Crimping Different Guages question - SailNet Community

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Old 07-01-2013
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Crimping Different Guages question

I'm switching the mast lights to LED. While the mast is down, figured would replace all the wiring ('82 US Yacht).

The LED lights vary from 18 to 20 gauge wiring. I'd like to use fourplex tinned 16 ga. as the mast wiring.

Everywhere I have looked, it seems like there are crimp connectors for 16-14 guage, and 18-20, but nothing to bridge the gap.

Am I missing something obvious here? How do I get a decent connection between 18 or even 20 to the the thicker 16 gauge wiring?

Thanks, from a nurse, not even an amateur electrician (until became a sailor).

Chris
Tri-Cities area (Columbia river), WA.
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Crimping Different Guages question

You need a blue to red step-down butt connector.. It will be blue with a red stripe on the red end and both sides crimp with the blue die in the crimp tool.
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Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Crimping Different Guages question

You looking for a step down butt connector preferably one with good shrink tubing on it
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Crimping Different Guages question

Butt connector? Guys, he said he was a nurse, not a proctologist.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Crimping Different Guages question

Another solution would be a terminal block at the point where the cables meet. If this is at the mast base or some other logical place, much the better.

This kind of thing :

Terminal Blocks
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Re: Crimping Different Guages question

You can crimp a smaller wire in a larger terminal by filling the remaining space with copper strands from an off cut of wire - ideally an off cut from the same size wire. Pack as many strands in as possible then crimp.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Google "sherco automotive" and search for Hydralink. They work well and have integral heat shrink. Also good for butting two wires to one. No affiliation just satisified customer.

Or

http://www.sherco-auto.com/hydralink.htm

Goodwinds
DaveM
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Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Crimping Different Guages question

Put both the smaller wire and the larger wire in the same end of a properly sized butt connector. Just use the one end of the connector. Shrink tube the whole thing when done. Works fine.
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Re: Crimping Different Guages question

I know it's not the certified method but...

Just do a modified western splice ( hold the wires at 90 degrees and twist, once you are done fold that back along the wire. Tape it, heat shrink it, done). No need for an expensive one of a kind butt connector.
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Re: Crimping Different Guages question

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
I know it's not the certified method but...

Just do a modified western splice ( hold the wires at 90 degrees and twist, once you are done fold that back along the wire. Tape it, heat shrink it, done). No need for an expensive one of a kind butt connector.

The Western Union Splice or Lineman's Splice is intended for solid wire and should not be used on the finely stranded wire we use on boats. A Western Union Splice is an unsafe practice on finely stranded wire and can easily not hold or can fail pass the current needed in a safe manner...

I don't know why no one seems to want to use a terminal that is specifically designed for the job?

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-02-2013 at 10:03 AM.
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