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Butt Connectors or Solder?


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switch_hitter 
Copper - Posts: 151
Copper spacespace
Joined: August 03, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: August 17, 2004 at 2:29 PM / IP Logged  
I use butt connectors most of the time..from my experience, as long as you use a good crimping tool, wire and know what your doing that can be almost as effective as soldering.....of course not taking anything from soldering. Another thing i do its wire tie all the wires real neat and tight so keep any perspective pressure off the connections.
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atwageman 
Member - Posts: 43
Member spacespace
Joined: January 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: August 20, 2004 at 12:21 PM / IP Logged  
I mainly use solder and heat shrink.  If I do use butt connectors I use heat shrink over them as well to provide some strain relief and moisture proofing.  Also using a good crimper made for what you are crimping (insulated or uninsulated) helps.  Stay away from the $5.00 crimper special you find at autozone, etc.
Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
vdubmk4 
Copper - Posts: 175
Copper spacespace
Joined: August 04, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: August 20, 2004 at 2:13 PM / IP Logged  
SOLDER, that way you will have the best connection there is and then use heat shrink to cover or if you must then use electrcal tape. Butt connectors can come disengaged and half the time not all the wire is exsposed to the clamp good enough. Solder you can't go wrong, well unless you suck at soldering, Butt Connectors or Solder? - Page 2 -- posted image..
Fortune: You will continue to take chances, and be glad you did.
switch_hitter 
Copper - Posts: 151
Copper spacespace
Joined: August 03, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: August 23, 2004 at 8:17 PM / IP Logged  

I use bell caps, all of my installs are clean, wires tie wrapped, and like atwageman said, use quality crimpers..and you will be good to go....

2 Memphis HPO 12s
1 Memphis 1000D
2 Memphis 8s
1 Memphis MC200
4 Memphis 3way 6 1/2s
1 Memphis MC3004
4 Memphis Tweeters
1 Memphis 3-way electronic crossover
2 Memphis 5 1/4
2 Memphis 4s
chasesaccessori 
Copper - Posts: 198
Copper spacespace
Joined: August 22, 2002
Location: United States
Posted: August 24, 2004 at 1:14 PM / IP Logged  
I have never ever had a problem with a crimp cap or butt connector. Like others have said, if you twist the wires good and use a real good quality crip tool you'll have no problems. I also neatly bundle wires together and tie them up.
(owner/installer)
Chase's Accessories
Ridgecrest, CA
in business since 92
dpaton 
Copper - Posts: 141
Copper spacespace
Joined: July 19, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: August 25, 2004 at 9:48 PM / IP Logged  
hotwire77 wrote:

 a crimped connection is never as reliable as a clean solder joint

That's not really true. There's a reason that the military uses crimped terminations for nearly all of the connections in the F-16. Properly done, a crimp forms a cold weld, where the pressure of the crimp actually forces a very small, but extremely important layer of each metal to turn into an alloy of the two metals. Good crimps are gas-tight, which means that the wire will never ever oxidize in the crimp. Finally, in a good crimp, no solder wicks up into the wire and makes it more brittle. That's also why crimps are preferred for the multipin connectors that touring sound companies use. The're much more reliable when used in connections that take a hard beating.
That said, making perfect crimps takes the right tool, the right jig, the right crimp connector, and a buttload of experience (for a high yield anyway). I've done some mil-spec crimping and it's a completely different animal from the ultra-crappy red-blue-yellow crimps and that stupid GB tool you get at your local Home Depot/Lowes. It requires a connector sized almost exactly to the wire used (or vice versa), a crimp tool designed for that exact connector, and able to provide the proper amount of compression in the right places (ie, a die matched to the connector AND the wire size) and a jig to hold the connector, wire, and crimp tool in the proper relationship to each other. Machines do it best, because they do it the most reliably. It's pretty easy to make one good crimp, but you usually have to do a dozen or two to get that one good one.
Soldering is widely accepted as better because it is supremely easier and is successful much more often in the hands of beginners and professionals alike. That little blob of liquid Sn/Pb covers a multitude of sins.
-dave
This is not a sig. This is a duck. Quack.
mobilevt 
Copper - Posts: 73
Copper spaceThis member has made a donation to the12volt.com. Click here for more info.spacespace
Joined: October 29, 2003
Location: Washington, United States
Posted: August 26, 2004 at 6:15 PM / IP Logged  

In the Emergency Vehicle business, it is critical to ensure that connections are done correctly.  Having a bad connection can cause a death of an officer due to lighting malfunction in a high-speed chase, a radio going dead in a officer down situation, the shotgun lock not operating when the button is pressed, etc...

I use BOTH crimping and soldering.  With audio equipments like intercom systems in firetrucks where 2-way radio are infused with other equipments, etc... I use solder mainly for two reasons...  the wires are too small for butt connections and they make good consistent, clean audio than butt connections.  I don't use standard heat shrink tubing, I use glue lined heat shrink tubing.

With crimp connections, I use mostly molex connections to enable servicing of equipments, harnesses, etc.  The rest I use standard terminals.  Nowhere do I make connections that also serve to support the wire.  I use proper sized wire ties, loom, wiring, and serviceability in the equipment with service loops.

I ground sensitive equipment direct to the battery and have a common ground point, I fuse as close as possible to the power source. 

I never use wire nuts (Nuts!), caps, crimp-overs, or T taps.

Sean - EVConcepts

Emergency Vehicle Technician
Got Freedom? Thank a vet!
flynntech 
Copper - Posts: 275
Copper spacespace
Joined: April 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: August 30, 2004 at 10:02 PM / IP Logged  

That is interesting, I was in the military, but I did not know that. I didn't work on F-16s though, so I wouldn't have known anyways!

I agree because CAT-5 and punch-down terminations are gas tight and perfectly reliable. I've done about enough of those to memorize A & B connection color codes and then forget it all over agian.

I just prefer to solder in cars because there is pretty much nothing that can go wrong with it. I'm sure that veteran installers can make perfect crimps like it is nobody's business. I've seen enough 'bad crimps' in my time from both novice and pro installs to be convinced that crimping should be banned from mobile electronics altogether....unless it is soldered too.

I'll throw a crimp in there here or there, but I've been soldering all of my systems since the beginning and I don't plan on stopping now.

I learned soldering in high school and one more class in college, I actually learned more in 3 weeks, than my entire time in HS.

One interesting fact is that NASA requires all of thier connections to be soldered. Since none of thier problems have been from connection problems, I assume this is a good thing. Go NASA!

atwageman 
Member - Posts: 43
Member spacespace
Joined: January 17, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: August 31, 2004 at 1:57 AM / IP Logged  
Yea NASA knows best most of the time.  They don't use wire strippers to strip their wires either.  They use a heat type stipper that burns the insulation off the wire.  That insures no nicks in the wire itself.
Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
Asmodeus 
Silver - Posts: 393
Silver spacespace
Joined: September 02, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: September 02, 2004 at 10:23 PM / IP Logged  

I prefer to use solder when I have the time..But most of the time in my shop the kiddies want their boom boom and they want it NOW...If you have a good set of crimpers and buy good butts, and dont just slap the wire into the connector it shouldnt (under normal circumstances) Falter...Solder and Shrink tube are definatly better...

I just butt them and then Form the harness into a nice tight wad straight wad O Wires then about 2 Zip Ties and I'm done...

I have done this for about 5 - 6 Yrs now and have never had a single connection (To My Knowlege) Falter....

Butt Connectors or Solder? - Page 2 -- posted image.
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