Made-up battery cables?

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
Visit site
To complete my electrical refit I need various cables around the batteries - some very chunky for starting, some less chunky (but still bigger than normal) for charging and for supply and return to the house panel. I could probably assemble these myself, but I understand the best techniques involve tools it's not worth buying for one job. Therefore I've measured all the runs and was thinking of buying them ready-made.

I had a vague idea that Merlin offered this service, but I can't find anything about it on their website (I carefully searched their retail "Power Store" side and had a slightly less thorough look at the main Merlin site).

Does anyone know an outfit that will make up cable assemblies for not too much more than the cost of the materials?

Cheers,

Pete
 

VicS

Well-known member
Joined
13 Jul 2002
Messages
48,317
Visit site
Merlin Powerstore have them ready made up. Various lengths, diameters and terminals

http://www.power-store.com/?id=53

Might also be worth checking Fureaux Riddall but i think they may not sell them ready made up.

Google for battery cables and I am sure you'll find plenty to chose from

Your local Auto-electrician is bound to be able to make them up to your exact requirements.

.
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
Visit site
Merlin Powerstore have them ready made up. Various lengths, diameters and terminals

Well, 4 lengths. My battery and engine compartments are quite tight, so I'd prefer to get the exact lengths I measured rather than have to cram the slack in somewhere. I used a stiff length of rope and laid it out as I would the cable. As an example, I need two 250mm sections - with Merlin parts I'd have to buy 450mm and somehow fit in the extra length. Not the neat install I have in mind.

I'm also not that keen on Merlin's prices - £17 for a 6-inch length seems excessive although I admit I haven't priced up the cable, terminals and heatshrink separately. Obviously I do expect to pay for the work of putting the terminals on, but not a huge amount. Rope suppliers will do splices for a few quid on the price of the rope, and that seems like significantly more work than to crimp a terminal and apply some heatshrink if you have the proper tools to hand.

Pete
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
Visit site
Your local Auto-electrician is bound to be able to make them up to your exact requirements.

Must admit, that hadn't occurred to me - thanks.

However, would they have tinned cable? Having removed the blackened, corroded copper from the previous installation, I'd prefer to use only tinned as I have done on everything downstream of the panel.

Pete
 

Gordonmc

Active member
Joined
19 Sep 2001
Messages
2,563
Location
Loch Riddon for Summer
Visit site
This is a job I have just completed.
For about £50 I bought a hydraulic lug crimper off Ebay and replaced all my heavy duty battery cables, including the main feeds to the engine. The benefit was being able to lay the runs and crimp the lugs in situ.
 

Trundlebug

Active member
Joined
4 Jan 2007
Messages
2,440
Location
River Trent
Visit site
No need to buy expensive crimping tools, or pay someone else to do it and risk getting the lengths wrong.

I rewired all my charging system myself, achieving excellent crimps just by using a small anvil, a lump hammer and blunt cold chisel.

Two crimps on each connector, gave as tight a crimp as you're ever likely to get using a fancy machine.

For the smaller wires you can buy suitable crimping tools from Maplins.

Total cost for new tools for me was, er, £0.
 

Bilgediver

Well-known member
Joined
6 Jun 2001
Messages
8,109
Location
Scotland
Visit site
To complete my electrical refit I need various cables around the batteries - some very chunky for starting, some less chunky (but still bigger than normal) for charging and for supply and return to the house panel. I could probably assemble these myself, but I understand the best techniques involve tools it's not worth buying for one job. Therefore I've measured all the runs and was thinking of buying them ready-made.

I had a vague idea that Merlin offered this service, but I can't find anything about it on their website (I carefully searched their retail "Power Store" side and had a slightly less thorough look at the main Merlin site).

Does anyone know an outfit that will make up cable assemblies for not too much more than the cost of the materials?

Cheers,

Pete


I took my cable and crimp fittings to an auto electrician and he did it for a couple of notes.
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
Visit site
If you have a vice you can shape and crimp even the largest terminals with ease.That's what I always do .

The hydraulic crimpers I've seen advertise a compression of 8 tons (for the smaller models). I can't imagine lifting something weighing 8 tons by turning the screw on my vice - actually I think there'd be a fair chance of breaking the vice. (It's a woodworking type with the screw at the bottom, so if you clamped the crimp in the top edge you'd have a lever as long as the face is high working to snap things.)

I'm sure less force will still clamp things in firmly, but I'd like to be sure I'm getting the proper gas-tight seal, the kind where you saw the joint in half and can't see where the terminal ends and the wire begins. That means a proper crimper, whether wielded by me or by someone else.

Frankly the saving of time in using the proper tool, or even more so in buying ready-made, has value to me since I'm staring down a looming launch date and would quite like to be able to motor away from the lift :)

Pete
 

30boat

N/A
Joined
26 Oct 2001
Messages
8,558
Location
Portugal
Visit site
The hydraulic crimpers I've seen advertise a compression of 8 tons (for the smaller models). I can't imagine lifting something weighing 8 tons by turning the screw on my vice - actually I think there'd be a fair chance of breaking the vice. (It's a woodworking type with the screw at the bottom, so if you clamped the crimp in the top edge you'd have a lever as long as the face is high working to snap things.)

I'm sure less force will still clamp things in firmly, but I'd like to be sure I'm getting the proper gas-tight seal, the kind where you saw the joint in half and can't see where the terminal ends and the wire begins. That means a proper crimper, whether wielded by me or by someone else.

Frankly the saving of time in using the proper tool, or even more so in buying ready-made, has value to me since I'm staring down a looming launch date and would quite like to be able to motor away from the lift :)

Pete

It depends on the vice of course.Mine is a hefty Record that is capable of several tons of pressure.I know this is controversial but I always solder the joints after crimping.
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
Visit site
It depends on the vice of course.Mine is a hefty Record that is capable of several tons of pressure.

Fair enough then. Mine is a Machine Mart Clarke cheapy that is fine for holding pieces of timber but not up to serious metalbashing.

I know this is controversial but I always solder the joints after crimping.

Sounds like you don't trust your crimping after all :D

Pete
 

Sandyman

Well-known member
Joined
2 Jun 2007
Messages
7,326
Visit site
Fair enough then. Mine is a Machine Mart Clarke cheapy that is fine for holding pieces of timber but not up to serious metalbashing.



Sounds like you don't trust your crimping after all :D

Pete

Hello Pete

For me it has always been about trusting the crimp itself. Having been an electrical
engineer all my life I still prefer to solder the connections with a blow-torch and then cover them with heat-sink. Its easy to do & gives a professional result everytime.
If your not happy about DIY then give me a call & I will be more than willing to do
them for you. (once I manage to arrange transport to Southampton)

Sandy
 

Maine Sail

New member
Joined
10 Dec 2009
Messages
117
Visit site
A proper crimp using the proper lug for the proper die will result in a tensile pull out force of over 1750 pounds for 2/0 wire. The US Military minimum spec for 2/0 wire is about 800 pounds but a proper lug crimper will most always exceed this. The use of an improper tool will most always never meet the minimum.

A proper lug crimp swages the lug to a smaller size from 360 degrees. A bench vise does not do this, it only "pinches" the lug and distorts its shape. Put your standing rigging in a vise and see how comfortable you feel. Roll swaging machines for standing rigging shrink the terminal 360 degrees around just as a proper battery lug crimper does from 360 degrees. They do not just squish the lug like a grilled cheese sandwich under a spatula..

I will only use color coded cast lugs and the proper crimp tool that is properly sized & matched for the lugs. Over crimping is just as bad as under crimping.

Beware of the eBay tools. I have seen many that claim lugs for 1/, 2/0 etc. that are very, very improperly sized. eBayer's will sell anything and make all kinds of claims. I saw one die on a yellow colored hydraulic crimper that was off by over 3mm from industry spec. Please be careful you are dealing with thousands of amps of current!

109704235.jpg


109735846.jpg
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
Visit site
For me it has always been about trusting the crimp itself. Having been an electrical
engineer all my life I still prefer to solder the connections with a blow-torch and then cover them with heat-sink. Its easy to do & gives a professional result everytime.

Thing about solder is the way it wicks back up the cable, making it rigid, and giving a sharp transition from rigid to flexible just right to set up metal fatigue if there's any movement. Where do cables soldered to PCBs inside equipment *always* break when you handle them too roughly? It's always just where the solder stops.

Admittedly I've never soldered cables in this sort of size and I suspect maybe the solder doesn't wick so far (or it's easier to avoid it), but it still seems like it doesn't do any good and can only potentially cause trouble. If a crimp is properly set there is no room between it and the wire for solder to go into, so what's it supposed to achieve?

I agree that heatshrink is a good way to make things look professional :)

Pete
 

30boat

N/A
Joined
26 Oct 2001
Messages
8,558
Location
Portugal
Visit site
A proper crimp using the proper lug for the proper die will result in a tensile pull out force of over 1750 pounds for 2/0 wire. The US Military minimum spec for 2/0 wire is about 800 pounds but a proper lug crimper will most always exceed this. The use of an improper tool will most always never meet the minimum.

A proper lug crimp swages the lug to a smaller size from 360 degrees. A bench vise does not do this, it only "pinches" the lug and distorts its shape. Put your standing rigging in a vise and see how comfortable you feel. Roll swaging machines for standing rigging shrink the terminal 360 degrees around just as a proper battery lug crimper does from 360 degrees. They do not just squish the lug like a grilled cheese sandwich under a spatula..

I will only use color coded cast lugs and the proper crimp tool that is properly sized & matched for the lugs. Over crimping is just as bad as under crimping.

Beware of the eBay tools. I have seen many that claim lugs for 1/, 2/0 etc. that are very, very improperly sized. eBayer's will sell anything and make all kinds of claims. I saw one die on a yellow colored hydraulic crimper that was off by over 3mm from industry spec. Please be careful you are dealing with thousands of amps of current!

109704235.jpg


109735846.jpg

Admitedly it would be nice to use the perfect tool for this sort of job but what I was saying is that in the absence of one it is still perfectly possible to do a good job with a good vice, solder and some heatshrink over the crimped terminal.Most of the time we're only talking of hundreds not thousands of amps.
 

Trundlebug

Active member
Joined
4 Jan 2007
Messages
2,440
Location
River Trent
Visit site
Admitedly it would be nice to use the perfect tool for this sort of job but what I was saying is that in the absence of one it is still perfectly possible to do a good job with a good vice, solder and some heatshrink over the crimped terminal.Most of the time we're only talking of hundreds not thousands of amps.

Agreed. Hundreds of amps, not thousands. It's not a substation!:eek:
 
Top