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  #1  
Old 08-10-2010
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Basic Crimping Question

I've read Maine Sail's informative thread (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-m...vs-solder.html) and his web site, but still have three very basic questions.

First, how do you determine the right gauge of wire, both for the stripper and for the heat splice?

Second, though the article didn't mention it, it appears you crimp twice, once for each of the two wires or terminals (assuming I'm using a single crimp ratchet tool), correct?

And third, does it matter where on the "barrel (I think?)" you apply the crimp? Close to the end? Close to the insulation? The middle?

Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2010
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The wire gauge is chosen for the item to be powered, eg lights. I usually use 3% voltage drop for everything. Here's a link to find the gauge you need based on length and amperage. Just fill in the blanks. Remember to measure both there and back for 12 volt wiring.
AWG by wire length/amps calculator

Any good stripper I have used is marked for gauge. The connectors are colored for gauge, blue for 14 and 16 gauge, yellow for 10 and 12 gauge.

If you are using single crimp connectors with heat shrink you crimp once where the sleeve is. If you are using a double crimper on a non heat shrink connector you also only crimp once but it covers a wider area, part for the sleeve and part for the strain relief over the wire insulation.

If you follow Mainesail's tutorial it shows where to crimp for both single and double crimp connectors. Bottom of page 2 and page 3.
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Last edited by mitiempo; 08-10-2010 at 04:29 PM. Reason: add
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Old 08-10-2010
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mitiempo,

I should have included more detail.

I have a nick in a wire of unknown gauge that I want to crimp splice to repair. The insulation is red, but was added on. Other than measuring the conductor core diameter with calipers, is there a way to know its gauge? I have a three-pack of three different heat shrink connectors and would like to use the right one, let alone keeping the wires whole when stripping the insulation. I have calipers and will measure it; I'm wondering if there's a better way to know.

You say I "crimp once where the sleeve is," but I'm unsure of your meaning and don't know what the "sleeve" is. Basically, does one crimp using a single crimp ratchet tool hold both wires in place? That would mean putting the crimper in the exact middle and having its width overlap both wires' ends with one crimp. I don't think that's what he meant, so I'm asking.

I think the way it's done is to put one wire end in, then crimp; then put the other wire end in and crimp the new one. True?
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Old 08-10-2010
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Most good wire is marked for size. It will say the wire size, brand UL specifications and temperature ratings in regular intervals along the wire.

The red crimps are for wires 18-22 AWG, the Blue for 14-16 AWG and Yellow are for 10-12 AWG. There are also red crimps for 8 AWG, but they're pretty obvious—since 8 AWG is huge compared to 18-22 AWG wire.
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When connecting TWO wires together, you use a BUTT SPLICE connector, and each wire stays on its side of the butt splice connector and is crimped on its side. The butt splice connector requires TWO crimps, one for each wire.

This is a photo from Maine Sail's website and shows a butt splice with one of the two crimps done. You can see the barrel which usually has a staked section in the center to show where the two sleeves end.



Here is a photo of a Krimpa-seal butt splice connector and you can se the staked section that shows the center of the barrel, and defines the inner end of each sleeve.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalker View Post
mitiempo,

I should have included more detail.

I have a nick in a wire of unknown gauge that I want to crimp splice to repair. The insulation is red, but was added on. Other than measuring the conductor core diameter with calipers, is there a way to know its gauge? I have a three-pack of three different heat shrink connectors and would like to use the right one, let alone keeping the wires whole when stripping the insulation. I have calipers and will measure it; I'm wondering if there's a better way to know.

You say I "crimp once where the sleeve is," but I'm unsure of your meaning and don't know what the "sleeve" is. Basically, does one crimp using a single crimp ratchet tool hold both wires in place? That would mean putting the crimper in the exact middle and having its width overlap both wires' ends with one crimp. I don't think that's what he meant, so I'm asking.

I think the way it's done is to put one wire end in, then crimp; then put the other wire end in and crimp the new one. True?
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Last edited by sailingdog; 08-10-2010 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 08-10-2010
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The butt splice crimp is clear now, thanks a lot. Unfortunately, there's no wire markings on the portion I can see, so I'll have to measure diameter.

Again, thanks.
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Strip a bit and compare it to 16 ga and 14 ga. It is probably one or the other.
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Were there any crimp terminals on it... if so, what color were they? That might give you a clue as to what size the wire is....
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Old 08-10-2010
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Yellow terminals are for 10 & 12 gauge Wire

Blue terminals are for 14 & 16 gauge wire

Red terminals are for 18 to 22 gauge wire


There will be two separate crimps on a butt splice, one for each side/wire..
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Old 08-10-2010
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No terminals found yet - still looking.

I like the idea of comparing different gauge wires - I'll try it. Thanks.
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