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Thread: IDC - Suitcase Connectors

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    Default IDC - Suitcase Connectors

    I typically buy my "Suitcase" or IDC connectors from Walmart's automotive department. For those that don't know IDC is Insulation Displacement Connectors. They also have other names.

    I'm preparing to wire my full size layout and want to buy more than 5 to 10 of these, and in various sizes. I'm looking for recommendations for where I can purchase 25 or 50 packs online for reasonable prices. Amazon has 25 packs of 1 size for $10 plus shipping, but the other sizes are much more money. Ebay doesn't have what I want in one place either. I've checked a couple electronics suppliers and they seem to offer either a 10 pack for too much per unit, or a 100-1000 mega pack for hundreds of dollars. I'd like to place 1 order and be done and save some cash. That's not too much to ask right? It IS the 21st century after all.
    Bronman - "Trains and Legos... you can't have too many of them."

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    Try Digi-Key. Shipping is also very reasonable. www.digikey.com

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    Micro-Mark has three varieties in packs of 25 for $9-14. I used to buy mine from MB Klein, but that seller no longer lists them individually, only in wiring kits from NCE.

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    I totally understand you, I got mine from EBAY.
    Was from a couple different vendors, but was able to pay in one transaction.

    I picked up multiple packs of 100x {size x} of a few different sizes, each was under 5$CAD with free shipping.
    Unfortunately everything was coming from China. and took about 2 months to get here.
    Thankfully, I wasn't in a hurry to get them, so I didn't mind waiting.

    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/100x-Quick-S...AAAOSw6JZcdZVl

    Here is a quick link I found for a multi-size pack.
    I'll see if I can find links to the cheap ones I got. (They worked great, no issues)

    [If/When I do, I'll add as an edit here:]

    So, found my purchases, unfortunately no link available, but, ebay offered this link:

    https://www.ebay.ca/sch/sis.html?_nk...72.m2749.l2658

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by DG&H MRRinN; 3rd Apr 2019 at 03:27 PM. Reason: More links
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    just received 100CONN INLINE TAP 14-18 AWG 19216-0003 from Digikey, they ship out of Minnesota, for Canada spend 100.00 cdn. get free shipping, so I always find something else to fill the order i.e. lets, wire, connectors etc
    Darrell

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    I bought mine from an English company on Ebay, and you might want to look up Aliexpress.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    http://www.janbouli.com

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    Here is another suggestion https://www.allelectronics.com/categ...ice/tap/1.html

    Also Mouser and Jameco
    "It's not whats best......It's whats best for you"

    Gary

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    I can't recall the price I paid exactly, but didn't seem too bad at the time, but I got mine in packs of 25 from Home Depot. They are the same ones as in DBR's link for Digikey to give you an idea. Just another option if you want them without waiting.

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    I also get my 3M ID connectors at Home Depot. No shipping charge and you don’t have to buy a billion.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    Digi-key is where I get mine.

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    I know a lot of people use these, but I've also heard other people very strongly warn people away from them, while others then say it really depends on the brand/type you get. I have a lot of feeds to wire and these look to be something that could save a lot of time, but I'm curious about what brand to get and what "best practices" to follow when using them.

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    I've heard many times from many people that only get the ones made by 3M. I don't use them personally, I solder, but so many people have bought off brand ones and complained about them later.

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    when I wired up my layout with the suitcase connectors I alway made sure I had continuity at every step of the way. IE I use a tester with a beeper, and check the end of each feeder wire, when you are working under the layout over your head sometimes the smaller wire's insulation does not get pinched or the wire is not inserted into the connector far enough. It only happened a couple of times but you want to be sure you have that connection.
    Darrell

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    Yeah, most IDCs are not really made for different size wires - and if you use too large IDCs for your wire, they won't cut the insulation or make proper contact, if you use too small IDCs, they may not even fit or they may hurt the wire. AWG24-feeders and AWG10-bus wires don't go together in an IDC.

    If used right, I have had only good experiences - all my car stereos have been attached using them

    Heiko

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    I used 14-18 AWG taps with 14 guage Main Wire and 18 gauge feeder wires because I was working underneath my layout these really worked well for me. very flexible for hookup locations

    Darrell
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    I ended up ordering from Mouser. Still more than I wanted to pay but I got the volume I wanted and two day shipping was at a discount.
    Bronman - "Trains and Legos... you can't have too many of them."

    My Layout Build Thread - The Spokane & Eastern Washington
    - Featuring motive power by Burlington Northern, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Montana Rail Link and Amtrak in Spokane and Eastern Washington in the mid-1990's.
    _________________________________________________
    "That's what she said!" - Michael Scott, The Office

    "That's just dumb, D-U-M, dumb." - Me.

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    Suitcase connectors, when sized for your source, and destination wires are great. If you skimp, and use but 1 size, you'll have a pain using them. Working on a club HO layout, and we've probabbly installed 1000 brown suitcase connecters, by 3M We get them by the box (think https://www.amazon.com/Scotchlok-Ele...TW76FE6PCTQXWB ) though we get them locally.

    It helps to have either the 'official' crimpers, or a pair of wide-nose pliers to close them and make them 'click' and lock closed. The offical tool is better, as it presses the blade down striaght, instead of at an angle.

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