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Old 29-06-2012, 10:15   #16
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

So who here has a boat that vibrates so much it is going to break a solder joint?

I mostly crimp as I need to justify having gotten that nice racket crimper. But I've soldered before and sometimes even do both!
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Old 29-06-2012, 10:32   #17
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Yeahwell. There are many incredibly long threads online about how to connect wires, at least your friend didn't say "twist and tape".

Of course if he really had years of experience, he'd have started as a telegraph lineman and he'd know the only proper way to splice wires is with a Western Union Splice, which doesn't require solder, tape, or crimps.
A WU splice is intended for solid copper wire not the finely stranded UL 1426 type wire we use on boats. Under ABYC no form of wire twisting counts as a "mechanical connection"...

Of course on your own boat you can always do what ever you want, like the boat I just left... I would not set sail on that boat with a NASA ejection seat and fire proof suit but the owners is happy and could care less..

Nothing wrong with a properly done crimp and solder but the vast majority of soldering I see out here in the field is far from "properly done", on the order of about 95% are piss poor technique...
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Old 29-06-2012, 10:35   #18
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
So who here has a boat that vibrates so much it is going to break a solder joint?

I mostly crimp as I need to justify having gotten that nice racket crimper. But I've soldered before and sometimes even do both!
Lots Don.. Come work with me for a week... Changes to the ABYC standards are very evidence based. There is good reason why solder shall not be the sole means of connections on boats...
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Old 29-06-2012, 10:51   #19
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

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Originally Posted by sailinman View Post
i agree that vibrations are an issue, but I dont think they preclude the use of solder... if vibrations are a factor, then a crimped connector will vibrate loose or at the least vibrate enough to allow moisture in and corrosion to get inbetween the conductors and or the connector...

securing and strapping would be the solution to both possibility/potentials..
In a properly done crimp there is no inbetween the wire and conductor. The copper cold flows under the extreme pressure and fills the space. You can saw through a good crimp connection and it will look like the copper melted and filled the crimp.

That's why adding solder to crimped connections after crimping is pointless and conterproductive, as if it migrates up the wire you just made it brittle.
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Old 29-06-2012, 11:17   #20
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

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Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
why would anyone twist and solder 12v joints .. unless they were out of butt connectors?
Because it's easy and a positive way of knowing your connection is solid...I've seen so many butt connections fail through the years it makes my head hurt...even some of my own.

A twisted, soldered connection can be as good as it gets if it is properly supported and covered...a lot of "regs", "suggestions", "recommendations" are the result of poor practices that the "average" guy employs...not necessarily how its done but the percentage of how successful it is.

USCG helos used to have and may still have electrical connections that would make you wince but they were done that way to save weight and space...hope they are better now...but I lost all comms and nav in the middle of nowhere in the foggy North pacific one day because my copilot went to adjust his seat and put pressure on the center console that shorted out the uncovered, soldered to a copper strip buss bar for all/moist of the avionics.

Twisted and soldered is OK in my book as long as it's a good solder joint and supported well for some electrical work...not good enough for battery connections though...
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Old 29-06-2012, 12:24   #21
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
In a properly done crimp there is no inbetween the wire and conductor. The copper cold flows under the extreme pressure and fills the space. You can saw through a good crimp connection and it will look like the copper melted and filled the crimp.

That's why adding solder to crimped connections after crimping is pointless and conterproductive, as if it migrates up the wire you just made it brittle.
the keyword is properly... I would venture to say that 90% or more are not proplery done... the connector itself is poorly designed, and the crimping tools, (non ratcheting) are not correct... more pressure is applied closer to the fulcrum then at the end...

I agree with your point but until better connectors are designed and better instructions and stronger reccomendations for proper tools, then I would suggest that the folks that have soldered and crimped will testify that they see solder flow thru the crimped connector..
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Old 29-06-2012, 13:26   #22
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

Ok I have just put new lights on the boat trailer. I thought about how to do it. picked a wire nut . Filled it full of silicon after and put tape over that The lights and wires get a bath every trip. I will let you know how long they last. I was going to solder and shrink rap or crimp I asked all kinds of EBEW men most said solder is the best conection but might not be the best aplication. One just has to take a chance and learn what works best for you ? The butt crimp has not worked the best for me (but) I have not used the best tools to crimp and I do it every 5 years? Regards LOU452
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Old 29-06-2012, 17:53   #23
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The crap about solder being vulnerable to vibration is just that: Crap. For 20 years I refurbished vintage guitar amplifiers from the 50's and 60's. All had soldered point-to-point wiring. Believe me, a 100-watt Marshall sitting on a stack of 8 12-inch speakers vibrates more than any boat. Those speakers blow your pant legs when you play, but the soldered speaker wire joints never failed. I rarely found a bad joint in the head units after 40 or 50 years of use. Worn pots and spent capacitors? Yes.

That said, solder is a lousy mechanical connection--the wires need strain relief on a boat. And as most agree, most DYI'ers make lousy solder connections.

Do a search for MaineSail's articles on PROPER crimpers, and quality adhesive-lined heat shrink butt connectors. I'm convinced he's right about them. I have great crimpers and a large assortment of terminals and connectors, and they work perfectly.

People who use wire nuts or twisted ends and electrical tape are the reason most of us hate prior owners. If you're going to do something, do it right!
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Old 29-06-2012, 18:17   #24
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

Just today I took a short piece of 1/4 copper tubing about half inch long. Soldered tinned three wire ends and placed these in the tube overlapping each wire. Then used a vice grip and clamped it tight. Then used some friction cloth electric tape to cover. I bet this works a very long time. the crimp conducts and the wires end are laid side by side in the crimp. So a lot of surface area in this connector for current to flow. It also is in an inside space not exposed to the outside weather.
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Old 29-06-2012, 18:20   #25
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

For yachts it is fine. For inspected passenger vessels it is illegal.
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Old 29-06-2012, 18:30   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdowney717
Just today I took a short piece of 1/4 copper tubing about half inch long. Soldered tinned three wire ends and placed these in the tube overlapping each wire. Then used a vice grip and clamped it tight. Then used some friction cloth electric tape to cover. I bet this works a very long time. the crimp conducts and the wires end are laid side by side in the crimp. So a lot of surface area in this connector for current to flow. It also is in an inside space not exposed to the outside weather.
Tinned the ends but did not solder the wires together?

Your crimp sucks--I guarantee it.

Tape? Why?--for insulation?

Why not use a proper adhesive lined heat shrink butt connector that essentially becomes one with the wire strands and seals out all moisture?

Your vice grip and copper tubing has air voids inside--especially since you tinned the ends.
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Old 29-06-2012, 18:37   #27
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

yes insulation only for the tape. So they cant touch and short.
I used these on the electric macerator head. Energized when you push the button.
I really dont care if there are any voids
Or if you could pull them apart which you cant.
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Old 29-06-2012, 18:42   #28
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Re: Butt connector vs solder

I just don't know!! for years Ive crimped, soldered, and shrink wraped!! Im now useing the stickem on the inside shrink wrap. Ive never had a connection break, or fail in use!! When I bilt our colvin, I wired the whole boat this way, and in 25 + years of use the original wireing was still working flawlessly !! Im still going to do it this way cus it works for me !! Just my 2 cents
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Old 29-06-2012, 20:48   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobconnie
I just don't know!! for years Ive crimped, soldered, and shrink wraped!! Im now useing the stickem on the inside shrink wrap. Ive never had a connection break, or fail in use!! When I bilt our colvin, I wired the whole boat this way, and in 25 + years of use the original wireing was still working flawlessly !! Im still going to do it this way cus it works for me !! Just my 2 cents
And my grandfather smoked for a thousand years and they didn't punch a hole in his trachea until he was 94. But most people succumb to small cell carcinoma much sooner. What's wrong with paying $50 for a proper tool and $0.15 for a proper connector?

Yeah, crappy methods work--until they fail. And they do fail.
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Old 29-06-2012, 20:56   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailinman

mechanical butt connectors that the utility companies use for line voltage are fastened with bolts, not crimped... they have torque specs to assure positive and proper contact

I u...
It has been a few years but I remember pumping hydraulic crimper with my leg. It was used to connect the low side of UG transformers and for secondary splices... Thought I saw them still being used.
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