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Off board LED mounting. Crimps?!? Answered

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Hi,I've got a project I'm working on requiring sixteen LEDs to be mounted approxomitely 60cm (23") from the main PCB. I've been looking at soldering 60cm lengths of wire onto each one and then using female headers  with a crimp on the end and then plugging them into a row of male headers. I have no crimp tool, will I need one? Is there an easier way to accomplish this?
Thanks!

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steveastrouk (author)2010-09-07

Yes, you really should have a crimp tool. The only alternative would be to use IDC ribbon cables, but it doesn't take kindly to being split up at the other ends and soldered.

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inbox.jason (author)steveastrouk2010-09-07

I looked into IDC ribbon cables - they were my preferred choice, but just way to difficult to work with.
Are all crimp tools created roughly equal? Will a dirt cheap one off Ebay get the job done? I've seen a few for less than £10.
I'm going to try soldering and if need buy get a cheapy one off Ebay. The Leds are being embedded into a tabletop so there is minimal vibration.

Thank you both for your fast replies - it's much appreciated!

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jeff-oBest Answer (author)2010-09-07

A crimping tool is preferred, yes. But unfortunately they are quite expensive! You can get by with small needle-node pliers - if you're careful, you can manually bend the little tabs inward around the wire, then add a tiny bit of solder to the joint. If you're ordering these parts, make sure you grab a few extra so you can do some samples first.

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steveastrouk (author)jeff-o2010-09-07

Soldering crimps though has a nasty effect on joint reliability, especially if there is any vibration.

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jeff-o (author)steveastrouk2010-09-07

True, but it's better than having the wires pull out because they weren't crimped tight enough. I haven't had any trouble with joints like this that I've soldered, though nothing is really vibrating or being moved to any large degree.

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steveastrouk (author)2010-09-07

Crimp tools are VERY specific to their crimps, but we've used Berg type (yours) in Molex crimping tools like this

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/search/searchBrowseAction.html?method=getProduct&R=2105012

And one of those will cost you 18 quid.

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steveastrouk (author)2010-09-07

Yes, we use a cheap tool, and its been fine for 20 years. We use Molex, not Berg, and Molex DO make a cheap tool, for like 20 quid.

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inbox.jason (author)steveastrouk2010-09-07

I was looking at this from Homebase....
http://www.homebase.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=20001&partNumber=319930&Trail=searchtext%3ECRIMP+TOOL

Possibly a little on the cheap side to be much use, and not sure if it'll do 22AWG.

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