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Old 10-06-2011, 21:13   #16
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Re: Proper battery conections

Solder will not flow into a properly made battery lug crimp, I've tried this and then cut the lug open to examine it. If solder does flow into the crimped areas then it was not properly crimped to begin with and it's likely a good thing you added some solder. There is simply not enough space between the strands for water to penetrate, let alone solder.

Last year I crimped a 2/0 lug after dropping about 20 grains of sugar in the captive end. I then dropped the lug and exposed 2" piece of wire into a glass of salt water and left it for many months adding water as it evaporated. Occasionally it did go dry but over all it was submerged for about half a year. I then removed the lug and drilled a hole in the end and the dry sugar grains simply fell out along with some copper drill shavings. No water even after being fully submerged for half a year. If water can't penetrate a properly done crimp neither does solder which is a larger..

You can drill a hole as I did to get the sugar out and fill that end with solder but I really see no need for this extra step. A well made crimp with the properly matched crimper to the lug can hold well in excess of 1000 pounds of tensile pull out force.

As a marine electrician I have seen my fair share of solder and crimp failures but a lot more bad solder than bad crimps. Either crimps or soldering done improperly are equally as bad and both need to be done right to be of any good. For a solder only battery lug to meet ABYC standards you really will have a very, very tough time doing this in the field and getting it to come out right..

Was on a customers boat two days ago and he was showing off his new "ratcheting crimper" and crimping some wires for his stereo. When I glanced over he was using the tool BACKWARDS. When I asked how many crimps he'd made with the tool that way he responded "oh about 20"... That was 20 crimps that needed to be cut off and re-done. No tools are fool proof and all tools need to be used correctly.

The OP's lugs were likely the wrong lug with the wrong die set. No matter how "good" it looks it is only properly done if the right crimp tool dies and right lugs for that sized die and wire were used. Considering there are multiple sized OD lugs that claim to be say 1/0, 2/0 or 3/0 you really need to match your lugs to the tool.

Re-wired a customers boat this winter where every crimp was made with pliers and every crimped terminal simply pulled off with very minimal strain to my fingers... Also saw many smoke monster trails on-board where the smoke monster had been let out of the wire.....
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:03   #17
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my fingers... Also saw many smoke monster trails on-board where the smoke monster
All things electrical need smoke to work , never let the smoke get out. I searched for cans of smoke at times to try and get the smoke back in. Very difficult.

A1 re crimps.

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Old 11-06-2011, 05:44   #18
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Re: Proper battery conections

Smoke is frequently observed to come out of electrical/electronic components when overheated, often through exposure to an extreme current, usually caused by a low-resistance failure or the application of excess voltage. Manufacturers such as Lucas (the inventer of the short circuit), put a portion of magic smoke into every electronic component, and the device functions normally so long as the smoke does not escape. Once the magic smoke has been released, the device lacks one or more key components and no longer functions correctly. The smoke thus can be thought of as an essential part in the device's function. It is also noted that once let out, the magic smoke cannot be put back in (except with the proper service part, as below).

As per usual, Main Sail got it right, even without photos.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:12   #19
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Re: Proper battery conections

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Smoke is frequently observed to come out of electrical/electronic components when overheated, often through exposure to an extreme current, usually caused by a low-resistance failure or the application of excess voltage. Manufacturers such as Lucas (the inventer of the short circuit), put a portion of magic smoke into every electronic component, and the device functions normally so long as the smoke does not escape. Once the magic smoke has been released, the device lacks one or more key components and no longer functions correctly. The smoke thus can be thought of as an essential part in the device's function. It is also noted that once let out, the magic smoke cannot be put back in (except with the proper service part, as below).

As per usual, Main Sail got it right, even without photos.

But Gord that is "automotive grade" smoke. The marine grade magic smoke is significantly more costly as it has to withstand the rigors of the marine environment..
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:29   #20
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Could have done with lots of that Lucas smoke when I had one of the early Range Rovers

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Old 11-06-2011, 07:56   #21
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Re: Proper battery conections

[QUOTE=Maine Sail;705375]Solder will not flow into a properly made battery lug crimp, I've tried this and then cut the lug open to examine it. If solder does flow into the crimped areas then it was not properly crimped to begin with and it's likely a good thing you added some solder. There is simply not enough space between the strands for water to penetrate, let alone solder.




Regarding this statement... NOTHING could be further from the truth! It would only be true if someone doesn't know how to solder. I have done destruction samples of every aspect of my boatbuilding for 40 years, from glass layup schedules, paint adhesion, glue joints, hardware bonding, AND solder joints. Only by taking things apart can one discern what is REALLY going on.

Water VAPOR can "easily" get into the tightly crimped battery lugs after 20 years, and if you took one apart after decades on the water, you would find SOME corrosion inside the lay of the wire. (= still has continuity, but more resistance) This is NOT so if you solder the crimped cavity to "just" full. It is then welded, and the lug IS a part of the wire.

Solder will definitely go into the tightly crimped battery cable lug. I cut back 2 or 3 inches of the insulation, so the heat created wont melt it, and clamp on a pair of "Vice Grips" just above the lug, as a heatsink. Then I heat the lug to red hot with a large torch, remove the flame, touch the solder to the bottom of the wire ends, and it will instantly wick UPhill into the crimp. Don't over do it until it creeps way up the wire! This works fine IF the piece is hot enough, and one doesn't just melt the solder and expect it to go in there. Next, I put on a 6" piece of Anchor's heavy wall, adhesive lined heat shrink.

10,000 solder joints later, and this still works best for me! IF you lack the patience, time, or skill, to do a proper crimp/solder, by all means do a crimp only! It also works a very long time, and IS the industry standard. I was just passing on what REALLY stands the test of time "best", with least resistance after 20 years.

On my boats, I solder ALL of my "crimped" eyes, from one end of the boat to the other. It is a matter of wiring it from scratch, and how much trouble free longevity you want to build into the boat. I do, however, understand why 99% of people choose to crimp only.

BTW... this "soldering crimped connections as well", only applies to brand new wire!!! Old wire with anything less than bright shiny strands, will not accept solder at all. It just beads up and rolls off. Since I wired my boats from the get go, this was not an issue for me.

Happy connections!
Mark
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:07   #22
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Re: Proper battery conections

marine grade smoke is thicker than automotive grade.....
mine are crimped and heat shrunk..LOL..and i keep a can of marine grade smoke and some oil drip in a can for my british perkins, just so it can feel at home with oil dripping.....we goot mine so it neither drips nor oozes...LOl took a while, but now........

PERFECTO

( for the moment...)
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:56   #23
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Re: Proper battery conections

In my experience with many hundreds of crimped terminals and several crimp tools and techniques, I've gotta agree with Maine Sail: a properly crimped lug will not accept solder nor will it accept moisture.

Why? Because, if properly done, the shank of the lug and the wire inside become one and the same piece of metal: under the right pressure, they fuse together. I HAVE sawn them in half...as has MaineSail...and find one single glob of copper, even under magnification.

Hence, I believe it unnecessary and potentially harmful to add solder to a properly done crimp.

It IS a good idea, though, to add a length of heavy-wall adhesive heat-shrink tubing over the connection. This ensures a watertight connection between the wire and the lug, as well as adding a bit of strength.

While the procedures outlined in the post above with regard to cleaning, crimping, using dielectrics, cleaning, soldering, etc. might be OK if done by someone as experienced as Mark evidently is and on your own boat, it's not a viable strategy for commercial work....takes WAY too long and no customer I know of would be willing to pay the horrendous cost of doing a bunch of cable terminations in this manner.

Bottom line:
Make a proper crimp only with a high-quality crimp tool and a heavy-wall lug , then use heavy-wall adhesive heat-shrink over the connection. Then, don't worry about the connection for the next 30 years!

Note: I keep on hand cans of marine-grade smoke and Perkins oil-drip, too, but have never had to use them! The trick with the Perkins was to install new gaskets and a Walker Air-Sep which creates negative crankcase pressure :-)

Bill
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:05   #24
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Re: Proper battery conections

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
In my experience with many hundreds of crimped terminals and several crimp tools and techniques, I've gotta agree with Maine Sail: a properly crimped lug will not accept solder nor will it accept moisture.

Why? Because, if properly done, the shank of the lug and the wire inside become one and the same piece of metal: under the right pressure, they fuse together. I HAVE sawn them in half...as has MaineSail...and find one single glob of copper, even under magnification.

Hence, I believe it unnecessary and potentially harmful to add solder to a properly done crimp...
Indeed; a fact I've confirmed over tens of thousands of crimps, over 40 years.
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