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Wire connectors/terminals

Old 03-26-2007, 02:16 PM
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Default Wire connectors/terminals

Have you guys ever used the wire connectors from Bestboatwire.com? I need a bunch of butt connectors and ring terminals. I noticed they’re about 1/2 the price of Del City’s, but the Del City connectors have solder inside them that melts when you heat up the connectors. Is it worth paying the extra price for the connectors with the solder inside? Thanks.
Old 03-26-2007, 05:15 PM
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Default RE: Wire connectors/terminals

96TL - 3/26/2007 1:16 PM

Have you guys ever used the wire connectors from Bestboatwire.com? I need a bunch of butt connectors and ring terminals. I noticed they’re about 1/2 the price of Del City’s, but the Del City connectors have solder inside them that melts when you heat up the connectors. Is it worth paying the extra price for the connectors with the solder inside? Thanks.
In general, you should not be soldering boat electrical wires. Just be sure you have marine grade connectors. The bes ones have adhesive filled heat shrink coverings. You crimp, then heat.
Old 03-26-2007, 05:29 PM
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Default RE: Wire connectors/terminals

[QUOTE]rwidman - 3/26/2007 10:15 PM

In general, you should not be soldering boat electrical wires. QUOTE]

Why shouldn't we solder boat electrical wires?
Old 03-26-2007, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

Rwidman, I am not soldering anything. These connecters have a bead of solder INSIDE. When you heat the connector to shrink the shrink wrap, the solder melts and coats the wire ends. Not sure if this is a good idea for the boat or not. I've used a few of them before, and they seemed nice, but I need a larger amount now and I'm not sure if they're worth the extra cost. They're still fairly cheap, but I don't want to pay extra for something I don't really need.
Old 03-26-2007, 06:59 PM
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Default RE: Wire connectors/terminals

Captain Spike - 3/26/2007 4:29 PM

Why shouldn't we solder boat electrical wires?
The Coast Guard and ABYC dissapprove of soldering. The primary reason given is that the solder will wick up the wire and create a point where the wire turns from "solid" (the soldered part) to stranded. This is a stress point that's likely to fail from vibration. They recommend crimp connections.

I said "in general" because crimp connections are impractical for very small wires and of course, marine elecronic devices have many soldered connections.
Old 03-26-2007, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

96TL - 3/26/2007 5:08 PM

Rwidman, I am not soldering anything. These connecters have a bead of solder INSIDE. When you heat the connector to shrink the shrink wrap, the solder melts and coats the wire ends...........
You know solder has to get pretty hot (about 360 degrees F) to make a connection. Hotter than you'll get with a typical heat gun or match. Can you post a link to these connectors?
Old 03-26-2007, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

I had no problem melting the solder when I used these last year. Here is the video. You can order these at Del City.

http://www.delcity.net/delcity/docum..._terminals.mpg

Old 03-26-2007, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

96TL - 3/26/2007 6:08 PM

I had no problem melting the solder when I used these last year. Here is the video. You can order these at Del City.

http://www.delcity.net/delcity/docum..._terminals.mpg
OK, that's pretty neat. I'm still not sure what the CG and ABYC would think about it but if the wires are well supported with little vibration, they should work.
Old 03-26-2007, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

I was thinking of getting the uninsulated terminals and using the 3-in-1 heat shrink tubing. Combined these are like the Ancor adhesive lined heat shrink connectors. Basically getting 50 vs. 6 for the same price.
Old 03-26-2007, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

I have used the butt splices from best boat wire with the shrink wrap and have had no problems, just make sure you get all the different sizes you need on you first order. I actually bought all my stuff from them when I changed out the fuse panels for blue seas. Nice to do business with also.
Old 03-28-2007, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

Interesting product. I've been using the adhesive lined shrink connectors with great results.
Old 03-28-2007, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

Stranded marine wire should not be soldered when making a screw compression or crimp connection. In both these situations, the stranded wire is expected to conform to the shape of the cavity when under pressure. This spreads it out for maximum surface to surface contact. If it is tinned prior to clamping or crimping, the area of metal to metal contact may only be 10% of what it would be with loose strands and you will be risking a hot spot under heavy current flow.

It is OK to solder a crimped joint after it is crimped but as pointed out above, the solder should be minimized so it doesn't wick beyond the crimp joint and create a stress point beyond the crimp. However a crimp joint made with the correct tool is "gas tight". This means the strands have been deformed under pressure so that there are no longer any void spaces between them where moisture can penetrate so soldering really only an advantage on poorly made crimps.
Old 03-28-2007, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

Any wire you put in your boat should be of the "stranded and tinned" type anyhow. You should never use bare copper wire. Extra solder to melt inside the terminal seems like unnecessary overkill to me, and won't reflow under typical heat shrinking anyhow. (Most solder needs to get over 400 F to reflow).
Old 03-28-2007, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

I'm just going to use the regular adhesive-lined crimps without the solder. Doesn't seem worth paying twice as much for the solder crimps. Thanks guys.
Old 03-28-2007, 06:43 PM
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Default RE: Wire connectors/terminals

rwidman - 3/26/2007 6:59 PM

Captain Spike - 3/26/2007 4:29 PM

Why shouldn't we solder boat electrical wires?
The Coast Guard and ABYC dissapprove of soldering. The primary reason given is that the solder will wick up the wire and create a point where the wire turns from "solid" (the soldered part) to stranded. This is a stress point that's likely to fail from vibration. They recommend crimp connections.

I said "in general" because crimp connections are impractical for very small wires and of course, marine elecronic devices have many soldered connections.
Where is it written that the CG and/or ABYC "dissapprove" of soldering?

Only thing I have ever read is that "solder shall not be the sole means of connecting a terminal to a wire" or something like that. This does not preclude the use of using solder in a splice or connection. Actually, most electronic devices are full of soldered joints.
Old 03-28-2007, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

Ditto everything Rwidman said, and Yandina said. Fwiw, I buy the bare connectors (without the insulator barrel) by the big bagful from bestboatwire.com and I buy the adhesive-lined shrink tubing in 4-ft sections elsewhere, sometimes locally at electrical supply house. It is by far the lease expensive way to go, tho the Anchor connectors with the adhesive barrels is faster.

Del City Wire has the best price on the crimping tool. The Del City crimper for under $30 is the same as the Ancor crimper for around $80.
Old 03-28-2007, 10:25 PM
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Default RE: Wire connectors/terminals

jethro1 - 3/28/2007 5:43 PM


......... Actually, most electronic devices are full of soldered joints.
Did I not say exactly that ?

The electronic devices have components soldered to circuit boards or other fixed terminals. I posted the exact reason for not soldering general electrical wiring on boats. If I find the link later I will post it for you.

There is no law that says you cannot solder wire on your boat or that you must follow recommended practices. It's your boat, do what you want with (to) it. People with more experience than you or I have tested these practices and come up with recommendations for best practices. I try to follow these recommendations whenever possible and practical. I spent the better part of my working life as an electronic technician so I know a little more than most people about the subject.
Old 03-28-2007, 11:34 PM
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Default RE: Wire connectors/terminals

rwidman - 3/29/2007 7:25 PM

jethro1 - 3/28/2007 5:43 PM


......... Actually, most electronic devices are full of soldered joints.
Did I not say exactly that ?

It is a fool’s argument. Do not get suckered into comparing the electronics inside of a case with the wiring in a boat. They are entirely two different animals, two different applications, two different specs.

Old 03-29-2007, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Wire connectors/terminals

Guys, the adhesive lined 3 to 1 heat shrink tubing in 4' sections, are you cutting them down to 1 inch? If not, what size are you cutting them?
Thanks.
Old 03-29-2007, 11:56 AM
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Default RE: Wire connectors/terminals

jethro1 - 3/28/2007 6:43 PM

rwidman - 3/26/2007 6:59 PM

Captain Spike - 3/26/2007 4:29 PM

Why shouldn't we solder boat electrical wires?
The Coast Guard and ABYC dissapprove of soldering. The primary reason given is that the solder will wick up the wire and create a point where the wire turns from "solid" (the soldered part) to stranded. This is a stress point that's likely to fail from vibration. They recommend crimp connections.

I said "in general" because crimp connections are impractical for very small wires and of course, marine elecronic devices have many soldered connections.
Where is it written that the CG and/or ABYC "dissapprove" of soldering?

Only thing I have ever read is that "solder shall not be the sole means of connecting a terminal to a wire" or something like that. This does not preclude the use of using solder in a splice or connection. Actually, most electronic devices are full of soldered joints.
Actually, the CG says its ok to solder, but that the solder must not be used as the primary means of making the connection. It has to be crimped. If you solder after crimping, its perfectly ok.

Ken

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