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  #1  
Old 10-26-2005
optikal illushun's Avatar
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Power wire question

alright since i actually got a good response on my last post ill ask another one here.

in setting up ur systems and dealing with those screw down connections for an amp or fuse holder, how do u deal with it?

i was going to go over my stuff and solder the bare wire so its not one big fraying mess. i always wondered what to do for this type of situation. i was always told just to cut 1/2" off the end and twist then insert and screw down to tighten...but that seems half assed to me...

i figured soldering would yield a better connection...eh?
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2005
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I have always(6 years now) done it the first way mentioned. If that didnt work good enough the ppl who make the amps would have changed it by now.
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Old 10-26-2005
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soldering, eh? i guess i was to lazy initially to do it, lol
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2005
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lol sorry I misread the post. Im an idiot. I have always done the second. Just stick it and screw it...that doesnt sound right lol.
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2005
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there is really no need to solder at all...just test fit the bare portion of the wire into the plug until the insulation butts up against the socket. then screw it down...the connection should be good and secure..
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Old 10-26-2005
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im lost what are you asking again?
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2005
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He is asking if any extra prep needs to go into the connection of the power wire at the amp.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2005
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Your talking about the connections for speakers and such where you stick the wire in a hole and there is a set screw that holds it in place or something like that?

You can 'tin' the end of the stripped wire. This basicly means it has a light coating of solder on it which keeps the braid from fraying. This is a wire with the end tinned:


There is a good chance the terminal you are connecting to is not made of a material that solder will stick to even if you wanted to solder it right on.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2005
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1/0 wire sucks, its hard as crap to run and hard to twist too
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2005
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normally yeah, 0/1 can be a *****.. for our trucks tho its an easy run
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  #11  
Old 10-26-2005
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Take a crimp spade and crimp it on the wire and stick it on. It wont go anywhere and itll look nice
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2005
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nad if you are worried about oxidation at all just put some around the connection.
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2005
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Solder shouldn't be considered a conductive material (althought it is), it's main purpose is to hold a circuit in place. I ran 0/1 gauge wire and didn't solder anything on my main power leads (remote is another story however).

Tinning it looks nice, but I would always try to minimize any exposed metal. I only cut off enough of the jacket to get into the connector, terminal or crimp.
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  #14  
Old 10-27-2005
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ya i was wondering if theres a better way. tha bare wire jammed in there seems half assed ghetto rigged to me. oh well, i know solder isnt a conductive material, but i wasnt sure if there was any was to use of effectivly.
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  #15  
Old 10-27-2005
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Think of it this way, the less connections the better, so the less materials the better. A bad joint can actually cause RF interference. So yeah, just bare copper bolted to each amp's terminals is the best way to go.
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  #16  
Old 10-27-2005
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i agree, go bare wire like most said twist and stick it in snug and tighten it. if your afraid of it coming out..if you tighten it well and dont pull with all your might it wont come out...both my amps are mounted on my back wall so mine are kind of tight stretch plus they get a constant pull from gravity :P but ya ive done some light offroading and jumped my truck...nothing moves..besides you dont want all that tin and stuff screwin up ur amp
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  #17  
Old 10-27-2005
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ran 3 amps in my blazer, just twisted and screwed down..never one problem..does seem chinsy but if u look at the power wire screw like in my 1000 watt calrion it is by no means "small" lots of area is taken up by the screw for a good connection
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  #18  
Old 10-27-2005
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if you cut them evenly and tighten carefully it looks fine
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  #19  
Old 10-27-2005
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Do NOT completely fill stranded wire ends with solder, and then tighten down.

The reason is that they don't compress properly. If you want wire ends to not fray, you should just BARELY solder the end of the wire. If you completely "tin" the wire, here's what happens when you use it in a screw-down connection.

The solder and wire matrix will resist the force of the screw and you will think it's tight -- BUT, the solder will creep and deform and the wire will get loose over time. Eventually, if it's a high current connection, it can even heat up and possibly catch fire.

When I worked for the old Burroughs Corporation years ago we build mil-spec mainframes for the military. Wires which had been fully dipped that were intended to be put into screw-terminals (in some cases 1-0 wire or LARGER on the big power units) were rejected out of hand. Even smaller connections were to be tinned only on the tip.

Don't be fooled by the fact that you've done it and it's worked. It's a risky practice for any high power connection. If you go back and revisit wires you've fully tinned and filled with solder and then compressed in screw connections, you may find they can be tightened a surprising amount again after a time.

Leaving strands "free" allows virtually all the deformation of the wire to occur in the first compression/tightening of the screw terminal.

The only thing that makes it less of a problem is that some people take their connections apart and put them back together enough they never get that loose.

Anyway, tacking the strands is a GOOD idea, but not by completely filling the exposed stranded end with solder. FYI.

This also applies to crimp on connectors. Do not tin stranded wire before crimping.
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  #20  
Old 10-27-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optikal illushun
ya i was wondering if theres a better way. tha bare wire jammed in there seems half assed ghetto rigged to me. oh well, i know solder isnt a conductive material, but i wasnt sure if there was any was to use of effectivly.
Solder IS conductive, Kiel. Just more resistive than most of the metals it is used to connect, though not by a lot.
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  #21  
Old 10-28-2005
optikal illushun's Avatar
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thanx john, i can try to just solder the very tips of the wire together.
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  #22  
Old 10-28-2005
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That's tough on really heavy wires sometimes. We had "solder pots" for that sort of thing. It's a sort of "crock pot" full of molten solder. You dip the tip of the wire in flux, and then dip the tip in the pot. That's how it's done in most production environments.

What you can do, if you flow too much in, is cut the wire back to where the tip is now just only soldered, and strip the wire back again. I've done that. It's a good idea to leave some "slack and service loop" hidden somewhere so you should almost always have wires that are a little longer than needed, and this won't be a problem if you have to cut back a bit.
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  #23  
Old 10-28-2005
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How bout some 4% silver solder, shouldn't have too much of a resistive problem with that.

Have you seen the new Lightning Audio SQ square cable?? Imagine trying to shove a square 1/0 cable into a round connection and put a set screw in it...HA!! good luck.
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  #24  
Old 10-28-2005
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Resistance is not the issue I was addressing. Conventional solder, properly used, is no problem. However, the compression issue I talked about apples to ALL solders.

Silver is added to solder to make it bind to certain materials better, and for hardness when solidified. It still creeps under compression, though.

lol! Don't they have intellegence tests where they look to see if you try to put the square peg in the round hole?...
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