Beginner Crimping Question/Recommendations

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    • Beginner Crimping Question/Recommendations

      So I want to get into crimping looms and the like - for example, my cocktail Ms Pac... the P1/P2 looms are so old and brittle I'm afraid to touch them. But no one makes those looms that I've been able to find, so it's up to me to make em up - and the original sticks were soldered in, my replacements are QD anyway. Easy enough, great starting point for doing stuff rather than paying people in this hobby I figure. God knows it helps to be handy.

      Except I have zero tools, supplies, anything. From time to time I see people making recommendations on these boards (I love you guys) for one or two things, but they never seem to be in one place for a lot of stuff.

      So here's my request: If I want to put together a "starter pack" for looms and the like (wires, QDs, some basic JST or whatever connectors, crimper, hell recommend me a good wire cutter/stripper even though I think I have one), what's your guys recommendation? Assume I'm starting from zero, even though I might have a few things kicking around.

      That way this will all be in one place and hopefully if there's another horrible noob like me wandering through, it will all be here :)
    • stj wrote:

      here is a tip - dont buy shitty $10 chinese rachet crimpers.
      they will work, but they are optimised for specific terminals that arent really of interest to us.
      agree, but i bought it anyway since i don't know if it's good or not (buying online). It turned out it crappy but can work with a bit effort.

      could you also suggest which one is good? i also looking for this, especially for JST's.
    • Spend some money on a decent crimping tool, trust me it will save you a lot of pain and frustration.

      Check the specs of the pins you wish to crimp and use suitably gauged wiring, including the total outer diameter.

      Get a good set of wire strippers. Don't have to spend much and it makes a big difference.

      Practise! Takes a while to get the hang of to perform a proper crimp. Two main parts, the wire and insulation, and both have to be crimped in an exact way for a secure and long lasting connection.
    • nem wrote:

      I really like my Hozan crimper:

      Frank_fjs wrote:

      Spend some money on a decent crimping tool, trust me it will save you a lot of pain and frustration.
      I've owned/used both of these crimpers and they're both fantastic... perfectly suited for most of the stuff you'll be criming in an arcade machine.

      I would actually recommend the Engineer PA-21 over the PA-09…keywords=engineer+crimper

      it has more amicable sizes to the kind of crimps you'll be doing with an arcade, the smaller side of my PA-09 goes unused and I ended up buying another larger sized crimper because the 09 is missing some of the larger sizes I need for things like PSU wiring. the PA21 fits a really nice sweet spot between the two though. The Hozan fills the full range as well but it's a little bulky for my tastes personally (still makes fantastic crimps though).


      In addition to a good crimper you'll want a good set of side cutters. I use these personally and they're the best cutters I've ever owned.…1-22&keywords=knipex+wire

      and a good wire stripper with different sized teeth for the size wire you're stripping. I use these, not the best but it gets the job done:…words=klein+wire+stripper

      Not only do you need the right tools you need the right wire and the right pins.

      When you buy pins you often have the choice of different wire sizes. so make sure you're buying the appropriate gauge pin, and crimping it to an appropriate gauge wire stripped with the appropriate sized grove in the stripper and crimped with the appropriate sized dye in the crimper.

      As for picking wire size I typically go for the highest gauge possible on power wires (usually around 18 or even 16 gauge, though you may have to go smaller if the connector doesn't support wires that large). then use a 20 or 18 gauge for audio and video wires, and finally 22 or 24 gauge wire for data lines (such as button inputs, or serial connections).

      Sometimes you're limited. for instance JST NH connectors only support up to 22 gauge even though systems like Model 2 and 3 use it for everything, power, audio, video, inputs, etc. For that I just use 22 gauge for everything because it's the largest size that I can go.

      I've also found good wire can be difficult to source, especially if you want a variety of colors to work with. Currently I'm buying from Remmington Industries on eBay for my wire:…ksid=p2057872.m2749.l2754
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    • stj wrote:

      if i had to do a lot, i would buy the PA-01 kit with the extra die's
      I have this Crimp set and its awesome! I highly recommend this set as it will cover you for pretty much the majority of crimping you'll do. Engineer brand is well made and reliable.…psc=1&smid=A235XUT8R6E0JM

      I would recommend getting some full size side cutters as well as the small style wire cutters…ywords=knipex+side+cutter

      I like these style strippers as if you are stripper a lot of cables they are easier on your hands.…T=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

      A good set of precision screw drivers is also a good idea to have. You will definitely put the crimps in the wrong hole in the connector and need to pop them out at some point.

      Then if you like to be tidy I'll recommend some expandable sleeving, heat shrink and a few cable ties to keep everything together.

      You'll need a heat gun too then :D or rework station.
      Cabs: Namco Noir x 4, Namco Noir Clone x 2, Namco Exceleena x 7, AW Super Sports Shooting USA,Time Crisis II 2P, 6P X-Men, Battle Gear 2 2P and 4P Gauntlet. My partner is not impressed. :/

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    • As far as the connectors and crimps go, I highly recommend buying quality products from one of the recognized suppliers (Digikey,Mouser, RSComponents, JST.) The cheap ones from ebay, Amazon and Aliexpress are OK for small projects and when you're getting started but you do get what you pay for and the crimps are often no very good quality wise.
      I started off using those connectors but then moved to the the higher quality or correct spec'd ones and it does make a difference. You'll only need to do the job once instead of twice.
      Cabs: Namco Noir x 4, Namco Noir Clone x 2, Namco Exceleena x 7, AW Super Sports Shooting USA,Time Crisis II 2P, 6P X-Men, Battle Gear 2 2P and 4P Gauntlet. My partner is not impressed. :/

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    • Yeah the cheap kits are great to learn on though. I wish someone sold a kit with lots of different types. It’s definitely one of those learn by doing type of things. Also some connectors can be a pain in the ass while others are designed better and easier to use or it turns out you have a better tool for them. For example I have some small pins that I simply don’t have a good tool for. Mine are all too wide, so I ordered another crimper, that I think will work and one suggested in this thread. Eventually I figure I’ll end up with a set of them that will cover what I usually mess with. I see lots of threads here where people offer up pins and connectors when someone needs something in particular which is awesome. Anyway get to crimping and don’t be afraid of messing up. We have all been there and it usually just takes repetition to get it right and get a feel for it.