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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys. Just picked up some banana plugs that need to be "crimped". Never done this before. I think it's more less self-evident how to "crimp" but I had to ask. Was going to get the screw type.


Do you simply insert the grouping of cables in the bottom and then get a pair of pliers and "clamp" (or squeeze..."crimp") the end (which looks like half of a tube had been removed...semi-circle) till it is secured around the cable?


Thanks.
 

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While you can use a pair of pliers to do the crimping, it is preferable to use a crimping tool/crimper. Pliers will result in a flat as a pancake joint and the plug insulation cover may not fit over the joint very well. A crimper will leave you with a semi-circle shaped joint and that's what the insulation cover was designed to fit over.


Speaking of the insulation cover, don't forget to slide it over the wire before you insert the wire into plug


Crimp tools can be found at any place that has the crimp plugs, Fry's, Radio Shack, Home Depot, etc and for non-professional grade ones only cost $15-$20. Many will also have wire cutter & stripper as part of their capabilities. Make sure you get the correct kind of crimp tool, an RJ-45 or coax crimper may not do simple wire crimping like this.


When you strip the insulation from the wire, only expose enough to fit within the crimp joint. Also some crimp plugs have 2 crimp points, one for the bare wire and one for the wire insulation. The latter gives you a strain relief as well as prevents flexing of the cable from breaking the bare wire right at the crimp joint.


Once you've crimped it, give it a tug to see if you've crimped it tight enough. Better to have it come apart now than in the tangle of wires behind all the equipment, which has the possibility of shorting and causing a melt down.



Finally, keep in mind that soldered connections are always preferable over crimped or screw type. Are all mine soldered? Nope, in fact I don't think any of my banana plugs in my HT system are soldered. I have the tools & knowledge but don't care to take the time, and I'm just not very good at it either.
Just keep the limitations in mind. If/when a crimped plug does come apart later, re-strip the wire since the previously exposed wire has likely oxidized over time.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't want to buy a crimping tool for just 4 banana plugs.
Will probably never use it again. Be a waste.


So basically, using my pliers, squeeze the upper portion around the copper wires and the "half cylinder" around the plastic sheathing?


Looks too thick to be crimped yet I read it should bend like butter.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD888 /forum/post/16966270


I don't want to buy a crimping tool for just 4 banana plugs.
Will probably never use it again. Be a waste.


So basically, using my pliers, squeeze the upper portion around the copper wires and the "half cylinder" around the plastic sheathing?


Looks too thick to be crimped yet I read it should bend like butter.

If you use pliers, it will fall apart, guaranteed. Then you will spend more money on banana plugs, they can't be re-crimped.


The wires go in the circular part, you don't crimp the insulation, at least not with the plugs I've seen. Do your's look like these?

http://www.amazon.com/Ultralink-UL-1.../dp/B000S875AW
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those are exactly the one's I have. But that photo doesn't show you that the bottom half is a "half-cylinder".


I'm really not crazy about going to buy a crimper tool just for 4 plugs. Arrrrg but I guess I might have to. Hate to have to waste a single plug even if I only need to use 2 of the 4 in this set. I had originally enough screw type banana plugs but misplaced 2.



When I get the crimper I'll just crimp the cylinder area.


And they aren't cheap. This is the cheapest one I've found at Home Depot Canada...

http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/s...k=P_PartNumber


Cost almost 3x more than the plugs themselves. This is nuts!! Maybe I'll bring a cut length of my 12 awg Home Depot speaker cable to the HiFi shop where I bought the plugs and see if they won't do it for free. Or loan me their crimp tool.


If I knew "crimping" would be this much hassle (for me...not previously needing a crimping tool..not knowing any one with one...etc.) I would have handed this set back and made them order me the "screw" type. That was what I originally ordered.


And just supposing I did buy that $30.00 CAD crimping tool. Do I place the plug w/ cable in the round area so that the "point" on the other side can pinch in?
 

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Quote:
And just supposing I did buy that $30.00 CAD crimping tool. Do I place the plug w/ cable in the round area so that the "point" on the other side can pinch in?

Not sure what you mean here. You crimp only the wire, and only once. Maybe you should go to the shop you got the plugs from, I'm sure they will do it for you, and you will see how it's done.


BTW, I have the same plugs I linked to, and they are a full cilinder the entire length, not sure what type of plugs you have, maybe a picture would help. Here's a better pic:


http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=091-350
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey William,


Same ones huh. Odd. Mine are not "full cylinder". Mine are "3/4 cylinder". Looks like a quarter was removed on the bottom half. If you know what I mean.


I've already emailed my shop. Will try to take the cable back to them and ask them to terminate it for me. They should be able to do it. Hopefully for free. They should. It's just one cable. And they did mess up. Was supposed to get the screw type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello William,


Thanks for the 3 pics. And you confirmed what I thought would be the position to put the plug in for crimping. But as I said...makes no sense for me to buy a crimping tool that cost almost 3x as much as the 4 plugs. Will try to get the shop that sold me the plugs to terminate the 4 ends of this one cable.


This shop incidentally also sold me my 60" KURO Elite plasma, 5 Paradigm Reference Studio speakers and a Pioneer Elite receiver. So I think they should be willing to do this little favor for me.


Here is a photo of my plug..not sure why you got a full cylinder version. Our model numbers are the same.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD888 /forum/post/16966948


Hello William,


Thanks for the 3 pics. And you confirmed what I thought would be the position to put the plug in for crimping. But as I said...makes no sense for me to buy a crimping tool that cost almost 3x as much as the 4 plugs. Will try to get the shop that sold me the plugs to terminate the 4 ends of this one cable.


This shop incidentally also sold me my 60" KURO Elite plasma, 5 Paradigm Reference Studio speakers and a Pioneer Elite receiver. So I think they should be willing to do this little favor for me.


Here is a photo of my plug..not sure why you got a full cylinder version. Our model numbers are the same.

The connector in your second photo, looks like a solder type to me.
 

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Quote:
Here is a photo of my plug..not sure why you got a full cylinder version. Our model numbers are the same.

The boots on yours are different too. If you check the picture at amazon, they are clearly full cilinders. Maybe they just get them from the cheapest supplier at the moment, and slap their logo boots on em. the same plugs are sold under many brand names, pretty generic.


I have some that look just like your's too, got them at Radio Shack, and they were sold as solder type. Not much space there for crimping, but it should work.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDD888 /forum/post/16966948


Hello William,


Thanks for the 3 pics. And you confirmed what I thought would be the position to put the plug in for crimping. But as I said...makes no sense for me to buy a crimping tool that cost almost 3x as much as the 4 plugs. Will try to get the shop that sold me the plugs to terminate the 4 ends of this one cable.


This shop incidentally also sold me my 60" KURO Elite plasma, 5 Paradigm Reference Studio speakers and a Pioneer Elite receiver. So I think they should be willing to do this little favor for me.


Here is a photo of my plug..not sure why you got a full cylinder version. Our model numbers are the same.

You can call them what you want, but they look to me like they would be great for soldering! Given that soldering irons are generally cheaper and easier to use than crimping tools, that's the way I'd go with these puppies!
 

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Personally I see no purpose in any type of plug for a permanent speaker system.


I am amused by all the hype about the plug appearance and the wire specs for a friction-fit connector that will suffer metal fatigue and creating a less than solid connection and allow air into the connection that is an anathema to oxygen free copper wire.


I much prefer to thoroughly tin the bare wire, (14-2 SJO from Lowe's not oxygen free, yogurt encased, low VOC, politically correct, combed, braided, 3,000 strand high gloss 99.9% pure copper mined only by the free people of Surinam, encased in high impedance, molecularly super dense, irradiated, pastel tinted, poly vinyl chloride) then it slip into the holes in the speaker connectors and tighten the nuts.


However, I agree that the pictured banana plugs are perfectly (and probably) designed with a very adequate solder cup.


Why crimp when you get an airtight, non oxidizing and probably less than snug crimp when you can spend a few seconds to solder and get a connection will not fail. All the low level interconnect cables are soldered, Why not solder the conductors carrying the highest amount of current in the audio signal path?
 
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