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Old 19-07-2016, 05:49   #1
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Crimping teeny tiny wires

Yesterday I was unsuccessful crimping butt connectors to my garmin gps antenna.

I'm pretty sure its 22awg wire, that hole worked on the wire stripper anyways, but I couldn't get the 22awg crimps to hold.

I just have a cheesey crimper no more complicated that a skinny pair of pliers, maybe i need something with some mechanical advantage?
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Old 19-07-2016, 06:05   #2
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

On small wires where the lug is really too big, I fold the stripped wire back over the insulation before I crimp. Sometimes if this is a little too tight then strip the insulation from one side of the fold back area.

I have used Klein crimpers for years. This tool has two different crimp positions. Does a good job of keeping the barrel round and not just mashed.
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Old 19-07-2016, 06:09   #3
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

The garbage crimpers are most of your problem, beyond that I personally prefer to solder and heat shrink the really time stuff. However as said above, a good pair of crimpers and folding over the bare end of the wire helps greatly.


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Old 19-07-2016, 06:17   #4
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

I use these, available at big box hardware
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Old 19-07-2016, 06:33   #5
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

I saw this article at panbo.com.



Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: 3M Scotchloks, is my love so wrong?

I got mine from Amazon
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Old 19-07-2016, 06:55   #6
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

I use the little telephone wire connectors like pictured above myself
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Old 19-07-2016, 07:32   #7
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

We don't need another debate about crimping verses solder, but I think soldering and heat shrink is the best answer for very fine wires.

It is important to have a very low resistance connection, as often the voltages are low.
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Old 19-07-2016, 07:51   #8
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

Terminating Small Wires Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 19-07-2016, 08:02   #9
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

I thought about soldering. But I had it in my head that soldering is a no no, something about hard spots and fatigue and whatnot. But I agree, let's not go there.

The problem has developed a bit further. I ended up just twisting all the wires together tightly rather than use butt-crimps, but my gps still wouldn't link up. This is really just a low baudrate serial connection, and not some crazy analog GPS signal as I initially thought, so the hacky wiring job should have been adequate, if temporary...

At home, I started thinking about one moment of frustration where I yanked on the wire from the antenna to get a little more slack. I decided I probably broke the f$#@$# thing, so I ordered a new GPS 19x antenna.

So now the wiring I'll need to do is to put little fork terminals on the end of the new antenna. Too bad because I like the look of those Scotchlok things. Guess I'll buy a fancier crimper and hope the forks hold.
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Old 19-07-2016, 08:23   #10
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

I use the ScotchLoks on nearly all small wire connection and they are just the answer! Easy to set, sealed against corrosion with the gel. These need to be in every boaters toolbox.
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Old 19-07-2016, 08:33   #11
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris95040 View Post
I thought about soldering. But I had it in my head that soldering is a no no, something about hard spots and fatigue and whatnot. But I agree, let's not go there.

The problem has developed a bit further. I ended up just twisting all the wires together tightly rather than use butt-crimps, but my gps still wouldn't link up. This is really just a low baudrate serial connection, and not some crazy analog GPS signal as I initially thought, so the hacky wiring job should have been adequate, if temporary...

At home, I started thinking about one moment of frustration where I yanked on the wire from the antenna to get a little more slack. I decided I probably broke the f$#@$# thing, so I ordered a new GPS 19x antenna.

So now the wiring I'll need to do is to put little fork terminals on the end of the new antenna. Too bad because I like the look of those Scotchlok things. Guess I'll buy a fancier crimper and hope the forks hold.
Take your GPS antenna thingy to a knowledgeable friend, or to a marine electronics shop. Anyone with a bench supply and an oscilloscope should be able to tell you whether the unit is working or not. And could replace the wire if necessary.

Without furthering the debate (I hope) the ABYC rules and guidelines are intended mainly for wire carrying more than trivial current, or at risk of carrying heavy current. In the case of something like the GPS unit, which connects directly to an instrument or processor (which also provides fused power to the GPS unit), and only requires thin wire to carry signal or a small current, carefully-made soldered splices covered in heatshrink would be acceptable in my opinion. (disclaimer. YMMV )

But anyways, what are you connecting to? It sounds like you're just splicing one line to another? For a permanent connection I might choose something like a cap splice (twist the wires together then crunch the cap onto that)


...or take any red lug (#18 to #22), crimp that over the twisted wires, cut the lug blade off, then put some heatshrink over all that

... or those phone "button" splices already described.

If there's any chance you want to disconnect at the splice, you could put a 3-pin connector of some type there. Check automotive or electronic stores for options (eg Molex, Panduit, Amplok).
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Old 19-07-2016, 08:35   #12
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

You need a better crimper and as noted by Frankly I will fold the wire over doubling it if it will go in the fitting. If you don't want to spend for a ratchet crimper there is a middle ground type that looks a bit like a pair of dykes that works much better than those thin crimper types.
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Old 19-07-2016, 09:08   #13
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

Use telephone crimp connectors
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Old 19-07-2016, 09:12   #14
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
The garbage crimpers are most of your problem, beyond that I personally prefer to solder and heat shrink the really time stuff. However as said above, a good pair of crimpers and folding over the bare end of the wire helps greatly.


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+1

Those auto store crimpers should be given the float test. If they float keep them.

Start with a magnifying hood. Solder the ends and use a terminal block or an appropriate crimp block. Perhaps ethernet for the really small stuff.

When wire stripping you need good strippers (read that any way you like). It's very easy to rip out most of the strands.

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Old 19-07-2016, 09:21   #15
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Re: Crimping teeny tiny wires

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Without furthering the debate (I hope) the ABYC rules and guidelines are intended mainly for wire carrying more than trivial current, or at risk of carrying heavy current.
+1 for this quote... I try to follow ABYC as much as I can, but since their guidelines state "nothing smaller than 16ga on a boat" I figure when confronted with these miniscule wires that some manufacturers supply for their equipment, I can basically do as I feel best
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