Crimping wire

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by a1fa, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    I have the second tool pictured and it is excellent for uninsulated crimp lugs. If you will be doing any crimps with insulated lugs it is well worth buying a quality ratcheting crimper...I finally got one about a year ago and wish I'd done it much sooner, my crimps are much stronger and more reliable now. Ratcheting crimpers also have interchangeable dies for various types of lugs, insulated and non-insulated. The Paladin below is what I bought, was about $60 with one set of dies included...

    [​IMG]
    #21
  2. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

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    That first crimper you have is junk, the second one is the one to use.

    I assume most solderless connectors are copper plated with tin? Tin keeps the copper from oxidizing?

    Soldering is not good when there is vibration present?
    #22
  3. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Soldering is fine where vibration is present, the payload cone of a rocket is about as bad a vibration environment as you'll find anywhere, spacecraft have plenty of soldered connections.
    Tin plated copper is the standard material, yes. Some applications are Silver or Nickel plate, but they all serve to protect the copper.
    Crimping is easier and faster in a production environment, and takes much less skill overall.
    #23
  4. buickid

    buickid Lets ride!

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    The trick is to get the wire hot quickly, and apply the solder quickly, so the solder doesn't wick far up the wire. Wire with solder wicked in isn't as flexible as plain wire.
    #24
  5. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    You also want to be able to see the wire strands through the solder, and solder fillets should be no more than 1/2 the wire diameter (1/3 diameter for spacecraft, IMS).
    #25
  6. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Yup.

    Anyone can blob on solder. It takes an artist to use *just* enough.
    #26
  7. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    And then there's gold embrittlement.

    When soldering gold connections, tin the connector, then wick out the solder. That will pull the gold plating off, then you can solder normally.
    #27
  8. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    #28
  9. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    I would spring for the tool in the 2nd pic. I've got similar for home use It's a Klein J1005? overall length about 10". Has clean solid jaws and enough leverage for clean tight crimps. The one in pic 1 will work if it's all you have to get rolling again but it's pretty much a junk tool. For home use and quality crimps I use the Klein. I've got one of the cheap junk ones I keep in the tool roll for emergency road repairs, better than nothing. I don't care how much shrink tube or electric tape you use...a bad connection is a bad connection.
    #29
  10. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    There is no better connection than a properly made solder connection.

    There is no worse connection than a bad solder connection.

    Crimp is used because it is faster, more idiot resistant and using the right connector almost as good.

    Rod
    #30
  11. t6pilot

    t6pilot Been here awhile

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    Actually the best is a crimp then a dab of solder followed by heat shrink tubing, I know that's being anal, really hate to chase loose or broken wires. Being retired/retarded allows me to be that way
    #31
  12. the_gr8t_waldo

    the_gr8t_waldo Long timer

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    lately, i've taken to dipping the bare wire into some dielectrical grease, before crimping with tool #2. this makes a great crimp, and seals off the obvious entry points for corrosion. transfer of electricity is virtualy uneffected. for anything higher that 50 volts i woundn't use it.
    #32
  13. GSWayne

    GSWayne Old Guy nOOb

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    If you want to know if you have made a good crimp the way to test it is to pull it. It is best to test the particular wire, lug and tool you will use by pulling to destruction. In this spec in Table 12-2 are the pull specs
    http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/codeq/doctree/87394.pdf
    In general you can tell it is a good crimp by the wire breaking before it pulls out. At a more practical level, just give the wire a good tug after crimping to verify it was a good crimp.

    Now you can buy the ratcheting crimp tools for about $35, which makes them reasonable for home use. http://www.hamcq.com/tools/crimping...cheting-for-insulated-terminals/prod_273.html
    These tools work much better than the simple plier type tools.
    #33
  14. stevemd

    stevemd Adventurer

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    I looked at the $35 tool above and the $9.99 one on Harbor Freight (search on 97420) because I need a better one. The 2 tools look the same. Not saying they ARE the same tool but they sure look the same.
    #34
  15. buickid

    buickid Lets ride!

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    The magic lies in the dies, they're made to be used with a specific connector. The HF one might not be an exact millimeter by millimeter copy of the "legit" ones, but in my experience, it does the job for the backyard mechanic, where most of the time we're probably using some hardware store brand connectors anyway. For $10, give it a whirl and see if the connectors stay on when you pull them. If they do, your golden.
    #35
  16. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

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    So we've gone from trying to help a guy with a small shop project to building space ships:amazon


    You don't NEED a $35 crimp tool to make good crimps.
    :hide
    After you crimp it tug the wire to make sure its secure.

    The more expensive tools make it harder to screw it up, and for some specialized connectors/terminals are the only way to crimp them.
    #36
  17. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    I'd say that a motorcycle is a harsher environment than space is. Once you get past boost phase, you really just have thermal stress and radiation bombardment to deal with.
    #37