Electrical soldering/connections basics.

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The HUlk

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I like the crimp then solder and heat shrink over for the best possible long lasting connection. I have seen alot of military-done crimp connections corrode over years of service and go bad. Something solder along with the original crimp would have prevented.
I like to solder crimp connections when possible, especially on stuff that is not in a climate controlled enviornment.
 

Guyfang

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At the risk of getting whooped over the head again, I will say that indeed, if you have the time to tin the ends before crimping, it about the best way to repair a wire without replacing it. I also learned in AIT, 1972, to use one of several types of splices, to join the wire ends before soldering them. I used a Western Union splice most of the time. The below shown diagram is an excellent way to join two wires before soldering them together.

 

V8srfun

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Tinning the wire is quite effective when done properly. When done improperly is way worse than not tinning at all
 

aleigh

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At the risk of sounding stupid, especially when working with vehicles I generally do whatever NASA says. Specifically, I follow whatever is laid out for the particular application in NASA-STD 8739.4. I've really found this thing to be invaluable.

https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/codeq/doctree/87394.pdf

Personally I prefer crimping to soldering - but - only if it is done PROPERLY. This means having exactly the right tool frame and crimper, exactly the right crimps, exactly the right wire gauge (and OD insulation), tools set to exactly the right gap and pressure. The primary reason is I like being able to pull a pin out of a harness after it has been assembled (vs trying to desolder pin H in a 29 pin plug, etc).

If you are working with MVs or building vehicle harnesses, I feel this is also invaluable:

https://www.rbracing-rsr.com/wiring_ecu.html
 
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steelandcanvas

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Proper Crimping Technique

Photo #10 in this thread shows a very good set of crimpers, the required tool to make trouble-free crimped connections. Most crimp type connectors, forks, spades, rings, etc., are "rolled" on the crimping end and have a split on them, (butt connectors do not). When crimping these types of non-insulated connectors, the tang portion, (circled in red). of the crimper should be placed on the rounded side of the crimp connector, not on the split side, (circled in red). It is possible to just collapse (crimp) one side of the split, leaving the other side un-crimped. This will make for a less than acceptable connection, with the crimp not completely surrounding the conductor. Most folks will not see this inadequate connection and assume it's OK with a tug on the wire, this is NOT a good mechanical connection.

 

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4x4 Forever

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Pre-tinned wire is very nice to work with and also prevents the dreaded 'green disease' from traveling up the wire. Most marine wire is like this, but just a little more expensive...

It also needs to be brought out that for electrical connections to use rosin core solder, not acid core solder. Acid core is for soldering pipes and such together.
 

daytonatrbo

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The only thing wrong with a soldered wire is that if you ever have the wire get HOT, like a short circuit, or an over loaded circuit, it can melt the solder and come apart. That's the reason you don't solder wires in a house installation. An overloaded circuit makes heat. .
I'm sorry, but I have to argue your point here.

I think the fact that solder isn't used in residential or commercial wiring has WAY more to due with practicality and feasibility than anything else.

You are commonly joining multiple 14ga, 12ga, or larger solid copper wires. Which is fine, but that would take a substantial iron in many cases.

Then you have to do so at dozens, or more likely hundreds, of locations throughout even a modest house. Many of which are up on ceilings, high on walls, etc. You would need a big, battery powered (portable) or butane powered iron, and it would just be miserable work. Sweating pipe with a torch is similarly miserable, but at least the torch is portable and has the BTUs needed.


MOST of the cases of residential wiring I've seen overheating due to overload were simply because somebody replaced a fuse or breaker with one that was not sized appropriately to the conductors.

The majority of cases I've seen of residential electrical fires and near-fires were due to poor connections. Namely, the push-in terminals on many residential switches and outlets. If it were up to me, they would be outlawed. The little "blade" inside the terminal wears into the much softer copper wire over time, and in 5-10 years you have a bad connection that is heating, arcing, and sparking.

A good solder joint at the device would eliminate the majority of electrical faults in residential wiring. But it's not practical.


Edit: After reviewing the NEC, it seems that most of their concern is due to mechanical failure of the joint. Not from heating, but simple mechanical pullout.

I imagine that's in there for a reason. I would bet that at one time solder was used and it was not used correctly so they just outright banned it.
 
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Recovry4x4

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This is a great discussion and learning tool for many. One thing not mentioned (or I missed it) has been non insulated butt connectors. I use these almost exclusively with marine grade heat shrink. Right or wrong, its been working well for me.
 

V8srfun

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As long as you make a good connection with good conductivity and properly seal it from the elements you will be fine.
Solder in my opinion is the best way to make a connection but often times is less convenient. We tend to do what is easier
 

daytonatrbo

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As long as you make a good connection with good conductivity and properly seal it from the elements you will be fine.
Solder in my opinion is the best way to make a connection but often times is less convenient. We tend to do what is easier
There are some applications where solder is a poor choice. For example, most of the heavy gage wiring on the deuce is a nice, ultra flexible stranded wire. If you were to make a soldered connection on this wire, it would be easy to apply too much solder and have it "wick" up in the wire. This would cause a stiff section to each side of your connection. If you were to do this on a wire that is going from the engine to the frame, the lost flexibility and the fatigue from vibration might cause a soldered connection to fail sooner than a good crimped connection.
 

85CUCVtom

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While I agree 100% that soldering is preferred over solder less connectors, I've used self sealing butt connectors to repair simple things such as a new light socket pigtails with great success.

As mentioned before it comes down to the quality of the crimp. Don't use the crappy crimped built into the wire strippers instead invest in a dedicated crimping tool.
 

Guyfang

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85CUCVtom, Truer words were never said. Proper tools and practice. Gives you a perfect crimp every time.
 

Guyfang

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I'm sorry, but I have to argue your point here.

I think the fact that solder isn't used in residential or commercial wiring has WAY more to due with practicality and feasibility than anything else.

You are commonly joining multiple 14ga, 12ga, or larger solid copper wires. Which is fine, but that would take a substantial iron in many cases.

Then you have to do so at dozens, or more likely hundreds, of locations throughout even a modest house. Many of which are up on ceilings, high on walls, etc. You would need a big, battery powered (portable) or butane powered iron, and it would just be miserable work. Sweating pipe with a torch is similarly miserable, but at least the torch is portable and has the BTUs needed.


MOST of the cases of residential wiring I've seen overheating due to overload were simply because somebody replaced a fuse or breaker with one that was not sized appropriately to the conductors.

The majority of cases I've seen of residential electrical fires and near-fires were due to poor connections. Namely, the push-in terminals on many residential switches and outlets. If it were up to me, they would be outlawed. The little "blade" inside the terminal wears into the much softer copper wire over time, and in 5-10 years you have a bad connection that is heating, arcing, and sparking.

A good solder joint at the device would eliminate the majority of electrical faults in residential wiring. But it's not practical.


Edit: After reviewing the NEC, it seems that most of their concern is due to mechanical failure of the joint. Not from heating, but simple mechanical pullout.

I imagine that's in there for a reason. I would bet that at one time solder was used and it was not used correctly so they just outright banned it.

I would imagine you are right. But having seen it go wrong several times here in Germany, I just had to bring it out. I THINK, that the soldered splices that melted (and yes, started fires), were all in barns, and I do not think done by someone who had graduated from electricians school. AND, it was not solid copper wire. Multi strand. I did not get to look at the wires, but read the reports that came later. So yes I agree with what you are saying.
 

aleigh

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It's probably safe to say that both constructed solder joints and crimps can get it done.

One aspect worth pointing out with solder is that it's not as easy to QA the joint when you are finished. It can be hard - for me at least - to gauge penetration of the solder by eye. It's easier to gauge the quality of a non-insulated crimp (which is what all serious standards seem to recommend). The good crimps have witness holes, you can check for gaps and imperfect crimping, and the fold pattern if it's a split crimp. And you can be pretty confident you need to only worry about a strain check in one axis whereas I've seen solder joints that were strong one way but not another due to imperfect penetration of stranded wire.

A talented guy can solder a great joint with cheap tools quickly every time I am sure but a nearly untrained child can churn out high quality crimps all day long with an AF8 crimper. Not for nothing.
 
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MarcusOReallyus

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While I agree 100% that soldering is preferred over solder less connectors

Ah, that would explain why many NASA, mil-spec and aerospace applications require crimped connections, rather than soldered.

As mentioned before it comes down to the quality of the crimp. Don't use the crappy crimped built into the wire strippers instead invest in a dedicated crimping tool.
Yep. And 100% of the bum rap that crimped connections get comes from doing it wrong, which includes:

  1. Using cheap tools
  2. Using cheap connectors
  3. Using the wrong tool
  4. Not paying attention to the seam's orientation


A properly done crimp provides every bit as good a connection as properly done soldering, and it's easier to learn to do well.
 

Slate

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Any one got picks of putting wires into say a trailer plug connection for a deuce?

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
 

Slate

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Any one got picks of putting wires into say a trailer plug connection for a deuce?

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
Never mind I found it solder cups and you can pull the pins to solder

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