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Old 08-30-2010, 08:44 AM
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Making up your own cables is a real good idea. Not only will it cost less, but they will be better than most anything offered at the local parts store. Marine grade cables are also good- but pricey.

Get the cable terminals at the same place you get your cable, they aren't available just any-ol'-where. You might even ask if they have a hydraulic crimper w/the correct die size that you could get them to use before you solder the ends as a final coup de grāce.

Regarding terminal crimping vs. soldering (or both), THIS is just one of many discussion on the subject.

Personally, I tend to crimp then solder whenever possible. But that said, a PROPER crimp- done w/a quality tool, to the correct pressure and using good terminals, AND having the insulation stripped correctly so as to not weaken any strands- is a good connection, period- and needs nothing else except in special circumstances.

One thing that's often done, is either no tinning is done, or the wire is OVER tinned. This is where the wire wicks up the solder past the end that will be in contact w/the terminal. Any vibration or frequent movement of the wire can easily fatigue the copper, causing a premature failure.

Another problem can come w/crimping a tinned wire then re-soldering the terminal. This can actually loosen the mechanical (crimped) connection when the solder melts the second time, causing the wires to "relax" into the terminal w/less compression.

I have always crimped, then soldered. And I use shrink wrap. Not heated w/a match or cigarette lighter- but w/a hot air gun.
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