When soldering was mentioned, I was thinking for around # 12 wire or
smaller. I worked around everything from very small wire around # 26 to
some of the 000 sizes. Never soldered anything. Had to use some hydraulic
crimping tools on the larger stuff. Hand tools just would not do a good
job. I doubt anyone would think of soldering the wires that are over 1/4 of
an inch or larger.
There were some ground wires that were cadwelded, but I don't count that as
The place I worked for had thousands (maybe millions) of crimped or wire nut
connections. Almost never saw a crimp fail except when some dummy tried to
crimp solid wire. A few wire nut connections failed, but I suspect they
were not put on correcctly.
At one time around the house I did solder some of the molex connectors that
used from # 24 to # 12 wire. Not that I wanted to, but because I did not
have the proper crimp tool. Now I have the tools, I don't solder.
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I quit soldering connections in the late 70's
In the 30 years I was crimping there were no problems.
(Other than my very first time.)
OTOH: Guys in the shop sometimes soldered and got the contacts
contaminated...and the connector would eventually melt due to the heat.
The only time we used a foot-operated hydraulic crimper was in a nuclear
power plant when we used 300mcm cables.
Normally 4/0 was the max. we'd deal with.
The larger crimp connectors I've used on power cables have grease in
them to fight corrosion. Of course they are cu/al rated and the grease
in the connectors is oxide inhibiting compound for the aluminum wire but
it also helps the copper wire connections. ^_^
Years ago, I did use NoAlOx, on a thermostat. With
.250 push on terminals. I came back a couple months
later, the terminals had corroded and were useless.
Changed to dielectric grease. That seemed to work
better. Not sure what it is, with the grey stuff in
the squirt tube.
When I had a chevy cavalier, I had to redo the multiple crimped connector
under the battery holder. Soldered or crimped, it's a manufacturer FAULT to
put connections under batteries. Do they HEAR me ????
My parents had a Chrysler Imperial LeBaron.
We finally found the problem, it would go dead
at random moments. The problem was the bullet
connectors, to the fusible links, near the
battery. Dad would get out and wiggle them,
and the car would then start up and be fine
for a while
In the early 1970's, the made for TV show,
Emergency! had a similar problem with the squad
truck, I think the episode was called "Breakdown".
Wish I could go back and tell them, then, what
the problem likely was.
I can't add much to what others have said comparing general crimp to
solder. But lets get back to the question about Anderson Power Pole
terminals. I use them extensively with my Ham equipment, operating from
13.8 volt DC power supplies and auto electrical systems.
I've found that Anderson Power Pole connections get hot from contact
resistance when they carry high current, say 20 Amps or so continuous.
If they are soldered, I do not believe the temperature would be so high
that the solder could melt. However the higher temperature might tend
to cause oxidation of the solder.
The problem with lead/tin solder is that it is not a great conductor.
A good crimp puts the wire in direct contact with the silver plating of
Silver solder might be a lot better, but for the 350amp contacts we
used, the cost would be prohibitive. (Even lead/tin solder in the
quantities we would have needed would have been expensive.)
Since I was in the industrial battery business I'd replace or install
close to 1000 connectors a year. Since Enersys itself is a world wide
company they used hundreds of thousands of connectors a year...more than
likely , over a million.
Working on that scale, I can imagine the solder,
torch, power for the soldering iron and so on.
That would add up after a while. I do a couple
dozen crimps a year, and max of 15 amp rating
or so. For me to get out a torch and some silver
solder is no big expense.
Thanks for sharing a bit more about the, uh,
"big picture" of what you were doing.
When I was a toddler, I lived in a wooden crib with
plastic covers on the rails. Makes me wonder if
some kind of plastic cover can be made for high
potential bus bars? Could be either cut to length,
or some thing. Would make the setup less likely to
attract metal tools.
Since the bars are a predictable size, a plastic cover
could be snapped on.
Insulated "shrouds" are now used on all industrial batteries
(forklift)...but they weren't many years ago.
OTOH: Stationary batteries AFAIK do not have them...and now that you
mention it, would be a darn good idea.
Of course no one but trained personnel would normally be allowed near a
stationary battery setup and with a motive power (forklift)
battery...access would not be restricted.
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