will be able to be able to handle larger votage drops than others.

 

You have already said you are aware that modding your cables will void your warranty but keep in mind how you connect the cables could kill more than just the PSU; you could lose up to the entire system. And with all the wires involved, making a mistake would be really, really easy.

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