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Old 06-28-2020, 02:09 PM   #1
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Stranded wire electrical connections

Just returned from a quick camping trip to the mountains with my son, to get some clean, fresh, cooler air.

I had a small problem with my solar setup and I traced it to a loose connection where my solar panel cable connects to my solar controller. The solar controller has screw terminals, and I've never like screw-down connections on stranded wire since it's not a very secure connection. The cable must have been pulled a little and the connection loosened enough to limit the amount of current I was getting.

I fixed the connection, but I'm looking at options to give a more secure connection. Has anyone used a crimped ferrule or crimped pin terminal on stranded wire?


thanks,
Herb
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:51 PM   #2
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I try to always add a connector to stranded wire when attaching them to a terminal point. Usually crimped ones work fine. Get the ones with built-in shrink wrap if you want to be extra safe.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:00 PM   #3
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You can get ferrules for this but you'll also need a special crimper. You can get a kit with a variety of ferrules and crimper for $20+ on Amazon.

I did some Googling and there seem to be some differences of opinion on whether or not ferrules are necessary, especially with larger gauge wires. A badly crimped ferrule can be worse than none. There is also the option of tinning the wire with solder but this, too, has its detractors.

Personally I've never used them and haven't had any problems. I'd think the 10 AWG wire typically used in solar installations would be large enough to not need them. I'd re-strip the wire end, install it again and secure it and the other wires so they can't be pulled loose. Periodic re-tightening can't hurt.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:35 PM   #4
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I would just twist the wires tight and tin them with a solder and soldering gun. This will make the branded wire stiff and solid without adding another mechanical connection that could again fail.
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Old 06-28-2020, 05:51 PM   #5
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Pretty much any crimp on connector, eyes or forks, if properly crimped and supported will be just fine. I worked for years as an electrician on yachts and ships, and followed ABYC recommendations for connections, which allowed crimp on connectors. They pretty much require eyes rather than forked ones, but crimps are fine. There is quite a debate about crimping and then soldering, the detractors feel that the wire can work harden at the junction of the soldered and unsoldered wire and crack, but if properly secured, there shouldn't be any movement.
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Old 06-28-2020, 06:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctictraveller View Post
Pretty much any crimp on connector, eyes or forks, if properly crimped and supported will be just fine. I worked for years as an electrician on yachts and ships, and followed ABYC recommendations for connections, which allowed crimp on connectors. They pretty much require eyes rather than forked ones, but crimps are fine. There is quite a debate about crimping and then soldering, the detractors feel that the wire can work harden at the junction of the soldered and unsoldered wire and crack, but if properly secured, there shouldn't be any movement.
I think the OP is asking about the terminals that you stick the end of a wire into and tighten down a screw, not the type that would take a fork or eye connector.
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Old 06-28-2020, 06:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCam View Post
I think the OP is asking about the terminals that you stick the end of a wire into and tighten down a screw, not the type that would take a fork or eye connector.

Exactly. Stranded wire being inserted into a connector that then has a tighten-down screw to secure the wire.


Thanks for all the inputs everyone. I had already looked at the ferrule crimper on Amazon.





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Old 06-29-2020, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I think the OP is asking about the terminals that you stick the end of a wire into and tighten down a screw, not the type that would take a fork or eye connector.
Ahh, my mistake, I should have read the post a little closer.
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