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  #11  
Old 10-23-2007
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boy, this is great. Exactly what I needed. How about the splicing: always tube butt splices, or do you make use of the crimp end cap style? [all wires go into a tube which is capped, then gets crimped]

Finally, how about Ancor normal vs. Ancor with built in heat shrink?

Thanks, again, guys.

I'm hoping to do a step by step on what I learned with the re-panel project, with photos.
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Old 10-23-2007
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I use the tube butt connectors. The ones that come with heat shrink are handy, but more expensive.
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Don"t use spades - use only ring terminals. Also, spend the money and get a good stripper and ratcheting crimper.
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Old 10-23-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AjariBonten View Post
Oh, and spend the money for a good quality stripper/crimper; don't cheap out and buy a dollar store one, spend the extra 5 or 6 $ and get a good one, you'll be glad you did.
I don't know where you will find a quality crimper for $5 or $6 extra. The kind you should get is the double-action sort that locks around the terminal until the crimp is completed. I found one on sale at WM for $50 -- the normal price is around $90. However, I wasted more terminals with crimps that either didn't hold or that destroyed the terminal. Terminals are not cheap.
Invest in the gold-plated crimper.

Also you will find that about 2/3 of your terminals should be the size that is color-coded yellow.
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As with everything else, you get what you pay for.
Ancor products cost more...they should.
Ancor is the only mfgr that makes the adhesive (water proof) terminals, but you can get a package of same from Harbor Freight and Radio Shack. They are expensive but perfectly suited to the purpose...the more rigorous outdoor / bilge environments. Harbor Freight terminals tend to crack upon crimping. Ratchet crimpers work well if they're crimping Ancor terminals, otherwise get the variety that have the semi-circular anvils in the jaws and look like a pair of pliers with long handles...you need the long handles for generating the pressures crimping requires. Remember, a good crimp will distort the terminal around the conductors very tightly without destroying the insulation. The conductors should just be visible at the end of the barrel...not necessary to protrude. ABYC says captive terminals only...rings and bent spades ok; push-pull ok too, if it takes at least 6# pull to separate.
Don't EVER cut individual wires to force conductor into a convenient terminal. If the conductor is obviously too small to crimp properly, double it over on itself or insert another conductor into the barrel and trim the excess after crimping. There's more.
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Old 10-23-2007
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Wow, lots of good input; but I don't think you need a $60 dollar crimper. The best one available at Home Depot worked fine for me, and I did a LOT of wiring work on my boats.

This is my crimper, $21 from H.M.
http://store.hamiltonmarine.com/browse.cfm/4,26911.htm

Totally agree about ring connectors over spade/forks; especially if you need to connect more than one wire to a stud. (but none of us ever do that, do we? )

Do spend the money on good connectors, the Ancor ones are great. I usually getr most of my stuff from Hamilton Marine
http://www.hamiltonmarine.com/,
but I'm a Maniac at heart.

Don't cheap out on terminal blocks either; you'll be glad for extra places for more vampires to connect to, and it will make for a much neater installation.

Oh, don't forget split conduit and hangers........

Fred
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Do not dink around with combination stripper/crimpers. Get a convenient sized pair of strippers; I like the stripping jaw to be on the outside of the hinge. For crimping you need a pair of Klein pliers. The Kleins have two jaws, which are all you need, one for insulated and one for uninsulated, and a small nipping end for cutting wire. Klein is to crimping pliers as Crescent is to adjustable wrenches. Both the strippers and Klein pliers are available at your local Home Marina. Klein also makes a nice pair of strippers. With daily use I get about five years out of a pair of their strippers. I've never worn out a set of Klein pliers, even though I use them daily as well.

I am against the plastic insulated crimp fittings for other than attaching to terminal blocks. If you are connecting wires together in a butt splice i would recommend a "sta-con" and shrink tube. The butt connectors rot out and if you cover them with shrink tube, the plastic melts as you heat the shrink tube. Better to just eliminate them. A great alternative is available at your local well-drilling supply house. You can get heavy wall sta-cons, much thicker metal than the plastic coated jobbies and shrink tubing that has some real wall thickness to it. The shrink tubing we use on submersible pumps is far better than the thin cheap stuff at WM, Home Marina, or your auto parts store. And it all comes with the glue inside, in clear or black, pre-cut or cut to length. Once this shrink tube cools it is as stiff as the wire it's connecting.

In those areas where it is necessary to use electrical tape, I recommend Scotch 88, accept no substitutes. We used to use it for splicing wires to be immersed, until we switched to the convenience of shrink tubing. Splices covered with 88 last just as long as with shrink tube, it's truly a great tape that may change your opinion on electrical tapes. You may have to go to an electrical supply house to find it, although some hardware stores do carry it. That well-drilling supply house will have it.

The trouble with the terminal ends is finding ones uninsulated, if you're going to cover up to the terminal end with shrink tubing. The electrical supply house is your source for these as well, with a good selection of terminals, insulated and non-insulated. You will also find such specialty terminal ends there as ones where the wire attaches at 90 degrees to the end. Look 'em over, you have far more options than what the Ancor value pack has and you can buy what you really need versus having half a box of stuff you'll never use.
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Old 10-24-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
In those areas where it is necessary to use electrical tape, I recommend Scotch 88, accept no substitutes. We used to use it for splicing wires to be immersed, until we switched to the convenience of shrink tubing. Splices covered with 88 last just as long as with shrink tube, it's truly a great tape that may change your opinion on electrical tapes. You may have to go to an electrical supply house to find it, although some hardware stores do carry it. That well-drilling supply house will have it.
Sway, have you ever tried "Rubbaweld" tape?? Like most of these products, they claim to do everything and generally can't..

I did buy a roll of the stuff a while back (it's around here somewhere), but find it is too easy to grab the nearest roll of ordinary electrical tape when there's a job to do.
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Hartley,
No I have not, and at $12 per 9 feet I do not anticipate the pleasure occuring soon!
The reason I rec. Scotch 88 is that it is the best electrical tape I've found, it even works in the cold, and it is "reasonably priced" at about $5 per roll. Compared to hardware store tape at a buck a roll it is pricey but then, unlike the hardware store tape, it works!
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Old 10-25-2007
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I really like the adhesive lined heat shrink connectors because I consider a crimped connector as highly subject to corrosion and encapsulating it slows that process. I use the ratchet type Ancor crimper and although it makes a very secure crimp, it's still only a mechanical connection and the space around the connection makes it subject to corrosion. For big connections (like battery cables), I crimp, solder and then cover in adhesive lined shrink wrap tubing

Here's a place to get supplies for less than West marine. Once you find a cheaper source for the supplies, it doesn't seem so bad to go the extra mile.


www.genuinedealz.com

www.delcity.net
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