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 Post subject: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Mon 16, 2022 4:12 pm 
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Gents:

Which has proven to be better; Soldering coax braid to end connector or the new method of crimping ?

Thanks,

Jack C.


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Mon 16, 2022 4:25 pm 
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Define "better". Each approach has its pluses and minuses, all of which add up to not much difference between the two methods, at least in an earth-bound, benign-environment application.


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Mon 16, 2022 5:33 pm 
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To crimp "gas-tight" is impossible to do on coax braid without crushing the center insulator. Such a crimp is made to provide a mechanical secure connection.

If the connector instructions for soldering are carefully followed including careful stripping to dimension the connection will remain secure in a good environment.

Every coax connector type "makes-up" differently. Some "lesser" brands can be unforgiving in their topology, meaning there is no margin for error, strip/install correctly or "I" fail...

The correct connector type is often associated with a certain type, even brand of coax, dimensions are critical. Often, an adjustable stripper is used to simplify and to get repeatable strips...

Overheating a soldered connector will result in the center conductor creeping and oozing of the center insulator... The soldering tool should be selected carefully and heat set accordingly. Though the connector may not short with a poor installation, it will likely have greater losses...

YMMV

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Mon 16, 2022 6:30 pm 
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In the service there was a pin that was soldered to the center wire. The braid was flared over a flange, trimmed, then screwed onto the base. As Chas said. If you didn't measure correctly. You cut off and start all over again. When done correctly it is almost impossible pulling the cable out of the connector.

Freeman

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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Mon 16, 2022 6:36 pm 
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What type coax are we speaking about?


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Mon 16, 2022 7:32 pm 
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To answer the question from my point of View, having worked in A Naval Shipyard, Crimping was not allowed on electronics. It was required to be Soldered for Obvious reasons, Corrosion, Electrical Stability and strength.

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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Mon 16, 2022 11:40 pm 
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I don't know about the navy, but I have been working in television broadcast facilities now for close to 40 years. In that time, I've walked past millions of BNC and type-F connectors, not a single one of which was ever soldered. They are always crimped. Your car contains thousands of contacts on the connectors in its wiring harness, do you think any of those are soldered? Nope, all crimped. Or consider how many billions of RJ11, RJ12, and RJ45 connectors--which also use crimp pressure to maintain contact with the wires--operating perfectly satisfactorily in the world.

The key to it is to use the right connector for the cable and the environment, and to use the exact tooling and installation procedures called for by the connector manufacturer. The bad rap that crimp connectors sometimes get is nearly always because the connectors were not the right ones for the cable or wire, because they were not properly installed, or because they were not appropriate for that application. I've had to change intermittent or faulty crimp connectors on occasion, but it's always been because the cables were damaged by abuse or because the connectors were cheap tin plated ones and the tin oxidized. Tin plated solder-on connectors oxidize too.

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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Tue 17, 2022 2:06 am 
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With aluminum braid crimping is the only option...


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Tue 17, 2022 1:28 pm 
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Chris108 wrote:
I don't know about the navy, but I have been working in television broadcast facilities now for close to 40 years.

And I have been working full-time in radio and television broadcast facilities for more than 40 years.

Chris108 wrote:
The key to it is to use the right connector for the cable and the environment, and to use the exact tooling and installation procedures called for by the connector manufacturer.

Chris has stated the key points. Crimping must be done with a good-quality controlled cycle crimping tool with the correct die set. The same is true of virtually any type of crimped connector, including the red/blue/yellow insulated solderless terminals, Molex, D-Sub, and other connector pins, and RJ45/RJ11/RJ22 telecomm connectors. I own three sets of controlled cycle crimpers (two have my most commonly used die sets semi-permanently installed) and ten die sets for them as I have to handle quite a variety of connectors at work.

Dale H. Cook, Retired AM/FM/TV Chief Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
https://plymouthcolony.net/starcityeng/index.html


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Tue 17, 2022 2:54 pm 
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Good points.
I would add that the type of service the cable/connector is subjected to is also a factor.
An installation where a crimped cable/connector is installed and seldom/never moved or disconnected may operate perfectly fine for the duration of it's life cycle.

A cable/connector used as a test cable or in a mobile installation where it is frequently connected and disconnected may require soldered connections and more robust strain relief systems for maximum reliability and life. Hard service applications will eventually wear out just about any connector .

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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Tue 17, 2022 5:27 pm 
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Wire wrapped square-shaped pins in computer circuit backplanes sure seemed to be reliable.
That's a contact-only non soldered type of "crimp" isn't it?
https://www.jameco.com/Jameco/workshop/ ... ewrap.html

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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Tue 17, 2022 6:06 pm 
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Pbpix wrote:
Wire wrapped square-shaped pins in computer circuit backplanes sure seemed to be reliable.
That's a contact-only non soldered type of "crimp" isn't it?
https://www.jameco.com/Jameco/workshop/ ... ewrap.html


Wire wrap is highly reliable. The wire is supposed to bite into the square corners of the post and make an "air tight" connection at those points. Plenty of old computer stuff still running with wire wrapping, like early DEC PDP's. Can you imagine a collector having to redo all the wire wrapping on a PDP-8? It would take them forever....


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Tue 17, 2022 6:30 pm 
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Here's another point to consider. If I am shopping for crimp-on RF connectors I will not buy one unless I can find the manufacturer's specifications for dies. Crimping an RF connector without knowing about and using the correct dies is a crap shoot. The red/blue/yellow insulated solderless terminals and RJ45/22/12/11 telecomm plugs are different than RF connectors because they have standardized dimensions and my dies for those always work properly.

Dale H. Cook, Retired AM/FM/TV Chief Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
https://plymouthcolony.net/starcityeng/index.html


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Tue 17, 2022 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sat 09, 2007 8:14 am
Posts: 5616
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Scott wrote:
Pbpix wrote:
Wire wrapped square-shaped pins in computer circuit backplanes sure seemed to be reliable.
That's a contact-only non soldered type of "crimp" isn't it?
https://www.jameco.com/Jameco/workshop/ ... ewrap.html


Wire wrap is highly reliable. The wire is supposed to bite into the square corners of the post and make an "air tight" connection at those points. Plenty of old computer stuff still running with wire wrapping, like early DEC PDP's. Can you imagine a collector having to redo all the wire wrapping on a PDP-8? It would take them forever....


I went to a tour through our manufacturing facility once and it was explained that when wire wrap is done properly the wire is actually bonded to the pin with microscopic spot welds, forming a gas tight connection.

RRM


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 6:13 am 
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Posts: 2097
Chris108 wrote:
I don't know about the navy, but I have been working in television broadcast facilities now for close to 40 years. In that time, I've walked past millions of BNC and type-F connectors, not a single one of which was ever soldered. They are always crimped. Your car contains thousands of contacts on the connectors in its wiring harness, do you think any of those are soldered? Nope, all crimped. Or consider how many billions of RJ11, RJ12, and RJ45 connectors--which also use crimp pressure to maintain contact with the wires--operating perfectly satisfactorily in the world.

The key to it is to use the right connector for the cable and the environment, and to use the exact tooling and installation procedures called for by the connector manufacturer. The bad rap that crimp connectors sometimes get is nearly always because the connectors were not the right ones for the cable or wire, because they were not properly installed, or because they were not appropriate for that application. I've had to change intermittent or faulty crimp connectors on occasion, but it's always been because the cables were damaged by abuse or because the connectors were cheap tin plated ones and the tin oxidized. Tin plated solder-on connectors oxidize too.


I agree with this entirely.

Crimping requires the exact tooling for the type of wire and crimp connector involved.

The only reason why crimping ever got a "bad rap" was because "idiots" used the wrong tools.

In fact every time you fly on a Jet plane, most of the critical connectors on the engine control and flight surface control systems are crimped. This is a superior system yet it has to be done correctly with exact tooling.

For example I recently had a fault with a vintage S-100 computer. The main power kept dropping out and corrupting disk files. It turned out that some idiot had crimped the wires into the spade terminals with the PVC insulation not removed. As Mr Einstein said, the Universe may well not be infinite, but Human stupidity is.

So if you have any trouble with crimped connections, the wrong tools & wrong processes were used to do it, by the engineer who dragged their knuckles on the pavement on the way to work.


Last edited by ACORNVALVE on May Wed 18, 2022 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 6:26 am 
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You forgot screw terminals, like god intended.


I think crimp is superior if it is done properly with good connectors and proper tooling. That is often not the case outside of a factory. I have seen a lot of awful soldering too, for that matter.

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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 6:49 am 
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Location: Corinth, TX
marko, that is why current mil-spec production mandates crimpers. Keep in mind that a mil-spec crimper is going to be both very specialized and very expensive. And then, after a certain number of terminals, they need to be pulled from the production line and recertified.

A commercial grade crimper will cost 10s of dollars. A mil-spec crimper will cost 100s of dollars.

Long term testing shows that in a production environment, crimping produces a more reliable connection than soldering.

Anyone (me, twice) who has had to pass a mil-spec soldering class knows that it is a real PITA.

John


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 8:30 am 
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KX5JSC wrote:

Long term testing shows that in a production environment, crimping produces a more reliable connection than soldering.

John


Yes and this is because soldering is subject to the vagaries of the operator doing it. While the crimping tools are set up for a uniform outcome.

It is the difference of machine vs human for a mundane and predictable task, the machine wins. But if the task is unexpected & variable, and has never happened before, the Human beats the machine and the AI any day. The day that is not true then watch out.


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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 12:53 pm 
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ACORNVALVE wrote:
... and this is because soldering is subject to the vagaries of the operator doing it.

About fifty years ago when I was between jobs I considered working for a small electronic equipment factory looking for people to do component-level service on PC boards. That involved replacing factory-soldered components on boards that had failed in warranty. What they considered the most critical part of the job interview was that candidates pass their soldering test, which I passed easily.

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 Post subject: Re: SOLDERING VS CRIMPING
PostPosted: May Wed 18, 2022 1:30 pm 
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Some of the highest quality SMA connectors are entirely solder-only. Special jigs and fixtures used, done properly these proof out to 26 GHz.


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