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Old 09-28-2017, 05:49 PM   #1
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1 wire to 2

So in wiring this bus up there will be many points I will be making a T in the wiring. Preferred methods? Seems like people are not super fond of wire nuts. So the main things I've seen other than wire nuts are splitting insulation and wrapping wire in, using special connectors, using a butt splice with a big side and smaller side, or a 3 way crimp connection thing. I have a soldering gun I can use to solder connections but am just seeing what other folks think. I was thinking if I just use solder, heat shrink and dielectric grease in the heat shrink I should be good

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Old 09-28-2017, 06:38 PM   #2
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I am not sure who is not fond of wire nuts. They are used everywhere including my house. All of the other methods you mentioned will work as long as care is taken to get a good contact. Use the method you are most comfortable with.
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:26 PM   #3
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Wire nuts in a grounded box are the standard residential way to do it. Although I guess plastic boxes are becoming very common, it seems like a better idea to give the wires something to short to if there is a fault so your breakers/fuses can do their job. I do worry a bit about the effects of vibration seen in a mobile application. Crimped insulated spade connectors seem to be the way most D.C. Mobile wiring is done, using stranded rather than solid conductors. I think heat shrink over the connection is still a good idea. Putting the joints in a grounded box is also probably a good idea.


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Old 09-28-2017, 08:27 PM   #4
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I am not sure who is not fond of wire nuts. They are used everywhere including my house. All of the other methods you mentioned will work as long as care is taken to get a good contact. Use the method you are most comfortable with.
Well, no one who does auto-electrics is fond of wire-nuts. They hold well on solid wires, not so well on stranded wire, and they are a lazy answer.

Solder, tape, heat-shrink. You don't need the grease. If you need a waterproof connection use the heat-shrink with a glued interior. It costs a bit more but is waterproof.

For tapping into low-current circuits, Posi-Taps work extremely well at about $1 per joint.
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:43 PM   #5
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House wiring makes a number of assumptions that are not true in buses. In vehicle applications, you really should be using stranded wire, and terminations designed for stranded wire. Solid wire is prone to work hardening and failing in vibration environments, usually whee it's stressed by connectors. I'd be looking at crimp style three way splice connectors (West Marine has good ones), and find a way to support the connections after they're crimped with zip ties to the structure.
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Old 09-29-2017, 07:33 AM   #6
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wire nuts on stranded wire isnt ideal.. as mentioned they are designed for solid wire.. if you install and then remove a wire nut on hom,e wiring, you'll notice the nut actually "cuts threads" into the wires.. so they dont pull out. with stranded wire it just spins the wires together and during vibration, said wires will move and the nut can loosen.. you can tape over a wire nut to help lessen that ..

I like crimped spade terminals (using as real crimp tool not needle nose pliers!).. of course like any fastener those can vibrate loose over time.. the big thing is to secure the wiring connections where you make them.. so dont let connections hang in free air where either of the wires are under any kind of weight / tension..
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Old 09-29-2017, 08:17 AM   #7
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I hate wire nuts, and ended up going with Wago lever nuts, they work really well and are easy to connect, disconnect, and re-use.

Wago Lever Nuts | eBay


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Old 09-29-2017, 09:52 AM   #8
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New to me

I'd never use a wire nut on a vehicle- I don't even like them in houses. How many times have you pulled a light fixture and the connections just fall apart? I know they stay when done properly, but I'm shocked (pun) how many 'electricians' do them wrong.

The coachbuilder who built my bus used a connector I haven't seen before, but love. They have a crimp connector for positive (pun#2) bond, but they have a rubber boot that slips over the crimp. I like them because you can non-destructively remove the boot to inspect a joint.

Wrap-Cap® 415 Insulator for Model 408 and 410 Crimp Connectors by Ideal Ind.

crimp 2.JPG

ideal 415 2.png
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:03 PM   #9
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If my soldering was good enough for an F-15(ex navy AT2) electronics landing and launching from a carrier, then I am sure it will suffice for a bus. I cant see anything short of a head on with a semi comming close to the vibrations and g-forces those planes go through. So, I will be soldering/ heat shrink tube all low current connections. Anything with 10 amps or more on DC side will be using a terminal for connections. I do however try to "homerun" EVERY wire for each and every item(even lights). They get labeled on both ends with ptouch and I never worry about them again.
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:57 AM   #10
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EricW. What is the electrical requirement for the "T"s.
LED lighting could be soldered but anything with current should have a mechanical connector or even better yet its own run back to the fuse panel
AND PLEASE USE FUSES
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:28 PM   #11
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I was going to run a few things together in circuits. I did end up ordering some 3 way crimp connectors that I'll use for most of my Ts. They were a bit pricey but have shrink wrap on them already. They're like 3 eye crimp connectors with a rivet it the middle. The thing I'm curious about is if the middle will be a good enough conductor or if I'll have voltage drop because some of them are looser than others
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:46 PM   #12
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If my soldering was good enough for an F-15(ex navy AT2) electronics landing and launching from a carrier, then I am sure it will suffice for a bus.
If I'm not mistaken, airdale, the Navy NEVER used F-15s. I'm quite sure that they used F-14a. (ex ETN2(SS/SW)).
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Old 10-22-2017, 04:20 PM   #13
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If I'm not mistaken, airdale, the Navy NEVER used F-15s. I'm quite sure that they used F-14a. (ex ETN2(SS/SW)).
Sea Eagle- almost


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Old 10-22-2017, 05:39 PM   #14
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Note the älmost in the last post
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:21 PM   #15
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Another "airdale" here. But when I was in, F-8 Crusaders and "Scooters" were the hot rides and the new kid was the MD F-4 Phantom. Shot a lot of AD's off our cats too.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:08 PM   #16
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I remember Fates and Scooters, Able Dogs, too. I also remember Whales and Vigis.

Maybe I can rig some bow planes, stern planes and a sail?
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:12 PM   #17
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I remember Fates and Scooters, Able Dogs, too. I also remember Whales and Vigis.

Maybe I can rig some bow planes, stern planes and a sail?
Ever been to Tucson? They have the Pima Air museum and the boneyards by Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. You would enjoy the old birds.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:53 PM   #18
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Never stayed longer than overnight in Tucson. I drove through there on quite a few occasions, though. I DID see the Air Force Museum in Dayton, though. And, regrettably, I never saw the Smithsonian Museum of Air & Space.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:27 PM   #19
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NO NO AND AGAIN NO. Solid or stranded wire nuts work fine in a stationary grounded junction box in a NON MOBILE environment. Wire nuts/Marretts are never to be used in the vibrating, moving mobile environment. They are meant for a stationary environment like a house attached to the ground. They only correct connection with stranded wire is properly crimped connections. Every OEM wire in your vehicles is crimped. Just pull appart any connector or plug and your will see the pins are crimped. The reason for that is the connection stays flexible right into the connection and you get a molecular bonded connection. Solder wicks up the wire and makes it a solid conductor for a bit thus vulnerable to fracture. Solid conductor wire should also not be used in a mobile environment. Stabilizing soldered connections with heat shrink helps but can also trap corrosive flux in there and rot the wire off over time.
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Old 07-22-2021, 01:19 AM   #20
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During most of my 8 yr. career in the Air Force I worked on B52s (D, F, G, and H). In that time I occasionally had to replace connectors in them. Most of the wiring had connectors that were soldered. Some of the newer stuff did have crimped connectors. With rare exception when a connector got replaced it was because someone got stupid and caused damage to one. Outside of missiles going into space few electrical systems experienced a worse environment then in B52s.
I went to a class on soldering when I first started at Lockheed Missiles & Space (I started out as a technician) and learned how to crimp connectors and solder the Lockheed way. Both ways were used in missiles. I believe that crimping is used exclusively for things going to space now. (solder adds weight while crimping does not) In the early 80s my cubicle was in the High Bay of the building where the interconnecting cables for Hubble were manufactured (I walked by the special tables used and the DITMCO machine each morning and don't recall any soldering being done) If you remove any flux from a solder joint the flux issue is gone. Use isopropol alcohol with an acid brush to remove the flux (do it right after the solder cools). Don't use more solder than needed. We also learned about melt on solder connections (solder splices) where you place two wires into a special sleeve with low temp solder inside, apply heat from a heat gun and the solder makes a good connection and the plastic sleeve shrinks to form a water resistant connection.


I have seen wire nuts used in older Onan generators where the four wires are connected. The wires were connected one way for 120 vac out vs. 240 vac out.


I just looked at some crimp connectors (MVP 10) that can handle 8 gauge wire. They are crimped and the sleeve is heat shrinkable with adhesive inside. They look like a good approach.


My Generator is good for 30 amps on each 120 vac leg. I used 8 gauge wire vs. 10 gauge. 10 gauge can handle 30 amps but I like to oversize my wiring.



I used 6 gauge wire for my shore power connection rated at 50 amps. I don't like wires getting hot or even warm. I also don't want excessive voltage drop. (I know I am being obsessive)



(I used stranded wire also)
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