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No soldering required for under layout DCC bus wire splices?

Digitrax Dad (Lancashire Fusilier)
 

A great easy way to snap connect and splice wires together with no soldering or crimping required! I picked up these samples at a trade show and they are great for making under layout connections of wire sizes from AWG 24 to 12. 


https://youtu.be/ee-B06NN_q0


Blair & Rasa
 

Paul

Interesting.  No discussion here, but lots on the Digitrax list.  I'd have thought someone would have an opinion... so here's my shot at pluses and minuses relative to a quality (2-blade) suitcase connector.

Lever connector Advantages:
    - less finicky than suitcase (avoid poor crimping technique, crushed connectors, etc.)
    - reusable
    - elegantly allows disconnect/reconnect for troubleshooting

Disadvantages:
    - user must strip wires (many, many people can't do this reliably without nicking the wires, unless they invest in a good stripping tool)
    - if series-connecting to tap into a bus, for example, you introduce 2 connections inline (no way to have an electrically continuous bus with no joint)

Personally, I can see using these in certain locations, like when fanning out several sub-busses.  I would likely use a suitcase to tap the main bus, and feed the lever connector from the suitcase tap.  I can also see using one of these if I have to isolate a section of layout due to a short, for example, but want to reconnect it later.

YMMV.  Comments?

Blair Smith

On 17/03/02 09:20, lancashire_fusilier@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:

A great easy way to snap connect and splice wires together with no soldering or crimping required! I picked up these samples at a trade show and they are great for making under layout connections of wire sizes from AWG 24 to 12. 


https://youtu.be/ee-B06NN_q0



dvollrath@...
 

I agree with you, Blair.


A good stripping tool is mandatory to prevent nicked and later broken wires. The lever type connectors may not have a very large high pressure contact area for a good solid electrical connection. Some brands/models will always be better than others. I prefer screw terminals, particularly those with an internal pressure spreader plate, or 'screw-head' terminal strip where one can control the pressure for disconnectable service.


Tapping into an existing bus wire is always problematic. The suitcase tap connectors are great for this purpose as long as the one you use is compatible with the wire sizes and insulation type. Great for tapping off for track feeders. Not so good for high current bus extensions.


DonV 

Blair & Rasa
 

Don

Another big advantage for the Wago lever style connector is the wide range of gauges supported by a single item. With a listed range from 24 to 12 gauge, it's a lot more forgiving than the suitcase connectors typically are. I agree with your comments, but I wonder if the answer is, as usual, "it depends...". I'll be adding these to my toolbox of layout connectors, but I don't see them taking over the whole range of needs. I'll also be looking to see what our Ontario Electrical Code says about using this in residential wiring - I see the push-in style ones are gaining hold.

Blair

dvollrath@...
 

The biggest issue with push-in style connections for residential electrical work is a poorly fitted connection due to low spring pressure or only pin-point contact that heats up at near rated amps and/or the lack of using a good stripper tool that causes nicked solid wires that break off afterwards. 


The Wago style lever connector for joining 3 wires together seems too big to fit multiple units in the back of a typical electrical box. think of what happens at an outlet or switch box where you bring input and output feeder wires to join with those of a dimmer switch. Wire nuts easily accommodate multiple wires of different diameters and take up less space.


DonV  

Stuart Bouchey <sbouchey@...>
 

And in the US wire nuts are a code approved wiring device.

Do not know about Wago but have not seen it mentioned in trade journals.

Stuart

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2017 14:20
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] No soldering required for under layout DCC bus wire splices?

 

 

The biggest issue with push-in style connections for residential electrical work is a poorly fitted connection due to low spring pressure or only pin-point contact that heats up at near rated amps and/or the lack of using a good stripper tool that causes nicked solid wires that break off afterwards. 

 

The Wago style lever connector for joining 3 wires together seems too big to fit multiple units in the back of a typical electrical box. think of what happens at an outlet or switch box where you bring input and output feeder wires to join with those of a dimmer switch. Wire nuts easily accommodate multiple wires of different diameters and take up less space.

 

DonV  

Blair & Rasa
 

I've been assured by retail staff that the push-in style supplied by IDEAL are acceptable for Ontario Electrical Code residential wiring, but I've not heard from a real authority on that subject. Since I wouldn't use one in that application anyway, I won't be asking. I much prefer wire nuts, despite the wear and tear on my hands.

But for model rail applications, I would consider them, depending upon the purpose.

Blair

Mark Cartwright
 

Thanks for the heads up, I have ordered some via eBay.
Using them however?
For now I am using a re-designed Kato system with drop down leads every 18 inches of three sections of soldered track. So...Not for Track power.
For lighting, I have adapted the Woodland Scenics method.
However..Animation.
I am open to a new system there. I have several projects which require changing the wires often.
Thank you I hope the work.
Mark

Blair & Rasa
 

So much for retail staff.

I checked my 2015 homeowners edition of the code last night, and there's no mention of any form of these push-in connectors, let alone the lever style the OP linked to. So although I hear anecdotally of these being used by homeowners and contractors, unless they were a new addition last year, they're a code violation for residential electrical wiring.

I guess we'll see what the future brings. They may still have their place under a layout.

Blair

Oscar Moutinho
 

Gregory Latiak
 

There is lots of stuff in use for low voltage electronics that would not be acceptable for residential 120/240v use -- regardless of its insulation breakdown ratings. That really should not be a consideration, IMHO. As long as the line voltage portions of the layout are to code the rest of it -- past the step-down transformer, just needs to be appropriate for low voltage control. And it is in the builders interest to have current limiting protection -- power districting and local power supply fuses simply because of the fire potential of a low voltage short and the cost of replacing expensive components. Besides -- the layout should be powered through an AC extension cord (or several) so it can be disconnected, not tied into the mains.

greg latiak
bqr

Glenn
 

That is known as a Western Union splice. It was used on telegraph lines so the main wire did not have to be cut thus loosing strength.

One way to open the insulation is to singe it with flame or soldering iron. Remove the burnt insulation and clean the wire with emery paper or fine sand paper. Wrap the joining wire around the buss then coat with flux. The flux helps keep out wetness and oxidation. Solder not required.

Suggestion: Save your fingers from twisting all those screw eyes. Cut several angled grooves in the mounting board and push the wires in. If desired a strip of wood will secure the wires in the grooves.

Glenn

Max Maginness
 

What sort of “flux” do you have in mind?

 

Max

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Saturday, March 4, 2017 8:29 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: No soldering required for under layout DCC bus wire splices?

 

 

That is known as a Western Union splice. It was used on telegraph lines so the main wire did not have to be cut thus loosing strength.

One way to open the insulation is to singe it with flame or soldering iron. Remove the burnt insulation and clean the wire with emery paper or fine sand paper. Wrap the joining wire around the buss then coat with flux. The flux helps keep out wetness and oxidation. Solder not required.

Suggestion: Save your fingers from twisting all those screw eyes. Cut several angled grooves in the mounting board and push the wires in. If desired a strip of wood will secure the wires in the grooves.

Glenn

Just twist feeders around bus:

 

john
 

Max,
   I think you are going to start another conversation.
   Use Ruby Fluid applied with a brush (To conserve). Blue fluid is also highly recommended especially for PC Boards. Ruby fluid works great on Nickle Silver Rail, don't know about Blue.
   Local hardware stores can get it for you if they don't carry it, Do It Best, Ace, etc..


On Saturday, March 4, 2017 12:41 PM, "'Max Maginness' m.maginness@... [WiringForDCC]" wrote:




What sort of “flux” do you have in mind?
 
Max
 
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Saturday, March 4, 2017 8:29 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: No soldering required for under layout DCC bus wire splices?
 
 
That is known as a Western Union splice. It was used on telegraph lines so the main wire did not have to be cut thus loosing strength.

One way to open the insulation is to singe it with flame or soldering iron. Remove the burnt insulation and clean the wire with emery paper or fine sand paper. Wrap the joining wire around the buss then coat with flux. The flux helps keep out wetness and oxidation. Solder not required.

Suggestion: Save your fingers from twisting all those screw eyes. Cut several angled grooves in the mounting board and push the wires in. If desired a strip of wood will secure the wires in the grooves.

Glenn
Just twist feeders around bus:
 




Mark Gurries
 

On Mar 2, 2017, at 6:20 AM, lancashire_fusilier@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:


A great easy way to snap connect and splice wires together with no soldering or crimping required! I picked up these samples at a trade show and they are great for making under layout connections of wire sizes from AWG 24 to 12.


https://youtu.be/ee-B06NN_q0
GOOD

It is more fool proof than a screw based connection because you cannot forget to tighten it and if tighten, done so to the correct torque level!

It is more fool proof than a twist cap and a IDC connector.

The ability to inspect and test the connection is great.

Very flexible on wire gauge choices.


BAD

The connection technology "Cage Clamp" is not unlike those funny named spring connectors called “Flagenstuf” or whatever used on old Lionel 3 rail train sets and have most but not all of the same problems. The exception that the clamp is stronger and there is a entrance guard opening that restricts the movement of the wire in the clamp so it less likely to wiggle out under wire tension conditions.

The electrical problem is the connection is NOT gas tight. So the long term metal to metal contact oxidation issue remains. Crimp and IDC are gas tight because they deform the copper under high pressure and maintain the pressure when done properly with the correct gauge wire. Screw terminals can be gas tight too with appropriate torque.

None of the UL/Safety testing they did is for long term current carrying capability. It is all for electrical insulation (voltage) capability.


COMMENTS/CONCLUSIONS

I would say it great for someone who is electrically challenged doing any form of wiring. I would rather make sure the person had success over failure in getting the layout electrically up and running quickly than have a connection system that becomes a barrier to their success in running trains.

It is a higher grade "train set" quality wiring system. But If I was building a layout that must be reliable, I would not use it.

I would say it can get expensive given the 3 wire version will be the most common version needed. It is not obvious there is any bulk pricing.



Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com

Max Maginness
 

I am a little surprised. If you are referring to this <http://www.delphiglass.com/soldering-supplies/flux-finishing-chemicals/ruby-fluid-flux-16-oz?source=froogle&gclid=CLqlktj7vdICFZBafgod-10MWA> as the Ruby Fluid “flux” then it’s a corrosive soldering flux, and about the last thing I would want on an electrical joint. Blue fluid on the other hand is a protective coating and might be used.

Max



From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Saturday, March 4, 2017 2:35 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: No soldering required for under layout DCC bus wire splices?





Max,

I think you are going to start another conversation.

Use Ruby Fluid applied with a brush (To conserve). Blue fluid is also highly recommended especially for PC Boards. Ruby fluid works great on Nickle Silver Rail, don't know about Blue

Local hardware stores can get it for you if they don't carry it, Do It Best, Ace, etc..



On Saturday, March 4, 2017 12:41 PM, "'Max Maginness' m.maginness@... [WiringForDCC]" <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:





What sort of “flux” do you have in mind?



Max



From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Saturday, March 4, 2017 8:29 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: No soldering required for under layout DCC bus wire splices?





That is known as a Western Union splice. It was used on telegraph lines so the main wire did not have to be cut thus loosing strength.

One way to open the insulation is to singe it with flame or soldering iron. Remove the burnt insulation and clean the wire with emery paper or fine sand paper. Wrap the joining wire around the buss then coat with flux. The flux helps keep out wetness and oxidation. Solder not required.

Suggestion: Save your fingers from twisting all those screw eyes. Cut several angled grooves in the mounting board and push the wires in. If desired a strip of wood will secure the wires in the grooves.

Glenn

Just twist feeders around bus:

<http://www.oscarmoutinho.com/Trains/data/204.jpg> http://www.oscarmoutinho.com/Trains/data/204.jpg




<http://www.oscarmoutinho.com/Trains/data/204jpg>

<http://www.oscarmoutinho.com/Trains/data/204.jpg> http://www.oscarmoutinho.com/Trains/data/204.jpg




<http://www.oscarmoutinho.com/Trains/data/204.jpg> View on www.oscarmoutinho...

Preview by Yahoo

ftp_webster@...
 

A true Western Union splice is connecting 2 wires together at the ends, not a branch off the main wire.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Union_splice


Richard

Puckdropper
 

Glenn,

Am I missing something?  Just stripping the main bus and wrapping the wire around is a poor joint and *will* fail.  Even if you do flux the connections, what's to keep the wire from loosening up over time?

I've fixed several "just wrap the wire around, it'll work" type connections that have failed.  Soldering takes almost no additional time, and guarantees the joint won't fail in my lifetime.  (Connectors and wire nuts, properly installed, are just as good.)

Puckdropper




---In wiringfordcc@..., <ghazel@...> wrote :

That is known as a Western Union splice. It was used on telegraph lines so the main wire did not have to be cut thus loosing strength.

One way to open the insulation is to singe it with flame or soldering iron. Remove the burnt insulation and clean the wire with emery paper or fine sand paper. Wrap the joining wire around the buss then coat with flux. The flux helps keep out wetness and oxidation. Solder not required.

Suggestion: Save your fingers from twisting all those screw eyes. Cut several angled grooves in the mounting board and push the wires in. If desired a strip of wood will secure the wires in the grooves.

Stuart Bouchey <sbouchey@...>
 

Glenn

Re the term "Western Union Splice".

Historically this term has been used about the joint used to connect two line wires together.

A reference is "The Art of Knotting and Splicing" by Cyrus L Day, Third Edition 1970, Naval Institute Press, ISBN 087021 083 1.

Item 187 page 162 illustrates the splice and method of tying.

This link also shows how:

http://makezine.com/2012/02/28/how-to-splice-wire-to-nasa-standards/

Note the comments on soldering.

Other comments.

Re Twisting Screw Eyes.

Modern "hung" ceilings/lighting fixtures require numerous screw eyes for the attachment of support wires. Thus, an on-line search for screw eye driver will give a wide assortment of power screwdriver/impact tools in the $3 to $30 range. I found the inexpensive "Y" type work well.

Re use of flux:

If flux is used be sure to use a noncorrosive type approved for electronic use.

Stuart

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Saturday, March 04, 2017 11:29
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: No soldering required for under layout DCC bus wire splices?

 

 

That is known as a Western Union splice. It was used on telegraph lines so the main wire did not have to be cut thus loosing strength.

One way to open the insulation is to singe it with flame or soldering iron. Remove the burnt insulation and clean the wire with emery paper or fine sand paper. Wrap the joining wire around the buss then coat with flux. The flux helps keep out wetness and oxidation. Solder not required.

Suggestion: Save your fingers from twisting all those screw eyes. Cut several angled grooves in the mounting board and push the wires in. If desired a strip of wood will secure the wires in the grooves.

Glenn

Just twist feeders around bus: