One of the links that I just loved is from an author who goes by the handle “mainecrusing”. He has numerous “HowTo” pages here. There are lots of photos for each job and I have certainly found them very helpful – check out the one on crimping tools for example.
…”In this photo I have lined up some of my wire crimper’s. The one on the far left IS NOT A CRIMPER! I only say this because I have witnessed people putting together marine terminations with a pair of PLIERS!!
The next crimper, the one with the yellow handles, is a cheap hardware store quality crimper and should only ever be used in an absolute emergency.
The middle crimper is a decent quality Klein crimper though it’s not really well suited for much other than crimping non-insulated terminals. The fourth crimper is a good quality crimper, made by Ancor Products, and designed specifically for crimping marine or aviation grade heat shrink terminations. The jaws of this crimper are precision machined, and wide enough in cross section, to produce an excellent crimp. This crimper is also of the ratcheting type and will not release until a proper crimp has been made. The final crimper shown is another ratcheting type crimper but this one, set up with the jaws shown, is designed for insulated terminals. ….”
Mainecrusing also has a YouTube video channel although that appears to be of less help since he seems averse to actually speaking. He is obviously quite a guy – this link shows him replacing a diesel engine on his yacht – single handed!
On a related note to the “howto” of crimping is the issue of keeping joints clean and free of corrosion – perhaps one of the hundreds of connections that you didn’t do or that some “professional” did when the installed your chart plotter or radar …grrrr!
This is a list of techniques and products that you might consider:
- Tin the wire – if you can access it and have enough spare wire to play with
- Coat the joint with Vaseline or petroleum jelly – after cleaning the corrosion off with emery paper
- Spray the joint with Conformal Coating – again, after cleaning if possible
Or use one of the combination grease + conductive materials type pastes :-
Finally there are many obvious places to go to get electrical supplies – and many of us – me included have bought stuff in car accessory shops to save money. This eBay supplier – Genuinedealz – seems to have a lot of good feedback from people- they ship free in the USA and UPS to the UK.
Genuinedealz actually stock real marine grade parts, tinned wire, lugs, tools and is also a great place to compare the electrical properties of wire and accessories before you jump in and buy something.
Happy Crimping !