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Old 13-12-2015, 12:13   #16
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

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... is that they don't all follow the same size specs. Brand X's yellow crimp-on has slightly different dimensions of the yellows from Brand Y, and that's a problem when you're using the better controlled-cycle crimpers. The best-made connected will still fail if the crimper hasn't been set up for it....
Bingo. I've learned to use only one brand, set my crimpers for those. After learning that, I've made thousands of crimps for testing in salt spray chambers and never had a failure or high resistance. Terminal blocks have disintegrated, but never the crimps.

The correlary is to stay with one wire type and manufacturer if you can. Same problem, though less so.
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Old 13-12-2015, 13:45   #17
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

I once bought a mixed pack of crimp connectors from HF. I used some 10-12 butt connectors, plastic insulation removed on a 25 amp circuit with 12 awg and used heatshrink over them

One day passing 25 amps, I smelled something funny, traced it to these butt connectors which were burning hot.

I waved a magnet near them and they got sucked right to it.

I wound up redoing several dozen connections after that. Money and time wasted, and lesson learned.
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Old 13-12-2015, 14:16   #18
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

As best I can tell, Horror Fright goes directly to China and seeks bids on custom product, so it may be OEM but "OEM from some guys illegally using worn out equipment after the factory has closed for the night", not "OEM" in the way that Hitachi is the OEM supplier for many Japanese car alternators.


And HF's crimping tools have a reputation for being metric--which will not properly for SAE standard crimps, which makes me think their butt connectors might not fit SAE/AWG tools and wires properly either.


Yes, good crimps are too damned expensive. Buy the big kit in an electrical supply house, from a reputable name brand supplier, and you'll have one less thing to worry about. Back when I bought my "too damned expensive" ratcheting crimping tool, I changed my mind about that after the first dozen rock-solid crimps, and wondered why I hadn't bought better stuff years before.


I still go to HF from time to time for disposable tools, like the extra screwdriver set that will get split apart and left in the kitchen draw (to change batteries) or other places for very light occasional use. But not for stuff I need to rely on.


Lloyd-
Ryobi isn't professional quality either, no matter what they say. A "consumer" grade power drill is actually designed for a lifetime of THREE hours of work--that's all the average one is ever used for. Unlike Sears or Black & Decker of old, they never even sold repair parts, it was "swap it out when under warranty, throw it out after that". Not junk, but nowhere near the quality and durability that all the Home Depot advertising would make them out to be. Certainly not up there with Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee, and others.
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Old 13-12-2015, 14:59   #19
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
As best I can tell, Horror Fright goes directly to China and seeks bids on custom product, so it may be OEM but "OEM from some guys illegally using worn out equipment after the factory has closed for the night", not "OEM" in the way that Hitachi is the OEM supplier for many Japanese car alternators.


And HF's crimping tools have a reputation for being metric--which will not properly for SAE standard crimps, which makes me think their butt connectors might not fit SAE/AWG tools and wires properly either.


Yes, good crimps are too damned expensive. Buy the big kit in an electrical supply house, from a reputable name brand supplier, and you'll have one less thing to worry about. Back when I bought my "too damned expensive" ratcheting crimping tool, I changed my mind about that after the first dozen rock-solid crimps, and wondered why I hadn't bought better stuff years before.


I still go to HF from time to time for disposable tools, like the extra screwdriver set that will get split apart and left in the kitchen draw (to change batteries) or other places for very light occasional use. But not for stuff I need to rely on.


Lloyd-
Ryobi isn't professional quality either, no matter what they say. A "consumer" grade power drill is actually designed for a lifetime of THREE hours of work--that's all the average one is ever used for. Unlike Sears or Black & Decker of old, they never even sold repair parts, it was "swap it out when under warranty, throw it out after that". Not junk, but nowhere near the quality and durability that all the Home Depot advertising would make them out to be. Certainly not up there with Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee, and others.
You have that right. Sears and Black and Decker were good but that was days of yore. You get what you pay for. I guess for some peoples use they are fine. Ref. the three hours of use in a lifetime.
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Old 13-12-2015, 15:08   #20
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

"Ref. the three hours of use in a lifetime."
After you hire me and pay me, you can ask me to keep a record and cite sources. Till then, I'm just some guy on the internet, take it or leave it. I don't keep logs and citations, cabinets and notebooks are expensive!
The manufacturer who gave me that information could well have been lying. But they said that was the big difference between their "consumer" and "tradesman" lines, i.e. a tradesman would use a tool more in one day, than the average consumer would in a lifetime. Consumers hang pictures, they don't build decks very frequently.
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Old 13-12-2015, 17:27   #21
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

Think "metal fatigue" in conditions with lots of vibration and movement. One connection goes bad at the wrong time and it can cost a lot.
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Old 13-12-2015, 17:52   #22
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

Alternative source is Home Depot or Lowes for bulk.
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Old 13-12-2015, 19:38   #23
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

Just to go a bit ot, what does everyone recommend for a good quality crimp tool. That I won't get at hf.

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Old 14-12-2015, 02:11   #24
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

Why wouldn't you solder the connection then slide on a layer or two of heat shrink tubing?
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Old 14-12-2015, 08:51   #25
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

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Why wouldn't you solder the connection then slide on a layer or two of heat shrink tubing?
I'm afraid that would be looking for intermittent opens. Solder is not meant to be a mechanical connection and heat shrink would allow flexing with no more than vibration. JMHO
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Old 14-12-2015, 09:37   #26
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

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Why wouldn't you solder the connection then slide on a layer or two of heat shrink tubing?
Twisted and soldered wire splices for connections that may carry significant current are more prone to failure than a properly crimped connection. An overcurrent condition or other local issue that causes the joint to heat could ultimately melt the solder, then the weak twist fails. Big mess and maybe a fire.

Also, when using good crimp-ons and the proper closed-cycle crimpers, the quality and consistency of the resulting connections are more uniformly high, even in amateur hands, whereas the quality of a soldered connection can vary wildly due to several factors.

For the above reasons, just about every electrical standards organization including the ABYC do not accept twisted and soldered connections in electrical runs.
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Old 14-12-2015, 21:14   #27
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

Not marine grade.
Not tinned.
Thin metal - crimps poorly and doesn't hold.
Cheap plastic - will crack, etc.
Remember - HF stuff is just good enough to sell, and not one bit more.

Just solder neatly with no more solder than necessary to fill the joint, and slide a piece of marine grade adhesive lined heat shrink over it. The adhesive should squeeze out the ends when you heat gradually from the middle. Google "NASA splice" for the ultimate.
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Old 15-12-2015, 08:24   #28
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

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Google "NASA splice" for the ultimate.
It says that it is the prefered method for solid core wires. There are precious few solid core wires in a spaceship.
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Old 15-12-2015, 09:53   #29
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

The "NASA splice" actually a 3M product, is worse than a Horror Fright product UNLESS you own the correct tool for setting it, and if that's the matching infrared gun, you'll also need to take the training and certification course on how to use it.


Ultimate splice? I've got a couple of boxes of them, but they're a real unreliable PITA to use with ordinary tools and techniques.
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Old 15-12-2015, 12:07   #30
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Re: Harbor Freight Butt End Waterproof connectors

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Just to go a bit ot, what does everyone recommend for a good quality crimp tool. That I won't get at hf.

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sorry to bump this, but still curious here. Read maine sail's discussion on this, don't need a hundred dollar crimper for the 10-20 crimps i will make, but do want something that works well. I have a very high end crimp tool that takes interchangeable dies, but the dies would cost much more than something like this, which I think would work ok

Titan 11477 Ratcheting Wire Terminal Crimper - - Amazon.com
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