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Old 12-08-2014, 15:03   #16
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Best practice as stated by ASTM suggests the same thing - soldering in itself is not the best form of connection. What folks fail to understand is the following:

What many fail to recognize is that soldering isn't intended as a mechanical connection. A good solder joint requires making the mechanical connection FIRST, then solder. Doing so will always outperform even a good crimp which is impracticable to verify. Ensuring a proper crimp cannot be verified without destructive testing to inspect the crimp. Conversely, you know then a mechanical connection is solid - you can see it. And you can easily verify the quality of a solder joint by simple visual inspection (if you have any expertise).

Opinions vary but too many people think a solder joint is a mechanical joint and don't really understand the proper process required prior to soldering.
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Old 12-08-2014, 15:10   #17
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

This reply has good information and links on crimping and splices.

This reply shows how I implement staggered, soldered Western Union splices, using the wire to provide mechanical support.
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Old 12-08-2014, 15:26   #18
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

I like the fact that solder seals the wire end completely. The ONLY wire failures I've ever had on a boat were corrosion.. and most of them within or on the surface of an end fitting. I've never had a wire break due to stress or movement unless heavily corroded. (how much does it move...REALLY?) So, if looking for perfection, I would crimp and solder and seal with shrink fittings! In the real world I would probably just crimp well and use shrink fittings due to the time to solder. I always have soldered my battery cable ends though.
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Old 12-08-2014, 16:17   #19
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Despite several qualified people saying so, people persist with the notion that soldering crimps is an improvement

The practice of doing so , primarily originates from people applying poor crimping procedures and then believing it can be corrected by soldering.

A huge proportion of amateur soldered joints are in fact badly made , dry joints poor wetting etc. Visual inspection, unless you are an expert is useless, this is made doubly so when you factor in lead free soldering. Without proper techniques you can never be sure the soldered connection is high quality

Good quality crimping is just so, good quality. It's superior to soldering and is why it's the majority way of making wiring looms.

Unfortunately low voltage electrics and electronics suffers from being apparently accessible by amateurs. Some are capable , but the vast majority are not and poor practice abounds. There's a reason it's a science and engineering discipline.


But hey , it's your boat.

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Old 12-08-2014, 16:19   #20
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To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I like the fact that solder seals the wire end completely. The ONLY wire failures I've ever had on a boat were corrosion.. and most of them within or on the surface of an end fitting. I've never had a wire break due to stress or movement unless heavily corroded. (how much does it move...REALLY?) So, if looking for perfection, I would crimp and solder and seal with shrink fittings! In the real world I would probably just crimp well and use shrink fittings due to the time to solder. I always have soldered my battery cable ends though.

Unless you have massive soldering capability, you will not be able to properly solder battery cables. I gave always only crimped mine with a proper hydraulic crimp tool. Never any failures.

Ps perfection is not crimp, solder and shrink. It's only perceived by some, mostly amateurs , to be.

Dave
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Old 12-08-2014, 16:26   #21
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

I don't solder.

In my mind if I use good quality crimp connectors and ratchet crimper it isn't really going to get any better. And if it came down to using 1 - a lower quality connector with a ratchet crimper, or 2 - a high quality connector with a low quality crimper; I would do #1.
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Old 12-08-2014, 16:42   #22
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

hmmm, used to have a NASA soldering card in the 70's and have been rewiring boats for about 20yrs.

1. Do not solder.
2. Crimp terminals with the expensive tool.
3. Use adhesive lined heat shrink.
4. Use ring terminals - NO SPADE LUGS.
5. Incorporate service loops; a full 360deg coil of excess wire, or two, near each end of the cable run. Wire tie it off so there is no stress on the connection under any condition.

All quality (spelled: FURUNO) wire connections to circuit boards, present day, use some kind of pressure connection, usually a 'EURO' style terminal strip.

The guy with idea of bare terminals with adh. tubing, that works pretty good and a lot cheaper than West Marine prices.

Jim
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Old 12-08-2014, 17:00   #23
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

I have seen failures in both instances, I vote for heat shrink on what ever method you prefer.
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Old 12-08-2014, 17:12   #24
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

What are you guys recommending for a good crimper? I've been unhappy with the 'stamped from flat sheet' cheapo crimper/wire stripper/small machine screw shearer I got at local hardware store. I've been using a crimper made for wire leaders instead, and essentially folding over a section of small copper tubing with a twisted wire connection inside. Then I turn it 90 deg. and crimp again. It's slow and take some time to get it right because it's the wrong crimper for the job. I see Amazon has ratcheting crimpers from $21 to over $80. Any recommendations?
I got a lot of crimping yet to do.
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Old 12-08-2014, 17:59   #25
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

don't spend less than $20 on a crimper.

do one crimp and go all the way with it. don't double crimp. once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to feel it when it is right. then tug on the terminal, hard.
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Old 12-08-2014, 18:31   #26
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

No matter how good the crimp is, the wire will corrode inside the fitting. Solder or heat shrink will do a good job of eliminating the corrosion. Solder is really no different than tinned wire in function. If you don't like solder don't waste your money on tinned wire!
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Old 12-08-2014, 18:37   #27
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

I use only marine grade pre-tinned wire. I use only silver solder and the appropriate non-acid flux. I use crimp connectors at all screw terminals. Sometimes, I solder the wires before crimping, especially small & very fine wires. I occasionally have to splice wires. For this, I use solder and then cover with heat shrink. Its messy, but I work 3M 5200 under the heat shrink before shrinking. This is waterproof. On very large crimps such as #4, 6, 8 and battery type 4-0 I first treat the wires with corrosion protection goop and then crimp. I have bought several so-called good crimpers & I am not confident in any of them.
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Old 12-08-2014, 18:52   #28
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Just for fun I will throw a curve ball for all to play with....

As long as we are discussing Solder Joints be aware that Lead based solder has been or is being eliminated. The international "ROHS" standard (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) is all about getting the lead out of solder for the last 10 or so years. The new alloys are prone to various issues including "cold" solder joints and "Tin Whisker's" on assemblies.
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Old 12-08-2014, 19:04   #29
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Nasa says avoid it
FAA says avoid it
ABYC says avoid it
MaineSail says avoid it
Some of the other folks I respect around here say avoid it
I say avoid it

Sometimes ya gotta do it...

30% of all Americans think OJ is innocent - a similar number think Michael Jackson wasn't a pedophile.

You can't fix people that are gonna hang on to their myths and paradigms.
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Old 12-08-2014, 19:17   #30
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Nasa says avoid it
FAA says avoid it
ABYC says avoid it
MaineSail says avoid it
Some of the other folks I respect around here say avoid it
I say avoid it

Sometimes ya gotta do it...

30% of all Americans think OJ is innocent - a similar number think Michael Jackson wasn't a pedophile.

You can't fix people that are gonna hang on to their myths and paradigms.
All written by folks who probably don't know how to properly solder?
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