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Striplight wiring

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Les, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Seems like I read on here that when wiring striplights, the connections must be soldered after tightening down to the lamp base. Can anyone confirm this? Every strip I've serviced (all two of them) has been soldered at the lamp base terminals so I am pretty sure what I read was correct. The strips I've worked on in the past were pretty old with asbestos wiring and I am just making sure it is still a standardized method.

    Somewhat on-topic question. If the soldered connections is to reduce the risk of fire/shock due to loose or lost connections, why is it that the lamp base of a fresnel, say a 65Q Altman isn't soldered though the focusing action of a fresnel may put more stress on the internal wiring and connections?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  2. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Yep, seen that mostly also with old strip lights also solder splices at times which is a really cool technique.

    Required? Don't think I have ever read about such a thing and tough to do properly if that's the rule. On the other hand I have seen some Fresnel and other screw base type fixtures soldered in addition to them strips including a strip I saw over the weekend. Bit of a pain in removing solder so as to re-do the wiring on what's otherwise a servicable or resurfaced base. Believe in last attemp 800F+ on at least a 50W iron and a solder sucker worked better than the propane blow torch and dripping if it helps. Old solder = real pain to remove but worth doing so.

    No idea of if that's still the practice in doing such things, this in going back to tinned wire Union connectors that work but if not done correctly are problematic. I don't do any such thing these days in re-using and re-wiring such fixtures. One huge caution is of if the screw can be removed from the socket or not in potentially replacing it or how you deal with it. This and how you deal with the wire into the screw terminal if for a cyc/boarder/X-Ray etc. light which is fed in parallel without cutting the wire.

    Specific to the strip/cyc/boarder light situation where often the screw terminals are just feed thru and easy/best perhaps to do so, more a question of if that terminal screw can be removed without stripping it or not. If it can be removed, I might add a external tooth lock washer and bent washer under the head of the screw or it's longer/newer replacement and call it a day in estimating this won't come loose. This if concerned, assuming the lampholder is going to need service most likely before that screw if tight will come loose with expansion and contraction, and or I might check that tension in a few months to give it's final tension if this strip light say has traveled about the country in the back of a truck in bouncing about over an expansion and contraction concept. This re-checking especially if SF-2 wire used instead of the less stranded or settling TGGT wire. After the first checking of that screw's tension.. probably fine. Overall concept being a washer if not a bent washer to grip and tension the wire so the teeth of the lock washer don't cut into the strands of the heat wire and the lock washer grips a solid area.

    Easier on a single termial fed, just a high temp. ring terminal or one cut to make fit into a non-removable screw, and ensuring it's insulated at the crimp plus proper standoff and insulation about that crimp.

    If screws cannot safely be removed, one cannot add the lock washer. On a cyc type light, I have not run across that situation before. Debate about the values of locking down that screw and connection with solder verses expansion/contraction with the initial install and proper temperature in doing so. If the screws cannot be removed from the lampholder, I might just tighten them than afer hours of use re-tighten than solder that joint the best I can with solder.

    More prefer a mechanical joint but them solder splices or terminals do work well if done properly. This much less them solder joints when done right do work well one cannot otherwise question. Challenge say a 50W verses 75W iron in getting the terminal hot enough to do a proper solder connection and one that won't melt down or be cold solder. More a tinning thing if otherwise in question possibly. Hope it's not needed as I'm yet to see a cyc light that had screw terminals which did not allow the screws to be removed.
     
  3. church

    church Active Member

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    soldered connections should not be subjected to stress i.e. used to attach to the base of a fresnel lampholder. Soft solder joints made using SN63 and SN96 solder are considered electrical joints - not mechanical joints and are there to provide a reliable electrical joint. This is why components mounted into printed circuit boards have the leads bent slightly and wires require to be wrapped around solder posts.

    When soldering multistrand wire the solder will wick along the wires, this requires that stress relief bends are formed into the wire to prevent vibration and temperature from producing a crack in the soldered joint or developing a "dry" joint over time.

    You should also note that the melting point of SN63 is approximately 170 degrees centigrade and SN96 is approx 240 degrees centigrade - I would need to look up the exact numbers but you should not use SN96 in applications that operate above 174 degrees centigrade for reliability reasons.
     
  4. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    One trick on removing old solder is to first add new solder to the joint! The problem is the oxide layer on the surface thermally insulates the blob. The new solder and flux quickly breaks through this layer and the whole blob becomes liquid.
     
  5. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Awesome! I have 45 used striplight bases on their way which may or may not be soldered and I want to reuse them. I will try this.
     

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