Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

Crimping versus soldering, in avionics

A further instalment…

The above (Socata original crimps) shows that to correctly crimp the cable strain relief portion of the PIDG terminal, you need the right tool for that. It’s obvious that most tools people use don’t do this. The tool at the top of my post #31 doesn’t, even though (I did tests today with various avionics wires) it does the wire portion just fine.

The tools in my posts #33 and #34 won’t do it either… they just squash the insulation a bit.

To do the cable strain relief correctly, one needs a tool which I haven’t seen yet. Perversely I was able to do it quite well by using the wire side of the tool to do the insulation side, but that isn’t going to work for most terminals

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

These tools have an adjustable jaw for the insulation barrel

More digging suggests such tools are rare. For example this one, from AMP, 90 quid, does not have an adjustable insulation crimp section

This one also from AMP (TE as they are now known) is reassuringly expensive at 700 quid but looks like the one

With a 2 month delivery time clearly it is in heavy demand

No wonder few people know about this, let alone use it

I have just received the RS tool mentioned above. It is just the same as the other cheap tools.

As they say: every day is a school day.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter – the AMP/TE tools for PIDG terminals all cost in the order of a few hundred pounds. They are superbly well made, but I suspect that the tiny volumes are the main reason for the high price.

There are usually several for sale on eBay. I got one for the red terminals (16-22 awg I think) for €10 and about the same for delivery. It is in beautiful condition. The red terminals are those used on a JPI engine analyser harness.

PS – if you take the route of buying secondhand, I’d advise buying a tool for each connector size and not one that can do 2 or 3 sizes

Last Edited by Alan_South at 12 Jan 13:26
I´d hate to spend that money just for using these shitty connectors. You get most types of connectors in bare types as well so you can use some other crimping tool that produces better joints. With some heat shrink the finish is a lot nicer . The bare type ring connectors are a lot thicker material too, so more force to crimp . I would not care too much about strain relieve by the plastic insulation, plastics are poor under long time load, so you better fix wire bundles in sockets, plugs etc. by other ways so the whole assembly stays put. Some links for inspiration:



vic wrote:

You get most types of connectors in bare types as well so you can use some other crimping tool that produces better joints. With some heat shrink the finish is a lot nicer

I think so, too, but I would also recommend to use heat shrink tubing with adhesive on the inside – it provides a much better strain relief.

LKBU (near Prague), Czech Republic

@alan_south do you mean e.g. this one or this one. Both seem very similar but clearly for subtly different terminals.

I can’t see how the insulation grip side of it is adjustable, or even how to relate the tool P/N to the crimp P/N. Unless one buys the crimp terminals from AMP too… which is what does happen with the more specialised crimps from e.g. Positronic.

Edit: I think the two pins come out – same on this one

457 quid…

Basically the problem is that all the tools AMP/TE list currently don’t relate to the tools which come up on Ebay. I see a 20-16 and a 20-18 for example; above two links.

Last edit: Looking at the RS page for the AMP/TE terminal I actually have, they list various tools at various prices, from 30 to 457 quid. Looking at them, it’s clear that only the 457 quid one has the adjustable insulation crimp. No wonder we get all the weird variations in the field. Also the tools on Ebay (which are mostly ex military, probably from closed RAF based like Swanton Morley from where my Positronic/DMC one came from) are very specific tools for very specific terminals.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter – there are indeed dozens of different types of these tools. I found this list helpful to make sense for the job I wanted to do: here

For what I needed, I bought a 47386 and one other, the details of which I forget. Some listings on eBay are definitely in the spirit of “give this old tool a new home”, which is how I paid €10 for my one. There are lots of these tools in the US for about $50.

PS – you said “reassuringly expensive” earlier. One thing of note, and not obvious from the pictures, is that these tools are reassuringly long in comparison with things like the CK tool.

Last Edited by Alan_South at 14 Jan 08:55

The RS tool I referenced above doesn’t have enough leverage to do the yellow terminals, unless you are built like a gorilla. The other one, post 31, does them easily enough. Very odd…

That’s a very useful doc – many thanks for finding that Alan. However I still on’t get how to find the right ool for e.g. RS 457-5097 which is AMP P/N 36151. That guide doesn’t list 36151. Also it shows multiple toold for the same thing – possibly these are the differently priced options, but it would be funny if AMP were recommending someone using a tool which doesn’t do the insulation crimp. It looks like 47386 is one option for 22-16 awg and at 400+ quid it is probably the right one

And, yeah, old ones do come up on Ebay.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

If you talk nicely to Adrian at SouthCoast Avionics he’ll probably lend you the right tool.

The 47386 tool is what I have and is the right one for 36151 ring tags.

Avionics geek.
Fairoaks. EGTF

Many thanks wigglyamp. Amazing how long it took just to get to this tool P/N. I had already ordered one on Ebay from the USA for about 70 quid the lot. But I will try to borrow it in the meantime. I know Adrian well

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top