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What is a 4 pin power connector that can handle a lot of current? Answered

For a project powering red, blue, and green LEDs, with a common positive, I am hoping to power around 250 LEDs with around 5 amps. This means that each wire needs to be able to handle 5 amps of current at 12 volts (or 60 Watts), with the other three wires acting as grounds. I've looked at PC peripheral molex connectors, capable of handling around 5-8 amps however that is over all four wires. I need something stronger, most molex connectors use 20 gauge wire (which handles 1.5 amps), while the national electrical code suggests a 14 gauge wire to handle 5.9 Amps. It doesn't matter to me what the connector is supposed to be used for, if it's an audio plug, power plug, or whatever, this project will be very jerry-rigged. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions for a suitable plug.


. Those are not NEC standards. NEC rates 14 AWG for 15 A.
. Use this chart and de-rate by about 55%. 20 AWG is just about right for 5 A.

Thank you very much for your advice on wire capacity, it appears I was wrong about the NEC standard (Which I had obtained from this site: http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm ).

I'm glad to hear things are simpler than I had thought, thanks a bunch! This will put me on time to get my next instructable finished for the LED contest!

. In that chart, "Maximum amps for power transmission" is what you would use when you are sending power a long distance (eg, across a large plant or the power company) or inside conduit and is de-rated so much to keep I2R losses (waste heat) down.
. "Chassis wiring" is for wire that gets plenty of air circulation. NEC specs assume the wire will be run through insulation and other places with no air flow and are lower.
. When in doubt, go with the lowest ampacity figure, usually NEC.

. Scratch that last sentence. Go with the NEC unless you know conditions will allow more. A DIYer shouldn't have to worry about using the transmission figure unless they are dealing with high current and/or long runs (eg, large and/or remote solar panels and windmills).