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Re: NASA SPEC Connectors



Lessons Learned on Amateur Satellite Building:

On 5 Mar 2001, I asked about soldering vs crimping:

> I hate to ask this here, but we have a 10 pin NASA flight connector.
> SPecs say the pins are to be crimped on to the wires.  But [we have no
> crimper]...  ... "why cannot we just solder the pins to the wires?

Many of you provided excellent answers!  As a result, we spent a day of
travel to get the 10 minute job done RIGHT on the SEPARATION cable.  Many
of your comments mentioned how the solder wicks up under the insulation
making the wire no longer flexible.

Boy were you right.  We soldered our satellite harness with almost 300
pins connected over 16 DB connectors all in the space smaller than a
square foot, soldered by three different people over a month taking over
25 hours of labor.  Then we spent 8 hours with 2 of us Ohming it out.

BUT now we have risk.  The amount of handling and wiggling and shoving and
moving wires around to see each and every pin over each step of this
laborous process has left some wires "weak".  Now we are going to take
another full day to just INSPECT every single one...

Never again will I attempt to solder a final flight harness.  I am sold
100% on crimping the final harness.  By now, the crimper and pin insertion
and extraction tools would have more than paid for themselves in labor.

I've soldered thousands of cables in my 40 year hobby and dozens of
shacks.... but this was different...  The Pro's were absolutely right..
Hope this saves someone else the learning curve...

de WB4APR, Bob


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