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Below is a simplified version of a system I'm working on. There's over 10 devices and they all come through the ammeter and split off into each device (only using 2 devices here for simplicity).

The current circuit has been wired where it's red wire all the way until the last device and then black wire to the negative side of the power supply.

What exactly would the correct wiring color be according to conventions? My temptation is to do Red -> Black -> Red -> Black -> Red ....

Current Wiring

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you planning star or radial wiring or daisy chained for light or static loads . You want to avoid sharing dirty grounds. Colours look OK \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jan 10 at 21:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TonyStewartSunnyskyguyEE75 I had to look up the difference but I believe it would be a star (or ring if that's the same thing) ... as if the system is running off of a battery. \$\endgroup\$ – fullyjosh Jan 10 at 21:57
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First, I would tend to switch the high side for various reasons.

The only convention I follow is to use "hot" colors for positive and "cold" colors for negative. And if there are only a positive rail and ground, use red and black for those.

So with your wiring I might use red (+12)->orange->blue->black (GND)

With the contacts on the high side red->orange->yellow->black

The color "hotness" changes where most of the voltage is dropped, across the loads.


Maybe there is some standard that calls this out for DC circuits.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting...I've never heard that but maybe something to consider. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – fullyjosh Jan 10 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ For marine use, ABYC wants yellow for negative/ground to avoid confusion with AC Hot wires. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Bennett Jan 10 at 22:15

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