Need suggestions electrical install difficulties

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by Stamourowl, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    I am trying to install one of these multiuse voltmeters, cig lighters, etc. (see picture from Amazon). I have found a location, drilled my holes which fit! - yeah me- I’m not so construction capable, found a suitable circuit, tapped into said circuit, Bought wire and tried to crimp the wire to the insulated blade connectors, bought more connectors, cause my wire wouldn’t fit. I finally was able to get it to work and turn on. I mocked it up and tried to charge my ipad. It worked but it got HOT, very very HOT. Then when I went to move it, half or so of my crimps fell apart. So I have several questions.

    What gage wire do you use with these things? I was trying to use 14 gage, but getting 2-14 gage wires into one blue spade connector is not possible. I tried a larger connector but this also did not work well.

    I do not seem to be able to get a good crimp. I have watched video after video and I just think I do not have the hand strength. I understand the principle and have the right tool, but mine just fall apart- before I can even wrap them with electrical tape. Are there other options I could use?

    IF I use a smaller gage wire, say 18 will the usb plug get as hot?
     
  2. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    I installed two of these outlets with no issues - worked great on our trip - even used them to power our Engel frig. Pls post a pic of your crimping tool. Attached is a pic of my crimping tool - in the correct position relative to the shank to be crimped. The male part of the crimping tool needs to dig into the solid part of the shank on the fitting being crimped (take a peek at the end of the fitting and you will see what I mean). I have been using this crimping tool for decades.

    BTW - the threads on the plastic outlets on the main panels are not exact - you may pop them loose from the main panel under some circumstances - so do not install them where you can not get at the rear to restore the locking rings on to the fitting bodies..

    PS you can actually use the tool with two hands if needed. I bought it at an auto parts store a long time ago.
     

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  3. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Can you describe how you are wiring this up. I'm not sure I understand why you are trying to put two wires in a single crimp.

    Tell us what you want to do, and we'll all have opinions. Some of will even be right! :)

    Enough Jokes, how did you tap the wire? Did you use a wire tap, or did you cut the wire? Photo's are worth a million words!
     
  4. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    LOL. I tapped in by adding another wire to the wire nut. That went smoothly. I tried to wire it as seen in this picture, but mine did not come with wires. Each of the devices has a positive and negative blade. You can see that there are 2 wires coming from the first and middle blades on the circuit.
    Mine does not have a switch so I do not have the third wire.
    I will go get actual footage now of my camper but this will show you the idea.
     
  5. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    I know, it looks so easy and that’s part of why I am sooo frustrated. I cannot get mine to stay. I am using two hands. My connections do not look like that though. They are female spade connectors. they look like this. Is there another connector I can use?
     
  6. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    16 gauge wire should be okay for what you're doing but I wouldn't go smaller. You should be able to get 2 16 gauge wires into a blue connector, strip the ends extra long, twist the 2 wires tightly together, snip the end to the appropriate length.

    There's an extremely wide variety in the quality of crimpers and the ones that come in the kits are usually junk, unsuitable for anything over 16 gauge. If you're going to do a lot of crimping, or crimp larger wire, you might want to upgrade. I use this Channel Lock Crimper These will give you a good firm crimp up to 10 gauge single wire.
     
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  7. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    SO its not user error? Or maybe only a little ;- )
     
  8. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure you've tapped into the correct wires? I wouldn't think 16 ga wires should not get that hot charging an ipad. How do you have it grounded?
     
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  9. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    If your crimps are pulling apart you have a loose connection. Loose connections are high resistance and create heat
     
  10. Spridle

    Spridle Active Member

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    You can reduce a 14g wire to say 16g to fit into a connector if you need to. It's not ideal but it's not really a problem either. However, I never put two wires into terminal like that. I will sometimes put two into a butt splice, but that's about it.

    The heat could be a couple different things. Was the over heating while hooked to shore power or battery only?
     
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  11. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    neither fitting nor connector should have been hot charging an ipad or similar
     
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  12. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    16 ga is plenty big for this application assuming that you are drawing 10 amps or less (and you certainly should be with this set up). The crimp on the connecting wire has to crush the outer shell down on the wire, in fact there should actually be two crimps per connector spaced slightly apart. Look online and there are several good youtube vids on crimping. There is nothing wrong with daisy chaining the connections as long as they are good. You are using stranded wire - correct? Solid wire would not work for this app.

    18 ga would be good for 7 amps if you want to go down to that are know you won't be drawing more than that.
     
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  13. BigAl

    BigAl Member

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    I installed a similar one a month ago. The spade connectors that came with mine were really hard to crimp together, but I got them to work after really squeezing the crimper with 2 hands. I used some old lamp cord I had around the house (18 gauge I believe) as I'm only charging my phone on it.
     
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  14. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you size the fuse for the smallest wire in the circuit.
     
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  15. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    Rather than downsize the wire, I’d just upsize the connector to a yellow one, which is meant for 10-12 gauge, but will also fit 2 14 gauge wires too. He spade part is a standard size on all of them.
     
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  16. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    The over heating was with battery only.
     
  17. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    I tried the yellow ones, too, when I ruined the blue ones. but I think I need a better crimper.
     
  18. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Yeah, I suspect it is the loose connection, too. I will regroup and try again with a better crimper and yellow connectors.
     
  19. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. I will try a new crimper and more Yellow connectors.
     
  20. Stamourowl

    Stamourowl If it involves dogs and hiking count me in.

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    Yup, using stranded!
     

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