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Old 04-05-2012, 15:02   #1
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Best way to connect wires ?? #4 to #20

What is the best way to connect a # 4-6 wire to a # 18-20 wire?

Wire from my fluxgate compass to autopilot. I took out the terminal piece which was so corroded and wired together, put a copper piece to connect them and wrapped with electric tape. I was at an island at the time with limited connector pieces. Works but I do not like it.

I have tried to find a terminal to join them connecting a fat wire to a skinny wire, but have not been successful. Advice please..
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Old 04-05-2012, 15:07   #2
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Re: Best way to connect wires ?? #4 to #20

The quick answer is to use properly sized ring terminals on the wires and connect them to a bus bar or power post and use it as the junction point.

I had a similar problem earlier at the top of the mast and asked about alternative methods. They make crimping end caps that can be used to crimp two wires into but they are not the preferred method.
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Old 04-05-2012, 15:20   #3
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Re: Best way to connect wires ?? #4 to #20

There must be some kind of terminal or bus bar type thing to join the wires. I used one of those (can not remember the name) copper pieces with the 2 small nuts on it attached to a curved piece and stuck the wires together, took my racket and made them one. I sound like rank amateur and I probably am...Thanks
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Old 04-05-2012, 15:34   #4
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Re: Best way to connect wires ?? #4 to #20

I do it all the time, in the process of powering HF/SSB radios onboard.

It's important to bring the main power from the house batteries up to near the radio. I use AWG6 or AWG4 cables, with fuses located near the battery bank, up to a small 2-position terminal strip near the radio. The terminal strip looks like this: 2 Circuit - PN 2402 - Blue Sea Systems

The large cables from the battery connect to the terminal strip with properly crimped ring terminals, which I cover with adhesive heat shrink tubing. The ring terminals have #10 holes in them to fit the terminal strip screws. Sometimes the terminals are too wide, and it's necessary to file them a bit so they fit properly.

Then, I bring the short power cord from the radio to the terminal strip. Usually it's AWG10 wire. I use adhesive heat shrink ring terminals on these, again with #10 holes to fit the terminal strip.

Simple. And, it makes a very good connection which can be opened and inspected as required.

Bill
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Old 04-05-2012, 15:37   #5
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Re: Best way to connect wires ?? #4 to #20

Don't make this more difficult than you have to. It is unusual to be connecting a very large wire to a small one, but this is what I would do:

Use a #16-18 (red) butt splice connector. Connect the small wire to it. Then strip back the insulation on the big wire, splay out the strands and clip off enough so it will fit in the red connector. Crimp and you are done.

There was a previous thread on this topic that went on for 100 posts. Sheesh!!

David
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Old 04-05-2012, 18:29   #6
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Re: Best way to connect wires ?? #4 to #20

Geez that was easy, thanks
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