Wire Harness Estimator Components Defined

Falconer Electronics, Inc recently announced a new tool, the Wire Harness Estimator, to assist with determining the cost of a Wire Harness Assembly (click here to view).

The Wire Harness Estimator allows you to quickly and easily enter the components that make up your wire harness and within seconds you will receive an email with the estimate. 

Below you will find helpful definitions as a guide to use the Wire Harness Estimator. 

Wire Types And What They Are Used For

Stranded: When a wire needs to be flexible within a product.

Flexible Ground Braid: Grounding connection between two terminals while still having the ability to move or vibrate.

Ribbon Cable – Gray: Usually used to make connections within electrical devices such as computers, DVD players, or hard drives.

THHN – Solid: For a fixed application like traveling through straight formed conduit.

THHN – Stranded: For an application where a flexible wire is needed, as when placing wire around corners or in power boxes.

Wire Gauges And How They Are Defined

Wire Gauges We Offer:

22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6

Figure 1.1

Physical Size of Wire:

The physical size of a wire is defined by the number of operations that it takes to get it to that physical size. This process means that a 22 gauge wire is much smaller in size than a 6 gauge wire. This process is called “Wire Drawing” and it looks like Figure 1.2. “Wire Drawing” is what gives us all of the different gauges that are seen in Figure 1.1. 

The smaller the wire gauge the less current that is traveling through the wire itself. Also meaning the smaller gauged wires have less amperage they can handle. 

Figure 1.2 (Kingway)

Wire Colors And What They Are Used For

Black: Hot/ Positive

White: Common/ Negative

Green: Ground

Red: Secondary Line: Hot/Positive

Blue, Yellow, Brown: Available for customer’s personal choice to connect one point to another.

Terminal Types And Why They Are Needed

Ring Terminal: To connect two points through a wire and is attached with a screw. Figure 2.1

Fork Terminal: Much like that Ring Terminal it connects two points through a wire and is attached with a screw, however it is also useful if you need to remove the terminal from a device because of its open ended design. Figure 2.2

Quick Connect / Disconnect Terminal: Terminals that attach to another terminal by sliding into place. There are female and male connecting terminals. Figure 2.3 and Figure 2.4 

Ferrule Terminal: Fastening, joining, sealing, or reinforcing wires to each other. Can be used in many different applications due to the many different types there are. Figure 2.5


Figure 2.1              Figure 2.2         Figure 2.3        Figure 2.4     Figure 2.5

Terminal Insulation Type And Why They Are Needed


  • Partially Insulated- Usually on ring or fork terminals. Used mostly to prevent crossing/ shorting of the wires by preventing contact with other wires.
  • Fully Insulated- Mostly on Quick Connect/ Disconnect terminals. Fully insulated terminals are mostly used to prevent contact between terminals. Therefore the wires would not be in contact with each other in small spaces. 

Uninsulated- Terminals that need to be crimped in place or soldered in place. Usually, are finished with heat shrink tubing.

Terminal Stud Sizes And Why It’s Important To Know What Size You Need 

Terminal Stud Sizes We Offer:

2,4,6,8,10, 1/4″

                                                       Figure 3.1 

Why is the terminal stud size important:

If your assembly requires that wires are attached by screws or other hardware you need to be sure that you have a proper size to fit the hardware you are using.

Therefore if you are using a 1/4″ screw in your assembly but you have gotten a #2 terminal stud you won’t be able to attach your wire to your assembly. As you can see in Figure 3.1 the sizes are very different.   

The other important thing to remember when looking at terminal stud size is they have to be able to fit around your screw or hardware. This means that a 1/4″ terminal stud will actually be slightly larger than a 1/4″.  

Wire Harness Add-Ons And What They Are Used For

Spiral Wrap: Bundles wires together while still providing flexibility

Wire Ties: Bundling wires into separate groups, separating wires from other wires in harness, or holding a wire into a specific direction

Shrink Tubing: Protecting and insulating wire from outside elements


For more information on our wire harnesses check out our Wire Harness page.

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