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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Windless cable size, cable manufacture and battery type?
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Thread: Windless cable size, cable manufacture and battery type? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-19-2010 11:44 AM
sailingdog There is a big difference between saying that all crimping tools are useless and that the inexpensive ones sold by Lowes/Home Depot/etc., are useless...

I use a non-ratcheting lug crimping tool that works quite well. I've seen the results of a decent lug crimping tool and would argue that even 4/0 AWG wire lugs can be successfully crimped with regularity—USING THE PROPER TOOLS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
The information was given to me by one of our neighbors who, with 40+ years in the industry, is the chief electrical engineer for one of the largest electrical wire and equipment distributors in the US. His comment was in answer to my question as to which "crimper" I should use when I was installing my own windlass. Unless I was willing to spend several hundred dollars for a tool for which I would only have very limited use, he indicated that the less costly devices sold by Lowes, Home-Depot et al, simply made poor connections. By comparison, the "Swage-It" tool is inexpensive, has many applications, can be used with relative ease in the narrow and tight confines of a boat; and, by applying uniform compressive pressure to the throats of the lugs ensures that the material of the lugs "flows" in and around the stands of the copper wire providing the best connection--just as does a swaged fitting on rigging wire.

Frankly, I don't care one way or another, nor am I an expert on the subject. However, I did, in 2006, go through the process the OP is going through, and thought he might benefit by my experience. Or not.

FWIW...
02-19-2010 09:44 AM
Maine Sail
Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Unless I was willing to spend several hundred dollars for a tool for which I would only have very limited use, he indicated that the less costly devices sold by Lowes, Home-Depot et al, simply made poor connections.
SV,

I agree 100% with that sentiment. That is not however what you wrote, hence my response. You made a broad based factual type of statement that was read and interpreted by me to include all lug crimpers as not being effective, not just cheap HD ones.

I also own one of the Ancor hammer type crimp tools and would not wish that tool on my worst enemy, especially at $90.00. Does it crimp? Sure, but not a crimp I would want owm my own boat..

Like you I would probably opt for the Swage-It tool over the Ancor hammer crimper, but I'd opt for my lug crimper over the Swage-It every time and yes, I do own Swage-It tools also..
02-19-2010 09:31 AM
svHyLyte
Quote:
This is actually one of the more amusing statements I've seen lately, especially as I have crimped LOTS of 4/0 lugs... What factual basis do you have for this statement?
The information was given to me by one of our neighbors who, with 40+ years in the industry, is the chief electrical engineer for one of the largest electrical wire and equipment distributors in the US. His comment was in answer to my question as to which "crimper" I should use when I was installing my own windlass. Unless I was willing to spend several hundred dollars for a tool for which I would only have very limited use, he indicated that the less costly devices sold by Lowes, Home-Depot et al, simply made poor connections. By comparison, the "Swage-It" tool is inexpensive, has many applications, can be used with relative ease in the narrow and tight confines of a boat; and, by applying uniform compressive pressure to the throats of the lugs ensures that the material of the lugs "flows" in and around the stands of the copper wire providing the best connection--just as does a swaged fitting on rigging wire.

Frankly, I don't care one way or another, nor am I an expert on the subject. However, I did, in 2006, go through the process the OP is going through, and thought he might benefit by my experience. Or not.

FWIW...
02-18-2010 08:37 PM
Maine Sail
Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
3. All this discussion of crimpers is of no use. Crimpers do not give a diecent connection between the lugs and the wire and particularly 4/0 wire.
This is actually one of the more amusing statements I've seen lately, especially as I have crimped LOTS of 4/0 lugs... What factual basis do you have for this statement? Have you actually ever used a tool designed for the purpose and tried to pull out a wire?

The right crimper, for the right lug, will make an excellent connection, as it is specifically engineered to do by the manufacturer of the lugs or by a third party manufacturer.

For lugs I use an FTZ Industries Correct Crimp crimper. I use it with FTZ industries heavy duty lugs and use the specified dies for crimping the specific terminals (FTZ Lug / Die Specs). This crimper exerts 10,000 pounds of crimp pressure on the lug and is what FTZ stands behind to crimp their lugs. Never once had any issues over hundreds & hundreds of lugs crimped. My local battery wholesaler who makes tons more battery cables than I do uses the same crimper, day in day out.

The FTZ or the Quick Cable Hexacrimp are excellent tools with the proper sized dies for the heavy duty lugs both sell. Many of the crimpers from HFT and other makers are NOT designed for the cast heavy duty marine type lugs, have the wrong sized dies and can over crimp, pinch and fracture the wire internally.

Feel free to use your swage it tool, I have no doubt that it may make a decent connection, but to say that proper crimp tools do not make a proper connection is simply poor information without any factual basis..

BTW there are only two brands of heavy duty lugs I will even use these days. I use the ones made by Quick Cable and the ones made by FTZ. The Ancor lugs have gone WAY down in quality lately course they never made any lugs to begin with only sourced them from the lowest bidder. Their wire is not even theirs and is made by multiple companies some US and some not.

HexCrimp (LINK)

FTZ Correct Crimp (LINK)
02-18-2010 08:33 PM
mitiempo This is the one I use but probably not worth it for the crimps most owners need as Genuinedealz charges only $1 labor per crimp. I see the point about aligning the lugs properly but if you lay the entire cable out and then connect the lugs to the windlass, solenoid, and batteries after it should work ok. A good crimper isn't inexpensive unfortunately and hard to justify for a few crimps. You may be able to rent a crimper locally however.
02-18-2010 07:46 PM
svHyLyte FWIW you might find it worth reading through this thread: Cleaning Corrosion from High Tension Electrical Cables - Page 2 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums . I went through the trials of installing a windlass just as you are now. A couple of thoughts:

1. ensure the lugs you order are the correct size for the studs on both your battery, the solenoid; and, your windlass.

2. Do not have the lugs installed before you run your wire. It is certain that the bends and curves in the wire will all but ensure that the lugs are not oriented in the correct direction for the studs. Schedule 4/0 wire does not like to be twisted, and in some cases, cannot be.

3. All this discussion of crimpers is of no use. Crimpers do not give a decent connection between the lugs and the wire and particularly 4/0 wire. Instead, I used a "Swage-It" tool which completely compresses the lugs around and into the wire. By adding your adheasinve shrink tubing beforehand and then sliding it up and over the ends of the lugs, you end up with completely water tight connections. And the Swage-It tool is inexpensive and very usefull aboard.

Good luck.
02-18-2010 05:29 PM
SanDiegoChip I have been looking at Genuinedealz.com and will take the final, final measurement tonight with my wife and then order tomorrow (Friday), I will order the 4/0 cables with the ends on and shrink tubing.
We will be ordering our battery cables as we replace the existing ones so they will get ends crimped on at that time. So a crimping tool would be nice however I think we can get by without it. Now for crimping terminal ends I have been eying a ratcheting crimping tool though, that seems something like the gift to myself that will keep on a crimping for me.
Chip
02-18-2010 03:45 PM
funjohnson I just ordered this Heavy Duty Battery Crimping tool for $99 shipped.

EZ B795 Heavy Duty Battery Crimping Tool - eToolDirect

If you want, I'll let you know how it is when I get it.
02-18-2010 03:41 PM
sailingdog Go with good terminals, like those from Ancor or FTZ and either get a proper battery terminal crimping tool or order the cables from Genuinedealz.com and have them crimp the terminals on for you. Add adhesive lined shrink tubing to further seal them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoChip View Post
Anything else I should watch for?
Like end fittings etc?
Thanks,
Chip
02-18-2010 03:20 PM
funjohnson If I'm reading this chart correctly, it does say that you should use a 2awg for a 50-80' run. On the Lewmar windlass I just bought, the manual says that you want to stay below a 10% drop, but I opted for just a 2.86% to be safe.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoChip View Post
OK I called (finally found the support #) Lewmar and talked to Josh who said I should use 2 AWG wire for the 25’ run. That seems about right I am guessing.
H3 12v windlass

Thanks,
Chip
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