Anderson Plugs - Crimping?

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 00:55
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Hi all, geez one month down already for 2010. Time flies thats for sure.

Anyway was wondering how you's all crimp the contacts on Anderson plugs, am very close to ordering all the bits i need for my fridge setup, but i dont have any large crimpers that could do the job.

Is there a way around it, without having to go see an auto sparkie, like using a vice or something? I have the normal ratchet crimpers, but somehow i dont think they could do it. Will be the 50 amp plugs.

Any ingenious ideas out there?

Cheers all
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Reply By: Roughasguts - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 01:04

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 01:04
Surely soldering would be better than crimping, a lot easier as well.
AnswerID: 402195

Follow Up By: The Boss - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 01:17

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 01:17
You know i just did a thorough search, and the results were very mixed. It seems soldering vs crimping is another touchy subject, so hope i havent opened another can of worms.

Im useless at soldering, but the search made it sound easy. $20 Butane torch, some solder and bingo. I just thought soldering was a thing of the past, and crimping was the better method.
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe F (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:23

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:23
G'day Everyone ~ Solderers, Crimpers, Chiselers and Ball bearing bashers !

Please include yourself, if you have another method of attatching wires to Andersen Plugs.

Simple answer to a much asked question, type in ~ www.andersenplug
~ in the Google seach site ~ scroll down the page and read what an industry "expert" does with the connection of wires into the Andersen Plug.

Cheers ;0)
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 16:59

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 16:59
No "industry expert" results appear that i can see .......

Andrew

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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 02:28

Monday, Feb 08, 2010 at 02:28
Joe, what is the answer to: "what an industry "expert" does with the connection of wires into the Andersen Plug" ???

Can you supply a direct link, as I'm getting lazy and have missed it too

Maîneÿ . . .
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Reply By: Roughasguts - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 01:26

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 01:26
Yeah it could open a can of worms ! a good solder job will keep the dirt and water out (great for the marine enviroment )

But I would rather have a crimp than a bad solder job.

But for a quick crimp you can use a cold chisel or punch! and a hammer of course.

Maybe you could do both.
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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 06:35

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 06:35
Make sure the cold chisel is a bit blunt though. LOL

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Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 06:47

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 06:47
I use the BBQ for andersen's.

Have the lead trimmed and ready to go, and some solder wound out ready to go.

Fire up (in my case) the wok burner, and hold the plug end in the flame for a while - using (in my case) fencing pliers.
Melt enough solder into the plug to nearly fill it, then jamb the lead in and hold steady for a little bit while the whole show goes off.

The residual heat in the plug and pliers is heaps to anneal the whole show nicely.

This method works well for most large diameter all metal lugs.
AnswerID: 402199

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 07:01

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 07:01
My advice - don't use solder if you can possibly avoid it. Keep asking around your mates and neighbours, someone will have crimp pliers.

KK
AnswerID: 402201

Follow Up By: Member - Nick - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 07:40

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 07:40
KK,
Why ?
A very qualified, long time and very respected auto electrician did my work in town, and he used solder, then filled the "holes" the wires went into after putting them together with Silastic to seal them.

I am interested in your reasons why not not to use solder - my man may be too old fashioned and out of touch with modern gear. Dunno.

Nick
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Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 07:53

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 07:53
Crimping may also put them out of shape enough so as not fit into the plastic connectors correctly.

Fred.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 08:33

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 08:33
Hi Nick,

Solder stiffens the multi strand conductor and vibration can work harden and break the wires just before they enter the lug. Soldering is old technology, crimping is the way to go. You don't find solder being used very often in any electrical situation these days.


Fred, if use the right tool you will not put any lug out of shape.


KK
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 09:25

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 09:25
Crimping will only provide a dependable connection if you use the correct crimping tool made specifically for the connector, and if it is used correctly. 90% of the time this is not the case for general work done outside a factory or proper workshop.

Soldering in post-manufacturing situations is generally much more reliable if the user has a little experience.

Crimping has become the norm for factory wiring because it is much cheaper and faster in a production environment, nuthin to do with reliability.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 11:01

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 11:01
Hi Boobook,

Proper crimping is far more reliable then soldering. I have heaps of experience with both in high & low current, low and extra low voltage situations. Believe me you don't really want to have a bad join burn up on you as it nearly always happens at the worst possible time and in the worst possible conditions :-))

KK
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Follow Up By: Member - mazcan - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:19

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:19
hi
i have anderson type crimping pliers
i notice- bfc- had some crimping pliers in their fishing section that looked the same as mine and a dam site cheaper than the pair i bought

i have crimped and soldered my wiring joints all size wire for 35 yrs and have never had one break off near the solder
and always get full power through the joint with no malfunctions the solder- imho -stops dirt and moisture getting into the joint and hence no corrosion either
the above works for me so despite some other opinions i will continue my method
i'm not saying others are wrong as if thats what they have experienced so be it
but if your not good at soldering well then that could well be a problem in itself
practise makes perfect
cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:37

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:37
KK,

"Proper crimping is far more reliable then soldering."

Yep that is true in many cases

As is

Proper soldering is far more reliable than most non factory crimped connections. Though if flexibility is a requirement then crimping has advantages

What I am trying to say is that they are both ok when applicable, AND most importantly they are both dodgy if not done properly, and not many people do either properly aftermarket.

"I have heaps of experience with both in high & low current, low and extra low voltage situations."

Yep me too. Got my degree in Electronics Engineering 30 something years ago.





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Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 09:03

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 09:03
I soldered mine, but Kiwi Kia has a good point about the wire being hardened through heat.

To solder, take the pin out out of the plug. I put a block of wood in the vice with a hole to hold the pin. Heated the pin with the soldering iron, then melted solder into the pin until it was half full. Tinned and heated the wire then pushed the wire into the molten solder while holding the soldering iron against the pin. Then let it cool.

Reckon I could do it again in the bush using a tent peg heated on the stove or in a fire. Melt the old solder out and start again if I had too. I always carry spare solder.

Not so sure about recrimping a plug in the bush though if a wire came loose. :o)
AnswerID: 402218

Reply By: glids - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 09:56

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 09:56
I soldered mine, but I keep the cable supported once it is installed so that the cable cannot flex, work-harden, and break the strands.

One advantage of soldering is that the size of the cable is not so important - you should be using large cable for the fridge wiring (eg 8 gauge B&S) - but the solder will 'fill' whatever gap is left in the lug hole.

If you crimp the lug, it is best to get a tight fit of cable in the hole before crimping, otherwise you may need to distort the lug too much to get adequate grip.

One method I have used successfully for crimping large lugs is to use the hardened steel ball from a ball bearing - I have a range if bearing balls and something around 8 to 10 mm is fine for the job. I support the lug in a semi-circular groove (half of a pipe clamp) and hold the ball over the spot with pliers or a bit of steel with a hole drilled in it and belt it with a hammer. Works fine.

Good luck.

glids
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 10:06

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 10:06
Soldered mine.....not concerned about wire break, in that the cable does not need to flex anywhere near the terminal. My trick was to heat the contacts up on a gas flame, half fill with resin solder, then poke in the prepared wire and blow the lot cool - a very strong and effective bond it would seem.
AnswerID: 402230

Reply By: trainslux - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 10:14

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 10:14
I solder mine.

fit plug into some wood with a hole drilled in it to hold the plug.
Using a butane burner from supercraeap, those blue pen sized ones that fill of the cig refill cans, heat, and fill with solder.
Plunge in wire, and whilst holding straight, wrap with wet flannel cloth to cool, so the solder does not wic too far up the wire, and cause a brittle point.
Filling, or almost filling the plug will give enough solder to give a good joint, without being starved.

Works well for me.

Trains
AnswerID: 402232

Reply By: Bearded Fish - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 11:39

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 11:39
I soldered mine,

The problem with solder if not done properly is when the flux travels ahead of the solder to clean the wire it can pass under the insulation.

If this happens the flux will corrode the wire and may alter the resistance.

Fridge problems etc, etc.
AnswerID: 402241

Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:36

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:36
The proper flux will not corode the wire.

Acid flux will.
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Follow Up By: Bearded Fish - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 15:17

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 15:17
Thats correct. Sorry I should have added that.
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 11:40

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 11:40
I strip off the end of the cable and bend back on itself so it is about the same thickness as the hole in the metal 'pin' then heat the cable tip area with a clean soldering iron so only the exposed cable is hot, melt the solder/flux so it melts into the cable.

Then put the metal 'pin' in a vice, cut off enough wire solder/flux to half fill when melted into the base of the 'pin' and heat till melted and push the cable into the 'pin' while solder in there is in liquid state, remember to keep cable in the centre of 'pin' and when cold insert into Anderson plug and bend both cables towards each other and 'attach' to avoid unnecessary movement.
Image Could Not Be FoundMaîneÿ . . .




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Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 12:02

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 12:02
Mainey....that's exactly how mine are/were done and look.
I also filled the void left at the back of the plug with silicon to keep the dirt out.

Fred.
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Follow Up By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 12:14

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 12:14
Totally agree, only way to go.
Baz
Go caravaning, life is so much shorter than death.

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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 12:26

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 12:26
Fred,
Yes, your silicon use is also a good idea, I will do it in future as it will also stabilise movement in the cables, thanks for your input :-)

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:37

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 14:37
Goes without saying but I'll say it anyway.
Make sure you use neutral cure silicon.
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Follow Up By: The Boss - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:26

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:26
Cheers Mainey, will follow those instructions i think.

Sounds easier then trying to crimp, and possibly stuff the whole show up.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 21:53

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 21:53
Mainey, just to clarify, are you saying that the cable insulation is inserted into the molten solder as well ??
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 22:06

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 22:06
No, I first strip off the insulation from the end of the cable, then heat the cable tip area, so only the exposed cable is soldered.

However, I do make sure the insulation is also inside the terminal, but the resin/solder is only about half way up the depth of the terminal.

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 23:53

Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 23:53
Have to make a new comment re silastic into the rear of the Anderson plug to keep the cable from flexing too much and causing problems.

I've now found it puts a lot of pressure on the pins too, they are very hard to slide in and it's even more difficult to separate the two Anderson plugs, would be ok if they were never separated, but I have to remove mine each time I charge the battery grrr.

Maîneÿ . . .
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Reply By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 15:39

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 15:39
When we fit Anderson plugs we always solder.

The lugs in Anderson plugs are not really design for crimping and most people run smaller wire then what the Anderson plug is meant to have.

When ever crimping ALWAYS use a proper radial crimper with correct sized dies, a radial crimper will make the cable to lug contact area more uniform, place the current load evenly and ensure the correct psi load to suit, any other method is hit and miss and aid int the crimp failing in the future.

When we solder them we use a resin core solder but first we coat the inside if the terminal and the copper wire with bakers fluid, we then fill the terminal up about 3/5 up with melted solder and then plunge the cable into the molten solder and wait util it sets.

We do not apply heat to the copper wire, only the terminal.

We them spray the terminal with electrical silicon grease to water proof the solder joint.

The heat from the solder will not have any impact on the strength or brittleness of the cable.

But bear in mind in some high vibration applications it is better to crimp terminals then solder.
AnswerID: 402292

Follow Up By: Peter Horne [Krakka] - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 16:45

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 16:45
Thats Exactly how mine were done in a professional workshop! hehe. Still going strong.

Peter
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Follow Up By: The Boss - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:24

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:24
Sounds good, i'll do solder i think.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 21:04

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 21:04
If you use resin core solder on the exposed folded tip of the cable it runs throughout the entire area and when it's pushed into the molten solder in the terminal it all bonds throughout everything, creating a solid join, the cable will be flexible, HOWEVER, the NEW idea of putting "neutral cure" silicon in the back of the plug to hold the cable firmly is brilliant, as I've stated I will always do it in future where cables can flex with the chance of any damage :-)

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 23:15

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 23:15
Peter....
Thank god it lasted until the warranty period had expired, did you take out the extender warranty?....it was only $650.00+GST for another 2 years.

Your lucky it hadn't broken down when your away, just imagine the afterhours call out fee.

It's like most things...use good equipment, parts and doing it right; should equal many happy years of use.

Too many people want the cheapest job....and they call it a bargain!

We get about 5 people a day phoning up with "just after a quote" we know within 1 minutes we are too dear but they don't want to listen why we are dearer...... suppose thats why some people drive a Toyota and others a Nissan! LOL

People are happy to pay 1/5 less and get 1/4 the job.



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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:11

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 17:11
Has anyone every seen an anderson plug with a broken cable due to flexing at the solder end point?

There's a lot of talk about this being the major issue between soldering (which i currently do btw) and the crimping concept yet i don't see many stories appearing of this being a reality. just how common is it?

Andrew
AnswerID: 402310

Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 21:19

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 21:19
Now we will see who can't use a soldering iron correctly, or who uses cheap elcrapo tradesmen to install their electronics for them - won't we ??


However, I've seen various cables come loose from crimped fittings :-(

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 23:00

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 23:00
If you do it right you will not break the cable, most people put to much heat and solder into cables and wiring or use thin cheap cable.

If done wrong the solder will run up the cable that in turn makes the cable inflexible.

We solder about 75% of all joins and joints.

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 23:40

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 23:40
I have found that too much heat is actually caused by too little a soldering iron. These elcheapo 20w irons might be ok for certain small tasks, however they tend to overheat the length of cable, usually causing the sheath to melt/deform.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 11:05

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 11:05
Forget using a soldering iron, the best way is with a flame.

Only heat the terminal and not the cable.

By using Bakers Fluid as a flux, the solder adheres well to the terminal and copper strands.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Feb 04, 2010 at 00:23

Thursday, Feb 04, 2010 at 00:23
I've done hundreds of solder connections to Anderson and similar plugs and never had a failure.

If solder is wicking along the cable, you're using an under-powered iron which heats the job so slowly that solder has time to wick far up the wire.
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 19:15

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 19:15
Easy way is do what I did Take it to a Sparky Ask nicely get ends crimped with proper crimper and give him $10 for the boys beer can
Worked for me in Geraldton

Guy said he was busy can I do it myself Sure and away we go.

Cheaper than buying a torch to do it as well

AnswerID: 402334

Reply By: Member - Geoff H (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 21:59

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 at 21:59
I bought some good quality crimping pliers on e-bay for $70 makes life very easy.

Regards
Geoff

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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 00:21

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 00:21
Unless you have the right materials, tools and skills, avoid soldering.

Unless you have the right materials, tools and skills, avoid crimping.
.
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 00:28

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 00:28
Crimping of commercial and industrial cables is very reliable because -

- the connectors are carefully chosen and controlled to match the wire
- the tools are specifically matched to the connector and the wire.
- the staff are carefully trained in the correct procedures
- there's regular quality control to ensure everything is working correctly.

Assuming that this reliability will be reproduced by squeezing some sort of connector with unknown pressure onto unknown wire is a flight of fancy.
AnswerID: 402400

Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 00:43

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 00:43
Mike,
yes, good point, maybe that's why people use a soldered connection ??

Maîneÿ . . .
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Reply By: The Boss - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 00:50

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 00:50
So i must add to this also, if i was to knock the cig plug end of the Waeco 12v cord and fit a 50A anderson plug, the 12v cable would surely be too thin to crimp and would need to solder it right?

So all in all, i am probably better off just getting a butane torch and doing as has been described my Mainey and others. Little bit of practice first maybe to get it right, and then should be easy enough hopefully?
AnswerID: 402405

Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 01:10

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 01:10
look at the photo I've posted above, check the skinny cable used in the anderson plug, I had to double the exposed end round itself to get a reasonable fit.
I then used black 'heatshrink' to give added protection to the (-) cable and red heatshrink on the (+) cable with waterproof tape at the end of the twin cable insulation to keep it in place.

It's only a 12v, 10ah battery running a 9 Watt fishfinder/gps and the cable was factory supplied with the unit.

Maîneÿ . . .
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Follow Up By: The Boss - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 01:56

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 01:56
Excellent, all problems solved for now. Cheers Mainey
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 15:53

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 15:53
Anderson also make a smaller style of their 50 amp plug....it's actually individual plugs (in black and red) that can be slid together and they work very well too. I think they are rated for 25 or 30 amps and they take a 6mm sq cable very neatly. These would be better for fridge connection in my opinion.

They have a specific name "Powerpole". I have about 10 of them in the shed that i haven't used yet.....

Have a look here: "Powerpole" by Anderson

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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Feb 04, 2010 at 00:26

Thursday, Feb 04, 2010 at 00:26
30 amp Red and Black Anderson Powerpoles are available from www.jaycar.com.au
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Reply By: Grizzle - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 11:50

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 11:50
I bought a good pair of electricians pliers that have the crimp section just under the hinge. Well worth the money and i have crimped the bigger anderson plugs with no hassle.

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AnswerID: 402442

Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 22:54

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2010 at 22:54
simple solution and one I have used for years.

Use a piece of electrical tape to hold a suitable size ball bearing in place and then slowly squeeze into shape in a set of steel jawed vice

any garage should be able to supply you with an old ball race you can extract a ball from...dont go too big or you will flatten the fitting and have trouble getting it into the plug

alternatively same method with tape but use one sharp blow with a hammer...less controlled for crimping but effective once you have done the first blow and you know how hard to hit it

suggest you dont solder for all the reasons given above on whty not.
Life is a journey, it is not how we fall down, it is how we get up.
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AnswerID: 402548

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Feb 04, 2010 at 00:27

Thursday, Feb 04, 2010 at 00:27
This is why I suggest people don't attempt crimping !!!
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 19:15

Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 19:15
I'm very happy with the way silastic holds the cables firm inside the anderson plugs, there is now zero/nil/no flex on the cable strands anywhere near the soldered connection which is a definite bonus.

Another terrific bonus with a soldered joint over crimped is the lug and cable can both be reused when you have to add more insulation & heatshrink, stated from personal experience :)

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Image Could Not Be FoundMaîneÿ . . .
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