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Flag Terminals

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by chslighttech, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. chslighttech

    chslighttech Member

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    Alot of our extension cords are falling into disrepair. Alot you have to wiggle around to get them to work and alot are not even crimped they are just wrapped around the screws. So since I have to rewire them anyways I might as well use the right terminations. But the problem is i went to my local electrical supply store with one of the flag terminators and he looked at me like I was dumb because he had never seen them before. I looked on the net and I found some on grainger but they dont say what wire size they are Im looking for 2-14 guage.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2007
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    First off, your link is a dead link. So, I did my own search on Grainger and saw the parts you must have been looking at: Flag Terminals Pk100. If you read the item description for each of those it tells you the wire opening size in 0.XX inches after the bolt hole size (i.e. Non-Insulated Flag Terminal, Number 8 Bolt Hole Size, 0.03 in Stock Thickness, 100 per Package). Also if you head over to your local hardware/electrical supplier you should be able to pick up terminal forks (spade lugs) that will accomplish the same thing as flag terminators. One advantage to terminal forks is that you don't need to completely unscrew the connector screws to attach the fork.
     
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Ditto the forks, but odds are if you have to wiggle the cable around to get a connection, there is so much damage on the lugs themselves that that connector is shot anyway. Black stuff=resistance=heat=fire=bad.
     
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Depends upon what brand/era of plug you are using. Stage pin plug to be assumed but on old "Union" plugs, Flag terminals are a must. Install even an un-insulated ring terminal into a old style Union plug and it won't fit nor be safe.

    So.. Ring terminals verses flag terminals. All stage pin plugs use a #8 stud crimp terminal or #8-32 screw so you want a #8 stud hole.

    On flag terminals, there is lots of distributers - Grainger and better yet McMaster Carr the easiest to get from probably. Most Ace Hardwares and theater distributers stopped selling flag terminals years ago. All crimp terminals have a specific sizing to them - there will never be a #14-12 wire gauge crimp terminal. In general with insulated or non-insulated you either have #16-14 (blue) or #12-10 (yellow). Red is 22 thru 18ga. Flag terminals are available in all sizings.

    If you can only get one crimp terminal, buy a 12-10ga one and strip the 14ga wire twice as long, fold it back on itself tight and you now have a 11ga wire which will fit sufficiently. Better to get both flag terminals but not absolutely necessary as long as you keep in mind proper sizing of wire to terminal. A single stranded conductor that's folded in half equals three wire sizes larger in wire gauge. Three 16ga wires thus equal 10ga wire in what ferrule or crimp terminal you would tend to want to use.

    Don't use a fork/spade terminals with stage pin plugs. Stage pin plugs of the crimp terminal types normally have only semi-sufficient strain reliefs and a lot of the strain of that stage hand tugging on the wires is falling on to the ring terminal. A fork terminal is going to fail - this especially if you are not using external tooth silicone/bronze lock washers in the plug. Besides that, there is no that I'm aware of stage pin plugs that were designed for use with a fork terminal. Use of one would be against the design of that plug.

    On old style (non Bates) style stage pin plugs, Friction tape is your best friend. Nothing works better to make a cable strain relief work sufficiently. Two to three wraps on a 12/3 SO so it holds a bit better, more to make it become the size of 12/3 SO on all other smaller AWG cables. Friction tape while ancient technology.. nothing better still for this purpose.

    On the old "Union" I would believe as described by way of the flag terminals - make sure you do a proper wiring of them. From memory, strip 7/8" of wire, cut the neutral down by 1/8" and the ground down to 1/4" long. Make the Hot and Neutral make a 90 degree angle directly away from the outer jacket - needle nose pliers will be useful for this. Best possibly to strip 1" of wire, bend out the hot/neutral to 90 degrees, than cut to adjust in fitting where the wire wants to terminate.

    Strip the insulation off the hot/neutral slightly shorter than what's required and push the flag terminal into the insulation so that it bunches up around the edge of the crimp. This will ensure that as the cable pulls and stretches out, no copper is exposed. IF there is any copper hanging out the side of the flag terminal - and there could be, cut it off or smash it down flat.

    Your ground normal ring terminal if normal needs to be all the way up to the outer jacket of the stripped area. Note the 1/4" of conductor as very important. Can be slightly longer by 1/16" if a factory ring terminal. Normal store bought (Un-insulated) ring terminals are slightly longer than that of the shortened ones that come with Union plugs. If absolutely necessary to use a store bought ring terminal, you can pull off the vinyl insulation from a store bought #12 x #8 stud ring terminal for the ground by way of two pairs of pliers. Needs to be un-insulated or it won't fit.

    Crimp your flag terminal with a "A modified" insulation displacement "Steakon" tool. This is a brand name for a specific general design of crimp tool. This is a Klien #1006 otherwise double jaw crimp tool. In general - insulated or non-insulated, you want something with a real tooth that will crimp not smash the terminal. Vise Grips, and other multi-tools are not the proper tool for doing any crimp! I say this again, something that's just going to crush the round area flat will not provide a proper crimp to hold the wire. This no matter what type of crimp or plug you are doing it on. Smashed crimp terminals after the wire expands/contracts and in general settles become loose more often than not - never smash something like that as also given the skin effect to wire, some conductors will have less pressure on them than others and thus there will be resistance at that point the wire makes a transition to what conducts easily in the center area verses what's at the edges of the smashed area which is of higher resistance. Thus the concept of displacing material so that all parts of the conductor has equal pressure on it.

    The Klien tool in doing it properly, #1005 does #16-14 ga wire crimps, and the #1006 is designed for #22-18ga and #12-10ga. On a flag terminal it won't matter all that much as long as using a tooth jaw crimp tool, but on a normal ring terminal, it will matter. Insulated or non-insulated, follow the wire gauge not what fits best. Crimp with the jaw to the sufficient tension and insulated or not insulated, it will hold and be sufficiently protected even if the jaw part rips thru a vinyl coating. On normal crimp terminals - put the saddle (concave side) into the seam of the crimp. On a flag terminal, the saddle goes towards the seam also.

    Normal Steakon tools have a cutting jaw at it's tip. This needs to be removed or it's going to screw up your flag terminal. Grind the sucker away and after that you now have a flag terminal crimp tool. The only other crimp tool that's acceptable for flag terminals is a Vatco/Klien #1900 that has it's insulation displacement jaws at the tip of the tool and doesn't need modification.

    Once crimped - test your crimp before you loosen the grip on your crimp tool. Give the crimp a good tug so as to ensure that you have put enough pressure on the crimp. Not enough pressure on a crimp is a constant source of failure as with too tight and now cutting strands of wire or the wire itself.

    On old union plugs or any other type of ring terminal based plug, you should be able to remove the screws and drywall screw the crimped cable to the wall, than climb on it and even give it a bounce. That's a proper crimp, anything that fails by way of wire pulling free tells you that you didn't crimp sufficiently.

    Finally, in doing old plugs, the most important thing is to ensure the gapping of the pins. The slit in that plug's pins should have a parallel slit to it - if it's not parallel, make it so by way of stage pin pinsplitter or as necessary knife. This is what retains tension on the plug staying into it's socket and will prevent another way of high resistance failure. Pay attention to this and the bright work - paint don't conduct well.

    Hope it helps... years upon years with old school stage pin. If any are "locking" an old style, send me one and I'll trade it for five non-locking. I dealt with the locking style for years but never acquired for my wall of shame a locking version.
     
    variable and (deleted member) like this.
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    As for dis-repair...
    Inspect your cable - at some point you must throw it out.

    If brittle and or dry rotted (as you flex it tight is shows little cracks in it) it's no good.

    If you cannot read the gauge, brand and grade of cable - it's no longer servicable either. You must be able to read the writing on the cable or it's not code compliant any longer.

    An idea now that you are fixing the cable would also be to mark the cable for who it belongs to - if you have any "guests" that might by mistake take any cable home with them, and mark it for length and for wire gauge. This can be done in a number of ways such as a short ribbon of gaff tape towards the female end that notes say the maximum wattage this cable can power up if you have more than one gauge of cable in stock. This way if you have say a 14/3 cable in use, someone that doesn't know that the 14/3 cable is only rated for 1,800w, they might stand a chance of reading the ribbon (paint marker or silver sharpee) saying it's maximum wattage, and they won't plug in a say 2,400w load to it.

    In length, one can color code but at least perhaps the theater, phone number and cable type and length should be if nothing else printed up on paper and clear taped onto the wire. Gets lots more advanced beyond that to the extent of say colored printed heat shrink with company and phone number, than a P-Touch label with the type, grade and length, than adhesive and clear heat shrink, but at very least, the above info is very useful esepcially if there is any chance it might wander away. This beyond maximum wattage this cable can power up as something that should be marked.

    Again with the cable, ensure it's good still - if in question, it's not worth risking your life in saving even if broke and can't afford better. Check all crimps and re-do where possible. Also, if one side is bad, the other side is normally not any good either. Be suspicious always.

    Finally, set up a say Stage to Edison adaptor and get a GB Edison tester if not a stage pin Gam Check. Test each cable you work on by way of GFCI receptacle. If this means taking cable you work on into the school's washroom in finding a GFCI, that's what's necessary, or perhaps the school can set you up a GFCI protected outlet in your test area. All it takes is one bad circuit and even if once failed it has to be replaced it was worth the money. Test all cable you service - the only chance to test it is while working on it so it had at best be right and safe.

    Other option is get a friend or as completely step inspect the wiring before you put the cover on the plug. Not as part of your assembly but as a completely different step that you verify your wiring. A second person closing up the plugs and inspecting them is a much better solution for this but second to also testing the cables.
     
    Dcdjdrew likes this.
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Fork/Spade terminals are absolutely not correct to be using with stage pin - note the above about strain relief much less plug design.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2007
  7. chslighttech

    chslighttech Member

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    Thanks ship. Sorry about the link it was a search and that must have been why it was dead. Yes I do own a proper crimp tool and I know the ways of using one properly. All of our cables are in good condition its just the connectors were never put on right in the first place is the problem that I see. The cable is clearly marked and is not cracking on all the ones I have seen. But thanks for the heads up. Thank you for the reply ship it helped me alot.
     

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