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Old January 10th, 2014   #1
PaulRB
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Default Power distribution--Tinning the wires

Are you guys tinning the wire end for the screw type wire clamp on the power distribution blocks?

Paul
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Old January 10th, 2014   #2
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Default Re: Power distribution--Tinning the wires

No, never have but probably should, why do you ask?
Actually I'll expand a little on that, I have always ensured the correct amount of wire is stripped and well twisted so there is no shabby dangly loose ends floating around.
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Old January 10th, 2014   #3
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Default Re: Power distribution--Tinning the wires

I'm putting a Fuzeblock. It uses screw type wire clamps.

Plan A was two Blue Sea's, one hot one switched.
Not enough room in the ST tail for two.
Plan B one Blue Sea and one Fuzeblock.
Run the big ticket stuff on the Blue Sea as it's 30 A per circuit.
Run the electronic gear, GPS,Cruise, etc. on the Fuzeblock as it is 10 A limited but has a on-board relay so I can run both hot & cold on one box.
Small, compact, nicely done, designed by a friend that left us too soon.

Paul
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Old January 10th, 2014   #4
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Default Re: Power distribution--Tinning the wires

The expert for everything and everybody says this:

"Wires must never be tinned with solder prior to installation in a screw terminal, since the soft metal will cold flow, resulting in a loose connection and possible fire hazard".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screw_terminal

So why am I sitting here and not in the garage installing electrical devices.
63° today, 64° tomorrow, 69° Sunday. Looks like ride time.

Paul
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Old January 11th, 2014   #5
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Default Re: Power distribution--Tinning the wires

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Originally Posted by PaulRB View Post
"Wires must never be tinned with solder prior to installation in a screw terminal, since the soft metal will cold flow, resulting in a loose connection and possible fire hazard".

Interesting. Make sense but nothing I've ever thought about. This might be an important little factoid for home building where connections are behind walls and thus can't be checked periodically.

As to tinning, I always use crimp on terminals with one exception... Powerlet plugs. I always tin the wire ends before screwing them down because of the thickness and multi strand nature of the wire I normally use with these plugs. Come to think of it, I had a wire come loose once. Cold creep could well have been the cause but just as likely I didn't cinch it down enough.
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Old January 11th, 2014   #6
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Default Re: Power distribution--Tinning the wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRB View Post
The expert for everything and everybody says this:

"Wires must never be tinned with solder prior to installation in a screw terminal, since the soft metal will cold flow, resulting in a loose connection and possible fire hazard".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screw_terminal

So why am I sitting here and not in the garage installing electrical devices.
63° today, 64° tomorrow, 69° Sunday. Looks like ride time.

Paul
The Wiki stuff seems to be aimed at AC house wiring, not DC automotive wiring. One of the best features of '60,s era Volvos, was their heavy gauge tinned wires, in screw down connectors.
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Old January 11th, 2014   #7
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Default Re: Power distribution--Tinning the wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRB View Post
I'm putting a Fuzeblock. It uses screw type wire clamps.

Plan A was two Blue Sea's, one hot one switched.
Not enough room in the ST tail for two.
Plan B one Blue Sea and one Fuzeblock.
Run the big ticket stuff on the Blue Sea as it's 30 A per circuit.
Run the electronic gear, GPS,Cruise, etc. on the Fuzeblock as it is 10 A limited but has a on-board relay so I can run both hot & cold on one box.
Small, compact, nicely done, designed by a friend that left us too soon.

Paul
I have the Blue Sea installed under the seat and a Fuzeblock in the wings for a few years. I never got around to installing it.
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Old January 11th, 2014   #8
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Default Re: Power distribution--Tinning the wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by ligito View Post
I have the Blue Sea installed under the seat and a Fuzeblock in the wings for a few years. I never got around to installing it.

If the Blue Sea does what you need stay with it.
In my opinion ring terminals are superior but spade terminals in the tight confines of the tail are going to be the way to go.
The limited room in the tail makes for a tight install of two fuse blocks.
The screw type wire holders are small and not easy to work with making the wiggle room just fitting the two difficult. Screw holders raise the difficult level substantially.
I like the Fuzeblock ability to use both switched and constant power in one but the 10amp limitation made for some difficult choices in a already wired system.

The bottom line is I have too much crap wired up even after two days of removing unused wiring. I need a more robust Fuzeblock or two smaller Blue Sea's. The search continues.


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Old January 12th, 2014   #9
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Default Re: Power distribution--Tinning the wires

I have worked for 34 years as a NASA certified assembler for all things electrical. Circuit boards. Wiring. Soldering.

In the past they said heavy on the solder. Then they said light on the solder. In the past they said crimped connections are a no no. Then they said crimped connections are superior to soldered ones.

Before we did it in 1996 they said plastic bodied IC parts wont stand the delta T of space conditions. You have to have ceramic bodied parts. We built the first solid state data recorder using half plastic bodied parts. It was for the EOS 1 land sat. A $15 million job. It worked fine until it was de orbited.

Oh and on that job I used a philips screwdriver to swedge in place the 23 terminals each of the hundred odd memory boards had. They are soldered after swedgeing.

Oh and the NASA referee watching us work said I could do it.

Basically NASA can break any of their rules they want to.

I DO know if you tinned a wire that will have a terminal crimped to it, that will make it so it pulls off more easily. Doesnt mean you cant do it.

It makes sense to tin wires before clamping them in a screw type terminal block.
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Old January 12th, 2014   #10
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Default Re: Power distribution--Tinning the wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by echo View Post
It makes sense to tin wires before clamping them in a screw type terminal block.
Why? Having read the cold flow bit, I think the softer the metal the more likelihood of gaps arising in something that gets hot then cold repeatedly, hence shrinking and expanding and therefore more chance to cause loose connections. IMHO.
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