For 2020 - what is your source for red/black 10 or 12AWG wire?

I know this has been asked before - usual responses are PowerWerx, McMaster, and the occasional Monoprice thrown in (for 12AWG)

We’re running low - and all this previous Topics are closed, so I figured why not start a new topic and ask again?

Specifically - the Monoprice 12AWG has a nice price point but its marketed as speaker wire…thoughts?

The Monoprice speaker wire looks better than the THHN wire (quite stiff) that we are using this year in that it will probably be more flexible and easier to make nice layouts. We will have to get our wire from them next year.

The types with jackets will add unnecessary bulk and weight. The jacket also makes it difficult to work with the two wires unless the jacket is stripped back a few inches. For short runs, the jacket becomes pointless.

The types without jackets have no markings so it would be best to bring samples and ordering paperwork to show the Inspectors.

Just be sure to get copper wire, not copper clad aluminum (CCA). Rule R53 specifically calls out copper wire. I recall one team having to rewire much of their robot on the Practice Day when it was found that they used CCA.

Thanks - yeah, I’ve used this Monoprice cable in other applications, I was thinking about removing that outer jacket…

The wcp bonded silicone wire that was released this year is a game changer: Combines the best of both worlds of bonded wire and super flexible silicone wire.


In a pinch, find a source of good automotive wire, such as an auto parts store (try to find one that is independently owned, not one of the “big box” stores). Much better than the builder supply wire! But perhaps not as good as the super flexible wire.

We use this stuff:

Its bonded, really flexible and easy to work with. Its also pretty inexpensive for 100’ at ~$20.

In general we use PowerWerx bonded for runs between motors and controllers, as we still have like 40ft of it. For motor leads we use silicone wire we get from and we will move over to their bonded wire when we use up the PowerWerx stuff.


That wire is copper clad aluminum not fully copper.


We use BNTECHGO High strand count silicon wire. Works really well, the insulation doesn’t melt (easily), and it’s super flexible.

It’s not as resistant to cuts though (I can strip 18 gauge with my fingers), so don’t get it close to sharp objects

We buy 100ft roles of 12awg


We use this in some places as well. It’s flexibility is awesome. However, the wiring team doesn’t like how it strips and the soft insulation can be prone to cutting. A lot of times when you try to ‘zip’ it into red and white, the insulation tears away from the copper. It’s also pricey. Our main go-to is here:


Have to be careful when buying wire off Amazon – a lot of it is “Copper Clad Aluminum” (or “CCA”), which is NOT FRC legal.

Which one - the one from Amazon?
We want copper, not copper clad…

The one NYtoWI linked was Copper Clad.

If we’re talking about buying wire over the internets, rather than locally, why would you shop on Amazon when you can buy quality wire from trusted suppliers that help sponsor the event, such as Digikey?

I guess I’m being cynical again… but come on, buy good wire, it’s worth it.


What exactly is the FRC use for 10/12 AWG wire? Signal uses 22, and motors use 16 or 14. I think the main breaker, etc uses 6. Where does 10/12 fall in these categories?
Oops, accidentally revived this thread. Didn’t mean to.

Back to the wire rules (specifically R53), friend. Motors on 40A breakers need 12AWG (down to 18 if you have a motor on the 20A breakers, 14 if you’re on 30A). Many teams will run 10 for extra protection–12AWG pulling 40+A for 2 minutes can be kind of toasty, and you don’t want toasty wires. Note that the sizes are MINIMUM.

There’s no particular rule saying you can’t use 6AWG (battery cable thickness) on your entire robot…

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I realize this has been bumped, but I’ll throw in that we’ve been working with a big spool of Powerwerx bonded cable since 2018 or 2019. When that runs out, I’ll probably push for WCP’s bonded silicone wire.


Automation Direct has a wide selection of wire. We use MTW for most of our 12 G needs. The Monoprice speaker wire is appealing on several levels. It probably wouldn’t not hold up the heat of sustained 40A load. Not really an issue for FRC. (2 minutes is not sustained.)

We’ve been using this stuff for our 12 AWG wiring. It’s clearly marked and it’s not the copper-clad aluminum that is all over Amazon and eBay.

12 AWG Red / Black zip cord

A lot of wire is not labelled with the wire size. Keep in mind that many RIs do not have an electrical background and cannot judge wire size by looking at it. (Actually with the variation of insulation thickness most cannot judge wire size by looking at it. Even those that think they can. :slight_smile: ) At events you should be to show documentation of the wire. size. Something like a specification sheet with a sample of the wire taped to it would work nicely. (Not the only way, but keeping it simple will speed the process.)

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