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Old 7th March 2014, 04:31 PM   #1
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Location: Tampa, Florida
Default Silly Question about Tape.

Over a lifetime, it has seemed to me that the quality of adhesives on most tapes you buy has gone way down the toilet! It used to be that I could make a project and simply use some PVC tape to cover thing like soldered wire connections, exposed contacts, or maybe the terminals on a solder tab based ni-cad or other product. It seems that at one time I could look at those taped items years later and they'd look about like I left them. I even remember having to get a straight razor to help me quickly undo some taped connections to change something.

Well those days seem to be gone! Wrap a connection in most PVC tapes these days and you can be sure that over the course of months it will all unravel on its own, leaving sticky-gooey residue that once was the tape adhesive. Ditto apparently for Duct tape (at least the kind you usually find at Walmart).

So are there are some better tape alternatives? I already know about crimp fittings and heat shrink. But sometimes there still are situations where tape would really be a good choice, if only I could find some with some longevity!insulating and p
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Old 7th March 2014, 05:56 PM   #2
glen65 is offline glen65  United States
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Location: Richland County Ohio
I don't recommend using tape whenever its possible to use a wire connector.
Especially with the different choices now available. As far as tape is concerned,
brand can make a difference and also how it's applied. The only kind I'll even look
at is Scotch brand, either super 33 or 88. Super 88 is just a little thicker than the other.
When applying it don't put too much tension on it when wrapping it. Also don't stretch
to break it, use scissors or a knife. When you get down to the last couple of turns, do
not to stretch the tape at all. That's because the vinyl has a memory and will try to
pull itself back to the original length.

There's also the option of liquid electrical tape which bonds right to the joint.
But I have little experience with it, to know whether it would fit your application.

Hope this helps.
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Old 7th March 2014, 07:18 PM   #3
AuroraB is online now AuroraB  Norway
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Location: Norway, -north of the moral circle..
I'llsecond Scotch 33..... We use a fair bit of ot at work, and I've yet to find a better version..
While the Lie leapt from Bagdad to Constantinopel, the Truth was still looking for it's sandals!
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Old 7th March 2014, 07:23 PM   #4
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Location: Near Vancouver
+2, 3M is the best at adhesives.
planet10 needs your help:
Let's help Ruth and Dave
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Old 7th March 2014, 10:57 PM   #5
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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I also use only Scotch 88. I also use it as seldom as possible. Inside an amp, if I have to tape off a wire, I prefer to solder the wire to an unused terminal on a strip, or put a crimp splice on the wire end. Even the best tape can peel off.

Black electrical tape like the 88 does need to be stretched though. The glue on them is not meant to work alone. YOu stretch the tape around the joint, then when you finish it tugs at itself keeping taut. The taper thus grips itself.
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Old 8th March 2014, 01:19 AM   #6
ArtG is offline ArtG  United States
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Iíve used Liquid Tape on low voltage circuits, and it does come in ďhandyĒ from time to time. The drawback that Iíve found, is relatively short shelf life. After a year or so it starts to ďset-upĒ even in a tightly closed bottle and becomes unusable after a couple years.

Another possibility is Self-Fusing Silicone Rubber electrical tape. Itís non-sticky but adheres to itself, and after a few hours time, itís impossible to separate layers. It seems to melt into a ďglobĒ and removal requires a knife. Itís recommend where moisture may be a problem, and itís available from 3M and other suppliers.
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Old 8th March 2014, 12:36 PM   #7
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Location: Tampa, Florida
Thanks Guys! I'll definitely look into the scotch-33. I think I "mostly" try to avoid tape too. If its a floating wire connection I'll usually solder and cover with heatshrink, and ditto for places where wires are soldered to switches or connectors, in cases where wiring is tight, or I want some extra strain relief. If its a temporary test circuit I may use tape to make modifications easier. But probably the battery case I mentioned is where I'm finding myself resorting to tape more. I often incorporate rechargeable cells into products/projects, and many of the best choices come with solder tabs. So it seems natural to want to solder a wire to the end, then tape over it and onto the cell, and then just wrap a second piece of tape around that.

BUT... I must admit... this is another case where I've completely neglected BRAND.
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Old 11th March 2014, 08:42 PM   #8
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I too try to avoid using tape on electrical connections, but sometimes it's the best way, especially if it's a temporary connection. If I'm looking for a permanent tape-job, I usually put a nylon wire tie around the tape to hold it in place.
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Old 15th March 2014, 11:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Peter Pan View Post
So are there are some better tape alternatives? I already know about crimp fittings and heat shrink. But sometimes there still are situations where tape would really be a good choice, if only I could find some with some longevity!insulating and p
Hot glue.

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