Suitcase connectors, where ya get 'em?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by nolatron, May 17, 2007.

  1. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Hey folks,

    For those who use suitcase connectors where do you buy them at?

    I don't recall seeing them at the local Home Depot or Lowe's (unless I totally missed them, not impossible), so just wondering where yall find them.

    I searched online for the red 16-22 AWG ones and actually only found one place with them, Just wondering if there's other places out there like electrical part sites or something with them.

  2. caellis

    caellis Member

    I get'um from Lowes or Home Depot. Mine are Blue. However, I prefer the Posi-Tap connectors that can be found at Wal-Mart. They are easier to use and permit more taps per unit. Also easier to add taps later. So the cost is less.
    You can view on the internet at Posi-Tap.
  3. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Yeah, saw the Posi-tap's as well. I was thinking of maybe using a combination of them. Suitcase in the "rural" areas, and posi's in the crowded yard areas. Though I may just go with the posi-taps for fewer needed line taps.

    Guess I just need to look closer when at HD and Lowes next time. :)

    I'll have to visit Wal-Mart too for those Posi-taps.
  4. 91rioja

    91rioja Member

    Check out either a Napa or Advance Auto. I got mine at the local Napa store.
  5. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer


    3M Scotchlok series is what you are looking for.

    Digikey would be my choice for getting the connectors.

    Digi-Key Corporation - USA Home Page
    search for Scotchlok
    click on terminal splices
    gives you a list of 6 or so.

    Digikey works with small quantities with really fast shipping. I can get stuff shipped to Saskatoon in 2 or 3 days max. these are $0.37- 1$ depending on size and color.
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    If you only need a few, any auto parts store will have them, HD or Loew's for larger quantities. And yeah, beamish is right on, an electronic supply house like Digi-Key would be best on price and deliver directly to your house.
  7. woodone

    woodone Member

    Are these the things that you use to splice two wires toghther with, that has a flap to cover the metal edge?
    UHaul used them to hook up wiring on trailer rentals?
  8. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    im lookin into using suitcase connectors also but have heard they lose there "bite" and conductivity over a long period of what do yall think of em.cause im not very good at soldering :D --josh
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Soldering is always preferred over a crimp-type or pressure connection. A crimp, like a spade lug, would be my second choice, and a mechanical or pressure connection like a "suitcase" connector would be my last choice because of the issues you just mentioned. The amount of surface that is in contact with each other is low as well which is one reason why the connection is more unreliable than the others.
  10. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    well with easydays response,sounds like im soldering :D i need something that wont give out every 6 months and i have to crawl under my 4ft high layout! has anyone had suitcase lips last a long time or do you just solder?--josh
  11. woodone

    woodone Member

    Well if they are the things that I remember, They are not worth the powder to blow them to *%88. When you push the sliding metel piece into the wires, the v grove slot will actually cut the wires you are trying to connect- you can't install them without them cutting some of the strands of wire in each wire you are connecting. I have cut them apart to inspect the damage that was done and have found that 10 to 20% of the wire strands were cut . You have just reduced the amount of amps that the wire was rated for with this connection.
    You are better off with a solder connection( THE BEST CONNECTION) or you could use wire nuts and twist the connection together.
    But that is just my opinion.
  12. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    well lookslike im soldering....bring on the bandaids and alot of bumped heads LOL --josh
  13. woodone

    woodone Member

    Just use some flux, rosin ONLY! Small solder.Do some practice joints out in the open untill you get the hang of it. You will be surprised how quick you will learn.
    Then you have the best connection you can get, bar none!:-D No more lo voltage to what ever you are powering up.
  14. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    ill try to practice soldering,i did it when i was younger but the skill was just lost in time a while ago.but its well worth it in the long run.thanks.--josh
  15. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I found them at Menards (a store like Home Depot here in MN) but the guy had never heard the expression suitcase connector before. He found what I was looking for right away when I described them though.
  16. woodone

    woodone Member

    I think you will find that it is like riding a bicycle, you never forget. So if you did it before, it should come right back to you.
  17. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    There are some tips here on how to solder in the Academy, also do a search on soldering.
  18. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Thanks for the tip, i bought about 20$ worth of the blue suitcase connectors and i hate them. They don't fit exactly properly around 12gauge wire i use for my bus line. I'm going to see if i can get it from mouser.

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