Crimper

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Crimper
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Best and good enough can be

Best and good enough can be 400 vs 40 dollars in the case of a crimper. All for the right one it's just wild. 

 

My arcade guys when looking for one like a real

 JST-WC110 recommended this guy, which should work for you but I'd double check or await other recommendations too out of curiosity. 

 

IWISS IWS-3220M Micro Connector Pin Crimping Tool 0.03-0.52mm² 32-20AWG Ratcheting Crimper for D-Sub,Open Barrel suits Molex,JST,JAE

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skate323k137 wrote:Best and
skate323k137 wrote:

Best and good enough can be 400 vs 40 dollars in the case of a crimper. All for the right one it's just wild. 

 

My arcade guys when looking for one like a real

 JST-WC110 recommended this guy, which should work for you but I'd double check or await other recommendations too out of curiosity. 

 

This is all you need for most crimp-on connectors and costs about $16.00 at Home Depot.

(Sorry, I posted the wrong image and link)

 

A Molex crimp connector like skate32k137 posted is excellent.  Some where I have the comparable Waldom crimper info like this:

 

https://www.jameco.com/z/W-HT-1921-Waldom-Electronics-Tool-Crimping-Hand-Molex-for-062-Inch-And-093-Inch-Contacts_227491.html?CID=GOOG&gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwiMmwBhDmARIsABeQ7xRbFJoZ_o4O6h3MhKLcjJ84ehsG4TXnd3u7QxjvyRJ1ZAtBMIzpAJUaAoU8EALw_wcB

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crimper

[ skate323k137] Thanks for pointing this one out! I have a couple of different ones (more plier style) in the $10-20 (USD) range that are just junk. I usually find myself making the 0.1" Dupont style female header connectors. If I only have a few to make, I will use a needle nose pliers and solder (and a big magnifying glass) but that gets tedious fast.

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Oh, no, the crimp devils (toy tools) strike again !

In post #3, lasermaster wrote:

 

" This is all you need for most crimp-on connectors and costs about $16.00 at Home Depot. "

 

Uncle Bernie warns:

 

This "crimper" is a toy. It will not make reliable crimps, regardless what you do. Avoid !

(Don't ask how I know. I have one of those. Total waste of money).

 

WHAT IS A GOOD CRIMP ?

 

A good crimp is a sort of "cold weld" because the wire threads and the contact tube gets compressed by an immense force (tons) such that the soft metals involved start to "flow" and get cold welded together. This is a gas tight connection. It is also water proof and corrosion resistant to a certain extent, because there are no gaps in that compressed, cold welded zone. It still can slowly corrode away, but from the outside in, and not from the inside out.

 

Good crimp tools produce this immense force in the very final phase of the completion of the crimp, by a high precision lever action mechanism with very tight tolerances and fit. Any looser mechanism could not build up that force, it would get lost in the gaps of the mechanism.

 

The IWS-3220M mentioned in post #2 does have a lever mechanism so it will produce more force than the toy of post #3, but at the $26 price point you can't expect some slop in the mechanism and the force it can create won't be that great.

 

Here is a professional hand crimping tool:

 

 

Other side:

 

 

The "wart" on the backside is an exchangeable holder for the crimp contact itself, so it is properly positioned throughout the crimp process. This is very important. Any slant / misalignment may cause an unreliable crimp, even with this professional tool, so you have to buy holders specific to the crimp contact type.

 

This tool is heinously expensive.

 

THE RISK WITH BAD CRIMPS

 

What will inevitably happen with a loose, poor crimp connection made with toy tools is that this connection will not be low ohmic, and it will heat up, and corrode from the inside out, over time, getting higher and higher ohmic and hotter and hotter. A few Amperes are enough. Eventually it will get so hot that the plastic of the connector melts, and this may even fry the PCB. (I had that). Worse, if the bad crimp is in a car, and runs with more Amps, then it may get so hot that you get a wiring loom burn-out / fire.

 

REMEDY (A CHEAP TRICK !)

 

Here is a cheap trick: if you insist to make pseudo-"crimps" using toys, "crimp" the contact area first but do not crimp the tabs for the stress relief yet.

Then use a stronger, temperature regulated soldering iron (i.e. 60W Weller WTCP-S) with a screwdriver style tip to solder the contact area. Keep the insulation of the wire away from the metal tabs by properly bending it, so it does not melt. "Third Hands" will help. After all has cooled down, crimp the stress relief tabs.

Now you've got a good solder connection instead of a poor crimp connection. You will note that the strands of the wire will suck in the solder like a wick. This proves how poor the "crimp" connection actually was.

This trick can be used even with the $16 toy, don't know how well it works for the $26 one. With the professional tool from Molex the trick won't work (no wick effect left because everything was cold welded together) but is not necessary either.

I wrote a lot on Applefritter about crimps and crimp tools but I think I never mentioned the soldering trick before.

 

- Uncle Bernie

 

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A pic of the one I use. A

A pic of the one I use. A ratcheting crimper that does a consistantly good job

 

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testing

For those who say their crimpers "do a good job": have you done the manufacturer recommended tests on the resulting crimps?

A properly crimped connector placed in a vise should not detach from the wire when it is pulled, the wire should fail instead. The exact shape of the "bell mouth" where the wire strands enter the crimp area is also important (and can only really be seen with a microscope, or at least a loupe). This is so that the strands do not fray when the cable moves. The ears that grip the wire insulation should do so firmly, but without cutting through it. There are two different types of insulation grips, called "D-crimp" or "O-crimp" because they loosely resemble a capital letter D or O. Using a crimper designed for the wrong kind of ear will produce a bad crimp over the insulation.

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When I first got my crimper I

When I first got my crimper I of course examined the wire and crimp for damage to the copper and sheathing. If I had seen any I would have re-evaluated the process.

 To make sure the connection was good I tried holding onto the connector with a pair of vice grips and pulling as hard as I could on the wire. My arms aren’t strong enough to pull 16 guage wire apart or the connector off.

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$682???
UncleBernie wrote:

Here is a professional hand crimping tool:

 

 

professional Molex hand crimp tool

 

Uncle Bernie's Molex tool sells at Digikey:  https://tinyurl.com/ycf4czua

Yeah, it's nice but...at $682 I think I might try the $30 Amazon one.

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Uncle Bernie warns: This

Uncle Bernie warns:

 

This "crimper" is a toy. It will not make reliable crimps, regardless what you do. Avoid !

(Don't ask how I know. I have one of those. Total waste of money).

I've owned this Waldom Molex crimper/stripper/bolt cutter since 1979-80, used it for over 40 years on large and small Molex connectors, never had an issue with it, it was never difficult to use or produced bad crimps.  Maybe since then, the Waldom crimper sold by Jameco has become cheapened, I cannot say, but the one I have does an excellent job for all the things it was intended to do.  Out of hundreds and hundreds of Molex crimping that I have personally done with this tool, it never made an unreliable one, at least that has been my decades of experience, for what it is worth. 

 

 

 

 

I certainly don't want to get into a pissing contest with Uncle Bernie and the tool he recommends is certainly a very well made, professional one.  I just think lambasting something just because there are alternatives is going a bit overboard.

 

A tool is never as good as the hands that use it.

 

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I've had good luck with these

I've had good luck with these, and it's tough to beat the price:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OMM4YUY/

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If cheap crimp tools work, why do the expensive ones even exist?

In post #10, 'lasermaster' wrote:

 

" I certainly don't want to get into a pissing contest with Uncle Bernie and the tool he recommends is certainly a very well made, professional one.  I just think lambasting something just because there are alternatives is going a bit overboard."

 

Uncle Bernie comments:

 

It's not about a "pissing contest" (I'd lose anyways due to advanced age). All I wanted to demonstrate / show to the readers interested in crimper tools that the real deal exists and is heinously expensive. Note that I did not "recommend" it, instead, I disclosed a cheap trick on how to get good connections using a much cheaper crimper toy.

 

The key point is this: there is this heinously expensive tool out there, endorsed and branded by the manufacturer of the crimp contacts. This tool could not persist in the marketplace against the cheaper tools (or toys) if it would have no benefit over these cheaper alternatives (actually, non-alternatives). The reason is that with none of the cheaper tools you can ever get the gastight cold weld of the wire strands with the crimp contact sleeve. Without the precise lever action acting as a force multiplier there is no way to get the enormous pressure needed to make a cold weld.

 

I know exactly  what I'm talking about because as a student of electical engineering, there were required times of internship in the industry, and there I learned a lot about crimping and about the quality criteria. They showed us cross cut / prepped microphotographs of "good" vs. "bad" crimps and it was clearly visible what a "cold weld" is - there simply were no discernable boundaries between the wire strands and the outer sleeve. It was like a solid mass of metal. "Bad" crimps however have visible boundaries. And this is not gastight, due to the gaps.

 

Wire Wrap connections, properly done with the expensive professional tools, also are cold welds and gas tight connections, bit only "spot welds" where the wire contacts the sharp edges of the wire wrap post. Cheap hand turned WW "tools" can't to that.

 

These type of connections are aerospace qualified. Or do you think companies like Boeing make the crimp connections on the wire looms in their  aircraft using these cheap toys from Harbor Freight or Home Depot (Oooops, wait a minute , just recently, FAA  has announced that they investigate Boeing's manufacturing procedures .... after a door plug blew off a new Boeing in flight ... news said bolts were missing ... probably a worse transgression than bad crimps !)

 

I don't say that with the cheap tools / toys you can't achieve a contact or that it's so bad you can pull the wire out of the crimp sleeve. But it's definitly not the type of contact you get with the professional tools, and for durability, vibration resistance, corrosion resistance, and high current handling capabilities all bets are off for the connections made with the cheaper tools.

 

These cheaper tools could be construed to be a rip-off, a fake, defeating the price point of the professional tools, and skimping on every design criteria and specification of the maker of the original crimp contacts and their original tools. Much like these cheap monkey wrenches which are wobbly, have no proper grip on the screw head or nut, and will ruin them more often than not.

 

- Uncle Bernie

 

 

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There is a reason I mentioned

There is a reason I mentioned the JST-WC110, it's a $400-$500 crimper itself. UB's post is quite spot on. This is one reason I say it's often worth sourcing cables from someone who / a company which owns the proper crimper for the applicaition if you only need 1-2 cables instead of going it your own. I have also carefully soldered JST pins in a way to fit in the housing, but this is certainly not suitable for mass production; I did this for 1-2 custom arcade machine panels. Making the contact proper and having it still lock into the housing are both relatively important, so I've made that compromise before. 

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Good explanation Uncle Bernie

Good explanation Uncle Bernie.

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More on crimpers, good and bad.

In post #13, 'skate323k137' wrote:

 

" This is one reason I say it's often worth sourcing cables from someone who / a company which owns the proper crimper for the applicaition if you only need 1-2 cables instead of going it your own. "

 

Uncle Bernie comments:

 

I fully concur. In various crimper and Apple-1 cable related posts here on Applefritter I have always recommended that you better buy ready made cables from a manufacturer who has professional crimping tools, or use the alternate cheap trick with soldering your cables into IDC connectors, which I also published on Applefritter.

 

The MOLEX hand crimp tool I showed in post #5 is used for making Apple-1 video and power cables using the original MOLEX plastic shells. These just look much, much better than the IDC based alternative. Still, at the price point of my kits I could not sit down and make such nice looking cables for each kit. Nobody would want to pay the surcharge. But on my own fourteen Apple-1 builds I use those nicer cables made with the tool.

 

Armin Hierstetter who offers wave-soldered Apple-1 "Made in Germany" at a reasonable price (considering German wages) also offers "world" switchmode power supplies with a cable to the Apple-1 motherboard that is also made with the same type of original, professional MOLEX crimp tool. At his price point he simply can't do otherwise. At his price point, buyers expect quality and use of professional tools.

 

For individual hobbyists on a budget the 'cheap trick' I recommended in post #5 is probably the best way to get a reasonably reliable connection out of a cheap crimp toy. Those who don't use the trick will have a dubious connection that may corrode and overheat after a while. As far as I'm concerned, I would not want to have such a fire hazard anywhere in my house. I want that my computers can run 24/7 without constant supervision.

 

Oh, and if you use such dubious crimp connections in your car, you can expect that this part of the wiring harness will give smoke signals at some point in the future (been there, done that myself, when I was young and stupid and had a $1000 car). And despite of this hazard, you can find these nice kits in plastic boxes containing a crimp "toy" and various automotive crimp connectors at every Auto Parts (and similar) shops. In my eyes this borders on fraud, because it implies you can fix your car's electrical wiring with it. Sure, for a short while it may work without setting your car on fire. But it's not safe. I dimly remember that the instructions of one of these kits I bought maybe 40 years ago spelled out it's meant for "temporary repairs". Sneaky bastards. This is how they avoid to get sued for burnt out cars.

 

- Uncle Bernie

 

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LaserMaster wrote:I've owned
LaserMaster wrote:

I've owned this Waldom Molex crimper/stripper/bolt cutter since 1979-80, used it for over 40 years on large and small Molex connectors, never had an issue with it,

 

It's also the exact crimper that Molex would include with some of their kits

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You can always get a good used one ...

You can always get a used but good one here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/166580024672

 

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