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Old 04-26-2012, 02:26 PM   #1
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Connecting Data Wires

I'm connecting my newly purchased VHF radio with DSC and AIS to my chart plotter that will require connecting 6 wires between the two units. How best to do this? I don't just want to crimp the connections because I may have to remove them later. I'm thinking some kind of 6 pin connector with the wires soldered to the pin connector pig tails.

Any recommendations??
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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I'm connecting my newly purchased VHF radio with DSC and AIS to my chart plotter that will require connecting 6 wires between the two units. How best to do this? I don't just want to crimp the connections because I may have to remove them later. I'm thinking some kind of 6 pin connector with the wires soldered to the pin connector pig tails.

Any recommendations??
You can buy terminal strips that use clamps to hold the wires. These are made for small wires and are better than the ones here you have to crimp a ring terminal on each wire end.

Me, I soldered and heat shrinked the connections. Remove them later? Wire cutters.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:15 PM   #3
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You can buy terminal strips that use clamps to hold the wires. These are made for small wires and are better than the ones here you have to crimp a ring terminal on each wire end.

Me, I soldered and heat shrinked the connections. Remove them later? Wire cutters.

You can buy connector with solder in them and heat shink wrap that you heat up with a small butane tourch.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:23 PM   #4
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Maybe one of there space saver terminal blocks would work.

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Old 04-26-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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Maybe one of there space saver terminal blocks would work.

McMaster-Carr
I favor these...especially for tiny NEMA wire...they are the same as what Raymarine uses in their weatherproof junction boxes

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Old 04-26-2012, 05:16 PM   #6
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The difficulty is, you're probably dealing with 28 gauge wire and terminal blocks designed for 10 or 12 gauge wire aren't going to work very well.

There are proper terminal blocks available. If I find one, I'll post it.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:31 PM   #7
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The difficulty is, you're probably dealing with 28 gauge wire and terminal blocks designed for 10 or 12 gauge wire aren't going to work very well.

There are proper terminal blocks available. If I find one, I'll post it.
The space saver terminal block I mentioned was good for 22 ga. The modular terminal block on the same page I linked can handle to 30 ga.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:58 PM   #8
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The difficulty is, you're probably dealing with 28 gauge wire and terminal blocks designed for 10 or 12 gauge wire aren't going to work very well.

There are proper terminal blocks available. If I find one, I'll post it.
Actually they work just fine...but I try to use smaller...just posted the first block I came to....as an example of style...not size.

Sorry if I confused anyone ...but even the larger ones are pretty easy to use.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:17 PM   #9
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I like/use these:
Posi-Lock(R) - The Best Connectors You'll Ever Use!
The are the 4200 of wire connectors.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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I like/use these:
Posi-Lock(R) - The Best Connectors You'll Ever Use!
The are the 4200 of wire connectors.
Wow!!! For the price they ought to be!!!! Got a cheaper source than your link????
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #11
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I've never understood why electronics companies use such tiny wires. They are really hard to work with. I know they are going for compactness, but at least on the wires that will need to be somehow connected to the boat or other wiring, would it kill them to use 18 gauge?
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #12
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I've never understood why electronics companies use such tiny wires. They are really hard to work with. I know they are going for compactness, but at least on the wires that will need to be somehow connected to the boat or other wiring, would it kill them to use 18 gauge?
I have thought why dont the use old style telephone plugs, connectors, wires, etc..etc.. there has to be billions still sitting in warehouses as cel phones came with such a bang...

I may use that setup when I get new electronics if i don't wind up with some snazzy NEMA 2000 wiring setup.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:22 PM   #13
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Anything would be better than those spider webs they supply. I've tied bonefish flies with heavier gauge thread than that.

Has anybody found any heat shrink they will get small enough to seal on them? This can be a real problem in a partially exposed area like a flybridge.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:36 PM   #14
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Has anybody found any heat shrink they will get small enough to seal on them? This can be a real problem in a partially exposed area like a flybridge.
I've bought heat shrink at the home center that's small enough. An electronics store might have smaller yet.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #15
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I've never understood why electronics companies use such tiny wires. They are really hard to work with. I know they are going for compactness, but at least on the wires that will need to be somehow connected to the boat or other wiring, would it kill them to use 18 gauge?
As a former electronic technician, the small wires seem normal to me. Eight or more #18 wires in a cable make for a pretty hefty cable and one that's harder to bend or snake.

We're talking almost no current here, just a signal. Electrically, #28 is more than enough.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:54 PM   #16
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Try this:

Strip the insulation back 1/2" on each wire.

Hold both wires between your thumb and finger of your left hand with the ends even and sticking out to the right.

Twist the bare conductors together with your right hand.

Solder the wires with low temperature electronic solder and a small soldering pencil or gun.

Trim the soldered portion to 3/8" with wire cutters and fold it back on the two wires.

Cut a piece of the smallest heat shrink tubing that will fit over the joint (probably 1/8") to 1" length.

Slip it over the end of the connection, leaving 1/4" past the end of the wires (this will seal the end.)

Shrink it with a heat gun and move on to the next one. Of course, you can solder them all first and then heat shrink them.

Cheap, quick, and effective.

edit: I am not advocating soldering electrical wiring on a boat, only small gauge data wires. Larger electrical wires should be connected with crimp connectors.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:20 PM   #17
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Anything would be better than those spider webs they supply. I've tied bonefish flies with heavier gauge thread than that.

Has anybody found any heat shrink they will get small enough to seal on them? This can be a real problem in a partially exposed area like a flybridge.
I mentioned the raymarine waterproof junction box with the euro style buss bar...easy enough to make from the buss bar and some parts from any hardware store. easy and inexpensive...just shove the wires in and tighten the screw...takes literally a minute to do a 6 wire connection.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:46 PM   #18
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Is it acceptable to use liquid electrical tape in lieu of shrinkwrap on the small wires?

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Old 04-28-2012, 06:56 AM   #19
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Is it acceptable to use liquid electrical tape in lieu of shrinkwrap on the small wires?

I don't know why not...when I used it in the past....it seems to have worked just fine.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:46 AM   #20
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Is it acceptable to use liquid electrical tape in lieu of shrinkwrap on the small wires?
I would choose heatshrink over liquid electrical tape. It's neater and you know it won't crack or flake off. If you want to put some liquid electrical tape over the ends of the heatshrink after it has shrunk just as a precaution, that would be fine.
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