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Old 03-21-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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Splicing Wires

Hi All - I need a bit of advice please. While lowering my mast to install a new anchor light I managed to snap most of the wires running to my radar. It bound up right at the bottom next to the deck. ( I really hate admitting that I screwed this up).

I've cleaned everything up and I was about to start splicing them together when I started wondering if splicing was a bad idea.

There are a dozen or so wires ranging from thin telephone size to the power cable itself. It's the thin ones that bother me the most.

I was going to use crimped connections to put this back together. Is that the best way to do this?
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:23 PM   #2
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Best solution might be to buy a new cable.

Bob
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:24 PM   #3
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I would use heat shrink ring terminals with a terminal block like this:

And coat all the connections with dielectric grease.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:36 PM   #4
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i solder splices. No chance of corrosion, wrap good with tape and done. the blocks are a good option and i have several for future use...but it seems like every time i go to do something it is in a place that it isn't practical to secure a block.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:42 PM   #5
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Best solution might be to buy a new cable.

Bob
It's a 20+ year old Raytheon unit. Probably none available.
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:47 PM   #6
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i solder splices. No chance of corrosion, wrap good with tape and done..
Me too but I would use shrink tubing instead of tape. Make sure you put the tubing over one of the wire ends before soldering!

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Old 03-21-2014, 12:53 PM   #7
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i solder splices. No chance of corrosion, wrap good with tape and done. the blocks are a good option and i have several for future use...but it seems like every time i go to do something it is in a place that it isn't practical to secure a block.
Same here, no way to mount a block.

So you're saying solder only, no other connector other than the shrink covering?
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Old 03-21-2014, 12:58 PM   #8
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I wouldn't bother. I would tin the leads then solder them side-to-side.

I like shrink wrap and if practical I first thread a large piece of shrink wrap over one side of the bundle to be spliced, then a skinny one for each piece I solder. After shrinking the individual wires I slide the outer one over and shrink that figuring it gives good strain-relief.

Dave
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:02 PM   #9
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Yes. if it were me i would just twist the wires together and put a drop of solder on each connection. Wrap each wire with tape. You can stagger your splices so that you don't end up with a huge 'wad' of splice in one spot.

In something like your cable i may try some of the paint on electrical tape. it may be tough to use real tape with so many wires running in the same cable.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:06 PM   #10
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Make sure you put the tubing over one of the wire ends before soldering! Dave
If I had a dollar every time I did that.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:07 PM   #11
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I wouldn't bother. I would tin the leads then solder them side-to-side.

I like shrink wrap and if practical I first thread a large piece of shrink wrap over one side of the bundle to be spliced, then a skinny one for each piece I solder. After shrinking the individual wires I slide the outer one over and shrink that figuring it gives good strain-relief.

Dave
Thanks ... I can do that. Guess I'm off to Radio Shack.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:17 PM   #12
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From what I have learned about boat wiring, soldering is a no-no. It's brittle and can crack from the constant vibration. Moreover, electrical tape is equally a no-no in an outdoor application. It will QUICKLY deteriorate and turn into a sticky mess on one side and stiff on the other. I have spent four years removing all the wire nuts and tape off our boat and have seen how horrible it can get.

I would bet that a multi-strand wire like that is going to be damn hard to fix neatly and accurately.

I would first TRY to call Raymarine and see if they still have cables for it. You might be surprised. Cables are often designed for multi-year releases of gear.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:26 PM   #13
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ABYC standards (E-11.16.3.7), “Solder shall not be the sole means of mechanical connection in any circuit”.


NASA uses crimps, I would use a heat shrink/sealing connector of high quality and then use a heat shrink over the whole shazam to finish it up.

If you solder make sure the joint is air-tight and you have not degraded the tinning of the wire. Solder is prone to cracking and it eliminates the flexibility of the wire, you must support it to prevent broken wires.

I always make wiring to last my lifetime, Murphy is one of my deck hands.



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Old 03-21-2014, 01:26 PM   #14
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There are a dozen or so wires ranging from thin telephone size to the power cable itself. It's the thin ones that bother me the most.

I was going to use crimped connections to put this back together. Is that the best way to do this?
I don't know ANYTHING about RADAR masts or how it's connected to the control equipment.

However, I do know something about wiring, especially for data.

Electrical wires can be spliced with weatherproof crimp connectors. Those are the kind where you heat them and a sealant expands and flows to seal off the connection. Other people like to use various twist methods with solder and a heat sealed tube over the exposed area. No biggie, just so long as the bare metal is protected from exposure to the air.

EDIT: A couple of members have made posts that make it clear that there are specific reasons to not do things like soldering, even on electrical wires. I defer to their expertise absolutely. My advice on the thin wires that may be data cabling stands.



But...

You mentioned thin ones, like telephone wire.

If you're talking about Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP), which is where you have pair-sets of thin wires that are twisted around each other and housed loosely inside of a protective jacket, you may have an issue.

The little wires are twisted for a reason, and the more data the cable has to carry in any given period of time the more important it is.

I have NO IDEA whether your wire IS UTP or just very thin wire. I also don't know what sort of throughput the wires have to carry.

I DO know that RADAR is something that most folks would consider to be a "mission critical" safety item.

My suggestion to you is that unless you are absolutely certain that a manual splice in the wire won't be an issue is to buy a new cable.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:34 PM   #15
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ABYC standards (E-11.16.3.7), “Solder shall not be the sole means of mechanical connection in any circuit”.




I guess I am out of spec. Although, does the tape count as a means of mechanical connection?

I found my loophole.

I have never had one fail...the only word of caution is that if you twist the ends as i said it can make a pointy unbendable end which could poke through tape. While it has never actually happen to me...it is possible. I usually try to pinch the ends flat with a pair of pliers.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:36 PM   #16
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The problem with a Radar cable is not the control wiring, it's the signal wire.

You're probably going to find that one of the wires is a RF wire, probably in the form of a mini coax type.

That's going to be the tough one.

You can splice it, but it will affect the performance of your radar. I can't guarantee you'll notice it as the operator, but it is an issue all the same.

I'd be happier if you added a RF rated connector and used that.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:37 PM   #17
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I was forced to splice a Furuno cable a few years back and it was no fun. I would certainly try to find a replacement cable if you can. Sometimes eBay is a good source for the older stuff.

If you do have to repair it, a soldered joint with adhesive-lined shrink wrap will work. Use the proper technique of mechanically joining the wires, and then solder them with quality 60/40 solder. Here is a great video (at the bottom of the page) that demonstrates the process.

If you have sufficient cable, stagger the individual joints to reduce the diameter of the finished splice. If the cable is shielded, you must also splice the shield, as it is a conductor too. Finally, finish by applying a larger diameter piece of shrink wrap over the entire splice. Should be good to go.

I almost forgot, a "third hand" like this will help immensely.

Good luck,

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Old 03-21-2014, 01:47 PM   #18
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I guess I am out of spec. Although, does the tape count as a means of mechanical connection?

I found my loophole.

I have never had one fail...the only word of caution is that if you twist the ends as i said it can make a pointy unbendable end which could poke through tape. While it has never actually happen to me...it is possible. I usually try to pinch the ends flat with a pair of pliers.

I am not a surveyor so I don't care.

I have spent more time then I care to admit repairing poor and stupid electrical connections that have or will fail at some point, done by others.

My connections cost more, the proper crimping tool cost me over a c-note. but my connections will never need to be redone by me or anyone else.

The connection you describe would be changed almost immediately on my boat, but if it works for you great. I use elect. tape to whip rope ends while making a splice and that's about it.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:49 PM   #19
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I think the determining factor here is that it is a very old unit that I plan on replacing in the next year or so at the most. I'll take a stab at a repair first. Gives me a chance to practice a new skill.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:53 PM   #20
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[QUOTE="SCOTTEDAVIS;

I have spent more time then I care to admit repairing poor and stupid electrical connections that have or will fail at some point, done by others.


I don't want to be the guy that does a piss poor job either.
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