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3M Suite Case connectors

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  • Member since
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  • From: Horsham, Pennsylvania
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3M Suite Case connectors
Posted by woodman on Saturday, March 12, 2011 7:08 PM

Where can I purchase 3M Scotchloc ( suitecase connectors ) in bulk, need about 150-200. Who has best prices. My local home Depot only has them in 5 packs.

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Posted by superbe on Saturday, March 12, 2011 7:19 PM

Hey woodman

I got mine from Micro Mark and  they have worked well. Beats soldering under the layout. Try this link.

http://www.micromark.com/SearchResult.aspx?deptIdFilter=0&searchPhrase=suitcase+connector

There is a special tool but I have a set of pliers that does the job

 

Happy Railroading

Bob

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Posted by ratled on Saturday, March 12, 2011 7:30 PM

Modeling the Klamath River area in HO on a proto-lanced sub of the SP “The State of Jefferson Line”

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Posted by jrbernier on Saturday, March 12, 2011 8:03 PM

  Go to:

www.mouser.com

Here are the part numbers:

517-905    18-14 AWG Bus/22-18 AWG Feeder

517-567     12-10 AWG Bus/18-14 AWG Feeder

  These are the two most useful sizes.  I bought mine for around 18 cents each in bulk.  Make sure you use a good crimp tool to really force the blades into the wire with a good 'pop'.  I have over 150 of them on my layout, and NO voltage drop issues anywhere.    Some folks swear by them, some swear at them.  We had a bad connection at the club.  After tracing it down, I found that the IDC was not fully seated - You can either buy one of the expensive 'tools' or use a good pair of channel locks so that the blades are forced down all the way.  BTW, re-crimping with my channel locks fixed the club's problem.

  Another good tool is the Ideal Stripmaster wire stripper - you can cut a section out of the middle of a wire so slick you will be amazed.  Wrap the feeder to it and solder.  Paint it with matching insulation paint and you are good to go.  I picked mine up at Lowes for about $25.

Jim

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Saturday, March 12, 2011 9:13 PM

I bought my last box from a local electrical supply house.

Enjoy

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by cmurray on Monday, March 14, 2011 4:22 AM

Check out MicroMark.Search for Suitcase connectors "red". I didn't provide the direct link because I cannot get it to work properly.

I bought mine in bags of 25 (as the listing says).

Colin ---------- There's just no end to cabooseless trains.

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EDZ
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Posted by EDZ on Monday, March 14, 2011 6:35 PM

"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."  -Aristotle

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Posted by Capt. Grimek on Monday, March 14, 2011 9:14 PM

I'm using Napa auto stores "T Connectors" with suitcase style closure. Several layouts in our area use them and they're economical.  I was concerned about using them compared with the 3Ms but there's an old post here where guys had dragged these connectors through rain and mud for years without issues so that made me more comfortable. Been in place for over a year and no problems so far. Used channel locks also.

Raised on the Erie Lackawanna Mainline- Supt. of the Black River Transfer & Terminal R.R.

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:05 AM

Use Posi-taps instead, much easier to use and more reliable and cheap when bought in bulk!

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:40 AM

IRONROOSTER

I bought my last box from a local electrical supply house.

Enjoy

Paul

+1.Yes

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by lotrain on Sunday, April 3, 2011 9:17 AM

woodman

Where can I purchase 3M Scotchloc ( suitecase connectors ) in bulk, need about 150-200. Who has best prices. My local home Depot only has them in 5 packs.

I would try an electrical supply store. They would have them in bulk packages. They usually have a minimum purchase price but you would probably be over that amount.  Good luck.

                                                                                    Trainnut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by fkrall on Sunday, April 3, 2011 11:02 AM

jrbernier

  [snip]

  Another good tool is the Ideal Stripmaster wire stripper - you can cut a section out of the middle of a wire so slick you will be amazed.  Wrap the feeder to it and solder.  Paint it with matching insulation paint and you are good to go.  I picked mine up at Lowes for about $25.

Jim

Let me second Jim's recommendation, which might otherwise get lost in this thread.  I'm using a Stripmaster that was my father's.  It's at least 50 years old, functions perfectly, and is indispensable.  I can't imagine wiring without it.

Rick Krall

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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 3:54 PM

Guys,

Please enlighten me a bit as I am mechanically inclined but don't always stay abreast with electrical applications.

Can these suitcase connectors, which I've use in automotive applications, be useful in the case of  connecting a layout's buss wiring to feeders that go up to the rails?  I was taught "old school" in that proper soldering assures the most solid connection for electrical continuity.  However, I must admit that I would take a quicker route if it could deliver the same quality.

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by Southern Traction & Power on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 4:14 PM

I purchase at a local elec, supply (State Elect.) in packs of 50 for 6 bucks or so. They are not Scotch brand but work just fine

jerrold.

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Posted by wp8thsub on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 5:07 PM

Antonio FP45 writes:

"Can these suitcase connectors, which I've use in automotive applications, be useful in the case of  connecting a layout's buss wiring to feeders that go up to the rails?"

Yes.  You'll never have to crawl under the layout to solder a feeder to the bus again.  I've soldered enough feeders to a bus in my time to want to avoid that unpleasant task whenever possible.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 6:20 PM

Thank you Rob!

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by nolatron on Friday, April 29, 2011 3:47 PM

I use these. 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350376416804&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

100 for $8.25 w/free shipping.

 

Shaun

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Posted by wabash2800 on Saturday, April 30, 2011 11:01 AM

I don't recommend any of the imitations that are cheaper. Stick with the 3M Scotchloks. They also have two blades which is better. My biggest worry with the imitation is that the metal might corrode and you've got bad contact problems. Many have reported that. No offense to the Chinese but when they make something, they make it as cheap as possible often with bad results for the consumer. The 3M Scothloks are made stateside. Contact problems are something that might not show up until later after you've done a lot of wiring. You'd almost have to start over.

Even though I used the 3M version I put some conductive goop in them before I closed them as an added assurance for conductivity and to fend off corrosion. Reportedly, corrosion is more  common in higher humidity.

As to the crimp tool, I bought the expensive 3M ones that Micro Mark sells. I really am sorry for that. You have to switch the inserts depending on which connector you're using and its a real pain! Mine broke too as it will not open wide enough anymore.

I have since switched over to a much less expensive pair of large lineman pliers and they work great and I am also crimping No. 10 wire.

I bought my 3M Scotchloks from Mouser. Of course, the more you buy the cheaper unit cost. I used a lot more than I expected and had to go back and order two more boxes. I like this better than soldering.

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Posted by jrbernier on Sunday, May 1, 2011 1:47 PM

  You are going to hear a lot of 'pro & con' from all the experts(especially the ones who have never built a large layout).  My current layout uses the 3M product, and I have had NO problems since wiring started(1991).  The key to using IDC's is that they must be crimped down with the correct tool.  You can buy the expensive 'tool' or use a good pair of large channel-locks - just make sure you drive the blades in all the way and that the cover 'clicks' in good.

  If you want to 'solder', I suggest you buy something like an Ideal Stripmaster wire stripper - It will strip a sectrion out of the middle of you buss wire without nicking the metal, and you can wrap/solder the actual feeder to the bus.  Red or Black insulation paint from the local hardware or home improvement store will seal/insulate the joint after you solder it - it goes pretty fast.  As with anything, having the 'right' tools and knowing how to use them goes a long way!

Jim

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Sunday, May 1, 2011 7:25 PM

Guys,

Thanks for the input.  If I can ask a favor...........

Would appreciate it if any of you have photos of the suitcase connectors on your layouts; especially in the case of buss wires connected to feeder and/or turnout wires.

Thank you Shy

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by superbe on Sunday, May 1, 2011 9:28 PM

Here's a picture of a 3M suitcase connector installed on the bus with feeder wires. As you can tell it was dark under the layout

 

Hope this helps

Happy Railroading

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by bogp40 on Sunday, May 1, 2011 11:15 PM

They're use all over this layout

Thousands of these suitcase connectors and rarely any failure. Ones that give trouble are usually from improper installation.

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by Capt. Grimek on Monday, May 2, 2011 1:41 PM

I'd be interested in hearing any "updated" reports from folks who've used the Napa auto parts or similar T connectors. There are 3 layouts in our round robin group who've used them so far with no issues.

They're smaller than 3ms but very easy to trouble shoot with due to the large (relatively) T connector. Easy to pull off with some determination but they stay secure otherwise.

I live in a temperate climate without a lot of humidity but my layout has spent 2.5 years with swings from 45% humidity to 80% briefly without issues.  I DO take care to shut my train room door when steamy showers are taking place in the bathroom next door and when cooking is going on in the kitchen on the other end of the cottage. Greasy smoke from frying ,etc. can't do these types of connectors any good.

Other than that they've required no other "babying" so far. I figure if they give trouble way down the road I can replace them or solder everything up. 

Anyway would like to hear from other auto parts stores suitcase connector users.

Raised on the Erie Lackawanna Mainline- Supt. of the Black River Transfer & Terminal R.R.

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Posted by BentSpike on Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:35 PM

I purchased mine from WayTec, Inc., P.O. Box 690, Chanhassen, MN  55317, Ph # 800-328-2724, www.waytecwire.com.  They have a full assortment of Scotchloc's as well as many other items suitable to model railroading.  I have ordered from them several times and can't say enough good about their customer service reps. 

SRN
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Posted by SRN on Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:54 PM

Your link contains an error. There is one of those sites that intercept mistyped URLs at that address. 

The correct link is www.waytekwire.com

 

Recovering former former model railroader.

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Posted by uncrichard on Saturday, May 7, 2011 9:52 PM

Good Day

You might want to try ebay.

uncrichard

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