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RE: Quick connects / Electronic gurus

Thanks to the "electronic gurus" Chuck Gadd, Sherlock Wong and Bill Witchers
for their thorough replys to my question about quick connects / ballast

It looks like what I bought at Radio Shack are Tamiya connectors, and that
they will handle the current / voltage requirements of my lights.  Chuck and
Bill expressed concerns about them corroding and also not being particularly
good being disconnected/reconnected.  

Ordinarily, I would probably order new connectors from one of the suppliers
you guys gave me, but I would like to get this hood finished, as it has been
sitting on the floor in my apartment since Thanksgiving!  Plus, I doubt I
will be disconnecting them very often -- maybe once or twice every 3-4
months (I build the hood so I wouldn't have to remove it for tank access).
As for the corrosion concern, that is great to know, but I have been
planning on placing the QDs in the stand next to the remote-mounted ballasts
-- a dry location.  Will they be okay?  I was planning on connecting them
with wire nuts and then using heat-shrink tubing over the top.  Sound okay?

Thanks again,

Tony is surprising warm and sunny PA.

>Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001 22:45:39 GMT
>From: Bill Wichers <billw at waveform_net>
>Subject: Re: Ballast wiring question / Electronic gurus

>>The main question I have now is concerning quick-disconnects.  Last night
>>purchased at Radio Shack some 2 conductor QD's that were labeled for use
>>with 7.6v RC car batteries.  They have 16 gauge 105C / 600v wire with
>>plastic disconnects that lock together.  These were the only QDs that RS
>>had, and the guys running the store had no clue if they would work between
>>the ballasts and the sockets (typical of RS these days).  The guys
>>concern that they might melt.  The things look reasonably heavy duty to

>I am familiar with the connectors you mention. They will have no problem
>with the current and voltage levels your lights will use, but they likely
>WILL get VERY corroded in a short time. I'm not sure what they are plated
>with, but it is not nickel or silver, and the resulting oxide will result
>in a greatly incresed resistance across the contacts. They will also not
>stand up well to repeated disconnect/reconnet cycles that they are likely
>to encounter in your application. These connectors are made by Molex (or,
>more likely, some cheaper knock-off of the Molex/Amp connector lines).
>Digikey (http://www.digikey.com) has a *lot* of connectors to choose from. 

>I highly recommend the Amp CPC (Circular Plastic Connector) line. The 11-4
>(digikey number A1357-ND) type in series one is ideal for this application,
>having 4 pins and being very cheap ($1.34 each, but after pins and a cable
>grip it will be about $5-6 per connector). You can even get a splash-proof
>boot for the cable and an O-ring to seal the connection. This line is a
>cheaper version of their circular metal shell connector line that is made
>for military applications (very tough but also very expensive). If you use
>these, spend a little more and get the gold-plated pins -- they will hold
>up better in the humidity. While I can't find the disconnect/reconnect
>endurance rating for these, they are in the thousands of cycles.

>BTW, if you use RC connectors as another posted suggested, be *sure* they
>can handled *at least* 300v. 300v is the minimum voltage rating permitted
>by electrical codes for devices used for "line voltage".
>     -Bill