Connectors - But I dont understand electronics

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There are literally dozens of different types of electrical connectors, many of which you will find on model boat equipment. The pictures show the main types in use, with the exception of the familiar domestic electrical multiple screw terminal blocks, also known as 'choc blocks'. These are fine for their original application, i.e. domestic wiring with single-core copper wire, but if even slightly over-tightened, the screws may secure only a few of the wires of a stranded conductor cable or even cut right through them. Avoid using these if at all possible. The golden rule is that if a manufacturer has fitted a particular type of connector to the wiring on his unit then you can assume it’s safe to use it, so fit the appropriate mate to the connecting cable and all should be well. Where no connector has been supplied, then you need to decide what type to use, Photo 3, Photo 4 & Photo 5.

For general circuits of less than about 15A (15 Amps), the Tamiya types are very popular. For higher currents then consider the Deans type, or the gold-plated bullet connectors for very high currents. Do make sure that you fit insulation (usually heat-shrink tubing) over any soldered joints. Also make sure that you fit the shrouded sockets to the battery as this is to avoid un-insulated plug connections accidentally shorting together and blowing up the battery pack!

If your electronic units have screw terminals then you will need to prepare the ends of the cable to suit. NEVER just twist the strands of cable together and stuff them into the terminal. You will inevitably discover one day that there is a loose strand (or ‘whisker’) of wire which finds its way across to a neighbouring terminal, causes a short-circuit and melts or blows up something. At the very least you should strip, twist and tin the strands with solder, then crop them to length, Photo 6. Ideally plain cable ends should be terminated with a crimped bootlace ferrule; the blue and red colour-coded ones are the most useful sizes for models, Photo 7.

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