Author Topic: Another u idea  (Read 1241 times)

Offline lrhorer

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Another u idea
« on: January 10, 2017, 11:04:42 PM »
   Hey, I just thought of another idea.  This one would be ultra-inexpensive and I bet very popular.  It is just one of the pitfals of this hobby it requires soldering - lots and lots of soldering.  Now I don't mind board soldering and most connectors are pretty easy to solder with good, reliable results.  What I really hate, however, is butt splicing.  Of course there are crimp butt splices, but especially in small wire sizes and particularly low strand count wires, they are just not reliable enough to suit me unless I also solder them.  They are also rather expensive when one adds up three splices per joint times dozens of joints.  Your uAmp boards are extremely easy to solder, however, and highly reliable.  A bit of 3/4" heat shrink tubing makes them rain proof.  My idea is to create Printed Circuit board just about the same size and layout as the uAmp, but with no electronics, at all.  All they would have is three traces from one side to the other of the board, including the same strain relief holes as on the uAmp.  A 4 port version for 4-wire deployments would be good, too.  In quantities, I would think these could sell for under $1.  I know I would buy them.

Offline bcstuff

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 11:26:30 PM »
Check out the PST (Pixel Splice Tap)
https://holiday.lighting/
-Brian
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2017 - Complete makeover, let's just say it's gonna be a few pixels.

2016 - Grad School Stinks :(
2015 - 16' Megatree, 8' MidiTrees, 8' MegaWreath, 6' Snowflake Spinners, Zwilluminaries

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Offline JonB256

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 06:07:20 AM »
Check out the PST (Pixel Splice Tap)
https://holiday.lighting/

I got some of these when they first appeared. They are exactly what lhorer is asking for (and cheaper). The 4 wire version is new to me, though.
Sadly, mine sit in a ziploc bag. I keep forgetting I have them when splicing. :(

Offline drlucas

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 08:06:28 AM »
I ordered a bunch last year and didn't use mine at all.....for my in yard/show season repairs I use these from Ray... https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/3pin-10mm-width-connector-for-10mm-wide-pcb-led-digital-strip-ws2811-ws2812b-etc-no-need/701799_32389247007.html?spm=2114.12010608.0.0.QMNGUm

What I do though is pretty rough...I strip the wires down...and then twist the wires together and put them inside the clip and use it as a clamp to keep the wires together. I end up using three of them per repair.

In previous years I've used small electrical marrette nuts (http://www.tnb.ca/en/brands/marrette/) and the butt splices with mixed results (mostly because I didn't have a crimping tool for the butt splices - just recently ordered one so next season that is another alternative for me).

I suppose the PSTs are great, but for me in the middle of winter with a foot of snow on the ground it's hard to get out with a soldering iron and even harder to pull a prop and bring inside for the repair. 
Ryan

Offline CaptainMurdoch

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 10:57:52 AM »
I ordered a board of the PST's when they came out as well, and they still sit in the envelope they were delivered in.  When it came to soldering together 100+ pigtails or splices, I chose speed and convenience over cost and just used the solder sleeves rather than having to put hundreds of wires in PST's and soldering each wire individually.
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Chris

Offline nmiller0113

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 11:56:29 AM »
   Hey, I just thought of another idea.  This one would be ultra-inexpensive and I bet very popular.  It is just one of the pitfals of this hobby it requires soldering - lots and lots of soldering.  Now I don't mind board soldering and most connectors are pretty easy to solder with good, reliable results.  What I really hate, however, is butt splicing.  Of course there are crimp butt splices, but especially in small wire sizes and particularly low strand count wires, they are just not reliable enough to suit me unless I also solder them.  They are also rather expensive when one adds up three splices per joint times dozens of joints.  Your uAmp boards are extremely easy to solder, however, and highly reliable.  A bit of 3/4" heat shrink tubing makes them rain proof.  My idea is to create Printed Circuit board just about the same size and layout as the uAmp, but with no electronics, at all.  All they would have is three traces from one side to the other of the board, including the same strain relief holes as on the uAmp.  A 4 port version for 4-wire deployments would be good, too.  In quantities, I would think these could sell for under $1.  I know I would buy them.
I crimped hundreds of these this year anywhere from 18 to 20 AWG of stranded wire without an issue...NOT A SINGLE ISSUE


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CNFJK0A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 using https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006M6Y5M/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER


No additional solder and they worked perfectly.  Nor are they expensive at all.  From years of crimping and moving to this, this year I've gotta say this is just as reliable, if not more, than soldering and a million times less time consuming than regular soldering or even what you're proposing.  There were a ton of us, including David Pitts, that moved to these this year with much success.  So I've got to respectfully disagree with your assessment of butt crimping.

Offline lrhorer

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 05:41:17 PM »
As always, your mileage may vary, and of course you are absolutely entitled to hold whatever opinion you like, but I have crimped many tens of thousands of connections over the last 40 or so years, and crimp connections on small gauge, small strand count wires are just not reliable.  Using a high quality ratcheting crimper will without question produce the best results without soldering.  We frequently crimp cables from 6 AWG to 1" diameter using hydraulic crimpers, and I can pretty much guarantee you those will not fail even under very severe stress.  In some cases, the wire will part before the splice fails.  High strand count wires also produce excellent results.  Ordinary 16 AWG lamp cord, for example, can be crimped quite securely even using simple, non-ratcheting crimpers.  Anything smaller than 18 gauge, or with fewer than 7 strands, however, just cannot be crimped reliably enough to suit me, unless I both crimp and solder, which I usually do.  If I can grab both ends of the crimped wire and cause the crimp to fail just by exerting a steady pressure with my hands, then it's not good enough in my book, and I have yet to come across a crimper / splice combination that produces acceptable crimps on solid 22 - 28 AWG cable (Cat5e is 24 AWG) or even the 20 AWG stuff we buy from RayWu.

Offline nmiller0113

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 05:56:08 PM »
I think that one thing you're failing to take into account is the fact that the connectors I mentioned not only heat shrink but also glue. The middle part is providing connectivity and grip and then the glue and heat shrink very securely locks it in place. I cannot pull apart stranded 20awg. And I've tested it. Yes. My opinion, but it's not pulling apart and the connectivity is solid.

Offline lrhorer

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 09:52:33 AM »
I'll give them a try.  Of course, 20 AWG stranded is right on the edge of where the problems start, and these might well cover that application effectively.  The vast majority of my connections are solid 24 AWG, however, and those connectors are only good to 22 AWG.  I think I would definitely decline to use them on 22 AWG solid wire.

Offline corey872

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 02:29:48 PM »
Give them a shot.  Truthfully, every splice I've ever made for a node is:

- Cut the wires in prep for splicing (ideally one longer side  - call it "A" and a shorter side, call it "B", but maintaining the same node spacing as original)
- Strip 1/8" insulation from each wire end.
- 'Tin' both individual ends with solder.
- Slip 'double wall' (adhesive lined) heat shrink over the "A" (long) wire end and use the extra length to slide it far away from the heat of soldering.
- Gather a small drop of solder on the iron, touch the two wires together, then touch the iron to the joint.  The wires and solder should instantly form a small blob encasing the wires.
- Pull the iron away and hold the wires still while the joint sets.
- Once cool, slide the heat shrink over the joint and heat to seal.

This has the benefit of being fast, cheap (literally a drop of solder and 1" of heat shrink tube), nearly invisible (no big bulge in the wire), and nearly as flexible as the original wire.  I've never had one of these joints fail due to mechanical issues or moisture intrusion.  On a couple of 'pull tests' I did, the wire breaks before the solder joint, so it is certainly 'as strong as needed' for the given conditions.  If you're super paranoid, you could add a second layer of heat shrink over the whole 3 or 4 wire bundle to seal each of the individual joints a second time.
Corey

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Offline plaberge

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 11:34:53 PM »
In my shop, I splice them exactly as Corey does. I've too have never had a splice failure and I'm sure I've done more than a thousand. If I have to make a splice outside, I use telephone cable connector crimps. They're bulky but they're fast, secure and waterproof.
Paul.
Deep Cove, North Van. BC

Offline JonB256

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2017, 08:57:37 AM »
In my shop, I splice them exactly as Corey does. I've too have never had a splice failure and I'm sure I've done more than a thousand. If I have to make a splice outside, I use telephone connector crimps. They're bulky but they're fast, secure and waterproof.

Just used these telephone crimps (I only buy the 3M brand, not the super cheap clones) to replace the three bad Pixabulbs in my Megatree. Tested fine. Put away until November. As long as there is no stress on the wire (like in a boscoyo strip or matrix), these will last forever and are so much easier than anything else.

Now, if anyone ever makes (or knows of) one that will do all 3 wires in one similar package, I'll be interested.

Offline plaberge

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Re: Another u idea
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 10:56:21 PM »
Now, if anyone ever makes (or knows of) one that will do all 3 wires in one similar package, I'll be interested.


That would be very handy, especially if you didn't have to strip the wire  :D

 

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