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Old 22-05-2022, 04:45   #1
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Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

I am exasperrated with the cost of 12V connectors and I bet others are too.The Ancor product West Marine stocks is great-consistent crimps and excellent performance over time-but the cost is breathtaking-particulary so when doing a larger project. And the cost seems unreasonable: I dont mind paying for quality, but I'm not a fan of buying kit just because that's what a retailer is promoting. For 12V marine wiring, what are some of the alternatives that provide equivalent results? I'm getting ready to start a larger project and want to buy a largish supply of connectors BUT I dont want to skimp on quality. Can't believe there are not comparable and less expensive alternatives. Thanks for all suggestions,
Jim
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Old 22-05-2022, 07:39   #2
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

I just finished rewiring my vhf and stereo when I added a splitter and AIS unit. I too have found the prices of the Ancor heat-shrink butt connectors and ring terminals excessive. I had most of the terminals I needed but I had to buy a couple of packages of heat shrink 18-22 ring terminals and the prices were about $5US for three terminals.

I bought a large assortment of heat-shrink ring terminals in the past from bestboatwire.com. These are considerably less expensive than the Ancor brand and the heat shrink seemed to work better (more consistent) than the Ancor's did. The price of the bestboatwire terminals is $5.85 for a pack of 25 AWG 18-22 heat-shrink ring terminals.

I've noticed that a site called Genuinedealz.com seems to be identical to bestboatwire.com. There's only one difference I can see on their websites, the prices. Those same 18-22 AWG ring terminals at genuinedealz.com are $7.85 for a package of 25 versus $5.85 at bestboatwire.com.
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Old 22-05-2022, 08:08   #3
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

Here are 250 for $20.00 US.

https://www.amazon.com/TICONN-Connec...dDbGljaz10cnVl
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Old 22-05-2022, 08:27   #4
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

The secret to getting reasonable pricing for stuff like terminals, heat shrink tubing, cable ties, etc. is to buy in quantity - and not at the retail store. Online stores (Spectro Wire, Bestboatwire, sometimes Amazon) are your best bet (DO THE WORK of comparing prices & specs!). Buying 3 or 5 at a time at West Marine will break the bank every time (unless that's ALL you need).
Figure out before you start what you're going to need - if you count 40 #10 ring terminals for your projects, buy 50 - you'll probably screw a couple up anyway, and having a couple spares is a good thing.
The same applies to non-electronic stuff, too - like self-tapping SS screws and small cordage.

BTW, Ancor sells via Amazon, and they often have great pricing on wire - it appears to be repackaged ends/pieces, but at a substantial discount from "store price". In larger wire sizes, watch out for "copper coated aluminum" wire - much cheaper, but NOT for boats (it appears to be aimed at the high-power car stereo market).

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Old 22-05-2022, 08:46   #5
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

I had good luck watching prices on Amazon for discounts on packs of 25 or 100 of the Ancor terminals ... it's astonishing how many you need for a complete rewire!


The local chandlery is good for the one or two needed in odd sizes ... Although I never asked him how much he could get me a 100 pack for, perhaps I should have done.
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Old 22-05-2022, 11:09   #6
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

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I actually considered those-but my eyes glazed over as I tried to absorb all the stated specs...hoping to find out what the professionals use
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Old 22-05-2022, 12:09   #7
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

Have you check your local electrical/electronic hardware store?
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Old 22-05-2022, 12:09   #8
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

Jpendoley,

You wrote: "I actually considered those-but my eyes glazed over as I tried to absorb all the stated specs...hoping to find out what the professionals use"

For wire terminals, there are two sizes to contend with, plus some variables.

First, the size of wire to be used. There are three sizes in general use, Yellow color-coded is for #10 thru #14 wire. Blue is #14 thru #18, and Red, which is for #18 thru #22. If you are using wire larger or smaller than this range, there is not any consistent color code, but terminals should be marked. For larger sizes, it is most common to use uninsulated terminals and put a heat-shrink sleeve over the body of the terminal.

Second, the size of bolt or screw they are intended to be secured to. Common sizes range from #6 (screw size) through 1/4" for the color-coded terminals discussed above. Larger sizes up to 1/2" are for heavy battery cables and the like. For ring and fork terminals, these should match the size of the terminal strips, breakers, etc. that you are using - using washers to compensate for oversize terminals is a bad idea

Variables include heat-shrink coverings built into the terminal - these are very convenient, and an excellent idea for areas where your wiring may get wet (like the bilge area). You can, of course, use uninsulated terminals and supply your own heat shrink coverings. If you do so, I would recommend using "Dual wall" (sometimes "triple wall") heat shrink, which has a layer of heat-sensitive goo inside, which will melt when you shrink it and seal the connector inside.
I just bought this assortment of heat shrink on Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- the "3:1 refers to the shrink ratio - 3:1 shrinks more (therefore tighter) than the more common 2:1.

If you are doing heat shrink, you really should have a heat gun - hair dryers and open flame are not good ideas. I got this one: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
And it works well for a "boat tool", though if I were doing boat electrical stuff for a living I would have a heavier-duty model

Tinning/plating is another variable - generally, you want "tinned" terminals rather than plated (those Amazon terminals mentioned above are plated), but the difference is small - but you do NOT want bare copper! Also, the terminals should be made of copper, not brass or steel.

You also want a good crimping tool for your terminals - DO NOT think you can get by with a pair of pliers! My favorite came from Rod Collins of Compass Marine - unfortunately, his stroke has taken him out of the business for now (But he still has a great site for info on boat electrical stuff - https://Marinehowto.com ) Do not cheap out on your tools here - the Ancor and Klein tools are good (albeit pricey) - I'm sure others will chime in with their favorites.
For uninsulated terminals, I like this one: https://smile.amazon.com/Non-Insulated-Terminals-Klein-Tools-1006/dp/B00776SJJO/

Hope this helps!

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Old 22-05-2022, 12:09   #9
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

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Originally Posted by jpendoley View Post
For 12V marine wiring, what are some of the alternatives that provide equivalent results?

Digikey has all that stuff. They'll sell you one for $0.46 or 50,000 for $0.19 each (for one example of a typical "blue" 14-16 gauge ring terminal for a #10 stud):


https://www.digikey.com/en/products/...730099/3186267


There are various grades and styles. Any of the better ones are suitable for marine use. They're a little cheaper than the chandleries, but not much. Connectors, especially good ones, are expensive to make, and are consistently among the most expensive components in an electronic assembly.
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Old 22-05-2022, 13:39   #10
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

What Hartley said [#8].

And a little more light reading:

“A Comprehensive Guide To Good Crimping Practice” ~ Cablecraft-CTT-Amp
https://www.fscables.com/sites/admin...rimp_guide.pdf

“QUALITY CRIMPING HANDBOOK” ~ by Molex APPLICATION TOOLING GROUP
https://www.shearwater.com/wp-conten...qual_crimp.pdf

“TE Connectivity Good Crimping Guide” ~ by TTI
https://www.ttieurope.com/content/da...ping-v3Web.pdf
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Old 22-05-2022, 14:19   #11
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

Before you go and buy some random cheap connectors, you should read this:
https://marinehowto.com/marine-wire-termination/

Ancor and West Marine are both expensive. I buy quality connectors and wire at pacer group. Much cheaper than WM and Ancor, but higher quality then the cheap stuff from Amazon etc.
https://www.pacergroup.net/
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Old 22-05-2022, 15:10   #12
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

Take a look at https://www.waytekwire.com Very good prices if you buy in quantity for good quality products.
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Old 22-05-2022, 15:11   #13
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

Hartley,GordMay,Jammer ,Wholybee you guys are the best! Thank you. This forum has made me a much better and safer boater. The project at hand is a windlass install with the attendant demand for low voltage loss and high current draw-not where I want to cut corners. Don’t want to get sheared either and this is an area where too little knowledge can cost you dearly both in safety, performance and boat bucks.Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 22-05-2022, 16:01   #14
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

X2 on Waytek.

Selterm connectors are good from what I can tell. I don't see a difference in their lugs compared to Anchor's. Wirefy connectors also seem fine to me when compared to Anchor. Both brands are available on Amazon.

Like others have said your crimping tool is critical to making a good connection.
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Old 22-05-2022, 18:42   #15
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Re: Alternate 12V Connector Manufacturer Recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpendoley View Post
I am exasperrated with the cost of 12V connectors and I bet others are too.The Ancor product West Marine stocks is great-consistent crimps and excellent performance over time-but the cost is breathtaking-particulary so when doing a larger project. And the cost seems unreasonable: I dont mind paying for quality, but I'm not a fan of buying kit just because that's what a retailer is promoting. For 12V marine wiring, what are some of the alternatives that provide equivalent results? I'm getting ready to start a larger project and want to buy a largish supply of connectors BUT I dont want to skimp on quality. Can't believe there are not comparable and less expensive alternatives. Thanks for all suggestions,
Jim
To be honest, although seemingly high, the cost of Ancor connectors is not that bad if bought on Amazon in large quantities. I find a good alternative for larger quantities is Wirefly. Now that Rod’s Marinehowto.com retail outlet is on hold (hopefully) Greg’s Marine supply offers American made tinned cable at fair prices.
Unless you have a commercial account, WM is strictly for “gotta have it today” purchases since their mark up is outrageous for connectors.
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