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Old 05 October 2011, 16:34   #1
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Connecting signal wires

Can anyone suggest the best and most reliable way to connect the NMEA outputs and inputs together?

The wires are quite tiny and not physically strong.

I was thinking of soldering and adhesive lined heat shrink to support the join?

Is there a better way.

I intend to support the wires once joined.

Thanks!
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Old 05 October 2011, 16:45   #2
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I soldered and heat shrinked mine. I thought they were too small to crimp connect. No issues 5+yrs later and mine are just kinda stuffed into the console.
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Old 05 October 2011, 17:01   #3
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solder and heat shrink - everytime!
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Old 05 October 2011, 17:20   #4
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Yep , Solder and Heatshrink's the way to go for me too
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Old 06 October 2011, 05:38   #5
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From bitter experience ...

Push glue lined heatshrink onto each wire (well out of the way)
Push larger diameter glue lined heatshrink onto the bundle (out of the way)
Twist the wires together

Then test that it all works (may involve some temporary insulation tape)

Only then, solder each connection
Heatshrink each wire
Heatshrink the bundle (which supports the soldered and heatshrunk joints)
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Old 06 October 2011, 06:09   #6
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If one were needed, another vote for glue lined heat shrink.
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Old 06 October 2011, 06:15   #7
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Thanks guys!
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Old 06 October 2011, 06:58   #8
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Before I solder I always tie wrap/tape the main cables together around the outer sheath pointing the same way to avoid any stress being placed on the inner cores. Lot easier to work with as well as you join up the pairs. You can then stick them in a little box to protect the splice. If necessary you can seal the box up with sealant or fill it with resin/epoxy.

Richard
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Old 06 October 2011, 10:16   #9
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Once again I'm going to throw cats into the proverbial pidgeons.....

Does your rib live afloat? I ask because when I wired mine up (Icom 411 - Garmin12) I decided that in the fullness of time I'd be buying a plotter, and so like my VHF I put a plug / socket on the ends, the idea being I have a "patch panel". Theory goes that if the plotter packs up, I can in a matter of 2 minutes move the NMEA signal to the Garmin. (or in the case of the VHF, if one antenna breaks, it's 2 min job to get connected again)

The inline plug / socket combos & the free plugs are held to the inside wall of the console by stainless spring clips.


And yes, I know that statistically the chances are that it's going to be the same flat battery that takes out the plotter will also take out the VHF, but all other plotter problems are bypassable.....
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Old 06 October 2011, 10:21   #10
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Very good point, and I did consider that.

On the boat in question everything will be duplicated, so not so much of an issue.

The problem with a connector coming undone is, to me, worse than fixing a break in an emergency.

I did consider using connector pins covered in heat shrink. This would be an elegant solution but the chances of pulling one apart whilst trouble shooting would be high! If all four came apart, there is then the issue of looking up what went where!
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