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Old 04-18-2014, 08:39 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Cathy and David View Post
I have to add my 2 cents to the debate. A mechanical crimp performed with a proper tool is a much more effective bond to the lug than a soldered joint. In my 30+ years in the trade I performed very few soldered joints and they were only because the electrical device required it. They were 60A and above special plugs where the only choice was a soldered joint. All other joints were with high pressure crimp tools that were either hydraulic or old fashioned hand operated. There are too many variables that need to be perfect to achieve a reliable soldered joint.
As far as heat shrink if it makes you feel better go for it but it will not prevent corrosion. Have you ever seen a corroded battery cable where the insulation looks perfect but the wire is corroded 2' past the lug. The best protection against corrosion and oxidation is Nolox applied to the wire before the crimp.
The lugs that I have seen pictured on the thread are mechanical crimp lugs. A lug intended for a soldered joint will be oversized to the wire gauge so that you get a good bond and complete solder flow through the wire strands.
Just my 2 cents to the discussion.
Good post, but I disagree a bit about heat shrink. Standard heat shrink, I do tend to agree, but properly applied adhesive lined shrink, absolutely not.

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Old 04-19-2014, 07:57 AM   #42
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>The best protection against corrosion and oxidation is Nolox applied to the wire before the crimp.<

Perhaps but ,

The folks with the most to loose from corrosion is the telephone guys.

THIN!!! wires and corrosion is noise complaints.

AS they were frequently at my marina (before free cell phones) they had capsules of Bell Tell goop to shmeer on terminals and wire connections.

Free as it was not an inventoried item , and the wiring done with both crimp and solder covered with a shmeer and then heat shrunk are still good after 30 years.

This was done After the terminal end was crimped and soldered.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:55 AM   #43
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At $270 for a battery terminal crimper, it sounds like its best to see you neighbourhood mechanic (or in my case shipwright) to borrow said tool for the rare times you need one!

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Old 04-19-2014, 12:37 PM   #44
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> . . the telephone guys . . . had capsules of Bell Tell goop to shmeer on terminals and wire connections. . . . the wiring done with both crimp and solder covered with a shmeer and then heat shrunk are still good after 30 years.
Sounds interesting. Where can ordinary mortals buy this stuff?
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:47 PM   #45
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When I installed the new inverter/charger, I drilled a small hole, after crimping and then filled the void with solder, then finished with heat shrink. Here's the 4/0 negative from the inverter/charger with the 2/0 battery interconnects.

Here are pictures of solder and no solder lugs. I was reconfiguring our inverter that I had installed 6.5 years ago and pulled these 2 cables.

The yellow 2/0 and black 4/0 were crimped with the same tool just different size dies. I cut off the heat shrink (I cut to deep on the black) then cut each lug. The 4/0 lug sure became one.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:53 PM   #46
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These 2 pictures show the imprint of the tinned 2/0 strands on the inside of the lug. Good contact all around.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:34 PM   #47
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I used Noalox on my terminals, as per a suggestion from someone on this forum. I would recommend you explore that product.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:45 AM   #48
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Nice. Thanks!


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Old 04-20-2014, 11:18 AM   #49
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Suggest crimping is the normal procedure. If you are looking ahead to a few years of boating, especially if you plan to anchor out, suggest you look at a $150 crimper. Can't think of the name of the model I bought but I use it about once a year.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:51 AM   #50
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Got around to reading the Compass Marine link, I knew it would be pretty good based on his other writings I've seen, and it is! Explains why all crimps are not created equal!
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:00 PM   #51
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Rwidman, I respectfully disagree. I have used this practice for well over 20 years- professionally, and all of the cables on Patricia Louise are assembled this way. I now own the big buck crimpers, but have never had a solder "failure". Does this mean I win the debate !!


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Did you continue to heat the lug after you inserted the cable end? If not then I agree with Ron. I don't see how you can get a proper soldered connection by only heating one of the two pieces you are soldering together while dipping the cold piece into hot solder.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:45 PM   #52
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Bill: here's a video:

http://www.delcity.net/documents/mov..._terminals.mpg

And the written instructions:

http://www.delcity.net/documents/ins...structions.jsp
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:37 PM   #53
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Thanks George. I've used that method before. And as you see #8 mentions continuing to heat the terminal after you insert the wire. It's just the poster did not so I was wondering if he left out that step in how he makes his connections or just in his description of how he makes them. :-)

There is third option as well for battery terminals. And that is the 2 piece kind that screw together.

screw together battery ends - Google Search
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:23 PM   #54
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Did you continue to heat the lug after you inserted the cable end? If not then I agree with Ron. I don't see how you can get a proper soldered connection by only heating one of the two pieces you are soldering together while dipping the cold piece into hot solder.

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No, I didn't heat it afterwards. There was no need. Turns out the cable gets very hot when dipped into boiling solder and then it all cools together. I cut a soldered terminal end apart to compare it to the recently posted crimped terminal series of posts. But after making the cut- turns out I couldn't got the wire out of the terminal to snap a picture of😎.....


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Old 04-22-2014, 08:45 PM   #55
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Cap'n Bill 11
No, I didn't heat it afterwards. There was no need. Turns out the cable gets very hot when dipped into boiling solder and then it all cools together. I cut a soldered terminal end apart to compare it to the recently posted crimped terminal series of posts. But after making the cut- turns out I couldn't got the wire out of the terminal to snap a picture of😎.....


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Those were really horrid, "dimple" crimps in those pictures. And poor terminals too. See the link someone posted to the Compass Marine "how to" tutorial.
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:19 PM   #56
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Cap'n Bill 11
No, I didn't heat it afterwards. There was no need. Turns out the cable gets very hot when dipped into boiling solder and then it all cools together. I cut a soldered terminal end apart to compare it to the recently posted crimped terminal series of posts. But after making the cut- turns out I couldn't got the wire out of the terminal to snap a picture of😎.....


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Sorry, but you are going to have a hard time convincing me that a large cable could get hot enough when just dipped into hot solder with no added heat applied to form a proper soldered connection. Wire is a good conductor of heat, hence I would think it would carry away much of the residual heat in the solder. So while I can see how the tip of the wires and some of the outer strands may bond with the solder, I don't see how with out the wires being heated much of the solder could wick up into the strands as it should in a good solder connection. Unless perhaps the cable end was tinned with solder before hand.

In the terminal you cut apart how far up had the wire strands had the solder migrated?
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:37 PM   #57
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If I understand the issue correctly, the question is between 2 options:

1. Crimp only

or

2. Crimp and solder

No one is suggesting to solder only, right? (no mechanical bond)

So to me the bottom line is, "Does soldering a crimped connection improve or harm its electrical conductivity and resistance to the negative effects of corrosion?"

Personally, I have only crimped with shrink wrap...no soldering. After consulting aviation avionics technicians with decades of experience, they confirmed this to me. To demonstrate it, they showed me the connections on a 1500A ground power unit used to assist on aircraft power-up and jet engine starts. All the connections were crimped only. Of course, the cable was the highest quality fine-strand cable.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:32 AM   #58
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No one is suggesting to solder only, right? (no mechanical bond)
No, some have mentioned soldering only. But a properly crimped and sealed connection is probably the way to go in the long run.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:45 AM   #59
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ABYC allows the soldering-only method such as I linked to, for battery cables

"11.16.3.7. Solder shall not be the sole means of mechanical connection in any circuit. If soldered, the connection shall be so located or supported as to minimize flexing of the conductor where the solder changes the flexible conductor into a solid conductor.
EXCEPTION: Battery lugs with a solder contact length of not less than 1.5 times the diameter of the conductor.

NOTE: When a stranded conductor is soldered, the soldered portion of the conductor becomes a solid strand conductor, and flexing can cause the conductor to break at the end of the solder joint unless adequate additional support is provided."

That points up why it is important to use the right terminals. I don't see why one would pick the solder method if access to a good crimper is available. The labor cost of having a proficient shop make the cables up for you is minimal.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:31 AM   #60
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When I have seen big terminal ends dipped in solder , it was usually by using a plumbers lead melting pot (from when lead was poured into cast iron waste lines) screwed on top of a 20# propane tank.

These would contain multiple sticks of solder and be perhaps 20 lbs of boiling solder.

Normal was sticking a terminal end (they usually used FAT welding cable) in the pot for 15 seconds would cool it off.

Trawlers (real) and draggers would not spring for tinned wire , tho they would crimp before the hot solder dunk.
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