How to use spade connectors

Written by gareth downes-powell
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How to use spade connectors
Spade connectors are most commonly used for audio connections. (connection haute parleur image by philippe Devanne from Fotolia.com)

Spade connectors are used to ensure a good electrical connection between a wire and terminal. The forklike connectors form a durable connection that can help to maximise electrical signal transfer. Spade connectors are available with crimp connections or soldered connections depending on the application, and are most commonly used on audio equipment to protect the ends of the wires and to help prevent corrosion.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Electrical wire
  • Crimp tool
  • Utility knife
  • Soldering iron
  • Rosin core solder
  • Pliers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Strip a quarter inch of insulation from the end of an electrical wire using a utility knife or a set of wire strippers.

  2. 2

    Twist together the copper strands that form the wire to make a solid connection.

  3. 3

    Slide the open end of the spade connector over the bare copper wire.

  4. 4

    Crimp the spade connector on to the wire using a crimping tool. Make sure that the size of the slot used on the crimping tool is a similar size to the body of the spade connector being crimped. Squeeze the handle of the crimping tool to enable the jaws to lock the spade connector on to the wire.

  1. 1

    Strip a quarter-inch of insulation from the end of an electrical wire, and twist the copper strands together tightly.

  2. 2

    Tin the end of the wire by melting some solder on to the tip of the soldering iron to form a molten ball of solder. Insert the copper strands at the end of the wire into the solder, and gently twist the wire to apply an even coating of solder around all of the strands.

  3. 3

    Insert the spade connector into a vice or clamp to hold it steady. Place the tip of the soldering iron on to the body of the spade connector, and leave until the connector is fully heated. Insert the tinned wire into the body of the spade connector, and squeeze the connector gently with a pair of pliers to lightly crimp the connector in place.

  4. 4

    Place the solder into the end of the space connector's body, and allow a small amount of solder to flow into the connector to hold the wire in place and ensure a good connection. Withdraw the soldering iron, and allow the joint to cool.

Tips and warnings

  • Cover the joint between the wire and the spade connector with heatsink tubing to provide some mechanical protection to the joint and to stop oxidation from taking place.

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