What Heat Shrinking Tube Should I Use? And about soldering.

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I was told by @flyboy2610 on this post Bulb and Wiring Help and Advice Wanted PLEASE!!! | ModelRailroadForums.com that I need to use heat shrinking tubes to insulate my 7219 bulb wire leads but I'm not sure which to get and where to buy. It's this bulb
7219R and 2162R Light Bulbs.png

#7219R Red Miniature Bulb Wire Terminal Base, RED T1 W.T. 12V .06A .15CP,7219R, #7219R, #7219R LAMP, #7219R MINIATURE, #7219 Red, #7219R Indicator (jacksonelectricsupply.com) There's a dime in the picture to compare the size.

I was looking on Amazon for heat-shrinking tubes and found some but some of what I found might be more than I can use, in other words very very redundant. The ones I found are either too wide or come with too many pieces and they come in different sizes but I only need one size, well one width but long lengths. I'm trying to look online where I can buy only one size of heat-shrink tubing and not 100 pieces of such! My wager is 1mm or 1.5mm I just measured my light bulb leads and they're an inch (2 and a half centimeters) long. Trying not to get too little but trying not to get a lot. I so far have about 21 bulbs, I think, and plan to get 9 more, totaling 30 bulbs, so I need enough tubing to accommodate 60 total leads. And they have to be very thin.

I found this so far Amazon.com: Young4us 2 Pack 3/4'' Heat Shrink Tube 3:1 Adhesive-Lined Heat Shrinkable Tubing Black&RED 4Ft: Home Improvement but it might be too big and too much. Others

I figured I could use two colors, one for each bare lead. Since the tubes are black and red I could put a black tube and a red tube on each bulb. Then again maybe they only need to be one color (and I'll settle for black only.)



Mind you, this will be the first time I ever bought heat shrinking tubes, and first time using them.


Now when shrinking tubes, from what I've seen online, I guess you're supposed to wrap the heat shrinking tube around the wire and then put it over a lit flame until the tube shrinks, is that it?

I'm still looking around myself but what heat shrinking tubes do you recommend?

...

I'm also on the market for soldering tools. All I really want is a soldering iron or soldering gun, and perhaps solder liquid if there's any such a thing so I can make wires permanently stick to each other and to the bulb leads, and I don't want anything unnecessary. But what all will I need for soldering? I know I need the iron or gun and may get something like this Pinsun Soldering Iron 60W (twinschip.com) or this one from Amazon Amazon.com: 110V 60W Adjustable Temperature Electric Soldering Iron Welding Rework Repair Tool With 5pcs Solder Tip US Plug: Home Improvement

This is for my personal reference but anyone can use this: How to Solder Wires (thespruce.com) If I'm going to need more than a soldering iron that could be many more months!

...

One more thing, should I use 24 gauge wires or 28 gauge wires? (30 might be too thin) I'd like something thinner than the wires on 9V battery snap connectors.

I ask all these questions because I am planning to buy these things super soon. I wanted to do it today but I figure I better wait for some answers and hopefully order tomorrow at the latest. Last thing I want to do is order something I have no use for or something that won't work, although Amazon told me if the items don't work they can refund me.

Thank you. I'll come back if I have anymore questions.
 

McLeod

Living in Dreamland; not the Dream
Will - That heat shrink tubing you are looking at is far too big for your purposes. At 3/4", that product description is describing shrink for battery leads and the like.
I suggest you phone up an electrical wholesaler in your area, and inquire what sizes you can purchase from them. You should be able to purchase it in individual 4'lengths and in a size more suitable for your needs. I should think somewhere in the area of 1.5mm-2.5mm would do you. - We have Eccol Electric here in Canada, and I can buy what I need right over the counter. I don't know who you have as a wholesaler in the US.

I would also suggest you don't use a flame to heat up shrink. That can be very difficult to control without burning the shrink or the project. Try to get ahold of a heat gun; perhaps you have a friend who has one you can borrow. If not, big box stores sell them, hobby shops sell them, and they are available on Amazon. - Shop around; you can get cheap heat guns at reasonable prices. I have a cheap one marketed by Hobbico.

Soldering wires together: I don't know if you are going to corkscrew the wires together' or what you're doing. However, a simple solder iron should work well for you. You'll also require a resin based flux and some small solder wire. I find .08mm solder is plenty big or small for my needs.

I use 22gauge, 1 pair thermostat wire for almost all my hobby needs. I bet you can buy it by the foot at a big box hardware. Myself, I just by it in 75m rolls at the electrical wholesaler. Or, if you know an electrician; get some off him.

Hope this helps.
 
@McLeod Oh my goodness it's a good thing you told me all this! I was just about to buy that 3/4"!, although I felt like something wasn't right and took it out of my cart before you gave your message, so good thing I removed it and didn't make my purchase! This is one reason if not the very reason I'm on this forum, not just to show off my toys (well showing off isn't a nice thing to do) but because I need all the help and information I can get, being a newbie to some of this though I'm a long-time model railroader! I was just saved from wasting money on something that wouldn't have worked! I did ask Amazon, even live-chatting but they were little help to me! They even changed out the representatives on me, or one kept leaving and another one kept coming, I cannot remember how many I've talked to!

I was going to go outdoors and light a match and stick it in a pile of clay and then put the shrink over the flame but I like your idea better, and thanks for saying "heat gun," I never would have thought to use that, didn't even know those existed! Plus I don't like handling fire anyway, fire scares me and makes me emotionally and psychologically uncomfortable when I'm right near it even when it's small enough to be put out immediately. Like the Scarecrow I do not like a lighted match! A few weeks ago while I was cooking on my gas stove I accidentally made something fall too close to the burner and it caught on fire! Thankfully I contained it but even after the fire was out I was still shaken and had a break down days later and still had a sick feeling if I saw something triggered it! 😢 I DO NOT like being that close to a fire no matter how small and though nothing went wrong, I still hate that I lit a candle back in 2009 (I only did that because we had a power outage for blocks around and I never want to light a candle or handle a lit match again!) Sorry you had to hear my life story but fire (SHUDDERS!)😨 If that little fire affects me, you'd hate to imagine how I'd react if I was surrounded by an inferno!:eek:

So yeah, now I'm going to browse for heat guns!

Honestly I twist tie my wires, well I meant to say "cork screw" as you said it, that's how I've been connecting wires together since 2007, and I do that to extend wires that I find too short. But it would still be nice to have a solder, AND to learn to use one!

Gonna need to think the wire size over!🤗

Yes this helps a lot! Way more help than I got at Amazon. Good thing I didn't make my purchase yet! Now I think I can (like the Little Engine said!)

Thanks a bill, McLeod! 🤗👍
 

wvg_ca

Well-Known Member
you can use a lighter or a candle to shrink it, but a heat gun is a lot better ...
heat shrink tubing comes in various 'shrinks', ie: 2:1, 3:1 ... depends on how much it shrinks ..
the size of the tubing listed is unshrunk, or plain tubing ...
initially you are better off getting a selection of sizes to determine which will work the best ..
adhesive lined is best for high vibration or movement joints
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
William K. Walthers has 1/16" & 3/32" diameter heat shrink tubing. I'm not sure what size you will really need, but would order some of each. You will undoubtedly need it for a lot of projects. A local hobby shop may have some. As to how to shrink the stuff after soldering a connection, I use a soldering gun by turning the soldering tip on its side and lightly brushing the tubing with it.
Stay well and safe!
 

MOWboss

Member
I use the insulation I strip off 22, 24 gauge (or smaller) wire. The solid leads of the
LEDs will slip in nicely but a bit stiff. Additionally you could color code each lead.
 
Okay everyone I went ahead and bought these Heat Shrink tubes and from this vender 2M 2 Meter Heat Shrink Tubing Tube Black 1mm 1.5mm 2mm 3mm 4mm 5mm 8mm 10mm | eBay. I got them at 1.5mm (probably bought the last two he had so far! Probably only needed one but I'm getting two in case one isn't enough! I also went ahead and purchased these wires Fermerry 28AWG Silicone Stranded Wire Hook up Wire Kit 28 Gauge Electronic Tinned Copper 6 Colors 10Ft Each Electric Wire (10 FT 6 Colors Each, 28AWG) - - Amazon.com
61dP9NfhOWL._SL1001_.jpg


Now I just hope I made the right choices! The wires should come in two days.

I'm thinking of getting this Soldering Iron Amazon.com: GLE2016 Electric Soldering Iron Kit 60W Adjustable Temperature Welding Soldering Iron with 5pcs Different Tips, 1 Solder Wire 1.0mm Dia. (Soldering Irons): Home Improvement.
61Hjn5cM0-L._AC_SL1200_.jpg

At least that's what I think I want.

I saw some heat guns on Amazon and have my eyes on this one Sumi Living Mini Heat Gun, Electric Phone Repair Heat Tool Compact Hot Air Gun for DIY Embossing Shrink Wrap Drying Paint 110V - - Amazon.com It's a mini heat gun and the temp goes up to 200 degrees in seconds. I hope that's a sufficient size, it's less than 20 dollars (not including shipping, haven't tried buying it). Otherwise I may just have to wait a few more months before purchasing a heat-gun as they're 20 dollars or more!

Oh @McLeod did you mean "rosin"? You said "resin" and when I looked it up on eBay and on Amazon I got "rosin based flux" resin based flux - Google Search Well, maybe you did mean "resin." I got confused! But I do see some stuff that's less than 10 dollars and stuff I might want.


By the way the only Hobby Shop I have in town that I know of is Ace The Hobby Place on 22nd Street and Kolb Road. I don't know if Hobby Lobby counts, I've only been there once and wasn't satisfied with what I saw, at least as far as model trains went, although I should take another look. We used to have HobbyTown USA in two locations but unfortunately they both closed, one of them closed in 2007 or 2008, the other closed several years later! Now we don't have HobbyTown USA in Tucson anymore! I did just find something called Otaku Nation Japanese Hobby Imports but I don't know if that will have what I'm looking for.

So please let me know your recommendations and I shall return later for replies to this post. And thank you for your responses so far!
 

McLeod

Living in Dreamland; not the Dream
Oh @McLeod did you mean "rosin"? You said "resin"


Yes, Will, I was referencing 'rosin'. My mistake.
Some think you don't have to clean the solder joint if you use rosin flux, because it's inert when cool. I still think it's a good idea to clean up flux residue whether you are using rosin or acid flux. However, if you are using acid based flux, the joint must be cleaned.

Bye the way, if you buy a soldering pen, make sure you 'tin' the tip before use. Tinning the tip will give the soldering pen better heat conductivity and the tip will last longer. It's hard to solder through a carboned up tip.
Google solder tip tinning for discussions on how to do this simple process to prep the tool.
 

skyliner

Active Member
Forgive me as I don't have time to write a more thorough post at the moment, but an alternative to heat shrink tubing is liquid electrical tape. It should be available at most hardware and home improvement stores that carry electrical stuff. Comes in a small jar, smells pretty bad. Stir before using; for small applications such as this, apply with a small hobby brush or toothpick. It applies like a thick paint, but dries to a rubbery surface similar to wire coating. Doesn't have to be pretty, just sufficient to cover exposed wiring. I use it frequently inside locomotives on things like DCC installs, to coat soldered wire connections, LED inputs like above, etc.

With all the things you are trying, practice on scrap or something unimportant before working on important stuff. Good luck to you.
 

Sirfoldalot

Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
I was just going to suggest the liquid tape as mentioned above.
Seems the best solution to me - I have used it many times.
 
I was just going to suggest the liquid tape as mentioned above.
Seems the best solution to me - I have used it many times.

You know guys, I did want to just use electric tape, I believe we have some, but when I looked it up on Google, it said electric tape should only be used temporarily.



Otherwise I'd have gladly went ahead and used that by now, but after what I read, now I'm afraid to!

I thought of going to go ahead and buy a soldering stand https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07G...c=1&uh_it=e608cf45c6549b01c354a05a1b4fcbae_CT but unfortunately I just spent the last of my money on groceries, so gonna have to wait another month or so. Oh well, groceries and household supplies are more important anyway! That's one of the reasons why I try to find and buy the least expensive things possible because I'm on Social Security and have to pay rent and bills, and my mother is very strict and very concerned about how much money I spend and where our money goes!
 
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skyliner

Active Member
You know guys, I did want to just use electric tape, I believe we have some, but when I looked it up on Google, it said electric tape should only be used temporarily.

Otherwise I'd have gladly went ahead and used that by now, but after what I read, now I'm afraid to!

No one suggested electric tape. If you read the posts above, we are suggesting LIQUID electrical tape, which is a different thing. Looks like this:

full_4aef84b0-66c7-4461-a859-1c006f96e60b_360x.jpg
 

wvg_ca

Well-Known Member
there are a lot of variances in electrical tape .... kinda depends on what you paid for it, a 5 buck roll usually will last a lot longer than a dollar roll ..
electricians have been using it as permanent insulation for years, and it meets code there [not as a fastening though]
 

Sirfoldalot

Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
electricians have been using it as permanent insulation for years, and it meets code there [not as a fastening though]
YEAH - I did not understand that remark about NOT using it on bare wires - that's exactly what it is meant for?
 

Patrick

GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
Electrical tape is fine for the wiring we use in our layouts as we are typically a low voltage application. I do agree that like everything else you get what you pay for.

Also with shrink wrap use the size that's slightly larger than your wire\connector. I often use a match or lighter to shrink it. I don't have a lot of stuff needing shrink wrapped, so I don't have a heat gun, although it is safer than my method.
 
I just saw this thread and will suggest instead of match or heat gun, use an embossing heat gun. It is much smaller and more controllable for modelling work. I have a big heat gun that generally gets used for things like striping paint or making toast but never model work. Something like this, the first link that popped up when I put in embossing heat gun: https://www.amazon.com/American-Crafts-Zap-Embossing-Heat/dp/B002TM68OE

Thanks KJD! I don't know if I'll buy that one but I should be able to afford it in a month or two or so. I still like the 10 dollar one, at least I think I do, but maybe I should go with the one you suggest!😁

I like your idea too @NCRC5315!
 
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No one suggested electric tape. If you read the posts above, we are suggesting LIQUID electrical tape, which is a different thing. Looks like this:

full_4aef84b0-66c7-4461-a859-1c006f96e60b_360x.jpg

Oh I know, I know it said "liquid electric tape," I was just saying that that was what I wanted to use but I'll take you guy's word for it on the liquid electric tape, might be best anyway! May add that to my shopping list!
 
Okay gang I got some more money from my mother and decided to go ahead and order the Soldering Kit after all! https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07G...c=1&uh_it=e608cf45c6549b01c354a05a1b4fcbae_CT Now I don't have to wait as long anymore.

I did only just want the soldering gun itself but I figured eventually I was going to need the rest of the stuff so I decided to do what would help me in the long run and buy what I need all at once!

Besides it comes with heat-shrink tubes and in different colors so I can make one lead one color and the other another (e.g. one black lead and the other lead red!) That'll make it easier, at least for unmarried bulbs! I say "unmarried" because I'm also doing married lights (this came from the term used on multiple unit type trains, EMUs and DMUs, like NICTD's EMU trains, they use married pairs.) My "married bulbs" are bulbs with one lead per bulb jointed together while the remaining leads remain stand-alone, these are the bulbs I plan to make flash alternately with the signal lights.

The kit also comes with solder wire, something else I will need! And comes with other tools I just might find useful, for my upcoming project and for other things unrelated to this that may need these tools!

I also went ahead and ordered rosin soldering flux paste, I ordered this because it was one of the least expensive ones on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07F9HBCT9?ref=ppx_pt2_mob_b_prod_image It won't be here till June 1-22 though but now I shall have soldering liquid! (@McLeod)

I'm happier than a lark!...so far, let's see what these really are and if they'll work when they come!

And thank you all for your help!
 
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