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Old 29-05-2009, 10:47   #16
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Thanks for all your comments and opinions!

I've gotta go pick up a copy of the Calder book - I was at the marine store yesterday, but it's a big, honkin' hardcover book and all I had was the pocket of my mandolin case to carry stuff home in. More than enough space for a few packs of Ancor double-crimp ring terminals (I'm taking that advice, thanks), not enough space for a big book.

I'm a firm believer in doing something right the first time. I was under the impression that "right" would be "easy to update and modify", but I see that the general consensus is that "right" means "as reliable as possible", which makes perfect sense in retrospect.

Thanks again for all your input - I've got another batch of questions for you all, but I'll make a new post with that.
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Old 29-05-2009, 10:50   #17
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Oh hey - with regards to vibrations...

Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to put a lock washer on every terminal connection? That would be what, maybe a $10 problem to do the whole boat and never worry about screws vibrating loose again...?

I'm thinking of doing that when I replace all the slot-head screws with Robertson heads - Phillips would be acceptable, but Robertson is so much nicer to work with, the screws just stick to the end of your driver with no magnets needed.
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Old 29-05-2009, 11:55   #18
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Definitely get rid of those damnable slotted screws! Robertson's are nice...but...not everyone has a Robertson driver in their bag. Phillips really are the industry standard. Your call.

Regarding lock washers: I think this looks a lot better on paper than would be practical in the real world. Trying to keep one more component on a #8-32 x 3/8" machine screw while standing on your head would be a challenge I don't really think you want or need!!! Oftentimes just getting the lock washer on the screws on circuit breakers in the panel board is a challenge.
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Old 29-05-2009, 12:25   #19
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Quote:
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...not everyone has a Robertson driver in their bag.
Up here in Canada, everyone does. Actually, I have more Robertson drivers than Phillips, though I'm not really sure how that happened.

I wonder why Robertson heads didn't catch on in the States - they're superior in a few ways; easier to stick on a driver tip, harder to strip, , cheaper to make. I suspect it's some kind of legal battle.

Heh - I once had the joy of shipping a few very large computers from Canada to a facility in Houston, Texas, and was present in Houston for the unpacking. I asked the technicians if they had a Robertson driver and they looked at me with a puzzled look. I pointed to the Robertson screws, and the reply was

"Oh, is that what those are called? We call those 'crowbar screws'..."

...and proceeded to use a crowbar to open the shipping crate. *sigh*.
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Old 29-05-2009, 13:08   #20
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I use only ring type with heat shrink. They make crimp terminals w/heat shrink attached. Esssential to get quality crimpers that are appropriate size for the terminal. Remember Murphy's Law.
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Old 30-05-2009, 10:28   #21
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Quote:
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... I wonder why Robertson heads didn't catch on in the States - they're superior in a few ways; easier to stick on a driver tip, harder to strip, , cheaper to make. I suspect it's some kind of legal battle...
Commerce trumped Engineering.

Peter Lymburner (P.L.) Robertson of Milton, Ontario, invented the Robertson screw and screwdriver in 1908.
The square slot is tapered inward slightly, and the screwdriver head is also tapered to match. This provides a tight fight with the screwdriver head. This means that you can place the screw on the driver, hold the screwdriver horizontally, and drive the screw with one hand. The tight fit makes it far less likely to strip the head on a Robertson screw than a Phillips screw. The Robertson screw accounts for 85% of screws sold in Canada.

There is an inferior American version of the Robertson, without the taper; requiring the screw socket to be slightly over sized (compared to the driver), which greatly increases the chance of stripping the screw.

Robertson licensed his screw to companies in Europe, including a British company that deliberately allowed their company to collapse - and then snatched up the license from the trustees at a bargain. Robertson spent years and a small fortune in court in order to get back the license.

In the U.S. Henry Ford tried the screw, and discovered it shaved two hours off the assembly time of his vehicles. He wanted to license the screw from Robertson, so that he could make sure the screws were available, and so he could control their manufacture (ensuring his manufacturing advantage). Due to his bad experience in Britain, Robertson refused.

Later, the inferior Phillips screw came along, and was licensed to Ford.
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Old 30-05-2009, 15:26   #22
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Yeah it is always strange getting products from the states and realising there are no robertson screws on it.

Robertson is superior in every way but they just dont adopt it down there for some reason. Kind of like metric I guess but that is a whole nother ball game.
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Old 30-05-2009, 18:20   #23
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Get a split end screw driver, Sometimes known as a screw holder. It has a sleave that you slide and the split end widens and holds the slot type screw. Klien tools , Craftsman, Radioshack, and electrical supply stores have them. Magnets do not work on brass so if you can pick up the screws in the bilge with one (Magnet) you have more issues.

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