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This is an offshoot of another question of mine on identifying a particular connector.

When I was talking with sales representative from DigiKey they mentioned that these crimps are done by machine. Can these be hand crimp these or would it be unusual to do so? I see that it's possible to buy wires pre-crimped in quantity. Is this how these kids of crimps are usually obtained?

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Check out this crimp tool. I use it for a lot of small contacts like that and it actually works well. PA-09 enter image description here

They also have a compatibility chart of contacts that they say it will work with.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow. That's the most useful chart I've seen for crimping. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zhro
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ This may work but it will be challenging at that size. Expect to throw away a lot of failed attempts before success. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I actually find the opposite. I have had a lot of luck with this tool and would say i probably reject 1 or 2 out of 10 which for the limited amount of crimps I do is acceptable. If you are looking production then yeah it would not work well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Robert Fay
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 14:52
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Yes, it is possible and JST have a hand tool specifically for these terminals, it's part number YRS-859. It is not cheap, but is the only way to get repeatable, reliable crimps, especially on terminals that small.

You can use generic crimp tools Engineer PA series sold by Adafruit and others, but at best those crimp tools make for a very fiddly job on terminals as small as the SH, and in many cases they either deform the terminal or don't compress it to the right dimensions, so you have to do a lot of fiddling and squeezing the terminal in different ways to get the terminal to fit in the wire housing. I've tried those crimpers on 1.5mm terminals for which no proper hand tool was available, and while it was doable, it was not fast or fun. For larger terminals that have wider tolerances they can work okay, but trying to get good results with 1mm terminals is going to be a tremendous challenge.

The proper, purpose-designed crimp tools have a number of advantages:

  • the dies are designed specifically for the terminal in question and will reliably form the finished terminal to the correct shape
  • Both the contact flaps and the mechanical flaps will be formed in one operation
  • the mechanism will have compound leverage and a ratchet mechanism to assure that the correct crimping pressure is applied
  • there will be locating features to hold the terminal in the proper position for crimping (and often to hold the wire at the correct depth as well), making it much easier to apply the terminal without four hands

So in short, if you only have one or two terminals to do, and it's to repair a personal item or something, then by all means, try the generic crimper and just be prepared for it to take a bunch of tries to get it right. But if this is for commercial purposes, or for anything where the reliability of the termination really matters, the official tooling is really worth every penny.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, the hand crimpers are for prototype shops. In skilled hands they can work when a few pieces are needed "now" (but should be weighed against things like splicing existing ends under tiny heatshrink) Also good skill-in-the-loop hand crimpers generally work better than using a fixed-form crimper intended for a different contact. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 15:37

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