Core Electronics Forum

Crimpers and connectors

I am hoping I can get some advice from all you knowlegeable Forum users about crimping tools. I currently use a small crimper that works successfully about 50% of the time - no doubt operator error but I also think they are very difficult to use. I am therefore looking at the ratchet type crimpers like the Core Electronics Pololu 1928 & 1929. Not much difference in price and while the Core Connector/crimping tutorial recommends getting both I am not ready to buy two that appear to do similar things with one just able to crimp heavier gauge wires. I will be using 22-28 gauge wire in low voltage circuits and connecting up Futaba (Pololu 1928 & 1927) and JST (both ph and the normal larger size).
So my question is can anyone advise from their experience if I can just buy the 1929 and it will work with all the cfonnectors that seem to have proliferated in electronic circuitry? Hope some one can help

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Hi Leslie
For the difference in price I would go for the larger one (1928). Although you seem not to need the extra size now it would be a shame if you needed it in the future and had to purchase another crimper because you didn’t spend the extra $11.

I don’t believe anyone could tell you that. There are a vast number of different crimp tools out there and I think the best the hobbyist can do is have one which seems fairly universal and hope it will do most jobs required of it. Whatever, anything decent will be expensive. I don’t believe there is anything like a “universal” crimp tool. Wago go close with their bootlace ferrule tool but I think you need to take out a loan to buy one. That’s quite a few years ago so things may have changed. Some of the tools we had available when I was working cost many hundreds and sometimes thousands $. Some so expensive you hired them for the duration of a production run and then returned them when not in use.
Cheers Bob

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Pololu’s product page actually has some clearer info on them.

Personally I’d go with the larger one. If you need something more universal it’s worth getting the Engineer Co. brand ones:

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+1 on Engineer gear, every 3D printer builder I talk to recommends them. Didn’t know core stocked them! Would’ve saved me some shipping time…
-James

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Hey All,

Excellent conversation! PS: a wise engineer once showed me some X-rays of some crimped connections and how solid they are when done 100% right.

PS: Core also has a tutorial on crimping up your own cables and sheds some light on some of these topics!

Liam.

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100% right is the keyword here. The correct tool and crimp for the application and wire size plu some TLC and crimps have some advantages over solder. The main ones being. No dry or otherwise bad solder joints, no “wicking” of solder back up the wire, usually some built in strain relief.
Cheers Bob

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What a great group of responses from everyone. I really thought the Pololu crimpers would get top marks but it seems you all (other than Robert)think the Engineering Co brand are the go to tool. Quite a bit more pricey than the Pololu crimpers but I suppose it is like all good tools - buy it once and you will have it forever and long after the cost is forgotten. Still it hurts to put my hand in my pocket for something an amatuer like me needs.
The Engineering Co website list of tested connections, once you work out what the codes sort of mean, is very useful although what it also demonstrates is the incredible range and type of connectors now in use in the world. No wonder I was confused when just looking at the JST 2 pin. I can only hope that while there is this incredible variety many of them use compatible parts - or is that just wishful thinking? Here is the link for those interested - its a google Doc

Thanks for all the comments. I hope the thread is of some use to others seeking enlightment.

Regards

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I have not seen in person the Engineering Co tool and they may well be the best of this style available I hesitate to comment specifically.
While this style of crimper is very popular there are several varieties on the market, obviously some of better quality than others. The thing I have against this type is repeatability. The amount of compression you get would depend on how strong your hand is. The advantage of a ratchet type is this is the same for all crimps and it won’t release until the crimping force is reached so repeatability would be somewhat better.
I think like al tools both types would have their pros and cons. Largely up to the individual when it is being used by the hobbyist. When the crimps are subject to a test every morning before start of work and during the day I think the ratchet type would be the only ones allowed due to the repeatability problem. Even then they would have to be of very good quality or an approved brand.
Cheers Bob

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I had a few minutes so thought I would look at the links from the product page for the Engineering Co product.

There’s a great website at ENGINEER Co. with lots of details. There is also a video tutorial showing how to use the tool so please check it out!

Unfortunately both those links give me a 404 Page not Found error but found working links for the pages at Adafruit so maybe the Core links need updating.

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Hi Leslie
Try another browser. I have the same problem with Safari (Mac) which won’t have anything to do with Adobe Flash or Java. I keep Firefox for when this happens. If you happen to be using Chrome I think this has the same attitude as Safari. To do with security issues.
Cheers Bob

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I thought I saw some pages linked here, but I may be wrong.
I am referring to these:
https://iotexpert.com/jst-connector-crimping-insanity/
http://www.mattmillman.com/info/crimpconnectors/dupont-and-dupont-connectors/

Second link may take a while to load!

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If only I had seen those two links a few weeks ago I could have saved myself so much screwing around looking for the information they with a couple of the other posts on this thread contain.

One thing not mentioned anywhere although alluded to in the article " JST Connector Crimping Insanity" is the different problems age presents us with. I have a slight tremor in my hands usually most obvious when doing detailed, fine work (its called essential tremor and is an affliction suffered by many and sometimes causes the Yip in golfers) so when I watched the Adafruit video of the Engineering crimpers in use and saw that very steady young hand place the terminal into the crimper jaws I immediately thought “if only”! I already have a cheap and very poor version of the Engineer style crimpers and know from experience how tremors and eyesight in a 77 yo are not the ideal combo for crimping. So I have gone with the Pololu ratchet type as they appear to at least hold the terminal in place while I insert the wire - here’s hoping I madethe right choice.

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Hi Leslie
Know the feeling. I am 85 (and yes I have had and passed my driving test) and find it is not too bad if you can get everything to shake in time so all the shakes are co-ordinated.

Tip: These small crimp pins normally are supplied on a strip to be cut or separated when used. Do not separate until after the crimping process. This gives you something (read small something) to hold while positioning the job in the tool. This can be quite awkward and fiddly if you separate the pin first.
Good luck
Cheers Bob

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Thank you that is a good tip. I have until now been cutting the crimp pins off the strip then of course I drop it and lose it or with a particularly violent shake send it spinning into another world in my workshop. An even bigger problem as it happens and is needed much more often is soldering. Holding a fine tip soldering iron to a header pin is an exercise in organisation, frustration and usually accompanied by a lot of swearing. I always get the job done and attribute it to the swearing.

Nice to know others suffer the same problems - watch out you young people, one day you will be like me. Cheers

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Change the “me” to “us”.
Yes a shaky hand is something you can do without when trying to solder small bits. Fortunately (touch wood) I do not have a great problem with that just yet. Also had some 60 years soldering practise.There are literally hundreds of tips to make life easier but one I use a lot: I have a soft jaw vise which I can manoeuvre around in all positions but cannot hold a small item in it for soldering as the rubber jaws melt. I find an invaluable gizmo is a small pair of medical forceps, the clamping type. Hold the item in question with these and then clamp the forceps handle in the vise. Tends to make life a bit easier.
Cheers Bob

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Thank you that is a good tip.

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