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Author Topic: Battery Cables  (Read 3284 times)
Stan
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« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2006, 05:24:35 AM »

TomCat: I would be interested in knowing the reason for having both a crimped and soldered  terminal. I think 100% of off-the-shelf cables are crimped only. Even DC transmission lines have crimped only splices. A proper crimp requires expensive tooling and the knowledge of how to to it right. A correctly done solder connection is done in a solder pot and the method can be taught in ten minuites.  A large propane torch or oxy/acetylene torch and a container for the solder is all the equipment you need. If you use 95/5 solder, your starter will melt before the solder melts on overload.

Both methods provide a strong mechanical joint with low resistance and I can not think of any reason to use both.
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Jeremy
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« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2006, 06:55:38 AM »

I think there is a belief that solder 'fills the gaps' inside a crimped connection, and it may be that it is not a bad idea on 'amateur' crimps (done with hammers etc). On a professionally-done crimp many hundreds of tons of force (in PSI terms) is used, and the metals of the cable and terminal actually fuse together (as can be seen if you cut a proper crimp in half).

The rigging of sailing yachts and dinghies relies on crimped terminals, and believe me you soon learn the value of a 'proper' crimp, as opposed to ones where the owner thought he could do his own with DIY tools (the the latter case your mast falls down, which isn't nice).

The point regarding high-melt solders is well made

Jeremy
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« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2006, 08:36:36 AM »

Jeremy: Exactly the point I was making, so why waste your time with a mickey-mouse tool that you can't be sure it is doing the proper job.
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2006, 10:33:15 AM »

When the proper crimping tool is utilized the copper in the conductor and the copper in the lug actually "flows" into one solid chunk of copper. The only benefit of soldering this connection would be, in my opinion, to prevent external corrosion of the copper. It can not penetrate the connection.
Richard

Jeremy: Exactly the point I was making, so why waste your time with a mickey-mouse tool that you can't be sure it is doing the proper job.
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« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2006, 01:15:01 PM »

Oops...Excuse me. I was thinking out loud, and my statement was only for my own uses and applications.

Jay
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« Last Edit: October 27, 2006, 01:18:29 PM by TomCat » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2006, 01:33:30 PM »

The reply 'you don't need to' rings similar to the 'why not just stay in a hotel or buy a motorhome' responses from non-busnuts. Huh

Is there a reason to NOT properly solder a properly crimped joint?

While it may not theoretically improve the joint, will it hurt it?

Seems to me it is 'insurance' that the joint will last longer than I need it to.

kyle4501

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Dallas
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« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2006, 01:51:41 PM »

Here we go again with the crimp V solder debate.

Not quite as much fun as the proper oil debate, but interesting.

As I've stated before, and this is just a personal preference, I solder ALL connections.

I was taught to do this by an old Cubano that had been a mechanic for Batiste. (Whether or not that is true, is subject to debate, but he was a great mechanic and about the right age in 1977 when I knew him).

If you watch the news feeds that are about Cuba, those people are still running 40's, 50's and 60's vehicles. If that includes both crimping and soldering, Hey, it works for me!

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Chaz
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« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2006, 02:15:50 PM »

I thought I might weigh in on this one.
 I am with Dallas and Kyle. I buy solder-on ends for the battery connections and make the "eye" end. I use copper tubing and 1/8 copper strip and weld the two together to form whatever shape the end needs to be. Then I flux the end of the cable and tube, flow in the solder and while it's still hot hit the copper tube with a large center punch twice and then heat it a little more. I do believe I will have no problem with it. It takes very little time to solder and crimp them, so why not?
  Just my .02.
  Chaz
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2006, 04:59:56 PM »

Chaz, but you are not really crimping them. With your method, then they should definitely be soldered. If a proper crimping tool is used, the solder just covers the outside surface for a nice looking connection that will not corrode. I guarantee it does not help the connection.
Richard
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« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2006, 05:23:32 PM »

kyle4501:  As Richard so eloquently put it, you can't properly solder a properly crimped joint. If it is not a proper crimp then you will not have a proper solder joint either.  To get a proper solder joint, the properly fluxed cable must be inserted into the solder filled terminal while maintaining everything above the solder melting point. This is most easily done with the terminal immersed in a solder pot with enough volume to not lose its heat when the cable is inserted.
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« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2006, 07:56:00 PM »

David, you may have already solved this issue, but if you use the 8Ds, don't forget to seal and vent your new battery compartment. Lead acid batteries put off a good bit of noxious and explosive gasses when charging. And it'll corrode ferrous steel and aluminum right now.
This is moot if you use sealed batteries. Not sure about mixing types of batts (should this be considered)....Richard can shed some light on that subject.
I moved my cranking batteries to the engine room where the OTR AC was located. Two group 31s. Been in there for over two years without an issue. My 8Ds, which I use for house batteries, are almost 4 years old and there has never been any issues with them. They seem very resilent. I've heard that about 4 years is max...don't really know.
Cheers, JR


 
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Ace
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« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2006, 09:28:00 PM »

Here locally we have a trucks parts house and pretty well known in these parts and when i was buildingmy house bank, they were kind enough to loan me thier crimping too. A long handled pliers looking tool that actually crimpped the ends to the 0000 cable. They make up cables on site at thier business so it is used often. They never once advised me to solder them first so I didn't! After doing a few of them (on a budget and not being able to do all of them at this time) I had to return the tool before they closed. This tool appeared to only crimp a slot looking hole (not all the way thru of course) into the side of the end protruding the end into the stripped cable. Looked easy and was. A few days later, I borrowed the tool once again and finished up the job at hand so I could return thier tool on time. When I returned home I had found that I was NOT quite finished and without looking like the @$# that I am by going back and borrowing the crimper, I made my own, sort of! I took an old chisel and machined it down to fit the slot that was made by the tool. I then inserted the 0000 cable and commenced to hammer the chisel with a BFH into the side of the cable end. Trust me it worked! In fact, I had ONE cable that was done with the borrowed tool come apart (slightly loose) while re-configuring the set-up, but none with the hammer/chisel.
Is this right? in most professional eyes, probably not, and I know it's a little primitive but it worked for me and it's still working!  Wink

Ace
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Len Silva
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« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2006, 06:34:08 AM »

I've made up hundreds of crimped connections in the telephone industry from #8 to 750MCM.

Some considerations:

The tool must be certified for the brand of connector used. A T&B crimper will not make the proper (certified) crimp on a Burndy lug.  In this business, the tool embosses a number on the connector to assure the inspector that the proper die was used.

Always coat the ends of the cable with an anti-oxident (NO-OX).  Some connectors will have NO-OX in the barrel, we always coated the cable end anyway.

Hand crimpers are good up to 0000.  Larger that that require a hydraulic crimper.  It takes a lot of muscle to crimp the larger sizes by hand.

When properly done, the cable and the lug are fused together as one solid unit ( a gas tight connection as defined in my business).

Another hint; if you are making a connection very close to a bend, make the bend first before crimping.  If you put the lug on a straight cable and then bend it, the insulation will be pulled away from the lug.  We were only allowed 1/16" from the end of the lug to the insulation.

If you are using a hammer type crimper or anything less than a matched tool and lug then soldering would be a good idea.

FWIW

Len
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2006, 07:15:41 AM »

Ace, there is a tremendous difference between the action of the crimping tool and the brute action of a hammer and chisel.

The crimping tool completely surrounds the lug and puts tons of pressure around the circumference of the lug, squeezing the whole mass into a solid copper mass. There is enough pressure that the copper flows as if it has been heated in a furnace to melting temperature. The slot the tool makes is what exerts the tremendous amount of pressure on the rest of the lug being held by the crimping tool.

This is not to say that the hammer and chisel does not make an electrical connection, but it is nowhere as good as a proper crimp is.

The same for a soldered connection. It should be made with the connector and conductor fluxed with a non-acid flux and then soldered without crimping the lug with a hammer and chisel first. As Len so eloquently puts it, there is a right way and a wrong way. (and maybe a busnut way. LOL). Unless there is a tremendous overload put on the crimp, any way will work. It is the one time in a thousand where the extra capacity is needed that the connection will fail.

The NASA soldering school is probably the best school anywhere for teaching how to make proper connections that will never fail. I do not know if it is still in existance or not.
Richard




Here locally we have a trucks parts house and pretty well known in these parts and when i was buildingmy house bank, they were kind enough to loan me thier crimping too. A long handled pliers looking tool that actually crimpped the ends to the 0000 cable. They make up cables on site at thier business so it is used often. They never once advised me to solder them first so I didn't! After doing a few of them (on a budget and not being able to do all of them at this time) I had to return the tool before they closed. This tool appeared to only crimp a slot looking hole (not all the way thru of course) into the side of the end protruding the end into the stripped cable. Looked easy and was. A few days later, I borrowed the tool once again and finished up the job at hand so I could return thier tool on time. When I returned home I had found that I was NOT quite finished and without looking like the @$# that I am by going back and borrowing the crimper, I made my own, sort of! I took an old chisel and machined it down to fit the slot that was made by the tool. I then inserted the 0000 cable and commenced to hammer the chisel with a BFH into the side of the cable end. Trust me it worked! In fact, I had ONE cable that was done with the borrowed tool come apart (slightly loose) while re-configuring the set-up, but none with the hammer/chisel.
Is this right? in most professional eyes, probably not, and I know it's a little primitive but it worked for me and it's still working! Wink

Ace
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
Ace
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« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2006, 07:28:44 AM »

Richard I agree that the way that I did the two ends (one cable) by using ther hammer and chisel is not as good as using the crimping tool but keep in mind, I was trying to get a project done in time to leave and with time an essence because the loaner was always needed back at the business I borrowed it from, I felt I just couldn't go back and ask again after using it twice already. The one cable I made up by hand is still good and I always check IT and the rest of the cables that were crimped with the crimper after a round trip for looseness, fraying, corrosion, etc., and so far I'm still good to go! I even went one step further on my last outing and that was to check all the connections and cables with my digital temp gun to see if there was any heat build up and all were pretty equall. I would be alarmed if one or more were hotter than any others!

Yes I could correct it by going back NOW and asking to borrow the crimper but as always, if it isn't broke, don't F--- with it becuase just as soon as I start taking apart something to correct it, I usually end up with bigger problems! Happens all the time!  Undecided

Ace
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