Amazing that a "standards" war broke out over the question of cabling to an inverter
. But all good. It's a good topic to play out. I won't speak to the wire standards as I can't add anything more to the skirmishes, and it wouldn't matter anyway to the skirmishees and the skirmishers.
But a couple of points:
I like tinned wire, not because it is "required" by any standard, but just because in my experience it does not corrode as fast or as much as non-tinned wire - UNLESS - the untinned wire is sealed so as to not be exposed to the corrosive atmosphere and environment
on boats. If it's 100% sealed it really doesn't matter.
Closed end lugs/terminals have to be used to reliably seal a cable. Putting wire sealant
on the end of an open lug will just not hold up. No one suggested that but just an observation as I have seen it regularly. But I have reluctantly put it on existing cables
when I have found them a few times. In that case I caution the owner to check the cables
often, just like you would any cable. Nothing wrong with using lugs from the auto parts
store if they are good quality. I hope no one will use solder as a way to close the end of open lugs!
Proper heat shrink is required for proper sealing.
Regarding pre-ordering cables: obviously too short is a problem. Less obvious is that too long cables, sometimes by even one inch can be the difference between getting a cable on a battery
in a box or not, especially between batteries in close quarters. Sometimes you just don't have the room.
Often, the orientation of the lugs (how twisted from horizontal) is critical as well. I have had to remake shorter and even medium length cables when the lugs don't match up with the orientation of the two ends. You'll know it when you see it. You can put more twist on more flexible cables but it is still a torsion that will work to loosen the seal on the cables.
The extra inch or inches on longer cables that sneak from compartment to compartment, or across an engine
room, can usually be oriented so the extra length is not a problem. May be even put in a drip loop. Drip loops are always nice, even for large cables, but many times just not convenient. But if the cable is well sealed it is not as critical as for smaller, open-ended wiring
. Whatever the orientation, you should only tighten the cable nut down at the stud AFTER the cable is run so as to not put a force on it that will work to untighten the connection. Don't laugh - I have seen this more than once.
Just the way I found that works for me when the orientation matters: I put on one lug (loose and not crimped) and then lay it down where it needs to go and mark where it needs to be cut taking in to account the length of the lug and how much cable goes in to it. After I trim the insulation
, I put put both loose lugs on it and lay it back down on where it goes. I think through if another cable lug has to go on top or on the bottom of the stud. Sometimes you can't fit them both on the same way.
Then I make a pen mark on both the lugs and the cable insulation to make sure I crimp them in the same orientation as I laid them down. I have saved a ton of time and money
doing this. Every time I think I can just eyeball it, I regret it. I guess I am just not spacially adept enough to just eyeball it.