Monday, September 25, 2017

Electronics: Crimping with Engineer PA-09

In my last project I had 2 separate PCB panels, binding posts, display panels etc. Loads of wiring between each. The easiest option was to solder these wires permanently among the various parts and be done with it. But, from previous experience I have learnt that this just results in a mess, which is hard to debug, hard to take apart again and incase of one small misplacement of a wire can result in a tangle which may require desoldering etc. This time I was looking for a better way. But, its next to impossible to find premade wires with a combination of connectors I needed. So lo behold crimping.

For crimp connectors for 28 to 24 AWG wires I found the Engineer PA-09 indispensable. Crimping does require some practice but, after you get the hang of it, this tool has a very satisfying and reliable crimp profile (see pictures below). Below, is a video of me crimping Molex crimp sockets for 1" /2.54 mm connector housings onto a 28 AWG ribbon cable. Here I use 2 types of Molex crimp sockets here but, both for housings with 2.54mm pitch.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Electronics: Wire Stripping with Weidmuller Stripax

I have been using Vessel 3500 1 and 2 wire strippers and have been quite happy with them. But, during my last project, custom connectors came to focus. There was a lot of stripping (wires ;-)) and crimping. I decided to try out an automatic wire stripper. Searching and reading reviews, I came across these. Pulled the trigger and got one. The Weidmuller Stripax 9005000000.

I must admit, the difference was night and day. The time savings were significant. Fool proof wire stripping. Below is a video of me stripping 16 (brown), 18 (white), 26 (black) and 28 AWG (grey ribbon cable). All these were done without adjusting the tool for the wire gauge. Its rated for wires between 28 - 7 AWG. I haven't used the Vessel wire strippers since. And, those were my favorites. A bit on the expensive side. But, worth every penny. Excellent.

Electronics: The Lab

I was bitten by the electronics hobby bug quite some time back. Over time, I have acquired items that enabled me to take on some small electronics projects. It was about time, I took a stock of what I have so far. So below is my "Electronics Lab". It may serve as an example for someone planning to get into hobby electronics. Couple of items like the signal/function generator and the Elenco component kits shown in the pics are just somethings on my wishlist. Obviously, I cannot vouch for them yet. But, for other items - I have used those enough to recommend them without reservations.


EEVblog BM235 Multimeter
Dual Tracking 0-19V Power Supply (Modified with 120VAC transformer)
Rigol DS1052E 50MHz DSO
AE20125 10 MHz Sweep DDS Function Generator Kit with USB and Modulation (On wishlist)

Breadboard (3M)
Hookup Wires 22 AWG (Solid)
Red, Yellow, Black
Vessel 3500-2 (30 AWG - 18 AWG)
Wire Stripping Gauge

Hakko FX-888 with FX-8801 iron T18-D16 tip
Hakko FA-400
Hakko FG-100
Solder Sucker Engineer SS-02
Sparkfun TOL-10242 - Solder - 1/4lb Spool (0.020")
Solder Wick #2 25ft. - TechSpray
Tip Tinner - Plato TT-95
ECL-902-227 (Helping Hand Octopus Clamp Kit)
TOL-10410 - Panavise Jr. - Vacuum Base
Flush Cutters

Heaterizer XL-3000
Mini Pliers
iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit

  • Tweezers
  • Reverse Tweezers
  • Screwdrivers (assorted)
  • Pry tools etc.
Weidmuller Stripax 9005000000 (28 AWG - 7 AWG)
Vessel 3500-1 (24 AWG - 12 AWG)
Vessel 3500-2 (30 AWG - 18 AWG)
Weidmuller CTI6 (20 AWG - 10 AWG)
Engineer PA-21 (26 AWG - 18 AWG)
Engineer PA-09 (32 AWG - 20 AWG)
Mini Vise
Ikea Melltorp Table

Resistors (Assorted)
Capacitors (Assorted)
Diodes (Assorted)
Transistors (Assorted)
LEDs (Assorted)
Fuses (Assorted)

Hookup Wires 22 AWG (Solid)
Red, Yellow, Black
Hookup Wires 26, 18, 16 AWG (Stranded)
Ribbon Cable 28 AWG, 0.072 mm , 1.27 mm

0.1" Pitch Molex Connector Housings (Assorted)
Crimp, 24 AWG, Tin Plated Contacts

Akro-Mils 10164 64 Drawer Plastic Parts Storage Hardware and Craft Cabinet, 20-Inch by 16-Inch by 6-1/2-Inch, Black
Akro-Mils 6215 Plastic Portable Hardware and Craft Parts Organizer, Regular, Blue
Stanley STST70574 12-Inch Soft Sided Tool Bag