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Old 12-11-2015, 08:26 AM   #1
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Crimp or and Solder

In the case of main DC cabling, is there any benefit of soldering the cable connectors in addition to the crimp ? ( It goes without saying that heat shrink is a must in either case. ) What about any other important secondary DC wiring as well .. ?
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:36 AM   #2
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In the case of main DC cabling, is there any benefit of soldering the cable connectors in addition to the crimp ? ( It goes without saying that heat shrink is a must in either case. ) What about any other important secondary DC wiring as well .. ?
Hi Mr ES, there is no benefit soldering a properly crimped connection. Use quality cable and lugs.

Making Your Own Battery Cables Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:43 AM   #3
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On a boat, I will always crimp over solder. Solder can get brittle and crack under the constant vibration a boat can have. Proper crimping is easy with the right tools.

Aaaaaand... What Dave said ;-)
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:43 AM   #4
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I'm with Tom & Dave
Compass Marine has some great "How To's" - Several on crimping tools, crimps etc...
RC knows his stuff and has done a great job of sharing.
I've tried to buy components from him vs a "big box" marine supply as a reward.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:58 AM   #5
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Here is a crimping guide from Molex who makes crimping tooling. I used this for training in my previous job. (when I started there none of the operators knew what to measure, look for etc.) The largest they discuss is #8 wire, but the principles apply to any wire size.
Some may find this helpful....
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:08 AM   #6
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Here is a crimping guide from Molex who makes crimping tooling. I used this for training in my previous job. (when I started there none of the operators knew what to measure, look for etc.) The largest they discuss is #8 wire, but the principles apply to any wire size.
Some may find this helpful....
Sweet, thank you!
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:18 PM   #7
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Agree with above, crimping with a proper crimper is the way to go for several reasons. Soldering by itself, w/o crimping too, is not a good or allowed option. I like to buy plain teminals, crimp them, then add adhesive lined shrink tubing.

I think you willl like this place for supplies
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Old 12-11-2015, 02:44 PM   #8
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I think you willl like this place for supplies
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WOW! That place is awesome. Thanks.
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Old 12-11-2015, 02:55 PM   #9
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It is a very good idea to apply a small dab of dielectric grease inside the crimp to prevent the possibility of corrosion between wire and crimp before crimping, and then to apply your heat shrink over the top of the connection. This is a practice I use even with end connections.
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:02 PM   #10
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I do both, even though I know soldering is at least frowned upon. In my view, crimping and soldering address two different risks of failure. Crimping is important to establish a secure mechanical connection. Although often used for that purpose, soldering is does not create as reliable mechanical connection. On the other hand, solder is very effective at making and keeping a low resistance connection. Arguably, liquid tape should be as effective, but in my experience it is not, so I crimp and solder and sometimes put liquid tape on top of that.
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:13 PM   #11
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I always crimp then run a bit of solder over especially if the terminals are in the bilge area as it stops any electrolytic reaction between dissimilar metals
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Old 12-11-2015, 04:26 PM   #12
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On our battery terminals, crimp and solder. I drill a hole at the head of the lug to fill any voids with solder; pic 1.

Pic 2 is a soldered lug a cut apart. The last one was crimped with a hammer style crimper. Pretty good contact from the looks of the inside of the lug.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:27 PM   #13
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bestboatwire will build battery cables to suit. Crimping a 4/0 cable is tough without the right tool.

http://www.bestboatwire.com/custom-c...cable-assembly
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:30 PM   #14
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I think you willl like this place for supplies
Welcome to Waytek
Great link, Brooksie!
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Old 12-12-2015, 07:41 AM   #15
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The requirement is to have BOTH a mechanical and an electrical connection.

The "claim" is with the proper marine crimping tool that the solder on the tinned wire , and the solder on the marine tinned connector will cold flow .

Soldering , done properly after the crimp has no down side .
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:16 AM   #16
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More on the subject:

Marine Wire and Cable: Crimping vs Soldering Marine Cable and Wire Connectors
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:45 PM   #17
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Good perspectives...
I think this is in complete agreement w RC @ Compass Marine.
His .sectioned sample crimps show NO voids... I think I recall he tried adding solder and got no penetration into a properly done crimp
Thanks for sharing
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:02 PM   #18
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Passagemaker did an in depth article on electrical connections and specifically recommended NOT soldering the connections, as it hardened the joint and made it prone to cracking (in their opinion). I suppose it makes a difference whether or not the connection is a terminal one that will never be subject to being flexed, or if there will be movement in the wire harness.
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:13 PM   #19
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A good chandler will have a high quality crimper available for use on lugs/wire you are buying from them. So go in with a list of cable lengths required and you are set. I personally prefer the dielectric grease alternative to solder, but many times simply crimp without either. I would never just solder for marine connections. And for smaller wires, use your own ratcheting crimper....
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:05 PM   #20
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I always crimp then run a bit of solder over especially if the terminals are in the bilge area as it stops any electrolytic reaction between dissimilar metals
You can't "run a bit of solder over" a connection and expect it to accomplish anything. You either heat the cable and the connector to the point where solder flows freely into the joint or your technique does nothing at all. More than likely, doing this will melt the insulation and solder wicking up the wire will make it stiff and subject to metal fatigue.

A properly crimped connection will be tight enough that there is no place for solder to flow.
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