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Best way to splice wires??

Old 07-28-2005, 01:36 PM
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Default Best way to splice wires??

I have seen it done 10 different ways and was wondering what you thought was the best way.

I'm connecting the GPS antenna to the wiring harness of a Garmin 3005c. The wires are either 22 or 18AWG.

I usually solder the wires together and then heat shrink over the solder joint.

Thanks,
Bill
Old 07-28-2005, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

Radio Shack has the small butt connectors for that size wire!!!


John
Old 07-28-2005, 02:47 PM
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Default RE: Best way to splice wires??

Trophy1903CC - 7/28/2005 2:36 PM

I'm connecting the GPS antenna to the wiring harness of a Garmin 3005c. The wires are either 22 or 18AWG.

I usually solder the wires together and then heat shrink over the solder joint.

Thanks,
Bill
I do it your way for very small wires, anything larger than 18 gauge I would use a marine rated butt splice and shrink wrap it. In some situations I add "liquid electrical tape" after shrink wrapping to seal the ends better.
Old 07-28-2005, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

ANCOR makes adhesive lined butt splices for 22 - 18 awg wire.

I personally would add another section of adhesive lined shrink tube over the splice.
Old 07-28-2005, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

Solder is the best way
Old 07-28-2005, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

Not this again!

This has been beat up a few times and if you get 10 replies you'll get 10 different ways to do it. I use a tin crimp double roll, oe style , soldered, and heat shrink. Opinions will vary.

Steve
Old 07-28-2005, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

i use elmers school glue and scotch tape...never a problem!
Old 07-28-2005, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

cgrand - 7/28/2005 4:09 PMi use elmers school glue and scotch tape...never a problem!
Atleast get wire nuts and fill them with elmer's glue!
Old 07-29-2005, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

The easiest method is not always the best!!!

You do it your way...I'll do it my way !!
Old 07-29-2005, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

Solder them for sure (like you curently do) but also "tin" the wires individually prior to soldering them together....it results in a higher integrity solder bond and keep corrsosion out better. You might well already be doing this but some folks don't - it only takes another 4-5 minutes and does help. Heat Shrink all connections of course afterwards.
Old 07-29-2005, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

Can you explain "tin"?

Thanks,
Bill
Old 07-29-2005, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

bro don't worry about all that...

buy ancor marine wire...it's already tinned
buy ancor heatshrink butt splices 22-18awg
buy ancor heatshrink tubing
buy a decent pair of crimpers
buy a tube of dielectric grease

squirt the grease into the splice, thread the tubing onto one of the wires, crimp on the splice at both ends, shrink it with a heat gun or lighter, then push the tubing over the splice & shrink again

done
Old 07-29-2005, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

Trophy1903CC - 7/29/2005 2:00 PM

Can you explain "tin"?

Thanks,
Bill
"Tinning" is the process of coating the wires with solder before actually soldering them.

Example:

Strip the insulation from a wire or cable.
Heat the wire or cable to the point where solder will melt and flow onto the wires and apply the solder.
Heat the other wire and do the same or heat the connector (lug) and apply a coating of solder.

Once this is done, it is easier and requires less heat to actually join the wires or wire and connector by heating both and applying a little more solder.

"Tinned" wire or cable is wire or cable that has each strand of wire coated with tin. This protects the wire or cable from corrosion and makes the wire or cable easier to solder (electrical solder is an alloy of tin and lead).
Old 07-30-2005, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

Excellent explanation of tinning by rwidman. As with most things, the devil is in the details though and I'll offer the following amplification:

Dip the bare wires in alcohol before tinning them. This cleans all oils and contaminents from them (including the oil in your fingers). You'll know the wire was "clean" after you tin them because the tinned surface will be shiny with no hint of brown or black coloring.

As rwidman says, heat the wire until it is hot enough to melt the solder. Resist the temptation of just melting the solder over cold wire. If you do that, only the outside of the wires will be tinned and not each strand. When the wire gets hot enough to melt the solder, it actually sucks the molten material inside and around the strands.

cgrand has an excellent point though that I did not think of....just buy marine wire already tinned - good tip
Old 07-30-2005, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

And if you're soldering electrical connections, be sure to use electrical or electronic (resin core) solder, not plumber's (acid core or solid wire) solder. The "core" in this case is "flux" a compound that helps to clean the connections and aids in making the bond.
Old 07-30-2005, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

I just strip both wires back about 1", and then twist them together. They ussualy hold, and if they ever come loose, it's easy to fix em, just twist em back together again!! The only problem I have is when pullign them thru something they sometimes come loose.

cgrand, I might try the scotch tape method, maybe mine won't come loose???
Old 07-31-2005, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

I use a modified version of Birdman's suggestion. The below is called a Western Union splice and is the strongest way to connect 20 - 26 AWG wire. This is how the phone company did it in the old days. You can solder this connection once twisted but I do not like to and there is no need to. Solder splices will break over time because it makes the wire rigid at the splice.



Strip the wires back about 1.5" .
Slide heat shrink on of the wires.
Cross the wires in the middle of the stripped section,
Make one twist in the wires. Make sure you wrap each wire not one around the other.
Take one of the tag ends and wrap tightly around the other towards the insulation. This will look like the end of a Haywire twist.
Repeat on the other side
Give a light pull on each wire to tighten the wraps
Put heat shrink over splice and heat.

If done properly you will not be able to pull this connection apart.
Old 07-31-2005, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

Birdman - 7/30/2005 12:31 PM



I just strip both wires back about 1", and then twist them together. They ussualy hold, and if they ever come loose, it's easy to fix em, just twist em back together again!! The only problem I have is when pullign them thru something they sometimes come loose.

cgrand, I might try the scotch tape method, maybe mine won't come loose???
Come on birdie....you know DUCK tape is better than Scotch !!
Old 08-02-2005, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Best way to splice wires??

Pay particular attention to the rosen core solder (you can get it from Radio Shack) because the reason it should be used on electrical/electronic applications is due to the fact that rosen core flux in only corosive at or near solder melt temps (361' F for 63/37-eutectic [sp]?) All other fluxes especially plumbers flux will stay corosive at normal temps. If you clean with alcohol use 99% isopropyl alcohol-make sure it evaporates before you heat it- the junk at the drug store has too much water in it to clean properly-try it you'll see the difference fast.
The only problem with soldering in a high vibration environment like a boat is the wire WILL break eventually and it will do it where the tin line is on the wire (that is where the solder was melted and cooled-different that "pretined" wire). That is a problem because it is very hard to troubleshoot broken wires that are under heat shrink or the wire insolation. You can minimize that by supporting the wire along the solder joint with something that shifts the flex point away from the joint.
I hope that wasn't too much tech $hit for you.
Good luck.

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