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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering what everyone preference is for splicing/joining wires. Typically I like to solder them, it just makes me feel better and more trusting in the connection. I used to use butt splice connectors before I knew how to solder. Tool accessory Tool Electrical supply Tool socket
 

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I like bullet connectors, you can crimp down on the insulation and have a good, covered connection between the wires

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Without a doubt, anytime and everytime that I can solder a splice, I'll solder it. You'll not make a better connection that will last longer than you do.......provided it's done correctly. Follow up with heat shrink tubing applied over the splice and you've got a winner. Sometimes though, the splice is located where it simply is almost impossible to solder it.
 

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I am not a huge fan of crimp and/or Posi-Lock Connectors; they are bulky, expensive, and do not hold up anywhere near as well as a soldered joint. I am of the "use as close to factory as possible" approach with soldered joints on areas that must be spiced. There are a number of places these days that sell factory style terminals and connectors at prices comparable to items found at the local hardware/electronic shop.


Here's a few shots of a recent speedometer harness "fix". The bare wires had crimp-on bullet-style connectors; easily removed with a tug from the needle nose ;)



One....Crimp and Solder:


Nine...Crimp and Solder:


Finished!


 

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Solder and heat shrink, and use of OEM connectors. Never had an electrical issue due to those types of connections.
 

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What do you solder with?

I have a cheap soldering iron, works for very once in awhile use. Doesn't make good contact, transfers heat slowly, kind of a pain to use. Are the more experienced splicers using mini torches? Better soldering irons? Is there a solder you prefer? Thanks.
 

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I got a cheap battery one. For few fixes its working well... Won't do a major project with it but work well for small wire like on bike. Getting the right size soldering help a lot, nothing worst than trying to melt soldering twice the size of the wire... The Shack have great stuff too for DIYer at home.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was using radio shack two temp solder station, mainly because I liked having the holder. I say was because last week the high temp stopped working. Tried to use the low temp and all it would do is heat up the solder enough to burn off the resin and could not tin the wires. The high temp worked great. Crappy thing is literally the night before it stopped working I was teaching my brother how to solder and gave him my extra solder pencil. Had to ask for it back so I could finish my project and fix non working iron.

I use a plug in one, no battery or butane....
 

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A couple of "secrets" for a good solder joint is as follows:
1. Make sure the splice is clean before you start....no oil/grease/etc.
2. Soldering gun/pencil that is heating up properly. From the time you turn it on/pull the trigger, you should be able to melt a dab of solder in about 4 or 5 seconds.
3. To solder the wire, put the tip of the soldering gun up against the BOTTOM of the wire and put a dab of solder there. The dab of solder will help transfer the heat to the wires.
4. With the soldering gun on the BOTTOM of the wire (heat rises) and the dab of solder there to help transfer the heat to the wires, place the end of the solder on the TOP of the wires/splice joint. When the wires reach a high enough temperature, THEY will melt the solder........not the soldering iron/gun/pencil.

This method assures you of not having a "cold" solder joint and will give you a soldered connection that will not fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A couple of "secrets" for a good solder joint is as follows:
1. Make sure the splice is clean before you start....no oil/grease/etc.
2. Soldering gun/pencil that is heating up properly. From the time you turn it on/pull the trigger, you should be able to melt a dab of solder in about 4 or 5 seconds.
3. To solder the wire, put the tip of the soldering gun up against the BOTTOM of the wire and put a dab of solder there. The dab of solder will help transfer the heat to the wires.
4. With the soldering gun on the BOTTOM of the wire (heat rises) and the dab of solder there to help transfer the heat to the wires, place the end of the solder on the TOP of the wires/splice joint. When the wires reach a high enough temperature, THEY will melt the solder........not the soldering iron/gun/pencil.

This method assures you of not having a "cold" solder joint and will give you a soldered connection that will not fail.
I second this method. And to add to it, you do each wire individually. This is called tinning the wire. The solder will actually melt and draw into the wire and create a coating. Then after the wires are all tinned, I put another dab of solder on the pencil just to transfer the heat again, and the two wires will heat up again and join into one soldered joint. Once you know how to do it properly, its really easy to do. The key is to have enough heat. If the pencil doesn't get hot enough its a real pain in the ass.

Also if you melt the solder to much it will go from a shinny look to some what of a dull look. This is usually when it seems most of the resin is burnt out. its hard to get a good clean connection. Better off cutting the wires and starting fresh.
 

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My uncle showed me how to solder bscknin the days. I remember him saying the wire need to melt the solder... not the gun.

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I am not a huge fan of crimp and/or Posi-Lock Connectors; they are bulky, expensive, and do not hold up anywhere near as well as a soldered joint. I am of the "use as close to factory as possible" approach with soldered joints on areas that must be spiced. There are a number of places these days that sell factory style terminals and connectors at prices comparable to items found at the local hardware/electronic shop.
"The Factory" uses,almost exclusively,crimp connections.These are as reliable as solder joints when performed correctly.However,doing crimp connections at home with cheap crimp tools and often the wrong size connector for the gauge of conductor,is why crimp connections are seen as unreliable.
Soldering has it's disadvantages as well.A solder joint is often,less tolerant of movement and more likely to fail mechanically - heatshrink helps as a stress reliever. Acid fluxes can cause corrosive failure.

I use crimp joints that have a minimal solder application to secure the joint.

But I only have 38 years in electronics industries to base this on.

btw. the crimps in skooter's post are very good.

As for soldering tools.I have expensive proffesional equipement,but I usually use a cheap butane powered iron for automotive work.They can supply the power needed for heavier gauge conductors but can be dialed back for light work.And you can fit a hot air tip for shrinking tubing or get an open flame for heating thread locked nuts for removal.
 

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"The Factory" uses,almost exclusively,crimp connections.These are as reliable as solder joints when performed correctly.However,doing crimp connections at home with cheap crimp tools and often the wrong size connector for the guage of conductor,is why crimp connections are seen as unreliable.
Soldering has it's disadvantages as well.A solder joint is often,less tolerant of movement and more likely to fail mechanically - heatshrink helps as a stress reliever. Acid fluxes can cause corrosive failure.

I use crimp joints that have a minimal solder application to secure the joint.

But I only have 38 years in electronics industries to base this on.
The factories use crimp connectors because it's much cheaper and a lot faster to do......saving on the cost of the production of the bike......and.......99.9% of the non electrical/electronics type folks don't know how to properly do a crimp connection. I've been a Journeyman Electrician myself for 34 years.
 

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"The Factory" uses,almost exclusively,crimp connections.These are as reliable as solder joints when performed correctly.However,doing crimp connections at home with cheap crimp tools and often the wrong size connector for the guage of conductor,is why crimp connections are seen as unreliable.
Soldering has it's disadvantages as well.A solder joint is often,less tolerant of movement and more likely to fail mechanically - heatshrink helps as a stress reliever. Acid fluxes can cause corrosive failure.

I use crimp joints that have a minimal solder application to secure the joint.

But I only have 38 years in electronics industries to base this on.
I should have been more clear; I meant the crimp style splice connectors as shown in the first thread:

Like this:


An
 

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A couple of "secrets" for a good solder joint is as follows:
1. Make sure the splice is clean before you start....no oil/grease/etc.
2. Soldering gun/pencil that is heating up properly. From the time you turn it on/pull the trigger, you should be able to melt a dab of solder in about 4 or 5 seconds.
3. To solder the wire, put the tip of the soldering gun up against the BOTTOM of the wire and put a dab of solder there. The dab of solder will help transfer the heat to the wires.
4. With the soldering gun on the BOTTOM of the wire (heat rises) and the dab of solder there to help transfer the heat to the wires, place the end of the solder on the TOP of the wires/splice joint. When the wires reach a high enough temperature, THEY will melt the solder........not the soldering iron/gun/pencil.

This method assures you of not having a "cold" solder joint and will give you a soldered connection that will not fail.
Convected heat rises.Conducted heat takes the shortest path regardless of orientation.
Convection is where heat is transfered to a free flowing fluid medium e.g. air or water.When a soldering iron tip is touching a work piece the heat is transfered by conduction.
 
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