Friday, March 18, 2005

What does AWG mean?

AWG stands for American Wire Gauge, and it is a standard used for denoting wire conductor diameter. The system is counter-intuitive, so the lower the AWG, the thicker the conductor.

Actually the system is even more counter-intuitive than that. Once you get to wires thicker than 0 AWG, you do not use negative numbers. Instead you just add more zeroes and end up with wire sizes like 00000 AWG, or, written another way, 5/0 AWG.

If you pull a telephone or computer line out of the wall and snip off the end, chance are good that you'll be looking at conductors that are between 0.016 and 0.025 inches across which is 26 to 22 AWG. (That's 0.4039 to 0.6452 millimeters for the metric-ly inclined.) If you go home and rip a power line out of the wall for a snip--a very bad idea, you'll probably see conductors between 14 and 12 AWG.

The thicker the wire, the lower the AWG, and the lower the resistance per unit of length. For more information about load carrying capacity and the relationship of conductor diameter to AWG, visit Power Stream: Wire Gauge and Current Limits.


At April 14, 2008 at 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The AWG gage is the number of times a standard metal blank is pulled through a wire die. Every time you pull it through, the blank gets a bit thinner and a lot longer. You can extrapolate backward to get the original metal blank size! :-)

At June 3, 2008 at 2:48 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Not a comment but looking for help. I am setting up a gigabit network but as a stop gap, have two wall RJ45 plugs "hard wired" together between two computers. By hard wired, I mean I have taped up the corresponding ends of each cable running from each RJ45 wall plug. However, I cannot get the computers to see one another. I am using cat6 FTP cable. I have left the earth wire at the end of each cable unconnected (ie loose). I have a patch panel but for sundry reasons will not be able to install it for a while. Is it possible to "hard wire" like I am doing??

Thanks for any help.

At June 3, 2008 at 4:07 PM, Blogger Will Hunt said...

Andrew - I have tried to visualize what you have stated here, but I can't wrap my head around it. Let's just leave this explanation out of it, and try and tell me what you are trying to accomplish. Just let me know what results you wish to acheive and I will give you a suggestion on how to accomplish the task.

At February 17, 2009 at 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Will! this was extremely helpful

At March 25, 2009 at 7:08 AM, Blogger Along Parker said...

Amazing, thought-provoking blog. We love it!, can learn from this.

At September 2, 2015 at 10:07 AM, Anonymous high speed hdmi cable said...

Really nice topic thanks for sharing I was also wanted to know about AWG means and here i got it now. thanks once again

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