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Old 19-04-2016, 23:42   #1
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What is this connection?

Hi all, I'm rewiring the control panel on my sailboat and found this connection from the instrument panel to the ground. What is it exactly? Thanks in advance!

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Old 19-04-2016, 23:48   #2
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Re: What is this connection?

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Hi all, I'm rewiring the control panel on my sailboat and found this connection from the instrument panel to the ground. What is it exactly? Thanks in advance!
A very appropriate style of quick crimp connector. The deal being that you insert the two (or more) wires into channels and then use force to push a metal plate into the fitting. The internals of the fitting contain a sealant, so the naked wires are waterproofed.


Someone will come along soon to tell you a brand name or the inventor. Here's a link to one of the retailers selling in Aus: Jaycar. A retailer much closer to you will carry them.
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Old 19-04-2016, 23:51   #3
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Re: What is this connection?

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Originally Posted by Alan Mighty View Post
A very appropriate style of quick crimp connector. The deal being that you insert the two (or more) wires into channels and then use force to push a metal plate into the fitting. The internals of the fitting contain a sealant, so the naked wires are waterproofed.


Someone will come along soon to tell you a brand name or the inventor. Here's a link to one of the retailers selling in Aus: Jaycar. A retailer much closer to you will carry them.

Great! Thanks for the quick reply!


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Old 20-04-2016, 00:25   #4
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Re: What is this connection?

Amazon.com calls them Clear Button Butt Splice Cable Connectors. See Amazon.com
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Old 20-04-2016, 00:33   #5
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Re: What is this connection?

3M calls them Scotchlok Insulation Displacement Connectors (IDC) Butt Connectors and reckons that 3M introduced them to the retail marketplace about 1983.
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Old 20-04-2016, 00:42   #6
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Re: What is this connection?

And yet another 3M document suggests the Scotchlok butt connector dates to the 1960s. 3M also sells specialised tools to make the connection (the rubes around me use a pair of pliers! what fools). See: 3M Scotchlok Connectors and Tools (PDF, about 80 KB)
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Old 20-04-2016, 00:58   #7
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Re: What is this connection?

"Scotchlok Connector" is a 3M trademark. The connectors are probably patented - 3M ran legal action against an importer of what 3M argued were copy connectors in 2009: See 3M press release.
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Old 20-04-2016, 01:09   #8
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Re: What is this connection?

The inventor may be William Seim. See patent US3656088 of 1972.
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Old 20-04-2016, 09:10   #9
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Scotlock

These are used in telephone cable splices. I use to work in the telephone industry. Imagine how many would be in a pedestal enclosure where a 1200 pair cable is spliced to three 400 pair cables going in different directions.

Probably rated for at least 48 volts DC.
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Old 20-04-2016, 11:47   #10
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Re: What is this connection?

Exactly. This is the phone company uses to splice together phone wires. Look at a house that was built before cell phones. If you wanted a phone in each room (I never wanted to walk far), lead all wires to basement and easy way to connect tip and rings together for runs. I had phone installers who just used wire nuts to put put things together, but that has no way to really join small gauge wire well compared to these.

Or look at a phone closet from a building over the past few decades like dawtwo said, tons of them.
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Old 20-04-2016, 12:16   #11
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Re: What is this connection?

In the States we often call them "button" connectors because they are like small buttons. Incredibly popular with the landline telcos because they are faster and more reliable than the crimp sleeve connectors that were previously used, mainly on 24g wire.


The "normal" premium grade ones are also always filled with silicone jelly, so the wire connection is automatically sealed against oxidation and corrosion. And there's no need to strip insulation from the wires, because this is a "vampire" clamp that cuts through the insulation to contact the bare wire. That's a bad thing if you need to carry large amounts of current (because it is only "edge" contact) but a good thing as long as you're using the correct wire size and it is a low power connection.
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Old 20-04-2016, 14:49   #12
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Re: What is this connection?

You can get them at Home Depot.
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Old 20-04-2016, 20:49   #13
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Re: What is this connection?

Hellosailor gave an important explanation. Hope you didn't miss it.

The openings on these buttons can accept a much larger wire than it is specified to handle. The photograph provided by the OP appears to show an 18 gauge wire. This is beyond the rated capacity of the connector if it is indeed an 18 gauge conductor.
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Old 21-04-2016, 12:12   #14
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Re: What is this connection?

Speaking of which...they are intended for use on SOLID wire. Marine wire is, in theory, stranded wire, so the guillotine contacts would simply cut strands rather than bite in the way they are supposed to. Oopsie.
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Old 23-04-2016, 03:16   #15
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What is this connection?

Thanks for all of the replies! I think the guy I bought it from might have worked at a phone company. And he did replace some of the wire with solid wire. I've replaced everything that I have found with stranded. Looks like I'll be cutting this out as well based on the last comment. You all rock!


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