Originally Posted by amytom
But solder done right is better than crimp. Crimp is recommended because anyone can buy a ratchet crimp tool and create passable work. Soldering is a skill that has to be learned.
Look at it this way:
A crimp is purely a mechanical connection. A proper solder jointed effectively welds the two prices together and proper heat sink and strain relief makes flexing and vibration a non-issue.
If you have the time and skill set then solder. If you're in a hurry and hanging upside down through a hatch
then crimp away.
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The "welds" part isn't quite true. Welding melts both parent metals together and (to keep it short) may require softer welding wire or heat treatment for proper stress relief afterwards to prevent future fractures in the heat affected zone. The strength of the welded area is often stronger than either parent material and you'll often see zigzag welds on bulldozer buckets just for extra strength.
Soldering is simply melting lead or other lower temp. metal to help bridge an electrical
connection. The mechanical strength of that connection is poor, thus the need for proper strain relief on the backshell of the connector or near the turrets or bifurcated terminals where the wires are soldered. If 2 wires are being joined, then they need to be mechanically twisted together, then the solder simply helps bridge the tiny gaps between and helps the current
to flow. The exclusive use of stranded wire on a boat
, even for 110v AC, is for maximum flexibility of the cable. Soldering that cable makes it a solid mass and removes that flexibility.
Yes, a properly trained technician like you can make excellent solder joints. How many people have your training and skill? Probably 1% of the entire population, perhaps 2 or 3% of boat
owners. (just a wild guess.) Even if that number were 10%, that's an awful lot of untrained people out there soldering with lousy soldering irons, lousy solder, nasty flux, wicking that stuff up into the wire and living with a time bomb connection that looks OK from outside but is corroding their wire in that wet environment
until the wire literally falls off.
It takes very little training or practice to properly crimp a butt splice or ring terminal or a battery
cable, like you'd most commonly see on a boat. How often do you see a boater making up a 55 pin Canon plug
or a 200 pin Amphenol? That's the type of stuff you and I soldered in the Navy
, and I agree, solder is a great method for those.
So for Joe Yottie, with his probable skill level and the types of connectors he's working with, I think crimping is the better solution with a greater chance of him getting it right.