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Do I need a fused distribution block?

9867 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  loknload
I’m sure having one wouldn’t hurt, but is it necessary? I’ve done some research and have heard both sides. I came across a pretty informative site and the author seems to think it’s necessary. His reasoning makes sense.

The website
Basic Car Audio Electronics

And a nice little wiring diagram

I’m thinking about not having one because it looks a little cleaner. I’ve seen some pretty amazing installs where a fused block isn’t used. Some good examples of some installs where a fused block isn’t used are by Simplicity In Sound over at DIYMA.

I understand the purpose of the fuse is to protect the wire, not the equipment. I’ll be running 0 gauge and splitting it to two 4 gauge wires. One will be running 1100 RMS and the other around 650. The 4 gauge runs will be pretty short.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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How hard do you plan on running your system?
If you are going to compete then it probably isn't a bad idea. If you are just upgrading for better sound then I would say it isn't necessary.
Just do it. It's not worth risking your wiring, equipment, and your truck. Especially since you'll be pulling some decent current (seeing as you'll be pushing over 1500 watts RMS). I don't know what equipment you're using, but I'd rather spend the extra 20-30 bucks for a fused distro block and some fuses instead of spending a few hundred bucks for new equipment AND a distro block with fuses when you have a problem.
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You talking about running a power wire from battery all the way to amps, with no fuses? Can't that catch your truck on fire if something gets into that power wire?

I'm no audio/electrical expert, but I personally fuse everything.
The main 0 AWG power will be fused near the battery. I was curious about the 0 AWG when it gets to the back and splits / reduces down to 4 AW.
The fuse near the battery is so that the fuse blows before a wire short starts a fire and burns the truck to the ground. The fuses in the distribution block are to protect each individual equipment and blow the fuse before the equipment starts a fire and burns the truck to the ground. So yes, you need a fused distribution block since you have 2 amps. If it were a single amp, then you could be fine with the single fuse near the battery sized for the amp.
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I would use a fused distribution block if your amps are not internally-fused (e.g. the newer JL Audio XD- and HD- series)

You do, however, like many of the posts above mine need an in-line fuse or circuit-breaker for your primary power wires (within 16" of the battery). This is a must-have.
I have/will do fused dist blocks when I am running more than one amp/piece of equipment off the main power feed. I have had a loooonnggg time ago an active x-over and 2 amps on one feed, they all have different power needs, if something goes awry and you have a 200 amp fuse you will likely smoke whatever has an issue...

I have had a fused dist block save one of my two amps once. Well, only one amp died anyways.

Plus what else are you going to do, use a ground distribution block for power just to save a few bucks at best?
I would use a fused distribution block if your amps are not internally-fused (e.g. the newer JL Audio XD- and HD- series)
The Alpine amps I'll be running are fused and can be replaced without opening the amp.

Plus what else are you going to do, use a ground distribution block for power just to save a few bucks at best?
It wasn't really a money issue. I just thought it looked a little cleaner, as stupid as that sounds. I'll just use a fused block. Even if it's not necessary, more protection is never a bad thing.

Thanks for the responses!

Are these as reliable as the ANL fuse holders?

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So what else were you planning on using to split the wire from one 0ga large to 2 4ga wires? :o_O:

circuit breakers can be reliable, however I have seen some not fail when they should have, and have seen some fail prematurely...
So what else were you planning on using to split the wire from one 0ga large to 2 4ga wires? :o_O:
Something like this... Install by Simplicity In Sound (DIYMA)

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Since your amps are fused on the amp, then you do not have to put in a fused distribution block. But like you said, putting them in will not hurt. Make the fuses in the distribution block slightly bigger than the ones on the amp so that only one fuse blows, not both.

And circuit breakers like the one you posted work fine as long as they are working properly. As long as you can push that button and it pops open, then it should be good. I've had one that quit popping open when the button was pushed. That is when you know you need to replace it. The circuit breakers are nice in that you can just reset the breaker once they pop open. Fuses have to be replaced. But honestly, as long as the wire is large and the breaker/fuse is large, it should never break the circuit. So if you can get a fuse for cheaper, then go for it. The breaker is only handy if the amps have a possibility of drawing too much power at max volume and you don't want to spend the money on bigger or a second wire.

And I'm sure you probably know, upgrade your battery ground as well.
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In that pic, they used what were called ground distribution blocks. Notice how all the wiring is also the same color, and the installer used a magic marker to mark what is what...

I actually like having differentiation in power vs ground, just me I guess. a power dist wouldn't really take up much more than 1.5-2 inches of room and to me would look more organized than all same wire with marker showing what is what and 2 ground blocks....

Fwiw, since 1998, I have only blown a fuse three times...
1. punch 150 bridged to 2 ohms, blew all sortsa sh!t off the board, melted stuff, ground wire turned molton.... burnt a stripe across my hand when I went to make sure it was attached...

2. 4.6x, water ran down the back window of my 81 f150, best audio system I have had I think, sounded the best anyways, then again, I was young dumb and full of XXX and no money... Amp blew, rf fixed under warranty...

3. rf 500a2 (i think anyway, forget) just randomly blew some resistors off the board, was running the same rf xlc 10"s that killed the 150, as well as were pushed by the 4.6x... I got it fixed, cost was 125... Rf said not warranty and ran too low impedance, even tho was ran at rated specs...

Lent the same set-up to gfs bro, he some how managed to blow both speakers in less than 2 weeks cuz he is retarded and a dumbass I guess, blew both xlc's he sold the amp, I told him he had to give me 150... The subs were sluts and in 4 vehicles, still pissed me off.

I am rambling, sorry...

Anyways, all times I have popped a fuse were actual issues.

I would still run a power dist block with fuses ( as all power dist blocks are) and not just 2 ground dist blocks...

In the times listed above, the other amp and x-over network didn't die, I know that when stuff fails you can get issues with other items in the run if they aren't fused....
Or so I have been told, anytime I had multiple amps or other on the same primary I used a power dist block...
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You can see my distribution block in the picture. It's 0 awg in and four 4 awg out and no fuses. If your amps have built in fuses, they are meant to protect the amp. Of course I do have a fuse on the main 0 awg cable running from the battery to the distribution block. It's personal choice and preference for you. My preference is no fuses and I don't think they would do any more to protect my equipment or keep wire from melting than I already have.


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