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RE: REFLECTOR: electrical

> From: owner-reflector@awpi.com [mailto:owner-reflector@awpi.com]On
> Behalf Of Jack & Marilou
> Subject: REFLECTOR: electrical

Before you go any further, I'd strongly recommend getting and studying a
copy of the AeroElectric Connection, by Bob Nuckolls. It can be ordered from
his website at:


Contains tons of useful wiring info, how to's, why not's, etc., as well as
sample wiring diagrams. Also look at the electrical section in the FAA's AC
43.13-1B, available via download from the FAA.

> Is it best to use stranded wire or monofiliment wire?
> Are there applications for each? Rules of Thumb for each?

Stranded, always. The vibration in an aircraft will fatigue solid wire quite

> Do I want copper core or something else?

Tin-plated copper only.

> Is Radio Slack : ) wiring as good as any?

Absolutely not. Almost nothing from Radio Shack is acceptable in an
aircraft. Some exceptions are standard electronic parts if you're building

> Do I want a certain type of insulator sleeving on the wire?

Yes, use Tefzel insulated wire, MIL-W-22759/16 or MIL-C-27500. Available
from Aircraft Spruce, Wicks, Chief, etc. The insulation is very tough, and
the embedded Teflon makes it go though tight places easier. Many people have
used everything from house wiring on up, but this is one area you want to as
conservative and safe as possible.

> Are connectors from Radio Slack OK or is there an "aircraft grade" type
> of connector?

The best ones you can get are the AMP PIDG series. They have an aluminum
grip (instead of just plastic) over the insulation as well as the conductor.
Available in all gauges, insulated or not, ring tongue, spade, faston, and
other flavors.

> Should I solder the connectors as well as crimp or is this generally not
> necessary?

A good crimped connection should never be soldered. The solder often flows
back up the wire, causing a fatigue failure point outside of the crimp. All
good connectors use a double crimp, one for the conductor, a second for the
insulation. However, some of the pin-type (Molex) connectors need the wire
soldered, since the affordable crimp tools don't work that well.

Spend a little money and get a good, ratcheting crimp tool for the

 - Chuck