Crimp on connector for power main

Jennifer G

Member
2015-08-31 2:31 pm
High, I don't know which crimp on connectors to buy for the power mains. I want to connect my Antek torrodial transformer to IEC AC power inlet and don't want to have to solder them onto the posts -- rather use slide ons.

Is there a particularly good brand and model/size I should get for this purpose? I guess I just need the metal part as I can use heat shrink tube over that?

I need a recommendation for accompanying crimp tool as well thanks! :)
 
These are known as 1/4" spade connectors.

They usually come with three colo(u)r coded insulated sleeves, red, blue and yellow. Each one for a different size of connecting wire. Red smallest.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SOLOOP-Assorted-Insulated-Electrical-Connector/dp/B017IQUJ54/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1461620168&sr=8-2&keywords=spade+crimp

This is a complete kit from Amazon. For small quantities try a local automotive parts store. they are widely used there.

Crimp tools can be expensive. The best use ratchet mechanisms to reduce the force required, but simple ones (just like a pair of pliers) work OK with practice.

Make a few test connections before going live, make sure the end of the insulation is also crimped and test each one by trying to pull it off.
 
The wires out of the transformer are most likely solids. Crimp connectors are meant for stranded wire. Solid wire and crimps do not offer long-term reliability. Use non-insulated connectors and solder after crimping and heatshrink after that.
The spades (also called Q or quick connects) also come in 1/8" and 3/16"sizes.
One of my favorite crimping tools is the Klein 1005.
I have seen many poor crimps, even done by professionals, I suggest, if you are new to it you google "crimping techniques". E
 
Standard IEC receptacles are all 1/4" Tab terminals and are readily available
almost anyway -- Hardware stores, home depot and Lowes
Otherwise this receptacles are just solder type

For the insulated the red is 18-22 Awg - Blue 14 and 16 Awg and the
yellow is 10 and 12 Awg
 

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For moderate currents I find the flag terminals made in taiwan & sold by Dorman to be adequate. For 20 amp currents Ideal, Panduit, 3M, Thomas & Betts, AMP brand definitely held up better. For 20 amp currents RadioShack brand flag terminals made in China definitely would burn out. I got a bargain on a hot rod because the ignition circuit kept burnng out with inferior RS terminals. T&B terminals fixed it and the previous owner tried to buy it back.
Klein & Ideal tools have produced better crimps than various import tools. Recently the GC tool sold at home stores has been lengthened to the same dimension as the pro tools. I haven't tried one.
 

ChuckORWC

Member
2014-11-15 1:12 am
Whatever crimp connectors you use, and whatever crimp tool, I recommend that you solder the connectors to the wires as well. This means you'll have to remove the plastic sleeves first. Just use shrink tubing to cover the entire connector.

Edit: Missed Mickeymoose's post... but I'd solder any crimp connector, regardless of the wire type.
 
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Whatever crimp connectors you use, and whatever crimp tool, I recommend that you solder the connectors to the wires as well. This means you'll have to remove the plastic sleeves first. Just use shrink tubing to cover the entire connector.

Edit: Missed Mickeymoose's post... but I'd solder any crimp connector, regardless of the wire type.

I worked for a power utility for 35 years and had extensive dealings with test equipment used for measuring the dc resistance of crimp connections on grounding jumpers for power lines. These jumpers are used as a safety ground for systems capable of 10's of thousands of amps short circuit current.Stranded copper wire in large gauge sizes and the connectors that go on the ends of these cables are crimped only. I think soldering a crimp connector that carries a few amps unnecessary.
 

infinia

Member
2005-05-15 9:51 am
SoCal
Whatever crimp connectors you use, and whatever crimp tool, I recommend that you solder the connectors to the wires as well. This means you'll have to remove the plastic sleeves first. Just use shrink tubing to cover the entire connector.

No & No
'very bad idea and the plastic shroud is for double insulation E.g equipment safety. You might mistakenly believe this to doubly good but please don't advise others. IDK why I keep having to squash this old wives tale, it's everywhere and wont die. I know you've never seen it done on new gear, so don't do it!


.Stranded copper wire in large gauge sizes and the connectors that go on the ends of these cables are crimped only.

this is correct
soldering after crimping actually worse and goes against all safety organizations. ( think about it, the heat from solder relieves the mechanical connection )
If you have the right tools /wire /connector barrel then crimping alone is far more reliable a connection than hand soldering.
 
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ChuckORWC

Member
2014-11-15 1:12 am
I stand corrected.

However, I in no way implied to leave the crimp connector without insulation; I recommended covering the entire connector with heat shrink tubing. This covers both the crimp barrel as well as the female socket. This assumes you're using connectors that don't already have insulation over the socket (which are often the only type you'll find at your local hardware store). Of course, one can put shrink tubing on a crimped connector with the plastic shroud as well, if you want to insulate the socket.

Also, the term "double insulation" refers to the system by which a product can be designed and built so as to not require a safety ground, and has nothing to do with the insulation on crimp connectors. Except for maybe the most advanced DIYers, that's not what we're doing here.
 

infinia

Member
2005-05-15 9:51 am
SoCal
I stand corrected.

However, I in no way implied to leave the crimp connector without insulation;.
I saw that, but isn't a problem if you stick to crimping using the correct parts.
but not all shrink wrap and any resultant creepage distance is not created equally. E.g. some SW products are UL/CSA recognized and some aren't. http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/1/78-8129-9330-7-22101.pdf
Also, the term "double insulation" refers to the system by which a product can be designed and built so as to not require a safety ground, and has nothing to do with the insulation on crimp connectors. Except for maybe the most advanced DIYers, that's not what we're doing here.

yes the shroud is part of the 1st stage of the insulation system, so don't modify it and youre golden.
really it's not a problem for DIY, as long as your not distributing product/s to or advising others. CYA :)
 
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Wow, what a wealth of information. Thanks much! :)

So I gather I'll get the klein crimping tool, watch some crimping videos, solder after crimping (after removing existing plastic shroud). Then I'll cover with 2 layers of heat shrink tubing , one heat shrink tube slightly longer than the one under it.
 

Sangram

Moderator
Paid Member
2002-09-25 11:01 am
India
Soldering after crimp is a terrible idea. Crimping 'cold welds' the two metals and the heat from soldering rapidly degrades the joint. For mains connection such failures can be fatal and are not recommended.

Normally, insulating sleeves with appropriate breakdown ratings are available for these kind of connectors. Heatshrink is not advisable, use of dedicated sleeves is usually the way to go. The usual insulation rating is 600V, which is satisfactory.

Here's one example: 2-520181-2 TE Connectivity AMP Connectors | Connectors, Interconnects | DigiKey

Here's a typical datasheet: https://www.waytekwire.com/datasheet/31512.pdf
 
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Soldering after crimp is a terrible idea. Crimping 'cold welds' the two metals and the heat from soldering rapidly degrades the joint. For mains connection such failures can be fatal and are not recommended.

Normally, insulating sleeves with appropriate breakdown ratings are available for these kind of connectors. Heatshrink is not advisable, use of dedicated sleeves is usually the way to go. The usual insulation rating is 600V, which is satisfactory.

Here's one example: 2-520181-2 TE Connectivity AMP Connectors | Connectors, Interconnects | DigiKey

Here's a typical datasheet: https://www.waytekwire.com/datasheet/31512.pdf

So buy these connectors and what crimp tool? No solder then at all and no heat shrink tubing? But what about the issue of the antec power supply being solid core wire.. I just read that needs to be soldering because the crimp is for stranded. Getting conflicting info here.. confused.

If I can't get this figured out I'll just probably do what I did in the past and solder the wires (stranded or not directly to the spade terminal and use heat shrinking tube.. I rather not do that because it ruins the spade terminal.
 

infinia

Member
2005-05-15 9:51 am
SoCal
But what about the issue of the antec power supply being solid core wire
I really doubt the primary lead outs on any AnTek are solid wire. This goes against any logic I can think of. Maybe the secondary might be and just for a larger currents on a non-standard product.
please verify stranded wire gauge by stripping the primary wire and report back.

the gauge range determines connector size/color and crimper setting that you use.
 

Sangram

Moderator
Paid Member
2002-09-25 11:01 am
India
Hi

Missed the solid core wire, those are not suitable for crimping, but also not suitable for mains connections normally (external connections).

I think the recommended fitment method of solid core to PCB would be screw terminal blocks. Soldering is usually not recommended for this type of wire because of the enormous bending stress and possible failure of soldering joints. I don't know why Antek would use that termination method, it's not a standard type of external termination (it as quite common in the 70s, but most know better). It is convenient for them though.
 

infinia

Member
2005-05-15 9:51 am
SoCal
flying leads using solid wire is a 'MickyMouse' idea:D
as is soldering over any good crimp connection.
I think these bad ideas come from the independent auto/boat repair folks, you know the same guys that scream at you for storing batteries on concrete floors.
 
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