Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

10 Posts
Sep 8, 2009 03:41 pm
Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

OK....I'm starting to wire the DC box BUT...the Outback breakers have nuts on them and it looks like I"ll either have to crimp on some kind of a connector that has a hole or do I solder the connector on?   If I solder what type of solder would be best?  IF I crimp I have not been able to find a crimping tool that looks like it can be used by anyone except for someone with the muscles of bodybuilder. Please point me in the right direction
Thanks in advance,
46 Posts
Sep 8, 2009 05:35 pm
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

Ann, I have heard that soldering will provide the best connection. This may also help you avoid doing curls.
Can't put the bare wire directly to the nuts? This would avoid both issues.
« Last Edit: Sep 8, 2009 05:38 pm by Michael Breckling »
10 Posts
Sep 8, 2009 06:01 pm
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

Thanks Michael for your response. I'm not sure about just wrapping the wire since it's such a large gauge (I'm planning on using #4 to a 60 amp breaker)  it would be hard to secure and could short out an adjacent breaker...maybe I"m using too big of a gauge?   I'm running 2 24 Volt Panels in series to a FlexMax's going to have to crank down to a 12 volt battery bank so I'm using the larger gauge to accommodate the increase in I messing up someplace that I could use a a smaller wire?
I appreciate the help.
97 Posts
Sep 8, 2009 10:50 pm
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

Hi Ann B.  I have done some custom cable crafting, and agree with Michael that soldering is the best electrical joint.  The local hardware store should have solder lugs for #4 since that is common for welding cable, and should also have some 60/40 lead/tin electrical solder as well.  If it is flux core, you don't need additional solder flux to do the job.......just a substantial soldering gun or small propane torch.  Jon C.
10 Posts
Sep 8, 2009 11:01 pm
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

Thanks Jon C and Michael for pointing me in the right direction!!!
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« Last Edit: Sep 8, 2009 11:23 pm by Ann Byers »
351 Posts
Sep 9, 2009 12:49 pm
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

While flux core solder will usually produce an adequate joint, I prefer solid solder. Applying liberal amounts of a non-acidic flux to the lug and wire before applying the heat and solder will consistently yield better results. Wire brushing of the inside of the lug before fluxing, is also a good idea.

578 Posts
Sep 10, 2009 10:10 am
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

what size breakers do you have to wire to?
what size conductors are you planning to use?
i have no beef with soldering, but i am notoriously lazy.  i prefer an appropriate listed lug, with appropriate crimper.

we already carry such things for 10awg, and i plan on adding more (larger awg solutions) to the site as a "make it do-able" project for just such an occasion.

if you answer the above questions, i can point you in the direction of appropriate ring terminals and perhaps crimpers.
i just wanted to point out that such things are certainly available, though somewhat costly for one-time usage.  given the choice i almost always choose crimping, and or purchase factory pre crimped cables for the bigger stuff.

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46 Posts
Sep 10, 2009 05:37 pm
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

Just wondering Ann, why #4 wire. Seems pretty large for a 24v system. Is the run to the breaker very long?
99 Posts
Sep 11, 2009 02:13 am
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

Soldering is messy and unnecessary for this I think.  Just get a crimper with long handles.  The extra leverage will ensure that not a lot of strength is needed to do the crimp.  Holding it at the very end of the handles gives the best leverage. 

Also, women have great strength in their legs -- try putting the crimper between your thighs, "Xenia Onatopp" style.

Alternatively, you can crimp via hammer -- just pound away at the connection point on top of a hard surface such as a brick (or anvil if available) until it has securely collapsed onto the wire.  Give it a good tug to be certain.
1 Posts
Jan 20, 2011 02:51 pm
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

I would definitely use ring or fork style wire connectors and then solder wire to these connectors with soldering iron.

« Last Edit: Jan 21, 2011 10:22 am by Sascha Deri »
39 Posts
Jan 23, 2011 02:56 am
Re: Help!!!! Wire crimping or soldering?

I'll put in my 2 cents and say I did it soldering, and never again. Now I use a hammer and hammer those lugs on. I have 6 gauge - 000 gauge in my system.  Now my situation is unique, being in a remote location overseas, with very humid conditions.  But when I used flux core solder with a butane torch (keep in mind I only have access to lower quality cables and probably solder too), I had these problems:  I was having to heat up those lugs & wires so long with the torch before the solder would flow that it degraded the copper in the wires (stranded wire), making them brittle (this after trying a monster soldering iron with no success on such large cable & lugs). Also, even after wire-brushing and wiping the finished product of flux residue, I had a huge amount of corrosion, to the point that my wires had reduced to white powder in a matter of months.  Crazy.  So I'm a convinced crimper.  You others are more experienced than me.  Maybe you can enlighten me of whatever I may have been doing wrong...

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