Don't ask a question unless you know the answer | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

Don't ask a question unless you know the answer

May 7, 2017
19
14
Hastings
Funster No
48,547
MH
C Class
Exp
since 1980
I have been having trouble joining wires in my Motorhome. I decided that all joints should be soldered and held with the shrink plastic. I could not find a 12volt soldering iron so I bought a 40watt cheapo.
My inverter is a 350watt, adequate for charging toothbrush, computer etc.
Can I plug my soldering iron into this inverter?




Can I plug IMG_2864.jpegIMG_2863.jpeg
 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
12,652
13,644
Guisborough
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29,351
MH
Nothing ATM
Exp
since 2012
It should run OK but last time I soldered something from the inverter I blew the fuse on the wire being soldered, could have been a coincidence as I didn't think there would be -ve directly to chassis from the inverter 240v side.
 

meanders

Funster - Life Member
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Jun 28, 2008
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Yes. It should work absolutely fine. However be careful with that inverter with any analogue audio equipment or any other electronic equipment not being powered by a regulated power pack. Synchronous AC motors, mains operated LED lamps and amplifiers in particular do not like the square wave output of some of these devices.

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Oct 7, 2013
3,741
11,445
South Wales & Burgundy
Funster No
28,463
MH
Elddis Accordo 125
Exp
Since 1988
Not related to thread but to the title.

I was a member of a jury on a murder trial several years ago. During Jury deliberation a young lady member said that the wounds were entirely consistent with the evidence presented by the prosecuting barrister.

One of the jury members, who was pushing for acquittal, challenged aggressively, “and what would you know about it”

With a slight smile she replied, “I am a consultant A&E surgeon and have seen several hundred similar wounds”

Game, set and match.
 
Dec 13, 2019
150
126
Northumberland
Funster No
67,346
MH
C Class
Exp
Newbie
You can get a small soldering iron powered by butane gas. Works a treat. I got mine at B&Q a while back.
Do agree, crimps are better but, a soldering iron is still a handy tool to keep in the MH IMHO.
Good luck.
 
OP
Kniste
May 7, 2017
19
14
Hastings
Funster No
48,547
MH
C Class
Exp
since 1980
Thanks, to all, anyone like to buy a 40watt soldering iron? The last advice by BnBJwf hit the nail on the head. the advantage of a gas soldering means that I can use it anywhere. I can move the iron to the work..

Crimping should be better, My crimper is cheap and I have not had much success.. I like the idea of covering the join with the shrink plastic.

Steve
 

TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
12,769
19,213
Dorset
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19,048
MH
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many many years! since I was a kid
when you solder copper wire, especially old wire, it makes the copper brittle. Soldered joints in vehicle wiring can latter fail due to vibration. However if sealed in heat shrink tubing it would be better

You can buy heat shrink crimps too. A set of ratchet crimping pliers with various size anvils in the jaws can be bought on ebay under £8
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338547443&icep_item=392721482392

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May 6, 2016
977
1,401
Pontardawe
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MH
Pug Boxer
Exp
Since 2013
You can get a small soldering iron powered by butane gas. Works a treat. I got mine at B&Q a while back.
Do agree, crimps are better but, a soldering iron is still a handy tool to keep in the MH IMHO.
Good luck.

Lidl have them at the moment for £14.99

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hilldweller

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 5, 2008
32,717
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Macclesfield
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From Aug 2007
>>Don't ask a question unless you know the answer

Do you mean Don't answer a question unless you know the answer ?


For a change every answer is spot on.

Though I do recall our hot shot lawyer on here once said "Don't ask a witness a question unless you know the answer beforehand"
 
Aug 6, 2013
8,894
8,302
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
when you solder copper wire, especially old wire, it makes the copper brittle. Soldered joints in vehicle wiring can latter fail due to vibration. However if sealed in heat shrink tubing it would be better

You can buy heat shrink crimps too. A set of ratchet crimping pliers with various size anvils in the jaws can be bought on ebay under £8
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&toolid=10001&campid=5338547443&icep_item=392721482392
Trouble is those crimps were never intended for vehicle use. Use uninsulated crimp terminals with covers or heatshrink. And yes I know everyone uses them.:giggle:
 
Jan 19, 2014
3,754
9,720
Derbyshire
Funster No
29,757
MH
Elddis Accordo 105
Exp
since 2014
A mains soldering iron has an earthed tip, earth is connected to the leisure battery negative so you can easily pop fuses if you use the hook up supply. If you use the inverter though you should be ok unless it's been messed about with, they come as standard with a floating earth.

I bought a 12v 25w Antex iron a few months ago, comes with a bigger tip than I usually use but it's great for general purpose soldering and has plenty of heat.

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Gromett

Funster
Feb 27, 2011
10,369
24,633
UK
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Self Build
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Since 2005
I will re-iterate what others have said. I would strongly recommend against soldering wires in a vehicle.

When you solder you convert a flexible stranded wire into a solid connection. The solder will flow up the wire quite a distance by whicking.

The in itself is not an issue. But in a vehicle where there is vibrations if the wire joint is not firmly fixed down it could vibrate and the solid connection may over time break/snap.

If you imagine a paper clip and just flex it a little continuously it will eventually snap. Do the same with a piece of stranded copper wire and it won't. By soldering you are converting the stranded wire into a solid wire which should never be used where vibrations are likely.

It is worth investing in a good quality crimping tool. I bought two many years ago and they have served me brilliantly over the years. I have one that is huge and capable of dealing with up to 50mm cable and a small one which will deal with 1mm - 6mm.
 
Jan 19, 2014
3,754
9,720
Derbyshire
Funster No
29,757
MH
Elddis Accordo 105
Exp
since 2014
I will re-iterate what others have said. I would strongly recommend against soldering wires in a vehicle.

When you solder you convert a flexible stranded wire into a solid connection. The solder will flow up the wire quite a distance by whicking.

The in itself is not an issue. But in a vehicle where there is vibrations if the wire joint is not firmly fixed down it could vibrate and the solid connection may over time break/snap.

If you imagine a paper clip and just flex it a little continuously it will eventually snap. Do the same with a piece of stranded copper wire and it won't. By soldering you are converting the stranded wire into a solid wire which should never be used where vibrations are likely.

It is worth investing in a good quality crimping tool. I bought two many years ago and they have served me brilliantly over the years. I have one that is huge and capable of dealing with up to 50mm cable and a small one which will deal with 1mm - 6mm.
That's only if one end of the joint is fixed, and even then I can't imagine a soldered wire getting enough vibration to actually break, that's pretty extreme. What about wires that are soldered onto circuit boards?
 

Gromett

Funster
Feb 27, 2011
10,369
24,633
UK
Funster No
15,452
MH
Self Build
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Since 2005
That's only if one end of the joint is fixed, and even then I can't imagine a soldered wire getting enough vibration to actually break, that's pretty extreme. What about wires that are soldered onto circuit boards?
It is not only if one end is fixed. If the wire is hanging free it can act like a pendulum. Yes it is extreme but the possibility of it happening is non zero. This is why cars use crimps on all connectors not soldered joints.

As for wire that are soldered onto boards. If you look at any board you will see that the cables are tied down and can't move in any well designed circuit.

My original trade was an electronics engineer and I did my electrical apprenticeship. This is how I was trained. Part of my apprenticeship was doing industrial, commercial and domestic wiring. We also did vehicle maintenance which involved full rewires of vehicles. My apprenticeship task was rewiring a dump truck. I was all in for doing all the cable splicing like I was trained with proper joint's like telegraph joints etc. It was then explained why we don't use wire wrapping or soldering techniques in any vehicle or other system where vibrations are present.

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ctc

Oct 12, 2015
508
667
Crowle
Funster No
39,408
MH
Hymer b680
Exp
New
Be careful with soldered connections they can deteriorate but still show continuity, better to use insulated crimp connectors.
 
OP
Kniste
May 7, 2017
19
14
Hastings
Funster No
48,547
MH
C Class
Exp
since 1980
Methinks, Nasher has the best advice. thanks :)
Has the idea of soldering changed over the ages?
Like most vehicles, mine is controlled by a computer with little redundancy.
My other issue is that the space for the wires is limited and various push and crimp connectors including the Wago series are clunky and still need covering.
 
May 7, 2016
2,387
2,243
Poole, Dorset
Funster No
42,951
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 2003
I would not use blade or bullet connectors if the joint is intended to be permanent. I would opt for something like this

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Apr 27, 2016
1,621
1,244
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
What about wires that are soldered onto circuit boards?
If you look at stuff professionally designed for vehicles, even the larger components on the circuit board are epoxy potted or fixed by hot melt glue to stop them vibrating. The manual for my Audi specifically states no connections to be soldered anywhere on the vehicle. Aircraft wiring uses crimps.

The effects of vibration and resonances are non-intuitive, and over the years lessons have been learned, sometimes the hard way.
 
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