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Everything You Need to Know about Terminal Blocks

Posted by G. Christianson on Mar 16, 2018 10:31:08 AM



When assembling a circuit, it's easy to forget that there's far more to it than just wires and solder. Terminal blocks are a useful, and often crucial, component for any fleet's electrical wiring needs. But what are their functions, and what do you need to know about them?

What Are Terminal Blocks?

Terminal blocks, also sometimes less accurately called "screw terminals," are essentially a form of electrical interchange that distributes power around your fleet vehicles. Just like a trucker takes a cloverleaf to get off one interstate and on to the next one, a terminal block serves as a sort of routing tool for automotive electrical purposes, both within circuits and connecting different circuits to each other.

As a rule, you connect a wire to a terminal block either by stripping it of insulation, wrapping it around a screw, and then securing the screw in the terminal, or by soldering a connector to the wire and attaching it to the terminal. Generally in automotive electric you see the latter, although screw connections may still be present in some non-essential devices. Terminal blocks are designed for quick and simple connections that can be quickly done and quickly fixed.

Generally terminal blocks have two purposes, to connect different circuits together and to provide an electrical ground for a circuit. Grounding, of course, provides a safe route for a circuit to terminate, reducing the risk of short circuits within your system or serious injury to members of your team. Connecting different circuits can be a time-consuming task that terminal blocks make easier, although for circuits that need to more strongly interact with each other, your fleet team may need to use different techniques.

Advantages And Disadvantages



The main advantage for a terminal block is cost. Compared to other types of connectors, a terminal block is relatively cheap. It's also, to some degree, relatively a time saver, as connecting wires to one isn't an elaborate process and can be easily done by any well-equipped shop. If a driver is properly trained and has the correct tools, they can even effect small repairs to in-cab equipment on the road, depending on your policy.

The main disadvantage, on the other hand, is that in the presence of vibration or jostling, wires can be knocked loose from terminal blocks -- even well secured connections. As a result, fleet teams should test a connection if possible before implementing it, to ensure that it can withstand the rigors it's being put to. Another potential drawback is space, as due to their construction, terminal blocks can only be so small. That can often make them a better option for in-cab and non-essential wiring.

When choosing terminal blocks, it's important to consult with your team about their needs and concerns. Most terminal blocks, especially for fleets, have specific purposes they're best used for, and similarly they're not the answer in all electrical situations. But, for quick, efficient connections and power distribution, terminal blocks are handy to have. For the best in terminal blocks and circuit connections, view our terminals and connectors.
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Topics: Terminals & Connectors

Splice Connectors 101

Posted by K.E. Gregoric on Dec 1, 2016 12:33:00 PM

Splice connectors, most commonly known as butt connectors, but also butt splices and crimp connectors, are a fundamentally important component in 12-volt electrical systems. Here are some basics you'll need to know about them.

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Terminals & Connectors, Basics

Terminal Blocks 101

Posted by G. Christianson on Sep 1, 2016 1:36:44 PM

When assembling a circuit, it's easy to forget that there's far more to it than just wires and solder. Terminal blocks are a useful, and often crucial component for many automotive electrical wiring needs. But what are their functions, and what do you need to know about them?

Read More

Topics: Terminals & Connectors, Basics, Resources & Tools

The Dos and Don'ts of Choosing Wire Terminals and Connectors

Posted by G. Christianson on Dec 17, 2015 3:00:05 AM

It's one thing to have the wires you need to get your automotive electrical project up and running, but those wires need somewhere to terminate, or you might as well leave them on the spool. Here are some dos and don'ts for ensuring every wire has the connection it needs.

 

 

 

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Buying Guides, Terminals & Connectors, Wire & Cable

Electrical Terminal Blocks: Convenient, Space Saving Solution for Connecting Several Wires

Posted by G. Christianson on May 30, 2014 5:52:13 AM

Electrical terminal blocks provide a convenient way to connect individual electrical wires. Also known as terminal boards or terminal strips, terminal blocks are available in several electrical terminal configurations. The following terminal blocks offer different advantages depending upon your needs.

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Topics: Resources & Tools, New Technologies, Terminals & Connectors

What to do When Deutsch Connectors are Difficult to Source?

Posted by G. Christianson on May 27, 2014 6:18:15 AM

Deutsch connectors are in high demand and can be difficult to source due to manufacturer lead times. You see Deutsch connectors everywhere on trucks, construction equipment, Ag equipment, almost any piece of mobile equipment. However, you can't afford to slow your equipment production to wait for a connector lead time. Waytek has partnered with Amphenol, Delphi and Molex to make Deutsch compatible connectors in stock, ready to ship as soon as your order is placed. Amphenol, Delphi and Molex have spent countless hours testing and perfecting the Deutsch compatible connector lines to make them a reliable replacement.

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Topics: Industry Updates, How To, New Products, Purchasing, Terminals & Connectors

How to Protect Electrical Connections from Corrosion, Pull-out and High Repair Costs

Posted by G. Christianson on May 27, 2014 6:17:47 AM

Reducing recurring electrical problems and repair costs is always on the minds of fleet owners. Electrical connectors must operate in adverse conditions like extreme heat, extreme cold, vibration, strain, snow, rain, moisture and chemicals. These conditions cause electrical connector corrosion and wires to pull-out, resulting in equipment downtime and high repair costs.

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Topics: How To, Terminals & Connectors

How To Extend the Life of Your Anderson Connectors

Posted by G. Christianson on Apr 21, 2014 12:05:26 PM

Anderson Power Products (APP) suggests a series of procedures for maintaining and extending the performance life of Anderson Connectors. Following these installation tips, preventative maintenance and corrective procedures can result in lower connector operating costs, greater efficiency and productivity.

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Topics: How To, Resources & Tools, Terminals & Connectors

How To Choose the Best Electrical Connector for your Application

Posted by G. Christianson on Apr 10, 2013 10:11:03 AM

There are thousands of electrical terminal and connector options for automotive and heavy equipment applications. Making a sound electrical connection is one of the most important parts of ensuring your electrical system runs smoothly and your equipment stays out of the shop. Labor time and money are saved by making good electrical terminal and connector decisions. Here are the main factors to keep in mind when selecting the best electrical terminal or connector for your project.

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Topics: How To, Resources & Tools, Terminals & Connectors, Buying Guides


 

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