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  #1  
Old 03-18-2021, 11:14 PM
BuckWynd's Avatar
BuckWynd BuckWynd is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Rockford, IL
Posts: 527
Default Dear Homebuilt Electronics Manufacturers...

Time for a bit of a rant. Over the past two weeks, I have experienced TWO separate failures of what I consider to be inappropriate electrical connectors. One of them resulted in a loss of power to the affected unit. One was caught before it could cause any issues. On top of this, I have received several reports from acquaintances over the past few years of similar issues.

All of them are related to what I call "non aerospace-grade" wire connectors in a couple of common, apparently-accepted formats, and they are in many of our electronic units. (And yes, all of these installations were installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and good building practices.)

For several reasons, I will not discuss any aviation manufacturer names on this thread, and I think we should leave that out of the discussion. I just want to point out what I think are connectors that should NOT be in electronics that are subject to vibration levels like that of a light airplane.

The photos below show the types of connectors I'm referring to. (These are not mine.) Both types require you to merely strip the wire and insert it into a recess. After that, the method of securing it is either 1). push the wire until it "locks" in place, or b). tighten a set-screw or plate onto the bare wire, flattening it down. The white one is called a "press-fit connector" or a "press connector," and the green one is called either a "pluggable terminal block," Euroblock, or Phoenix connector.

In my opinion, these are wonderful methods to secure your stereo speaker wires or your electronic hobby power supply cables, but they are alarmingly unsecure, subject to failure, and totally unsuitable for use in any aerospace vehicle except maybe a hobby drone.

Bare wires tightened under a screw? Or worse, pushing a bare wire into a hole and hoping it stays there? Why, oh why, are we so accepting of this kind of nonsense in our airplanes? I spent over $700 on some really nice wire crimping tools of various kinds for my airplane project. I don't want some kind of half-baked hobby connectors on my critical flight gear. Give me a ring terminal ANY day. I am now to the point where I will never buy an aviation product, no matter how awesome it is, if it requires me to use a Euro connector.

I've never had a Molex, CPC, D-sub, PIDG Ring/Spade, Deutsch, Seal-All, or other normal connector simply disconnect or fall apart under normal conditions. So manufacturers, please stop using unsuitable, cheesy connectors in your aviation products!

And don't get me started on those tiny 26 AWG wires coming out of that certain brand of trim servo!

Is it just me? Sigh...






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Last edited by BuckWynd : 03-20-2021 at 10:54 AM. Reason: Re-posted photos using SmugMug
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2021, 04:04 AM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
 
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Default

one thing is certain, bad wiring and connectors will always come back to bite you.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2021, 04:11 AM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
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Default DO-160

Wouldn't just designing and building to DO-160 solve these issues?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DO-160
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2021, 04:21 AM
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emsvitil emsvitil is offline
 
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What photos below?

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  #5  
Old 03-19-2021, 04:34 AM
jask jask is offline
 
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Default vibration

how's the vibration level on the aircraft? We use the phoenix connectors a lot with no problems.

https://www.phoenixcontact.com/onlin...2-030abfb5a65e
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Last edited by jask : 03-19-2021 at 04:44 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2021, 05:23 AM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emsvitil View Post
What photos below?

I see them - copied here in case that helps. Buck, let me know if you are not ok with that.

Click image for larger version

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  #7  
Old 03-19-2021, 05:29 AM
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I hate Molex!
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2021, 06:09 AM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
 
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Ok...I get what you're saying, and if I'd experienced a failure due to substandard design, I'd be annoyed as well.

But...the picture you have above is of a popular brand of LED landing light that we all know and love. Was that your failure? If so, it seems like complaining here isn't doing nearly as much good as reaching out the the manufacturer. He's a good guy with great customer service. If you legit have a problem he'll take care of you.

p.s. I hate the idea that the screw type connector is used on p-mags, but I'm going with two anyway, since people don't seem to be having much of a problem with them.
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2021, 06:52 AM
edclee edclee is offline
 
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Default Connectors

One SHOULD be using crimp ferrules on those type connectors, not just putting bare wires into them. They are cheap and secure and have a plastic lead-in that prevents the cut end of the insulation from being a stress point.
Ed
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2021, 07:38 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post
Ok...I get what you're saying, and if I'd experienced a failure due to substandard design, I'd be annoyed as well.

But...the picture you have above is of a popular brand of LED landing light that we all know and love. Was that your failure? If so, it seems like complaining here isn't doing nearly as much good as reaching out the the manufacturer. He's a good guy with great customer service. If you legit have a problem he'll take care of you.

p.s. I hate the idea that the screw type connector is used on p-mags, but I'm going with two anyway, since people don't seem to be having much of a problem with them.
To the OP:

On the wig wag module - If you didn't like it, why didn't you just de-solder the connector and solder in wires with the connector you like? In my experience, these problems can be resolved by various wire restraining methods. I agree that screw down type connectors are not the best method for use with vibration, but I don't understand why you didn't take measures (i.e. restraining wires so that don't vibrate at teh connection and can't pull out) during installation to minimize risk.

I had something similar on the B&C regulator and the wiring bundle is fully restrained close to that device to minimize any potential issues.

Larry
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Last edited by lr172 : 03-19-2021 at 07:41 AM.
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