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Author Topic:   Weather-resistant multi-pin connectors
Frank O posted 03-05-2012 05:36 PM ET (US)   Profile for Frank O   Send Email to Frank O  
Can anyone recommend any reasonably weather-resistant multi-pin wiring connectors? I'm thinking of using some for various applications on my boat. The currents involved will vary, but in general I'm thinking of something with a similar spec as the multi-pin plugs at the end of a large outboard engine's main harness. But I'd be interested in finding them with various numbers of pins. I'm not finding anything like this browsing the West Marine site.

L H G posted 03-05-2012 05:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
For 16 gauge wire, look at the trailer flat style connectors in sizes from 2 poles to 6 poles.

There are also heavy duty connectors used in the electric trolling motor world. Those might be more what you are looking for.

seahorse posted 03-05-2012 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for seahorse  Send Email to seahorse     
The Deutsch connectors used in Johnson and Evinrude outboards and Harley Motorcycles are easy to service and assemble and are rated waterproof to 3' if silicon grease is used on the seals. They used in outboards from 2 to 8 pin configurations.
Chuck Tribolet posted 03-05-2012 07:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
See The context was hooking up a NMEA
connection but the connectors would work for most any


Frank O posted 03-05-2012 10:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Frank O  Send Email to Frank O     
Thanks. Those sound like good options.

djacksonrn posted 03-06-2012 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for djacksonrn  Send Email to djacksonrn     
Deutsch connectors come in different sizes in case you need it. I have made a 9 pin set for my 16ga wires, and a separate 2 pin set for my 10ga. This was done to make it simple to isolate the various sections of the boat (console/tilt+trim/battery) and make removal of any of them as easy as unplugging the Deutsch.
Frank O posted 03-06-2012 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Frank O  Send Email to Frank O     
Yes, I need to de-rig my console shortly to remove the boat's fuel tank, and the Deutsch connectors look like they would work well in the wire runs between the console and the nav lights, bilge pump, etc. The Molex connectors in the thread that Chuck references look like they would work well for some NMEA-0183 connections I need to make with my boat's new SmartCraft instruments.

contender posted 03-07-2012 10:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Frank: question, do you want a connection to be able to be able to take it apart? Or do you just want a connection to put them together permanent? I can understand using a removable connection for your electronics, but anything else I would want a one piece wire from the switch to the electrical connection. Having a break in the wire is always going to be a problem. If you are just connecting the wire together I would use a double butt connection, crimp it, solder it, and use some heat shrink....Good luck
Frank O posted 03-07-2012 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Frank O  Send Email to Frank O     
I know what you mean -- adding any new break in the wire is a new failure point.

I'm thinking about adding these connectors on some of the wires running out of the console such as those to the nav lights. In theory it would facilitate de-rigging the console if and when I need to remove it again, but to be honest after I take it out soon to access the fuel tank I doubt I'd have reason to remove it for years to come. I think the real reason is to facilitate de-rigging this time around. The wiring is all enclosed in wraps, and it would be quite time-consuming to trace it all back to connection points such as switches to disconnect it. So adding connectors would make it go much faster. I'll look at the wiring more closely next time I'm at the boat, though, and see if the de-rigging can be done without too much grief without cutting anything. I agree that it would probably be preferable.

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-08-2012 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Can you just tip the console forward? I did that without disconnecting anything when I reinforced the floor in my


Frank O posted 03-08-2012 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Frank O  Send Email to Frank O     
I was given to understand that on my 1995 Outrage 21 it's necessary to de-rig and remove the console, not just tip it. It would certainly make the project much easier is that were an option.

jimh posted 03-11-2012 02:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Larry's suggestion of the "trailer connectors" is not recommended by me. First of all, you cannot buy the connectors anywhere. They are just not available. Even if you could buy the connectors, you would need a rubber molding machine to assemble them. All you can find are some pre-assembled connectors with short, poor-quality, non-tined copper wire pig tails with random insulation colors. You have to splice circuits into the pre-wired assemblies. It is not a good solution for many reasons. In a small boat the length of any conductor carrying electrical current is short, so there should be no wire splices anywhere. Using a connector that requires you to make wire splices is just plain crazy. The connectors are typically in mixed gender arrangements and could be easily misconfigured to leave power conductors exposed on open connector pins. Well, I could go on and on, but let me say simply I don't recommend them. You see these connectors on boat trailers and in very few other applications.

Deutsch connectors are now available from a second source, Amphenol, and at very good prices in small quantities from an easy-to-deal-with dealer, MOUSER ELECTRONICS.

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