June 2, 2023
Jelly crimps galore!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Common readers will know that I like the Wago lever nuts for making stable, dependable connections in home mains voltage wiring. However one other connector I discover myself utilizing lots is the jelly crimp. In reality, I used some right this moment to repair some damaged wires in a doorbell.

Jelly crimps are the mainstay of telecom installations and restore (at the very least right here within the U.Okay.). I used to be launched to them a few years in the past by an engineer who gave me a handful of them, and ever since I have been hooked.

Additionally: How you can strip wires like a professional (and my must-have instruments) 

These connectors come underneath a lot of completely different names, however jelly crimps is what they’re finest often called. 

The “jelly” bit within the title comes from the truth that the ends are full of a dielectric silicone sealant that each provides additional insulation and likewise makes the connection weatherproof.

They arrive in two-way (known as UY) or three-way configurations (known as UR), relying on whether or not you need to join two or three wires collectively, and so they have been particularly designed for becoming a member of stable core copper or aluminum phone and communications wires.

Additionally: How you can use heat-shrink butt connectors to repair damaged wires

Together with the UY and UR configuration variations, there’s additionally completely different sizes relying on the outer diameter of the wire you are going to be connecting utilizing the jelly crimp. Common UR and UY are for thinner 22-26 awg wires with an insulation outer diameter of 1.52mm, whereas the UY2 and UR2 sizes accommodates the thicker 19-26 awg wires with a most insulation outer diameter of two.08mm.

A UY2 jelly crimp that's oozing a bit of the silicone gel onto my hands

A UY2 jelly crimp that is oozing a little bit of the silicone gel onto my arms

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

You may discover a lot of completely different manufacturers on the market, and they are often hit or miss, and I’ve seen low-cost ones crumble or not include any gel. I’ve a supply within the telecom enterprise that retains me provided, however in case you’re having to purchase them on-line, I like to recommend going for the 3M Scotchlok model. 

I discover the two-way ones to be probably the most helpful, with a 100 pack of UY and a 100-pack of UY2 being sufficient to cater for my wants.  

The crimp is filled with a non-conductive jelly that waterproofs the joint

The crimp is stuffed with a non-conductive jelly that waterproofs the joint

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

They’re useless straightforward to make use of. 

You narrow the cable, poke the ends in all the way in which (no must strip the insulation), and squeeze the button to snap them down and chunk by the cable.

Additionally: How you can solder: Instruments, suggestions, and tips to get you began the simple means

That straightforward!

Their major use is on phone wiring, however I’ve additionally used them on alarm programs, doorbells, audio system, and different low-voltage functions. These connectors can deal with as much as 50V, so do not use them on mains voltage in case somebody — presumably you — dies. 

Jelly crimps are great for low voltage applications, here carrying 12V to a fan

Jelly crimps are nice for low voltage functions, right here carrying 12V to a fan

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The connections are extremely dependable, and so long as they are not submerged in water, they’ll final for many years (and even submerged ones have a protracted life, in my expertise).

Squeezing a jelly crimp with a Knipex waterpump pliers

Squeezing a jelly crimp with a Knipex waterpump pliers

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

There’s a particular instrument for doing the squeezing you could choose up for $15. When you crimp lots then this may make sense, however I discover I can use my finger and thumb, or a pair of Knipex mini waterpump pliers to do the job.

A fully crimped jelly crimp

A totally crimped jelly crimp

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Did I point out that they’re extremely satisfying to “pop”?

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

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