Battery cables and hammer crimper

StevenBStevenB Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭✭
Any good links for determining best battery cable gauge size for system? Or general suggested range of gauge?
I saw what seems a good price on Ancor 8 AWG Battery Cable, but I have no idea if it's suitable.

Also there seems to be a cheap version of crimper tool that uses a hammer. Anyone had any experience with that?

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,228 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    Wire gauge depends on current draw. Bigger is always better,, but make sure that all the cables are the same length,, and the same gauge.

    As for the hand crimper. I have one and it works very well for all sizes of lugs and wire sizes.

    Tony
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    #8 seems pretty small for battery cable unless it is a very small current.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    I have used a hammer crimper (with the correct lugs) on occasion here, and have been happy with the performance of the crimps. Used a small, short handled sledge about three pounds IIRC. Works fine for me. Good Luck, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    actually it depends on the current drawn and the distance it must travel in a certain wire gauge (known resistance) because both of these in combination will cause a specific voltage drop. too much of a voltage drop will create heat on the wire not to mention have excessive power wasted.
    when you have a specific voltage drop at a particular battery voltage you can figure this in a %. at no time should 5% be exceeded and if you are referring to say an entire solar pv system with batteries and inverter the 5% applies to the entire chain of events so it doesn't just apply to say a battery to inverter connection, but all of the connections start to finish added up. you might want to read up on the voltage drop calculator in the sticky in the general solar topics area.
  • StevenBStevenB Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    Thanks! I'll read up on that. Finally found in my notes that current battery connections are heavy welding cable, 0 gauge (or better). My Electrician buddy is missing in action for a few days so I thought I'd throw it out here for evaluation, on that "8 gauge deal" on ebay.

    I'm off to read that info! Thanks Again!
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper
    StevenB wrote: »
    Thanks! I'll read up on that. Finally found in my notes that current battery connections are heavy welding cable, 0 gauge (or better). My Electrician buddy is missing in action for a few days so I thought I'd throw it out here for evaluation, on that "8 gauge deal" on ebay.

    I'm off to read that info! Thanks Again!

    I heard somewhere (here?) that welding cable was not approved, something about the
    lugs didn't always grip the fine wires well.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
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  • StevenBStevenB Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    whoo boy...I'd like to know more about that. I know my extra large sized Electrician buddy borrowed some super giant lookin' crimpers, and put a hurtin' on those lugs.......but that may not mean a thing in terms of actual total contact.
    I'm struggling with that wire sizing calculator, Xcel sheet......I'll get it eventually.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,489 admin
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    Fine Wires have more "air space" in between the strands, so very fine welding (and cable uses on diesel rail road engines) type cable requires a larger crimp lug (and more crimp) to work correctly... Years ago, I could not find a source for the lugs (my application needed UL approval).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    I use superflex welding cable on my installs it has very fine strands and I use 50mm2 on 48v 3kw inverters . I have a hydraulic crimper and when I used the 50mm2 die to crimp it was not satisfactory. I dropped down to the 35 mm2 die and got a fantastic crimp. So that seems to echo what Bill is saying. My handheld hydraulic crimper with 10 dies was only about $90.
  • StevenBStevenB Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    Can you point me to where I can order those $90 crimpers? I can't find anything even close to that around here or online?
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    I got mine from UK Ill find a ebay link and then you can search in your local

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Hydraulic-Crimping-Crimper-Pliers-Tool-Kit-10mm-120mm_W0QQitemZ290323112591QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_BOI_Materials_Supplies_Electrical_ET?hash=item43989b228f&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12|66%3A2|39%3A1|72%3A1688|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50


    This is exactly the one I have equates to about $56 +shipping in UK. Even cheaper now than when I got mine over a year ago. Yes its chinese or what ever but with over 500 crimps its still going strong. I like it . It is really a two man job one holds the lug and wire whilst other pumps, but gives a real pro heaxagonal crimp finish. I didnt get anyfree lugs like he is offering now either :grr

    I did a search on ebay USA and this is the closest I could get at $119

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Self-Contained-Hydraulic-Crimper-Set-HK-30-w-8-Dies-NEW_W0QQitemZ400058317163QQcmdZViewItemQQptZBI_Electrical_Equipment_Tools?hash=item5d2555796b&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12|66%3A2|39%3A1|72%3A1205|293%3A1|294%3A50


    Or this one BIN $114

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-8-TON-HYDRAULIC-ELECTRICAL-WIRE-CRIMPER-TOOL-9-DIES_W0QQitemZ280366080155QQcmdZViewItemQQptZBI_Electrical_Equipment_Tools?hash=item41471ee09b&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A12|66%3A2|39%3A1|72%3A1205|293%3A1|294%3A50


    Basically the same units as mine just a different way of loading holding dies.

    This is a first for me you guys in the US getting ripped off on prices compared to the UK. I cant believe there charging you double wow.

    NAWS might want to import some if the UK guy is retailing at $56 I see a profit for some one with Asia trade links ;)

    Can be imported for Asia as little as $20 if you buy a junk load (Chinese Junk that is )
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    I've never had trouble with large crimped lugs other then the usual battery mess, but my attitude is why trust a crimp when you can be sure with solder. Those big lugs are easy to solder with a propane torch. Put some colored shrink tube over them when your done and forget about it.
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    Bad Bad serious bad advice Solarix ! Soldering alone is not safe, in an overload situation solder will melt, this is not to be reccomended :grr:grr:grr

    Im sure others will Agree.
  • rplarryrplarry Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    Have to agree with Nigel on this one. I like soldering but I crimp them after I solder them. Makes a really good and safe connection.
    Larry
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,489 admin
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    And, I will give my standard warnings on soldering electrical wiring connections...

    1. Solder for electrical wiring is not UL/NRTL approved because is it not safe--if the lug gets hot, the solder will melt and the connection will fall apart (not OK for safety). Crimps (properly done) will not fail until the copper/lug gets very hot (near red hot--much hotter than solder). Examples of this are lighting strikes through satey ground applications where the solder is literally "blown out" of the soldered connections (and why safety grounds typically are not allowed any joints at all from panel to ground rod--must be one continuous piece of wire).

    2. Solder always concentrates forces in multi-strand cables... This forces a "pivot point" which will cause the copper wires to work harden and fail if there is any flexing. Crimped connections do not create a concentration point for flexing--cables last much longer in rough applications because of this.

    3. When people solder, many do not use non-corrosive cleaners and fluxes--the strands draw up the solutions into the braid/bundles and stay there--no washing will remove it all. This causes corrosion problems. A proper crimp is gas tight--Adding solder will not do anything because solder cannot wick into a gas tight joint--and the heat of soldering may anneal the copper crimp and relax its pressure too--not good. Obviously a crimp does not add extra corrosion causing chemicals to the cable either.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,489 admin
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    Also--to give people who may follow this thread months from now when the EBay links have expired... Here is a site (mfg in China?) with a picture/model number of the hydraulic hand crimp tool (this link is doggie--tends to go to show handbags and watches if you click around--Google search on "yyq-120 best power crimp connect tool") that Nigel recommended.

    Here is another search result that lists a whole bunch of hydraulic crimp tools.

    In the US--"Good Quality" crimp tools are 20x the costs (whoa).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    A good crimp connection is nearly always preferred over a soldered connection. The key word is good. A good solder connection is better than a bad crimp.

    You cannot get a good crimp with the $6 tools often sold in hardware stores. A good crimper can cost anywhere from $50 to $600+, depending on the type of crimp, wire range, or type of lug/terminal being crimped. The hydraulic crimpers like we use for crimping battery cables can cost over $1500 with a full set of dies.
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    I agree with Wind and Sun I bought a Industrial Hydraulic Crimper off ebay that retailed over $1600 with half a dozen large dies it cost me $300, but was really 2 large for my needs I still have it the dies are the circular clam type but new dies I needed were nearly as much each as the Crimper I bought.

    If I ever go back to the UK Ill flog it, plus you had to have a workout just to pick the thing up.

    The unit Ive got know is brill , one of my best purchases ,but I do a lot of crimping.
    I still use a ratchet crimper on 10mm2 and 16mm2 lugs . I use the hydraulic unit on 35mm2 and above. Sos for the metric measurements:p

    Bills first link in his previous post is the unit I have:cool:
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    Agreed - don't solder heavy stuff.

    Also, as Bill mentioned, solder turns a stranded wire into a solid wire. This is a bad idea for vehicular installations, as vibration can and will cause the wire to eventually break off at the place where it becomes solid.

    Back in the day, I used to pick up some extra cash wiring Baja race cars - Class 5 and Unlimited. I personally never had a wiring job fail in the field, but I've seen quite a few soldered connections where the wire broke - occasionally leaving a race car without lights or gauges or sometimes just stranded out in the middle of the desert.
  • StevenBStevenB Solar Expert Posts: 71 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    Newbie here.....
    How long do these post archive online?

    I'm getting so much critical info so fast it's becoming obvious (to me and my printer) I need to reference the info digitally rather than print them out and put them in ring binder (many will still be also kick back and read on the page).
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,489 admin
    Re: Battery cables and hammer crimper

    The posts remain "forever"... There was an upgrade/migration that lost some posts a few years ago (if I recall correctly)--so like anything digital, if you need the information, make backups.

    There are the "Archive" pages--just text (no pictures or links) in a very compact form--may be handy if you want to print the "basics" for your use.

    You might want to use some sort of archiving function/plug in with your web browser to save the stuff to a memory card/CD etc.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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