Grossly expensive crimp tools

Erik FriesenErik Friesen Posts: 1,071
edited 2009-11-03 - 01:37:38 in General Discussion
Not knowing how these crimp tools work, I would like to know if each crimp connector takes a specific crimper, or how it works. For example I am using this

search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=455-1133-1-ND

and need this ? search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=455-1134-ND for a mere $440.

Comments

  • LeonLeon Posts: 7,619
    edited 2009-10-31 - 02:13:49
    I use one of these with Molex KK terminals:

    www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Fasteners-Production-Equipment/Hand-Tools/Tacking-Crimping/Crimping-tool-for-PCB-connectors/30535

    Leon

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  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,363
    edited 2009-10-31 - 02:25:10
    Erik,

    Since the terminal you cite is designed for 18-22 AWG wire, something like Leon suggested should work fine. I've even gotten good crimps on terminals like that with this cheap thing from RadioShack. It's when you get to the really tiny terminals that specialty crimpers are an absolute must. But, in those cases, I just buy pre-crimped wires from DigiKey.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • T ChapT Chap Posts: 3,990
    edited 2009-10-31 - 02:34:34
    Search digikey for wm2510-nd and wm9999-nd The connector is similar and this 50$ tool may work. It has several sizes on it.
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2009-10-31 - 02:46:15
    I agree with Phil. You can use cheaper crimpers that work with Molex connectors. It takes a little practice and for me it was one of the most infuriating things to get used to doing, but once I got the hang of it, crimping wires is a tolerable activity.

    This is probably too much information, but the pictures of the right vs. wrong crimps might come in handy: see attachment.
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2009-10-31 - 02:49:56
  • MicrocontrolledMicrocontrolled Posts: 2,461
    edited 2009-10-31 - 02:52:30
    Who on earth would pay over $100 for a crimp tool?!?!?!

    WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLY DO TO BE WORTH $100+?!?!?!?!?

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  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2009-10-31 - 03:09:32
    microcontrolled said...
    Who on earth would pay over $100 for a crimp tool?!?!?!

    WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLY DO TO BE WORTH $100+?!?!?!?!?

    It's like that with a lot of specialized tooling. If it costs $100,000 up front just to set up a manufacturing run (never mind material costs, packaging, etc.) but you're only going to sell 5000 units, then you've got $20 per unit that must be passed along to the end user. And those kind of costs to the end user have a tendency to multiply by a factor of 3 to 10 by the time they hit the shelves. So, without even counting materials, etc. you've got $60 or so in set up costs. When you sell lots and lots of things, then you can benefit from the "economies of scale." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_scale Otherwise you must fork it out. Best thing to do in a case like this is find a cheaper alternative that is sold to the masses.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,363
    edited 2009-10-31 - 03:14:19
    microcontrolled said...
    Who on earth would pay over $100 for a crimp tool?!?!?!
    Government contractors and people afraid of getting sued if their connections fail:

    "Now Mr. Jones, you claim that vibration in the plaintiff's factory led to the failure of that connector and, thence, to the tragic accident. But please explain to the court why, if this connection was so vital to the function and safety of your equipment, you didn't use the crimping tool recommended by the manufacturer."

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • TimmooreTimmoore Posts: 1,022
    edited 2009-10-31 - 03:14:26
    Couple of comments, dont try to use the wrong size - you end up with loose crimps and get a ratchet crimper if you can, its much easier to get good crimps with a ratchet crimper if you dont crimp a lot.
    Leons suggestion is good for small wire, I also use http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=360-642 and http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=360-646 for thicker wire.
  • James LongJames Long Posts: 1,181
    edited 2009-10-31 - 06:45:47
    microcontrolled said...
    Who on earth would pay over $100 for a crimp tool?!?!?!

    WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLY DO TO BE WORTH $100+?!?!?!?!?

    One other issue is the correctness of the crimp.

    When working in Avionics, I once had to go behind another technician who thought freehand crimping was a perfectly good practice. Now mind you these pins were not the standard fold two sides, but a 4 way crimp (4 dimples exactly 90 degrees apart). The pins were going into a $325.00 cannon plug. Needless to say the plug was special (as most are on aircraft), and the pins wouldn't release with the release tool. Not only did I have to totally redo the job with the correct tool, the previous technician had to replace the connector, which the pins were stuck inside. He was not happy, and found free-handing an expensive experience.

    Those crimp tools were way over $500.00 each.....but the facility did provide them. Each different cannon plug required a different depth die. The technician before me was too lazy to go get the correct die, and found that the crimp was way more critical than he had ever expected.

    There are many ways to crimp things wrong, even if you have the right tool. If you don't have the right tool, you may crimp it, and it may work, just don't bet your life on it.

    James L

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  • Erik FriesenErik Friesen Posts: 1,071
    edited 2009-10-31 - 10:47:09
    I am just not ready to shell out $440, and I'll probably try one of these cheaper crimp tools. I will probably finish them up with solder anyway. Right now I am using a alligator clip arm thing to hold both sides while I solder them. :-(
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,363
    edited 2009-10-31 - 15:55:46
    Erik Friesen said...
    I will probably finish them up with solder anyway.
    That is usually not a good idea. Solder creates a hardness boundary, and any flexing will eventually lead to failure due to the wire breaking at the joint.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Erik FriesenErik Friesen Posts: 1,071
    edited 2009-10-31 - 19:33:33
    I have heard that, Phil, but this project will have no flexing that I know of, other than changing the power supply. This connector is used on a .156 or so connector, and is a little larger than the typical .1 center connector.

    If I knew that I could find a crimper that would crimp both styles reliably I would not be afraid to lay out some cash. I just don't want to spend 400 on a crimper that will only crimp one connector.
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,858
    edited 2009-11-01 - 23:47:50
    The JST terminal you mentioned is fairly common (I have the WC-160 tool at work). I try to avoid JST terminals in small quantities because the tooling is so expensive and they are specific to one or two terminals. With Molex and AMP terminals, a crimp tool usually can crimp multiple terminals in the same series.
    For home-based work, I prefer Molex terminals because you can crimp almost any of theirs with the 63811-1000 Universal Crimp Tool. It was mentioned earlier by Todd as WM9999-ND from Digikey. The JST terminal does have "wings" that are very similar to many Molex terminals covered by this tool, so it may work. You have to crimp the wire and insulation separately, so it is not a quick tool and it does depend a lot on the operator for quality crimps.

    The cost of crimp tools is a thorn in my side as I am in charge of all tooling for the cable assembly department at work. So far this year, I have probably spent about $2500 on crimp tools. Proper crimp tooling can make or break your quality. At work, we only use manufacturer specified crimp tools or applicators. This is the only surefire way to guarantee all of your crimps are within specification regardless of the operator performing the crimp.

    The Crimp Quality Handbook posted by ElectricEye is very good to use as a reference and to learn about proper crimping. We use it during some training, but our governing specification is usually IPC/WHMA-A-620 "Requirements and Acceptance for Cable and Wire Harness Assemblies". IPC also has a quick reference book that can be downloaded as a low-res demo PDF, (DRM-WHA-A.PDF )

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  • Erik FriesenErik Friesen Posts: 1,071
    edited 2009-11-02 - 00:04:24
    I hear you on the jst issue, however I am using a rps-75 power supply that has a matching jst connector that seems to be specific to that supply series.
  • Erik FriesenErik Friesen Posts: 1,071
    edited 2009-11-02 - 01:15:22
    I think I can possibly make the KK series work for me. Do you think that 63811-1000 would do both the .156 and the .100 ?
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,858
    edited 2009-11-02 - 17:46:35
    Yes, it should. I just looked at both tools side by side and the 63811-1000 does have crimping slots that are very close to the same dimensions as the ones on the JST tool. It appears that the smallest insulation crimp opening is a match for all three openings on the JST. For the wire crimp, the 1.8 and 2.0 openings on the Molex tool are the best matches fro the three openings on the JST tool. I don't currently have any JST crimps available that are that large, so I cannot test it out to be 100% positive.

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  • Erik FriesenErik Friesen Posts: 1,071
    edited 2009-11-02 - 21:03:26
    So you are saying there would be a possibility that the molex crimper might do the jst also?
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,858
    edited 2009-11-02 - 22:51:47
    Yes, the Molex 63811-1000 should be able to give an acceptable crimp on a JST terminal the requires the WC-160 tool.

    The two parts of a crimper (the die and anvil) are what perform the crimp to a specification. As long as these two "halves" of the alternative crimper are close enough to the specifications of the proper crimper, then the resultant crimp will be acceptable.

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  • Erik FriesenErik Friesen Posts: 1,071
    edited 2009-11-02 - 23:51:02
    I will try the molex I think. I just don't have a clear picture in my mind of how the die curls the outside legs around and into the wire jacket.
  • WBA ConsultingWBA Consulting Posts: 2,858
    edited 2009-11-03 - 01:27:29
    Maybe this will help. Here are some pics of a Molex 63811-3400 crimp tool and related terminal. You can see that the top portion of the die set is shaped with two curved sections to force the "wings" for the insulation crimp around into the familiar crimped shape. The top would be considered the "die" and the bottom portion would be considered the "anvil". Behind the front plate of the die, is another die plate that is shaped to properly curve the wire crimp.

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  • Erik FriesenErik Friesen Posts: 1,071
    edited 2009-11-03 - 01:37:38
    Many thanks. I have a difficult time putting words into pictures
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