Spade terminals

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by fallguy, Feb 26, 2022.

  1. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I hate them.

    Does anyone have good strategies for keeping spade terminals from loosening?

    My boat has almost all digital switching. The connections are literally mean to remove. Like finger pain likely.

    One analog switch. My nav lights. And the females are barely tight. Is that sailor talk? Maybe. You get the picture.

    What does one do here aside from the obvious. I can bind the wires to the edges of the switches real tight, but is there another option?
     
  2. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Spade terminals. Like on Carling switches? I've never had a problem with them. Are they good quality nylon connectors with adhesive shrink tubing attached? If the female part doesn't want to stay on the male spade why not just crimp them a bit with a pair of needle nosed pliers?
     
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  3. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    They are in sort of a hard to reach spot, too.
     
  4. BlueBell
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    BlueBell . . . . .

    I'm not a big fan of them either but it sounds like you're stuck with them (pun intended).
    To avoid damage by inadvertently pulling on the wire, I try and use needle nose pliers, but be careful, obviously.
    OR
    Introduce another disconnect point away from the "hard to reach spot" leaving the current spade connection permanently attached.
    Picture?
     
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  5. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    What about an electrically conductive glue that would keep them on.
     
  6. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Like solder?
     
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  7. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Well, I can't really solder up in the spot. Look close; there is a diode in there even. So sad. All the beautiful work and this is my nav lighting.

    80B4BD93-7C7E-4B4D-879B-65D99AF637BA.jpeg
     
  8. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    It's hard to tell from the photo but is that a rocker switch? You should be able to remove the switch from the other side.

    Also, see that clip up and to the right of the opening where the switches are? The clip is attached to the fiberglass with a phillips head screw. Could you bundle the red feed wire, the blue/gray load wires and the yellow ground , put a clip on them and secure them to the back of the panel next to that other little clip? The jumper wouldn't matter. It looks to me like the wires in the photo would tend to pull on the switch and come off the spade connector.
     
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  9. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Well, I can, but then what? Solder isn't even abyc.
     
  10. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Good point. I added to my post #8 above.
     
  11. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    yeah, I plan to anchor the wires better for sure, but I am trying to comprehend how anyone finds spade terminals acceptable and wondering why not better
     
  12. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    They're used because they're easy to disconnect. If that switch goes bad you want to be able to easily get it out of there and replace it. Think of the nightmare you'd have if you used some kind of permanent connector like a butt connector for instance.
     
  13. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    They are so poor, worry about losing nav lighting is all. Seems like there needs to be a new solution engineered and abyc disallow them.
     
  14. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    You have the spade and the female terminal connector. The spade has a hole in it, the terminal has a small dimple in it. When it locks, it gives you the positive feel that you have pushed it correctly. The grip is controlled by the gap in the terminal. Too much gap and it is easy to come loose. Try making the gap narrower by crimping it with pliers.

    Terminals may vary a little bit depending on the supplier/manufacturer. If the first one fits perfect, no problem. If it doesn't, you will have to tweak every damn piece. I just bought a few hundred pieces of assorted terminals and they fit each other perfectly but when I try it on a different lug/spade of another unit, I have to tweak the width or gap. If it clicks into place but won't come off, I smash the dimple.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2022
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  15. The Q
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    The Q Senior Member

    Remove the panel,
    make a new set of leads to the switches solder on,
    fix a decent connector to other end of leads.
    Remove spades from old leads solder onto other half of connector.
    Plug in and fix panel back on.
     
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