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Old 07-03-2013, 08:02   #31
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

Strip the big wire with your 22ga slot, thus removing some wire. Double over the small wire. Use an 18-22 ga marine style butt connector. (the one with the shrink wrap filled with hot glue) Crimp it. Heat the shrink wrap.
You get the strain relief and the tight crimp with no extra labor or expense.
If the insulator won't slip over the big wire, just shrink wrap with the good marine stuff right over the whole deal.
It will outlive you if you do it right.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:20   #32
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
What device is exposing these tiny wires to the outside world for connection? Or are you having to splice a cable you previously cut in order to run it through the boat?
The issue is 90% installation of new devices. Have encountered several new electrical gadgets in the course of my overhaul that come with really small leads but mostly the problem is with LED lights. Am converting or adding several different LEDs with more to come, and the fixtures all seem come with a tail of very small, multi strand wire. Most of my existing 12V lines are at least 12-14 AWG and some of these LEDs come with leads that look to be 28-30 AWG.

Seems a bit overkill to put in terminal blocks all over the boat every place I want to put a new LED, especially considering the low power draw and lack of a suitible location to put in a terminal strip in some spots. So would like to find a "proper" kind of butt splice or similar, simple solution.

I looked at the 3M Scotchloks and a couple of similar devices but from what I can tell they are the type of connectors that work by pressing the insulated wire into a thin slot in a metal piece that cuts the insulation to make connection. That will not work with these hair thin, multistrand wires.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:26   #33
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
What device is exposing these tiny wires to the outside world for connection? Or are you having to splice a cable you previously cut in order to run it through the boat?
For starters my Raymarine AIS 650 has a wire bundle that includes the NMEA and the power all of the tiny size wires. So the connections are both power and, in my case, into the VHF for the GPS position.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:12   #34
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

Thanks skipmac and markj.

I looked at the installation manual for the Raymarine AIS650, and it shows a small compression-type terminal strip to connect the small wires to the rest of the boat. So, Raymarine doesn't think they're overkill, either.

For the LED or similar situations where you need to connect small device power wires to a larger (eg AWG#16) feeder, here are the options I'd use:

1) use a small automotive-type 2-terminal connector. Molex and Amplok have several possible types. There are many crimp-types but the tools are expensive. There are also solder-type.

Advantages:
- Having 2 fine wires on one connector makes it a bit stronger
- easy to change, easy to test
- polarized connector makes it impossible to connect backwards
- if you standardize on a connector, you can prep all the LED fixtures with a connector on the bench before installation
- you can run boat wiring and put connectors on right away without having the fixtures on hand.

2) use crimp-on tab or 'bullet' disconnects.

Advantages;
- more commonly available
- easier to install with available crimper

3) small terminal strip. The compression type as mentioned above is inexpensive and doesn't require additional crimp lugs

4) permanent splice, with butt or cap crimp-on connectors. To reduce stress on the small wires, all wires should be physically anchored, then the splice crimped onto slack ends.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:35   #35
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

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Originally Posted by The Garbone View Post
3m scotchlocks.
Go for it... In all seriousness please avoid the use of these devices.... You'd be surprised how often I find them looking like this..
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:44   #36
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

Off topic I know but you realize you have to fuse the power wire for the tiny little wires on the end. Where do you get breakers that size? I guess you could run a bunch of wires to one fuse panel, power them all with one set of power wires, and fuse each hot lead with a 1/4 amp fuse. Are fuses available that small? Or maybe a 28-30 gauge wire is its own fuse?
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:56   #37
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

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Off topic I know but you realize you have to fuse the power wire for the tiny little wires on the end. Where do you get breakers that size? I guess you could run a bunch of wires to one fuse panel, power them all with one set of power wires, and fuse each hot lead with a 1/4 amp fuse. Are fuses available that small? Or maybe a 28-30 gauge wire is its own fuse?
Interesting point....

Well in the given scenarios, the majority of line is AWG#16, and just a short exposed hop is the finer wire. So, the line that needs protection is arguably the AWG16. In the unlikely event that there's a short on the fine wire or the LED... we know what wire will burn vapourize first .

I suppose the deluxe thing to do would be to have a local inline fuse in the fine wire...?

I'm gonna defer to MS on this one. Maestro?
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:59   #38
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

Actually its the smaller wire that needs protecting as that will also protect the larger wire. PITA what manufacturers are doing to save a penny.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:02   #39
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

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Actually its the smaller wire that needs protecting as that will also protect the larger wire. PITA what manufacturers are doing to save a penny.
Well, you'd hopefully be running several LEDs or whatever off of one feeder, yes? I wouldn't run every single LED fixture back to its own panel breaker
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:16   #40
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

I double or triple bend them. Or sometimes I will solder also, but not usually.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:40   #41
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

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PITA what manufacturers are doing to save a penny.
Absolutely. And a penny or so is just about all they're saving. I'll pay the penny, or dime or even dollar to get devices with a decent wire attached.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:44   #42
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

Yeah, I love it when you may $60 +for a little plastic fan to start with, and the wires are so small they look like sewing thread!
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:48   #43
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Go for it... In all seriousness please avoid the use of these devices.... You'd be surprised how often I find them looking like this..
Didn't like the concept of a insulation cutting connector and this photo seals the deal for me.

So, a photo or link to a proper connector, crimp or otherwise for very small gauge wire?
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:11   #44
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

This seems like a good place to ask a few questions. Instead of running a circuit for each applience I'm putting a mini bus bar in each area with the correct size circuit breaker at the panel. Each circuit that comes off the bus bar will have a fuse in line to the light, outlet or whatever it goes to. This way I have 8 DC circuits and 5 AC circuits. Is this a reasonable way to do it? The Windlass, air conditioner and thruster will be on designated circuits.
I need a catalog or website to thumb thru and pick out lights and other electricals. West has some good selections what are some others?
For lighting I think LED's are the way to go - unless there is a reason not to.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:03   #45
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Re: How to crimp little, tiny wires

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Originally Posted by Matt sachs View Post
This seems like a good place to ask a few questions. Instead of running a circuit for each applience I'm putting a mini bus bar in each area with the correct size circuit breaker at the panel. Each circuit that comes off the bus bar will have a fuse in line to the light, outlet or whatever it goes to. This way I have 8 DC circuits and 5 AC circuits. Is this a reasonable way to do it? The Windlass, air conditioner and thruster will be on designated circuits.
I need a catalog or website to thumb thru and pick out lights and other electricals. West has some good selections what are some others?
For lighting I think LED's are the way to go - unless there is a reason not to.
In most cases setting up a mini bus in areas of the boat is a good plan. There are a few exceptions.

Obviously you want your main bilge pump on a separate, always on, unswitched (but fused or on a breaker) circuit.

Some electronic circuits will generate RFI so you want to keep them separate or at least on a different circuit than radios and other devices that are annoyed by the interference.

Some high draw items that don't like voltage drop that may come from other devices on a circuit might need their own system. SSB comes to mind.
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