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Relays vs. Solenoids vs. Contactors: A Comparison

Posted by K.E. Gregoric on Feb 10, 2017 1:21:16 PM

Solenoids, relays, and contactors are all electro-mechanical switches, but there are some critical differences that make each suitable for different applications. In this article, we will explain how each of these devices work and discuss some key selection considerations.

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Buying Guides, Relays

How to Select Heat Shrink for Your Application

Posted by G. Christianson on Nov 17, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Heat shrink is one of the most useful products in many low voltage applications. It repairs insulation, it offers protection against abrasion and moisture intrusion for wires, it provides needed support and strain relief and generally it allows for more design flexibility and capability for any automotive electrical use. But picking heat shrink can be a difficult task if you're not familiar with it. How do you select the right heat shrink for the job?

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Buying Guides, Heat Shrink

Automotive Cross-Link vs. GPT Wire: What Are the Differences?

Posted by G. Christianson on Aug 18, 2016 1:42:46 PM

There are many types of automotive wire, but two of the most common are cross-link polyethylene and GPT wire. Here are some key differences between the two that are important to remember as you look to resupply your shop and build new products and circuits.

 

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

Battery Isolators vs. Automatic Charging Relays (ACRs): Thursday Throwdown

Posted by K.E. Gregoric on Jun 16, 2016 3:56:20 PM

When it comes to battery management, both Battery Isolators and Automatic Charging Relays (also called ACRs or voltage sensitive relays) both safeguard reserve battery power, so as to prevent breakdowns and protect other vital vehicle or boat functions.

So then, how are these two components different? Is one better than the other? Who should choose one over the other? Here, we examine these questions.

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Buying Guides, Battery Management, Battery Isolators, ACRs

Automotive Wire 101: The Basics

Posted by G. Christianson on Jan 20, 2016 9:50:53 AM

 

Unless you've been repairing 12-volt equipment for years, the world of automotive wiring can be confusing to say the least. It can be a problem for purchasing departments across the country. So to ensure you're getting the right wire for the job, here's an essential overview of the least you'll need to know about wiring for 12-volt applications.

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Buying Guides, Basics, Vehicles, Wire & Cable

A Guide to Battery Management Systems

Posted by G. Christianson on Jan 8, 2016 2:12:26 PM

 

If your equipment rolls, floats, lifts, or hauls, it's probably got a battery management system. The need to protect these core functions makes it crucial to understand what these invaluable components do, how they work, and their place in equipment electrical systems. Here's the least you need to know.

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Topics: Resources & Tools, Buying Guides, Battery Management

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

How to Select Circuit Protection for Your Application

Posted by G. Christianson on Oct 23, 2015 10:27:59 AM

Mobile equipment like construction equipment, agricultural equipment, emergency vehicles, boats, and trucks must be designed with safety as a top priority. Not only do these vehicles represent a major capital investment, they're used by humans whose lives could be at stake if safety standards are not met. Any electronic component within a vehicle must be designed for both performance and safety. Many are susceptible to electrical hazards like electrostatic discharge and switching loads in circuits, so protective devices are necessary.

 

 

In today's vehicles, onboard electronics connect to the battery and the alternator. The alternator is often the culprit for transient phenomena like "load dump." This happens when a discharged battery is disconnected while the alternator is generating current and the alternator current continues to service other loads. Electrical spikes can lead to malfunctions and permanent damage to electronic components and could ultimately threaten vehicle reliability and safety.

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Topics: How To, Circuit Protection, Buying Guides

How to Choose the Right Time Delay Relay

Posted by G. Christianson on Jun 23, 2014 6:17:46 AM

Time delay relays are designed to control an event based on time. Work trucks, buses, emergency vehicles and other mobile equipment require delayed circuit operation for several applications. The solid state design of time delay relays withstands the electrical environments typically found in on and off-road vehicles and equipment. The key is selecting the right time delay relay for your application.

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Topics: How To, Buying Guides, Relays

Halogen vs. Xenon HID HeadLamps

Posted by G. Christianson on Apr 21, 2014 11:35:15 AM

Both halogen and xenon headlights are popular light options in the automotive, truck and heavy equipment world. They both have very long lives, longer than incandescent miniature bulbs, so what are their differences and how do you decide which type to use?

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Topics: How To, Buying Guides, Lighting


 

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