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  1. #51
    Chief Petty Officer chuckz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    Here comes a hand grenade: Notice NASA specifically does NOT allow the crimping of tinned wire. All marine grade wire is tinned. To acheive maximum reliability on your boat do you not use tinned wire or not use crimp on connectors?

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    That's a good question LIC and one that someone else raised before and something I don't have a good answer to. My theory, and it's just a theory, is that marine tinned is very thin and each strand is tinned individually as is the barrel of the connector. What NASA *may* be referring to is hand tinned or dipped wire. I'll note that all the OEM marine cables and harnesses I've seen used untinned marine grade wire (not all marine grade wire is tinned). It's a question that needs to be answered...Paul, I defer to the guys who invented the things and have been making them for 50 years - AMP, now Tyco. They say in their article that even mild heat can break the cold welds by relieving the stress of the crimp which leads to a failure spiral of causing more heat because of increased resistance and therefore more broken cold welds. If you call the author I'm sure he can expound on the subject in greater detail.I think the bottom line is this: If crimp and solder was better, companies like Boeing, Formula and Raytheon would do it. They only care about reliability not about cost when it comes to things like that. No Engineer in their right mind is going to risk a multi-million or multi-billion dollar piece of equipment over a 10 cent connector. Again I say: I have provided outside opinions and references to try to substantiate why this is the preferred industry practice. I invite you and the other crimp and solder or solder only folks to do the same. Like I said, I have an open mind and am more than willing to change my thinking if somebody can provide me with something substantial around which to form an opinion.Hey Rabbit! You having a good laugh or what?!

  3. #53
    Chief Petty Officer chuckz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    Ralph,Boeing, Formula and Raytheon only reliability and not cost? You're kidding right? Why do program managers do ROI and risk analysis then?The reason crimp connectors are used in aerospace and millions of dollars were spent developing them are cost, cost and cost. They are MUCH cheaper than soldering. Many cable are made by automated machines at a much faster rate and much less labor than could be manufacturered by soldering.NASA uses the smallest gauge wire suitable for the load. They uses smaller than 16 gauge wire for many applications. The assertion that they are concerned about hand tinned or dipped wire is plain silly. The amount of solder, weight, used in NASA wiring is very carefully controlled.Incidently Ralph, I worked for a company that went out and rewired military airplanes because the connectors were no good. With the cost pressures today an engineer would be crazy not to save the 10 cents per connector. The automotive industries runs test not to enhance dependablity but to fabricate a product at the least cost, with the least amount of materials, that will meet their standards.
    Like I said, I have an open mind and am more than willing to change my thinking if somebody can provide me with something substantial around which to form an opinion.
    Ralph, I just gave you a NASA Workmanship Standard, isn't that substantial enough?I stand by my original position, either method, soldering or crimping, is suitable for a marine application if done properly. You assertion of crimp only is indefensible.I'm done.

  4. #54
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    You are completely misrepresenting my position. The ABYC recommendations clearly state that solder shall not be the sole means of connection except in one specific instance. The question then became, is solder and crimp acceptable to ABYC? The answer is, yes, it seems to pass the ABYC test. The question then became, well is it a good practice and/or a preferred practice? I think the evidence speaks for itself.The workmanship standard substantiates my points no solder and crimping provides a stronger more reliable connection than soldering. How does it prove that soldering and/or soldering and crimping is better than crimping only? Maybe I missed something?
    Crimping is an efficient and highly reliable method to assemble and terminate conductors, and typically provides a stronger, more reliable termination method than achieved by soldering
    The question now is, does individually tinned stranded marine grade wire affect the quality of crimp and to that I have no answer yet. Like I said, all the OEM cables and harnesses I've seen are not tinned, nor have I ever said you must use tinned wire. Hand tinned wire and/or dipped wire will cause stranded wire to become a lot like solid wire. From Paul's post above
    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.
    Most (99%) of A&D projects are cost plus. That means the more it cost you to put something together the more the Gov let's you charge. I've never been involved in one where a discussion of connector component costs were ever even discussed. The largest I was involved with was $1B.

  5. #55
    Chief Petty Officer chuckz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    CPFF

  6. #56
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    L.I. Chuck you gotta be kidding everything you reference is for rockets not boats. NASA does not do boats. Rocket, planes, and maybe trains but not boats! I am following the aBYC and thats where it stops.Nobody is going to make me solder those connections it was hard enough crimping and heat shrinking them. And yes I soldered 2 lugs so as not to have to undo two hours work just to crimp Then they were all gathered together and screwed to the boat so as not to move and have a wee little dip to provide strain relief.Well maybe my grand kids can rewire the boat if it needs doing.

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    Originally posted by L.I. Chuck: Notice NASA specifically does NOT allow the crimping of tinned wire.
    That’s not the way I read it. What I read is “solder-tinned” wire is prohibited from crimping. That makes sense to me. ‘Solder-tinning’ is a process where you heat the conductor, either bare copper or tinned-copper, and apply solder to it. Now that the wire has solder on it, NASA prohibits the crimping of that wire. Any wire that has been removed from a soldered connection (heated and separated from the connector) is a solder-tinned wire.Electrical copper is soft and will flow when crimped. The application of solder prior to crimping inhibits the benefit of the copper’s deformation when a wire is crimped, yielding an inferior connection both mechanically and, thus potentially electrically as well. In the case of multi-strand wires like we use on boats, the application of the solder will prevent the individual conductors from moving and assuming the “U” shape of the connector’s barrel when crimped. It’s probably the worst of all possible connections...except maybe JB’s use of Krazy-glue to connect the cables to his battery. I solder-tinned the leads for my inverter/charger’s control panel. It was that or hunt down some tinned pin connectors. Each of those solder-tinned leads are plugged into a socket and held in place with a screw/clamp. Nothing is soldered, only solder-tinned.
    Originally posted by Ralph: Hey Rabbit! You having a good laugh or what?!
    Ralph, why bring me into this?!?!? Btw, the topic of this thread was originally about avoiding the potential liability (insurance) of not following industry standards for any electrical connection, whatever those stds may be. It had nothing to do with the pros and cons of cvs (crimp vs. solder). But there is some good stuff being posted here!

  8. #58
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    Because you started it! That's my take as well but I have an expert on it and hope to have a definitive answer to post next week. I contacted one of the application engineers from one of the big manufacturers to ask him why it was ok to crimp their individually tinned wire (their recommended practice). I don't think NASA had that sort of wire in mind when talking about crimping - it has no real use in space. They mention tinned wire along with solid conductors and component leads which seems to indicate a concern about crimping solid or near solid conductors, but I'm waiting for an explanation.We did have a discussion about crimp and solder and heat breaking the cold welds. He said, yes that is a concern but they had several more basic reasons why they don't recommend crimping and soldering which come down to a lack of proper soldering training among the average boater and they can cause more harm than good: 1) solder can wick up under the insulation causing stress points that may fracture later. 2) Cold solder joints are also of concern along with 3) the choice of solder with acid flux as opposed to rosin core solder. 4) The crimp of a good quality terminal will provide a more reliable joint and with ratcheting crimp tools a crimp can be made far more reliably then a solder joint.He said they run into those that want to do both (crimp and solder) on their terminals all the time and in some cases there is just no changing their mind.

  9. #59
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    I am finding that I must separate myself from the pack here. Ralph, you are doing a great job of providing information. But like I stated earlier, reports published by a manufacturer or distributor have one main goal, to sell product. Only when the source is independent is the report truly credible. As for the CVS debate, I still believe both have their place, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. While working on my boat today I had cause to remove the windshield wiper motor. The power wire stayed with the boat and the crimp spade terminal came down with the motor. Being a skilled tradesman, I have a keen sense of tension and resistance and there was none. The wire simply pulled out of the factory crimp. I also had to pull the tachometer out and while removing the wires from the back I looked at the terminals on the other instruments. What I saw was horrifying. 16ga wire going in to 10-12ga crimp terminals. And this is a SeaRay, so the quality is supposed to be top-notch, and none of the crimps were v-notch crimps. And the wires were not individually tinned. I repaired the wiper problem by crimping on a new terminal. A tin coated copper crimp-only connector.I crimp terminals on to make connections. I NEVER crimp and solder. I did that only once, and that was on a battery cable lug and only because that was the way I was instructed to do it by a superior, and much more experienced technician. If I am connecting two wires in a butt fashion I may and usually do solder the connection. If I am terminating a circuit/wire/connection (however you want to word it) I generally crimp. If the connection is external to the vehicle, I always seal the connection. This is a cost v benefit decision, and generally the crimp will provide adequate reliability and therefore being easier and quicker (read less expensive @ $60.00/hr) the cost v benefit is definitely in favor of the crimp.I have never tried to slander a crimp connection, I have simply tried to defend the solder connection as being equal or superior in reliability when properly executed. Based on my experience with both machine and hand crimped connections no one will ever convince me that crimped connections are superior to a properly soldered connection. This is based on my extensive experience. As for the ABYC standards, they do not prohibit solder, they simply state that solder can’t be the sole means of a mechanical connection. And anyone who would lay two wires side-by-side and then solder would be a fool. I always intertwine the wires and in someway mechanically connect them before soldering. And ABYC standards stipulate that the wires should be supported at no more than 18” intervals, so this would accommodate the flexing and stress fracturing of the solder joint. The issue raised about the difficulty of achieving a properly soldered joint is a valid issue. But a proper crimp is an art too. But when you can buy a crimping tool for <$5.00 at the hardware store and simply squeeze the handle, any moron can think he knows how to crimp, when in actuality his crimp is a poor connection too. So that argument is a wash.Based on everything you all have presented regarding standards and mandates, I think that my general practices would be found acceptable, and within established standards and practices of the industry. And when my reputation on the line with my customers, I will take no second chances, it will be done right, the first time. So I will assess the situation and choose the best method for the specific situation.Thank you all for your input on this topic.

  10. #60
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    The USCG pushed for and got a requirement for DSC with GPS interface on VHF radios. That was done for safety reasons only. The USCG seems to be implying approval of a soldered connection for safety related equipment.From the USCG website:Interconnection to a GPS Receiver ... Although NMEA has no standard for the type of connector used, many if not most DSC and GPS receiver manufactures use bar wire connections. These wires are simply connected between the radio and the GPS by twisting the wires (some people solder) and tape (some people use waterproof heat shrink tubing). Note also that NMEA 0183 and IEC 61162-1 data interfaces are identical.Personally, I differentiate between electrical and electronical. To me, a NMEA 0183 connection is electronical so soldering is ok for those connections. I still wouldn't do it only because it's not necessary and the time required to make a soldered connection, per David's excellent post above. Connecting any of the NEMA 0138 stuff has its own special considerations.

  11. #61
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    Would not a better way to approach this topic, seeing as it came about due to a possible 'Insurance Claim' nightmare, be to ask your insurance company, or all insurance companies/brokers/organisations, to clarify where they see are the soldering/crimping requirements for boats? Given that either soldering or crimping, when done properly seems to be acceptable to all on this forum. We can quote military/aviation/NASA/Plutonian etc. specs til the cows come home, but at the end of the day it is the Insurance Companies interpretation of the rules, not ours.

  12. #62
    Chief Petty Officer chuckz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    Just for clarification,1. I included the NASA spec as an independnent, scientific evaluation of crimping not as an example of boat wiring. Duh!2. Spec interpretation: I believe when NASA says "solder-tinned" this is referencing a type of wire and not a process. "Solder tinned" would be as opposed to tinning with some other type of metal or plating (i.e. gold plated wire).3. The issue of tinned wire was approached because many users of this board have specifically asked for tinned marine grade wire.4. I fully agree with David. My point being there is more than one school of thought.5. Crimping was invented to replace soldering and soldered connection was the benchmark used to evaluate a crimp. So, a properly soldered connection or a properly crimped connection is fine.6. Single crimp connectors are designed for soldering. If using double crimp marine grade, soldering is not necessary.7. The insurance company is out to make money. If they start looking at the terminations on your wiring, they've already decided to deny the claim.

  13. #63
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    ‘Solder-tinned’ wire is not the same as ‘tin-plated’ wire. ‘Solder-tinning’ and ‘solder-tinned’ are common expressions (respectively) used to describe the process or product of the process I mentioned above. Gold-plated wire that has solder applied to it is solder-tinned.Fwiw, tin is a soft metal that deforms quite nicely when crimped. Not necessarily so with solder. As I mentioned above, crimping solder-tinned wire has the potential to be a worst connection than either crimping, soldering, or crimping then soldering.

  14. #64
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    And just when you think you understand the rules -- the rules changed. Next year will see the removal of lead from solder. That is a boon for our company because we sell all kinds of soldering equipment and solder.Solder without lead has different temperature requirements to be able to use it.

  15. #65
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    Default Re: Why I Crimp And Never Solder

    Due to vibration in marine applications, a crimped termination will stand up to flexing when a soldered wire may break at the connection. Large conductors such as battery cables may withstand the vibration without failure. Solder is an alloy of tin and lead, when exposed to moisture, corrosion is likely. If you do solder, never use acid core fluxed solder on electrical connections.

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