How I spent (some of) my summer vacation
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How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by adafruit_support_rick on Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:39 pm

Assembling 8-pin Molex cables, hand-crimping 160 microscopic pins:
molex1.jpg
molex1.jpg (266.88 KiB) Viewed 1786 times

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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by lyndon on Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:41 pm

There are companies that will sell you wire cut and stripped cheaper than you can buy the wire alone. And they will even crimp on whatever contacts you need for a minimal setup fee.

Wish I had discovered them before doing hundreds by hand :-(
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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by adafruit_support_rick on Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:15 pm

lyndon wrote:There are companies that will sell you wire cut and stripped cheaper than you can buy the wire alone. And they will even crimp on whatever contacts you need for a minimal setup fee.

What fun is that? :lol:

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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by lyndon on Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:50 pm

That's what I said at first. But after the first dozen or so 60-conductor wire harnesses, I was starting to think otherwise :-)

What are you building?

[edit]
Are those contacts these: http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/e ... ND/2078048 ?
If so, I'm about to discover that particular joy :-)
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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by adafruit_support_rick on Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:47 am

lyndon wrote:What are you building?

Hybrid tube amplifiers - 2-channel audio. When we say 'made in USA', we mean it!
lyndon wrote:Are those contacts these: http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/e ... ND/2078048 ?
If so, I'm about to discover that particular joy

The female version of those, I think. Loose pins, not tape&reel. Have you got a Molex crimp tool? It's really not so bad, once you get going. I use a pair of needle-node pliers to squeeze the tabs onto the insulation - just enough to hold the pin until I can crimp it. I was using the 1.4mm crimper and stranded wire. Seems really solid, and all the wires rang out first time.

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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by lyndon on Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:21 pm

I have a good crimp tool (Tyco ProCrimper) but I was only able to find the tape and reel contacts. Doesn't matter for now: I only have to do a few.
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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by sbrooke on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:15 am

Looks like this is the right place to ask...I have a cheap Radio Shack molex crimper now. I only get about half my crimps right and I'm usually pinching my fingertips when I do. For the really small molex, is there a good but inexpensive crimper out there? I'd rather not spend $100+ for something I rarely use.
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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by lyndon on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:10 am

Good crimpers tend to be expensive because the dies must be precisely machined and it requires a lot of force to make a good crimp. The wire is actually cold welded to the contact and held more securely than a soldered joint. A good crimper will grip the contact securely, then crimp the wire and as the die moves, it will also crimp the insulation if the contact has an insulation holder.

I haven't used this particular crimper: http://www.hansenhobbies.com/products/c ... /crimp_dx/ but I've heard it works well. It's about $40, which is a better price than many: there are manual crimping tools that run close to $1000.

Adafruit carries this one that looks well made: https://www.adafruit.com/products/350 and there's a tutorial on using it.

If you do get either, please report back. I'm thinking of purchasing one for a spare, but have yet to get around to it.
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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by meseta on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:51 pm

That is why we outsource

Image
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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by NGinuity on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:15 pm

lyndon wrote:There are companies that will sell you wire cut and stripped cheaper than you can buy the wire alone. And they will even crimp on whatever contacts you need for a minimal setup fee.

Wish I had discovered them before doing hundreds by hand :-(


Can you recommend one over another?
We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds. --Aristotle Onassis
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Re: How I spent (some of) my summer vacation

by lyndon on Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:52 pm

You mean by hand vs. having it done?

In the case of just the wire it's obvious. If you can get wire cut to spec and stripped cheaper than you can buy rolls of wire, then it's a no brainer. However, once you add crimping on connectors, their price is higher than your BOM cost, so it depends on how much you value your time.

NGinuity wrote:
lyndon wrote:There are companies that will sell you wire cut and stripped cheaper than you can buy the wire alone. And they will even crimp on whatever contacts you need for a minimal setup fee.

Wish I had discovered them before doing hundreds by hand :-(


Can you recommend one over another?
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