| How To: Crimping |
Last Modified: 2006-08-04
Crimping is a necessary part of most robotics projects to allow re-configurable connections to various sensor, motors, and controllers. Acroname offers many pre-crimped wires and connectors for various uses. It is also good to know how to crimp wires on your own for specific needs.
Crimpers from Left to Right; Professional, Pliers, General Purpose
Professional crimping, like that of Acroname's pre-built cables, is done using either an automated crimping tool or a hand crimper. The manufacturers of every crimp type are happy to sell you a hand crimping tool but beware. This is the method they use to get people to stick with a specific crimp type. These tools can often cost $1,000 or more! There are some reasonable general purpose crimping tools available that can do an adequate job in many cases. You can also just use some care and a set of needle nose pliers to accomplish pretty good crimps.
Typical Female Crimp
There are female and male crimps in a multitude of different sizes. They all generally contain the same parts. There is a channel that is folded down to grip the insulation and provide strain relief. A secondary channel is folded down right into the (often stranded) wire to make an electrical connection. Getting the insulation gripped well is the key to reliable crimps.
Sequence of Steps when Hand Crimping
Once crimped, you can typically just push the finished crimp into the housing by the wire taking care to get the retaining tab oriented properly for the particular housing type you are using. The crimp should snap into the housing and stay put even if you tug at the wire.
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