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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2018, 18:07 

Joined: 25 Feb 2017, 13:36
Posts: 18
Just want to double check to make sure it’s ok to splice different gauge wires together for a low voltage (12 volt system) the wires won’t be drastically different (14-16, 18-20) as long as the smallest wire is still capable of carrying the load correct?

Like my other post a lot of the different accessories come with different size wires and I don’t want to buy 4-5 different gauges but two that’ll suffice for all accessories.


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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2018, 18:45 

Joined: 20 Nov 2017, 12:35
Posts: 63
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
It will be fine


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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2018, 20:14 
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Joined: 23 Dec 2017, 12:53
Posts: 117
Location: Albury, NSW, Australia
TheLastCall wrote:
It will be fine


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Yep, what he said.


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 05:17 

Joined: 25 Apr 2008, 16:54
Posts: 1982
Location: North Charleston S.C.
Yes it will be fine. Try to push the smaller wire into the strands of the larger wire inside the connector before you crimp it to make sure you have a good connection. Sometimes small wires will pull out of connectors made for larger wires very easily meaning it was not a good connection.


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 10:12 

Joined: 18 Jul 2017, 11:58
Posts: 99
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Optionally, they do sell "Step Down" butt splices. They aren't particularly common, however.

For example, this one [link] accepts 14-16 on one side, and 18-22 on the other, and this one [link] accepts 10-12 on one side, and 14-16 on the other.

I ordered a few for my upcoming trailer rewire. :)


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 10:51 

Joined: 13 Mar 2017, 09:00
Posts: 6
One thing I have done when using butt connectors is to double the smaller wire over. Gives more wire in the connector to crimp. If you can the best way would to solder and heat shrink.


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 12:51 

Joined: 20 Nov 2017, 12:35
Posts: 63
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Never solder wires in a boat.

http://www.marinewireandcable.com/2013/ ... d.html?m=1



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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 14:56 
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Joined: 08 May 2017, 21:42
Posts: 265
Location: Southeast Florida (Tri county)
TheLastCall wrote:
Never solder wires in a boat.



If I read that correctly, it says "sole means of mechanical connection "

If a western union joint is soldered and the resulting connection is insulated with robust heat shrink tubing I'll put solder connections up against any mechanical crimp connection any day.



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Gary (in South Florida)
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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 15:05 

Joined: 20 Nov 2017, 12:35
Posts: 63
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Very possible but your still going to get wicking, lead is not as conductive, and your possibly creating a weak point beyond the joint.


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 15:11 
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Joined: 08 May 2017, 21:42
Posts: 265
Location: Southeast Florida (Tri county)
TheLastCall wrote:
Very possible but your still going to get wicking, lead is not as conductive, and your possibly creating a weak point beyond the joint.




AND mine are immune from vibration, salt water intrusion, corrosion and other vaporous effects. I'll take mine as a risk let others who want to risk butt connector failures take their chances. YMMV



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Gary (in South Florida)
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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 15:19 

Joined: 20 Nov 2017, 12:35
Posts: 63
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
It’s the ABYC standard. You can do whatever you want.

It will matter if ever you have a fire onboard and the insurance company find out.


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 15:32 
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Joined: 08 May 2017, 21:42
Posts: 265
Location: Southeast Florida (Tri county)
I'll ALWAYS take the risk rather than being stranded for 2 cent crimp connectors, my boating goes back to the 70's never a lost boat, or connection in seas many never dream of, no fires, no failures, AND my current boat is an TM power only. Fire? Sure, ok, I'll take the risk.



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Gary (in South Florida)
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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 15:33 
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Joined: 22 Nov 2008, 08:27
Posts: 93
Location: Central New Jersey
gnappi wrote:
TheLastCall wrote:
Never solder wires in a boat.



If I read that correctly, it says "sole means of mechanical connection "

If a western union joint is soldered and the resulting connection is insulated with robust heat shrink tubing I'll put solder connections up against any mechanical crimp connection any day.



Me too. All of my connections are soldered. 12 years and no problems yet.


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 15:34 
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Joined: 22 Nov 2008, 08:27
Posts: 93
Location: Central New Jersey
TheLastCall wrote:
It’s the ABYC standard. You can do whatever you want.

It will matter if ever you have a fire onboard and the insurance company find out.


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I am sure my Aluminum boat will burn to the ground :shock:


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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 15:35 

Joined: 18 Jul 2017, 11:58
Posts: 99
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Reread what it says. "Sole means of mechanical connection."

Take two wires. Lay them side by side. Flow solder between both of them.

Take two wires. Lay them end to end. Flow solder between both of them.

That is what "sole means of mechanical connection" means.

Now take two wires. Twist them together. Solder them.

The mechanical connection is the twist. The solder is not the sole means of mechanical connection. That meets the spec, as quoted in the article.


Wicking is the desired effect of soldering. That is how it works. The resistance argument is rubbish, as your mechanical connection is already in place when the solder is applied. Support the joint physically, and you have a connection that is within the quoted spec.


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