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Old 05-25-2012, 08:46 AM   #1
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Solar Panel Connections

Just bought an 85 watt solar panel kit along with the MC4 connectors. These connectors require a special crimping tool which is very expensive. What have others done to make up this connection without the special tool.
My solution would be to solder the wires to the connectors. Any other suggestions?
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:37 PM   #2
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Didn't get a response to this thread so I went ahead and soldered the pins to the wire. It worked out just fine.
I pre tinned the wires, inserted them into the pin, then carefully folded the tabs on the end of the pin over the wire. Then carefully soldered the connection. Making sure the solder did not flow down the pin. This would have caused problems with inserting the connector in it's mate on the panel.
Ran a test on the panel, everything checked out.
Hope this will help others.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
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Good work; my solution to many connectors ...
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:57 AM   #4
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In some high current and high reliability applications, crimped terminals are used due to the possibility of heat failure (melting) of soldered connections. Crimping provides an air-tight mechanical connection, beside electrical conductivity, between the connector pins and wire strands.

I once worked in a cable area that manufactured coax data cables for computer terminals, and the pull strength on the crimped connector was higher than the weight of the terminal, which meant that you could actually lift the unit by the data cable.

In any case, you may wish to check with manufacturer to verify that this is OK. There may be an specific reason that they used crimped instead of soldered terminals.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:01 AM   #5
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Since this was a low current (5 amps) and low voltage (21 volts max) application. I did not consider the connection vulnerable to high temp situation.
I am a big fan of crimped connections. At first I considered just cutting off the MC4 connectors all together. But went for the soldered connection instead. Considering the cost of the specialized crimping tool $250.00-$750.00. A little steep for the assembly of one panel and controller.
I am sure it will last for my definition of "forever", since I will be 67 on Thursday. LOL
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