Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

A place to discuss all things involving power and lighting. Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self and more.

Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Canoe » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:59 pm

Method:
  • solder or crimp wires to connectors or each other
  • seal the join with a light coat of nail-polish and let dry
  • encapsulate the join with a high-adhesive silicone, like SCS1200 or RVT100
(nail-polish seals the joint before the silicone application, so it doesn't matter if the silicone is neutral curing or acid curing)
(do not solder after crimping - one of the worst joins possible - the crimping is too tight to allow a good alloy solder and the expansion from thermal cycle of soldering ruins the quality of the crimp)

Sufficient protection of copper wire from corrosion from exposure to water and/or playa-dust?

Other methods?
*** http://www.burningman.com/preparation/ ***
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.
.
“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”
User avatar
Canoe
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby illy dilly » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:06 pm

Covering any connection point in Silicon will make it very difficult to ever trouble shoot. Or replace the wire's if for whatever reason they might need to be.
But, sometimes, FUCK IT, and in those scenarios I'm a big fan of a dab of hot glue.
Dries very quickly, and if necessary it can be melted off with an old jacked up soldering iron tip.

Couple of questions, whatch'ya doing?
What sorta connectors?
And when you say Low Voltage do you mean voltages less than 48 volt or do you mean 'low voltage' as in data transmission?
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
Plan for the worst, expect the best. Make the most out of it under any conditions. If you cannot do that you will never enjoy yourself. ~CrispyDave
User avatar
illy dilly
 
Posts: 4798
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:02 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Gnome Dome

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Canoe » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:09 pm

< 50 VDC
LED or other lights, eBike drive, swamp cooler fan & pump, Photo Voltaic, wind power, ...
both wire splicing and for sealing the wire/conductor connections to the back of plug-in connectors

hot glue gun - hmmmm.....
when cured, is this rigid or flexible for thermal cycling under use?
happen to know the temperature of the glue for application? (wonder if it, like soldering, would affect a quality crimp)
*** http://www.burningman.com/preparation/ ***
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.
.
“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”
User avatar
Canoe
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Rice » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:09 pm

heat-shrink tubing??

Image

depending on what you are doing, if there are more than one set of wires - heat shrink each wire and then heat shrink all of them together: for a very good seal, somewhat flexible... Opinions??
Love Rice

Roach: "I feel like in this day and age, every girl should know how to build a flamethrower."
User avatar
Rice
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:33 pm
Location: Great White North, Saskatchewan, Canada
Burning Since: 2007

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Roark » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:16 pm

To add to what Rice said, there is a species of shrink tube that has hot-melt glue pre-coated on the walls. When you shrink it, it melts the glue. Waterproof, gas-proof, and wonderful stuff. You can even immerse it in water.

Neato stuff, and not really expensive either.
Give me an underground laboratory, half a dozen atom-smashers, and a beautiful girl in a diaphanous veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care NOT who writes this nation’s laws. ... S.J. Perelman
Roark
 
Posts: 213
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:37 am
Burning Since: 2017

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Canoe » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:19 pm

I've done the regular shrink wrap with silicone or crazy-glue under the ends to seal the ends, but neither held up with exposure to vibration.
*** http://www.burningman.com/preparation/ ***
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.
.
“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”
User avatar
Canoe
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby illy dilly » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:05 pm

Canoe wrote:< 50 VDC
LED or other lights, eBike drive, swamp cooler fan & pump, Photo Voltaic, wind power, ...
both wire splicing and for sealing the wire/conductor connections to the back of plug-in connectors

hot glue gun - hmmmm.....
when cured, is this rigid or flexible for thermal cycling under use?
happen to know the temperature of the glue for application? (wonder if it, like soldering, would affect a quality crimp)

With so many different applications in mind, I don't think there is a single correct answer.
For wire to wire connections that wont be submersed in water, and pretty protected from the chance of rain/spilled beer, I'd say solder and normal shrink wrap is great.
I'd say the same for most "plug in connectors". Especially if your not going to be plugging in and unplugging often. If it is a connector that will be unplugged often then try to find connectors with some sort of strain relief. Another option to create extra strain relief is to layer really small shrink wrap over just the wire but not over the actual solder joint. Then layer thicker shrink wrap over the actual solder point, and the layered shrink wrap.

For photo voltaic panels and wind power turbines I have no experience, but figure you'd probably want to follow 12v auto mobile wiring practices. :|

As for using hot glue as an insulator/separator it works great. Hot glue specifically for "fabric" is very very flexible, I like it a lot more than the clear-ish 'normal' hot glue. I don't know about gluing over a crimped connector. Most crimped connectors I've used have some sort of boot or other means of protecting/insulating, or I'd just use shrink wrap.
I don't know what temperature the glue melts at. Though, when you're at the store there are 2 options what temperature the glue gets to, High Heat and Low Heat. A 40 watt soldering iron tip will melt the "high heat" glue.

Do you have any specific connectors in mind?
Can you find them with factory attached leads, that you can solder to?
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
Plan for the worst, expect the best. Make the most out of it under any conditions. If you cannot do that you will never enjoy yourself. ~CrispyDave
User avatar
illy dilly
 
Posts: 4798
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:02 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Gnome Dome

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Canoe » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:02 pm

It's not the connectors I'm concerned about. It's the soldered connections, like there would be soldering to factory attached leads.
Lots of ideas to try.
*** http://www.burningman.com/preparation/ ***
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.
.
“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”
User avatar
Canoe
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby BetaBox » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:35 pm

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24FjjIVpk9U[/video]

These things are bombproof if done right. Quick and easy for the most part.
See you in 2014
BetaBox
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby BetaBox » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:35 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24FjjIVpk9U

Solder splice connectors. These things are bombproof if done right. Quick and easy for the most part.
See you in 2014
BetaBox
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby ranger magnum » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:45 pm

Liquid electrical tape is great. Ive covered the top of battery posts to help against corrosion.
Drugs may take you down the road to nowhere, but at least its the scenic route.
ranger magnum
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:05 pm
Location: santa barbara
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: Camp Yonder/Ottoman Empire

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby BBadger » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:56 pm

For connecting to factory leads, can you mount the device in a box, and then wire to a more dedicated cables with strain relief, etc.? That seems like the best solution for keeping more delicate electronics from getting damaged by the environment.

For wire-to-wire connections (splicing), you can try some of these methods outlined by NASA (click "Splices"). While the splicing techniques are designed to provide some strain relief, the key to all of these splices is to ensure that the splice is not given undue strain, otherwise all bets are off. If the splice will still suffer mechanical stress, you can mount it to a board or piece of metal. Rather than using something like zip-ties to hold wires, which can shatter, use wire or velcro straps.

The splicers Betabox suggested are good, but those splicing sleeves can be expensive. You can usually get away with just using heat shrink and then protecting the splice from further mechanical damage with some metal crimped silicone tubing around the splice for some strain relief. I'd then mount the wires if possible.

If you want to protect wiring, for example on the side of a MV, put the wires inside metal conduits and mount those. Conduit is cheap, and can protect your stuff. Around the camp you could bury the conduits or fix them overhead.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.
User avatar
BBadger
 
Posts: 3964
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:37 am
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA
Burning Since: I'm not sure

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Canoe » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:13 am

BBadger wrote:...these methods outlined by NASA (click "Splices")...

Nice stuff in there. I'd only seen the odd summary before. Seeing the Crimp requirements reminds me why I paid $150 for a stupid crimping tool. Only thing I've done different for some high-end audio stuff, when I don't have gold-plated, is to put a piece of gold-leaf between contact surfaces so it gets squashed between to provide contiguous contact without microscopic air voids.
*** http://www.burningman.com/preparation/ ***
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.
.
“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”
User avatar
Canoe
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:28 am

Canoe wrote:It's not the connectors I'm concerned about. It's the soldered connections, like there would be soldering to factory attached leads.
Lots of ideas to try.

I hear ya. I was asking to try and figure out what your options are for attaching the connector to the wire. Different connectors pose different issues and solutions.
As in soldering to an XLR is not the same as soldering to a connector with leads.

Its likely that I assumed you meant a "Crimp on Connector" when I read "crimp".

But, if only referring to connecting two wires to each other. Another option is to take BBadgers great idea 1 step further.
I've never used it for weather proofing a copper splice, but when taking low to medium count OSP fibers into a smallish NEMA enclosure, its necessary to perform the breakout and provide a completely water proof connection as the the cable enters the enclosure.

So, we end up buying these really expensive kits that are nothing more than a 2" long piece of PVC, an anaerobic 2-part epoxy, and some strand shields.
The 2" long PVC is ordered so that is is about a 1/4" larger diameter than the cable, or so that there is no less 1/8" between the fiber and the PVC.
The break out is made, then the PVC is slid over the break out point, or in this case the solder point. Then each end of the PVC is filled with the epoxy. Once it all dries it provides a water tight enclosure, strain relief, and a hard rigid protection around the weak point.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
Plan for the worst, expect the best. Make the most out of it under any conditions. If you cannot do that you will never enjoy yourself. ~CrispyDave
User avatar
illy dilly
 
Posts: 4798
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:02 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Gnome Dome

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Canoe » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:30 pm

illy dilly wrote:... a 2" long piece of PVC, an anaerobic 2-part epoxy, and some strand shields...

Interesting!

curious
I've been assuming all epoxy resins (hence glue) were anaerobic?
*** http://www.burningman.com/preparation/ ***
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.
.
“Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.”
User avatar
Canoe
 
Posts: 1778
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Jackass » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:30 pm

Liquid electrical tape works killer for sealing off solder connections and is flexible. If you do go to buy some just shake the can and make sure it still sloshes around in there, if not it's old. Find a fresh one and don't open it more than you have to and seal many connections at one time. It will sludge after a couple of months so use it quickly, but it will work better than anything else.

tape.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Don't worry, it'll get weird...
User avatar
Jackass
 
Posts: 735
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:40 am

I honestly have never had any problems with playa dust and simple electrical connections. Give it a good blow after you get home and don't stress it.
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
User avatar
junglesmacks
 
Posts: 5809
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 9:54 pm
Location: Orlando, FL/Kailua, HI
Camp Name: Your mom's tent

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby oscillator » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:12 pm

Having used pretty much all of the above techniques (excepting nail polish), I favor soldered connections + heatshrink (maybe with a dab of E6000 industrial adhesive on the open ends of HS).

The "Lineman's Splice" is the ultimate technique.
http://blog.makezine.com/2012/02/28/how-to-splice-wire-to-nasa-standards/

Crimped connections are OK *only* if done correctly, with the right tools. But they tend to pull apart under load.

Here is a great NASA reference:
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/codeq/doctree/87394.pdf

I have seen instances where hot glue melts on-playa(!)
User avatar
oscillator
 
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:30 pm
Location: heading north on forever street

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby illy dilly » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:46 pm

Thats nuts!
After the previous post, I wondered what temp hot glue melts at, and found this:
A normal high-temperature glue gun can get up to 380 degrees Fahrenheit, which means third degree burns should a mistake be made. Industrial strength glue guns run an even higher temperature. When using these guns, watch out for children and take precautions to guard your skin on the off-chance that a bit of glue ends up where you don't expect it. Low temperature glue guns range from 170 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit


Were folks using it on metal sitting out in sunlight?
HAHAHA, O man, maybe if common sense is failing I should restate my original comment to add "Hot glue should not be used on HOT surfaces."

junglesmacks wrote:I honestly have never had any problems with playa dust and simple electrical connections. Give it a good blow after you get home and don't stress it.

Me neither. But, then again all I've really done for Burning Man is blinky light shit.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
Plan for the worst, expect the best. Make the most out of it under any conditions. If you cannot do that you will never enjoy yourself. ~CrispyDave
User avatar
illy dilly
 
Posts: 4798
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:02 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Gnome Dome

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:25 pm

illy dilly wrote:Thats nuts!
After the previous post, I wondered what temp hot glue melts at, and found this:
A normal high-temperature glue gun can get up to 380 degrees Fahrenheit, which means third degree burns should a mistake be made. Industrial strength glue guns run an even higher temperature. When using these guns, watch out for children and take precautions to guard your skin on the off-chance that a bit of glue ends up where you don't expect it. Low temperature glue guns range from 170 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit


Were folks using it on metal sitting out in sunlight?
HAHAHA, O man, maybe if common sense is failing I should restate my original comment to add "Hot glue should not be used on HOT surfaces."

Laugh all you want (bastard) but I don't use glue guns. I have the tendency to reach out and move that glue so it's exactly where I need it. Those things are specifically designed to burn fins.

And "common sense" is a crock. It simply means "What I know that I think everyone else should know." Otherwise, it's just a chimera.
Simon's real sig line?

Embrace the Sock

Winners never quilt, quilters never win...
User avatar
theCryptofishist
 
Posts: 37413
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:28 am
Location: In Exile
Burning Since: 2017

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby illy dilly » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:15 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
illy dilly wrote:Thats nuts!
After the previous post, I wondered what temp hot glue melts at, and found this:
A normal high-temperature glue gun can get up to 380 degrees Fahrenheit, which means third degree burns should a mistake be made. Industrial strength glue guns run an even higher temperature. When using these guns, watch out for children and take precautions to guard your skin on the off-chance that a bit of glue ends up where you don't expect it. Low temperature glue guns range from 170 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit


Were folks using it on metal sitting out in sunlight?
HAHAHA, O man, maybe if common sense is failing I should restate my original comment to add "Hot glue should not be used on HOT surfaces."

Laugh all you want (bastard) but I don't use glue guns. I have the tendency to reach out and move that glue so it's exactly where I need it. Those things are specifically designed to burn fins.

And "common sense" is a crock. It simply means "What I know that I think everyone else should know." Otherwise, it's just a chimera.

Fine, I will keep laughing then (ya grumpy ass fish), maybe if you had some thumbs the blue gun would be a little easier to aim in the firsts place! :wink:

And you're right. Common Sense is relative, if not imaginary.
Maybe we need to start a thread something like "Expected Common Sense"
1. Don't mix water and electricity.
2. Don't put your match out in the gasoline.
3. Don't lean the fire extinguisher next to fuel cans/tanks.
4. Smoking pot in public in BRC is likely to get you caught.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
Plan for the worst, expect the best. Make the most out of it under any conditions. If you cannot do that you will never enjoy yourself. ~CrispyDave
User avatar
illy dilly
 
Posts: 4798
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:02 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Gnome Dome

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Rice » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:27 pm

illy dilly wrote:Fine, I will keep laughing then (ya grumpy ass fish), maybe if you had some thumbs the blue gun would be a little easier to aim in the firsts place! :wink:

And you're right. Common Sense is relative, if not imaginary.
Maybe we need to start a thread something like "Expected Common Sense"
1. Don't mix water and electricity.
2. Don't put your match out in the gasoline.
3. Don't lean the fire extinguisher next to fuel cans/tanks.
4. Smoking pot in public in BRC is likely to get you caught.

I warn most people once... Then wait for them to make the mistake anyhow.

If they are likely to get seriously hurt, I tell them - which could include a swift kick in the ass to get their attention and make them realize I am serious about the dangers!

Common Sense is a mystic human quality that only a small percentage of people actually possess...



I have started a thread on the common-ness of common sense: http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?p=916940#p916940
Love Rice

Roach: "I feel like in this day and age, every girl should know how to build a flamethrower."
User avatar
Rice
 
Posts: 1642
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:33 pm
Location: Great White North, Saskatchewan, Canada
Burning Since: 2007

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby gyre » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:40 pm

Silicone compound to prevent corrosion.
Spring style twist connectors.
Spring loaded clamp connectors for vibration.

Of course, solder.
I love heat shrink, especially irradiated pvc.
There are higher end ones too.

I mostly use white 33 tape.
User avatar
gyre
 
Posts: 15346
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: ΦάÏ

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby nixiebunny » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:37 pm

I usually use those 1/4" quick disconnect tabs for my 12V power connections. They just work. I do have to oil my crimp tool annually. It gets a bit rusty out there. Also, put black heat shrink on the negative terminal to make it easier to not screw up polarity.

Solder joints work. I use regular heat shrink to keep them in good shape. I tend to do all my soldering at home, then bring out complete modules to be plugged into each other.

I have hand-built a couple LED video displays that survived the playa just fine, even with fine surface mount circuitry getting dust blown all over it.
--David Forbes
nixiebunny
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:27 pm
Location: Tucson

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby gyre » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:15 am

Do you use a conformal coating on the boards?
User avatar
gyre
 
Posts: 15346
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: ΦάÏ

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Elorrum » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:57 am

The fellows responsible for SWARM had a great article about play proofing electricals and electronics that was linked in a jack rabbit speaks a few years ago. Seriously the playa dust they worked through with rolling interactive motorized light filled... oh just google it, you'll be amazed. They had to overcome some troubleshooting nightmares, and came up with a good tipsheet, layed out very logically I thought. So much so, that I apparently committed none of it to memory, but just remembered I could reference that article if I ever needed help on that.
What's the name of the act? The Aristocrats.
User avatar
Elorrum
 
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:09 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Playa-proofing low-voltage electrical connections?

Postby Elorrum » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:36 pm

What's the name of the act? The Aristocrats.
User avatar
Elorrum
 
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:09 pm
Location: San Jose, CA


Return to Power & Illumination

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests