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Old 23-11-2012, 11:26   #1
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Crimping - Best Practice ?

Over the winter I'm going to be installing entirely new electronics, and will be doing other electrical work as well.

What do you guys think is best practice for doing crimps? Hydraulic crimpers? Uninsulated terminals, like Klauke, with heat shrink tube? Should they be tinned copper, or is nickel better?
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Old 23-11-2012, 11:32   #2
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

The type of crimpers would be determined by wire/cable size. For 12 gauge and smaller I just use cheap hand crimper, but I also solder it too.
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Old 23-11-2012, 11:33   #3
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

Use a high quality pair of ratcheting crimpers. I like to use tinned copper connectors with heat shrink over that.

Mainesail has some pretty good write ups of this:
Marine Wire Termination Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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Old 23-11-2012, 11:36   #4
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
Use a high quality pair of ratcheting crimpers. I like to use tinned copper connectors with heat shrink over that.

Mainesail has some pretty good write ups of this:
Marine Wire Termination Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
+1

+100 ---> ratcheting crimpers
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Old 23-11-2012, 11:39   #5
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

Also I believe Gord May did some resistance tests on cheaper vs. marine terminals. You may be able to find the thread on here someplace. There have been many threads on crimping vs. soldering. Just like another anchor thread. Use good ratcheting crimpers that are fitted properly for the wire. Auto and marine wire are different sizes.
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Old 23-11-2012, 11:56   #6
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
Use a high quality pair of ratcheting crimpers. I like to use tinned copper connectors with heat shrink over that.

Mainesail has some pretty good write ups of this:
Marine Wire Termination Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
+1 Soooo many times I have thought I had a good crimp using cheap crimpers only to find as I'm installing the end, or working later that they pull right out!
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Old 23-11-2012, 12:20   #7
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

Practical Sailor also did a study of products in a 1-year salt chamber test.

Yup, tinned copper did best, though they did not test nickle. Since nickle is very close in position on the galvanic scale it should do OK, but I believe the conventional wisdom is that tin is more malleable and thus forms better bonds.

Yup, heavy grease outperformed all spray products. Not so important in dry locations, but important anywhere salt exposure is possible.

A vital point with crimping is that you must adjust the crimpers to the specific terminals being used. If that is done, perfect connections are very repeatable. We couldn't create failures, not even increased resistance, even with extended salt spray, and there were hundreds of test crimps involved. If the crimpers are not adjusted....
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Old 23-11-2012, 12:33   #8
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

+1 on use good crimpers

+100 on use ratchet-type crimpers (hydraulic not necessary)

+1 on this topic has been exhaustively treated before

Not mentioned precisely: the type of connector drives the type of crimper to be used.

For 3M heat-shrink terminals, use a good crimper (like the Ancor) designed for heat-shrink terminals. Others destroy the heat shrink...so why have them in the first place?

For double-crimp terminals, use a good double-crimp crimper, like the Greenlee.

For battery lugs, use a high quality crimper like the Greenlee K09-2GL (AWG8 to AWG 4/0) or the compact K05-1GL (AWG8 to AWG1/0).

Yes, these tools cost a lot. But they're really worth it and will last a lifetime if you take care of them.

You just gotta ask yourself: how much is an electrical system with 100% reliable connections worth?

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Old 23-11-2012, 12:51   #9
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
+...

For battery lugs, use a high quality crimper like the Greenlee K09-2GL (AWG8 to AWG 4/0) or the compact K05-1GL (AWG8 to AWG1/0).

...
Per Maine's posts, also check out FTZ crimpers and lugs:
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Old 23-11-2012, 14:10   #10
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

Quote:
What do you guys think is best practice for doing crimps? Hydraulic crimpers?
We're still in the dark ages here in Oz. After trying several totally useless pieces of cheap junk I found a pair of 15" multi grips crimped better than anything I could buy here. Whatever I crimp with them stays crimped.
Quote:
Uninsulated terminals, like Klauke, with heat shrink tube?
I buy whatever I can find at the time, usually from my local chandler and have ended up with a "toolbox" full of assorted terminals various sizes of heat shrink and other electrical bits. I use whatever best suits the job.
By the time the multigrips have mangled the cute bit of insulation that came with the terminals they might as well be uninsulated.
I use heat shrink to give some level of insulation and neatness.
Quote:
Should they be tinned copper, or is nickel better?
At my level it's hard to tell the difference, however destruction testing suggests that tinned copper could be superior.

There are some other tools that I've found indispensable. There's a small Weller butane soldering iron, a tiny Weller butane torch on a key ring, sharp wire cutters and a knife. Only a few bucks from my local megahardware store. The only wire strippers that I could get mangled more than they stripped.
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Old 23-11-2012, 15:10   #11
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

DH, time prevents me from posting a long reply - thank goodness say many - but I might add more later if other posts don't fully cover your question .

You asked for "best practice"; well there is a considerable difference between a good workman like long serving crimp and best practice. So far most of the replies will give you a very good crimp joint that will serve your needs; however one important rule (among many others) for best practice is simple:

Use calibrated crimp tools manufactured by the same manufacturer of the crimps i.e. use AMP crimpers with AMP crimps. Molex with Molex etc.

As an aside, calibrated tooling does require re-calibration AND adjustment (or replacement) periodically but you should get a full boat rewire completed before that is required.
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Old 23-11-2012, 15:28   #12
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

Taken for West Marine site:
"ABYC recommends: “The shanks of terminals shall be protected against accidental shorting by the use of insulation barriers or sleeves, except for those used in grounding systems.” E-11.16.3.9. Heat shrink tubing, lined with adhesive, creates water, oil and acid-resistant seal, preventing corrosion at the electrical connection. It shrinks to one-third of its original size (a 3:1 shrink ratio)."

I like the heat shrink Ancor connectors.
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Old 24-11-2012, 05:46   #13
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
...... Should they be tinned copper, or is nickel better?
IIRC, nickel is used for high temperature applications in conjunction with nickel coated wire (and Teflon insulation).

FWIW, I like TE (TYCO) PIDG terminals - http://www.te.com/catalog/minf/en/776
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Old 24-11-2012, 06:43   #14
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

I use ratcheting crimpers and Anchor connectors for my electrical work on board. I also have a Cactus ratcheting cable cutter and a heavy duty industrial crimper for my 2 AWG battery wiring:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: GOING ELECTRIC PART 18: Tools of the electric sailor.
Which is probably not needed on most boats. But, since I use an electric propulsion system for auxiliary power it was essential for the installation and comes in handy for making battery jumpers and any battery system rewiring.
I'm also starting to use Anderson Powerpole connectors on board to replace some of the 12 volt cigarette lighter outlets:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: TOOLS OF AN ELECTRIC SAILOR: Anderson Powerpole Connectors
But, the Andersons use a different ratcheting crimper than the other connectors in order to give a proper crimp. Which I also carry on board.
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Old 24-11-2012, 07:28   #15
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Re: Crimping - Best Practice?

The 15" multi grip pliers, to which Boracay linked, are water pump pliers (“Chanellocks”), NOT at all suitable for crimping terminals. As others have noted, use a quality ratcheting crimper, matched to the terminal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Also I believe Gord May did some resistance tests on cheaper vs. marine terminals. You may be able to find the thread on here someplace ...
In fact, it was Jerry Powlas, Technical Editor of Good Old Boat Magazine, who did some real-life testing of terminations, heat rise, and voltage drop. His results are published on-line at:
Good Old Boat - March 2002 Electrical Wiring Resistance Test Results

The article, upon which his testing was based, is reproduced
Here ➥ "Ohm's Law & Boats"

Or ➥ "Ohm's Law & Boats"
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