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Old 15-08-2014, 06:49   #106
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

I think the Ozzies call that 'going troppo'. It makes normally sane people run around in the mid day sun buying thousands of feet of wire and looking for people to spank them.
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Old 15-08-2014, 07:11   #107
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

A few years ago I think it was Practical Sailor that ran an experiment where they salt fog/spray tested several crimped cables terminated on bus strip terminals. They had plain copper and tinned copper wire in the test. The plain copper looked significantly worse after the test so they measured the resistance of the various cables. There was no significant difference between tinned and not tinned. The connections done "properly" we're still working. One thing they didn't do as I recall was check for resistance between the cables. Probably they would have found some problems. But I don't expect that to be different between tinned and plain copper. The conclusion was tinned looks better after several years but the plain copper works just as well.
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Old 15-08-2014, 07:24   #108
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
A few years ago I think it was Practical Sailor that ran an experiment where they salt fog/spray tested several crimped cables terminated on bus strip terminals. They had plain copper and tinned copper wire in the test. The plain copper looked significantly worse after the test so they measured the resistance of the various cables. There was no significant difference between tinned and not tinned. The connections done "properly" we're still working. One thing they didn't do as I recall was check for resistance between the cables. Probably they would have found some problems. But I don't expect that to be different between tinned and plain copper. The conclusion was tinned looks better after several years but the plain copper works just as well.

I agree, the North American " fascination" with tinned conductors on boats I think is more to do with aesthetics then science

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Old 15-08-2014, 07:35   #109
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
A few years ago I think it was Practical Sailor that ran an experiment where they salt fog/spray tested several crimped cables terminated on bus strip terminals...

March 2002 Electrical Wiring Resistance Test Results by Jerry Powlas Technical Editor of “Good Old Boat” magazine
Good Old Boat - March 2002 Electrical Wiring Resistance Test Results

Quote:
“... If you want a good splice, use ratcheting crimpers, tinned wire and marine grade terminals. Dress the wires after stripping and before crimping with an anticorrosion material or Vaseline. Seal the crimp with liquid vinyl or other means...

The sample made from untinned wire, not dressed with Vaseline before the crimps, and having cheap GB terminals made with a cheap non-ratcheting crimper and with unsealed splices was significantly worse then all others...”
Tinned Wire Myth Busted - Practical Sailor
http://www.practical-sailor.com/issu...re_5632-1.html

Quote:
“... Is tinned wire better? Well, it is more corrosion resistant, but the truth is, the un-tinned wire has been used for years and provides a more-than-adequate service life in most cases.

The trick to enhancing the corrosion resistance with un-tinned wire is simple: Be sure that the terminations on any cabling in your boat are hermetically sealed. Standard crimp connectors don’t do the job. They leave the wire ends exposed to moisture, and eventually corrosion will begin at the terminal and migrate into the conductor as the moisture tracks up the wire under the insulation via capillary action. By using heat-shrink crimp terminals or adhesive-lined heat-shrink tubing on conventional crimp connectors, you can effectively seal the ends of all the wire on your boat...”
Wire Exposure Test Update - Practical Sailor
http://www.practical-sailor.com/issu...st_5989-1.html
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Old 15-08-2014, 08:08   #110
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

That photo from Maine Sail pretty much nailed it for me. I'm just trying to figure out which ratcheting crimper to order. Amazon has several that come with sets of various sized dies.

and I do know how to solder. I can't even estimate how many times I've had to reterminate armored and urethane coated cables for towed oceanographic sensors and survey equipment. An old EG&G sidescan sonar had twenty something conductors, that had to be cleaned, soldered, and sealed. Towfish depth could be anything from near surface to thousands of feet. The standard company re-termination kit in the 70's was a Scotchcast 82-A2 kit and a bunch of shrink. We ended up with a more or less solid cast resin form with all those twenty something re-soldered wires centered in the middle. They invariably failed. I was on a long survey of the Tarbela Reservoir in Pakistan and ran out of re-termination kits. We had to come up with something, or wait weeks for resupply. I tried wrapping the soldered WU style wire wraps with Scotchfil, which is a very malleable seal annealing goop that comes in paper backed rolls. Over the soft Scotchfil we used heavy duty shrink, which squeezed the Scotchfil out the ends of the shrink. Then wrapped each conductor in Scotch 33 and finished with a layer of bulldog tape. The first splice worked like a charm. I left the conductors essentially exposed to the pressure, instead of trying to seal them inside the cast resin form. The towfish worked fine to 400 ft, which was the depth on that job. The pressur squeezed whatever entrained bubbles were between the strands out, replacing it with the malleable scotchfil.

So I have no doubt that a fused mechanical connection like that one in Maine Sail's photo ( crimped with the Amp megabucks crimper), with a wrap of Scotchfil or even Scotch 23 conformable tape, and then heavy shrink, would be a water tight connection if done right.
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Old 15-08-2014, 08:39   #111
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Based on some of the posts here, I decided to buy a proper crimper and give it a try for some connections.

This is the one I ordered from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Old 15-08-2014, 08:54   #112
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Well, tinned must be better because I just spent $400 on spools of tinned wire. Right?
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Old 15-08-2014, 09:19   #113
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Since this thread has so much attention.

Here is a tip we use with RVs. Can't see why it won't work on boats.. We use standard high quality extension cords if we need to pull a run of 3 conductor. It you use a high quality cord, the are super flexible (many strands), and the conductors are well protected. Extension cords are chemically resistant. Believe it or not, we have also found this to be the cheapest way to run high quality stranded wire.



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Old 15-08-2014, 09:27   #114
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Until you have the boat surveyed for insurance purposes and the surveyor determines your wiring is substandard and you either don't get insured or you have to rip it all out. Using such in your home, at least where I live, would cause trouble as well.

Personally, I think it is a fine idea but I ain't in charge, the gov't is.
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Old 15-08-2014, 11:02   #115
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Based on some of the posts here, I decided to buy a proper crimper and give it a try for some connections.

This is the one I ordered from amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

Personally I select the crimps and then acquire the tooling , I tend to use AMP. Molex or Tyco

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Old 15-08-2014, 12:27   #116
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Who'd of thought that there could be so much to say about solder? If I grab the electrical solder instead of the plumber's version from my toolkit I'm having a good day. I did spend about $125 on a crimper, so I think I'm good there.

Waaayyyy back in the day, I did a little outdoor telco style work. We used gel crimps all day long. So, I suppose that is verboten for marine work, yes?

Anyway, carry on. If I keep reading I'll be a connection engineer shortly!
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Old 25-08-2014, 16:48   #117
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Personally I select the crimps and then acquire the tooling , I tend to use AMP. Molex or Tyco

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I can't leave this one untouched, it gives the impression that you need to use the same brand tool as crimps. That is simply not true. The tool I ordered has jaws for all different kinds of crimps and does a fantastic job on any brand I've tried it on.

Actually if you look back a few pages there is a link to a post where Maine Sail test AMP connectors with many different crimpers.
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Old 25-08-2014, 17:26   #118
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Since this thread has so much attention.

Here is a tip we use with RVs. Can't see why it won't work on boats.. We use standard high quality extension cords if we need to pull a run of 3 conductor. It you use a high quality cord, the are super flexible (many strands), and the conductors are well protected. Extension cords are chemically resistant. Believe it or not, we have also found this to be the cheapest way to run high quality stranded wire.



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Old 26-08-2014, 03:37   #119
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I can't leave this one untouched, it gives the impression that you need to use the same brand tool as crimps. That is simply not true. The tool I ordered has jaws for all different kinds of crimps and does a fantastic job on any brand I've tried it on.

Actually if you look back a few pages there is a link to a post where Maine Sail test AMP connectors with many different crimpers.

Best practice requires matching crimp brand with tooling brand.
Next best practice doesn't.
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Old 26-08-2014, 05:35   #120
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Re: To Solder or Not.. That is the Question

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post

Actually if you look back a few pages there is a link to a post where Maine Sail test AMP connectors with many different crimpers.
And the AMP tools with AMP connectors kicked butt over all other combinations... This is not to say you can't get a good crimp, or even one that exceeds Mil-Spec, but finding a good match, either brand to brand or brand to x-brand (and stick with that brand) yields better and more repeatable consistency.

Sadly most tools you find these days are made by off shore companies who don't even make crimp terminals. Some do okay and others do pretty poorly.

I use only FTZ terminals for heat shrink crimps, AMP PIDG for insulated, but each FTZ terminal has been physically tested and meets or exceeds Mil-Spec.

I test my tools once per year and if they need calibration or I notice a change I send them out or replace them depending upon the tool. Course I make many thousands of crimp terminations per year so I do occasionally wear out tooling..
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