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RailPro => RailPro Discussion & Help => Topic started by: nodcc4me on November 09, 2017, 08:59:06 AM

Title: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: nodcc4me on November 09, 2017, 08:59:06 AM
One thing that has really annoyed me when installing, testing or changing LM's is the difficulty in removing 9 pin harness connectors from the modules without breaking wires or putting excess strain on the modules themselves. Has anyone come up with an easy way to grasp and remove these connectors?
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: William Brillinger on November 09, 2017, 09:34:34 AM
That's a good question Al.

I like to get in here if I can on both sides and use a flat bladed screw driver to lever it open. That's not always possible.

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When not possible, then I grasp all the wires and rock the plug to work it out.
It's a pain for sure.

I haven't broken a wire yet.

When I am ready to commit to lighting, I plan on hardwiring all of my units using a method that Lee Nicholas suggested to me.

Lee uses pieces of circuit board material as solder locations attached to his own styrene board. (Brilliant!!)

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(Lee's Photo)

I want to place one of these on either side of the modules to allow them to be unsoldered and resoldered for easier removal. Then I can take the plugs out without them being connected to the locomotive.

I have ordered these boards to work with: https://www.ebay.com/itm/322837558899

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Time will tell how this works out.
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: TwinStar on November 09, 2017, 10:01:25 AM
Bill:

Can you explain the benefit of using the soldering board for lights?
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: nodcc4me on November 09, 2017, 10:13:09 AM
"When not possible, then I grasp all the wires and rock the plug to work it out.
It's a pain for sure
."

I have tried that many times with mixed success. You would think that grasping all the wires at the same time would put less strain on each individual wire, but on occasion I have managed to pull one wire out of the plug, rendering it useless.

I have also used the screwdriver in an attempt to pry one end at a time loose. As Bill stated, it doesn't always work.

I would like to try applying a small amount of WD40 or some other lubricant to the outside edges of the plug to make it easier to insert and remove if necessary. Has anyone tried that?
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: CPRail on November 09, 2017, 11:58:50 AM
I use a fine pair of tweezers. I tuck in the tweezers between the module and the lip on the plug, and then rock the plug from either side. Haven't lost a wire yet.

I'm personally not fond of lights, I prefer MV Lenses. I have one unit so far with lights working, and I have to do some tweaking as the headlight is dimmer than the ditchlights.
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: KPack on November 09, 2017, 12:44:55 PM
Al - for a lubricant I'd try something like a teflon lube in very small amounts.  The plugs are definitely difficult to get out, but with some patience it can be done.  Another way I've found is to do similar to what Bill does (working between the edge of the module and the edge of the plug), but I use small hemostat or tweezers instead.  I can grab above and below the plug, wedge the tweezers between the module and plug, and then use that leverage to work out one side, then repeat on the other.  Easy to do and I have more control that way.

(EDIT: Ian beat me to it.  What he does is what I do)

Jacob - the advantage of using a board to solder lights is that it keeps everything nice and clean.  If you are using LEDs you can solder a SMD resistor to the board and then have the LED magnet wire go off from there.  I've also used a scrap piece of brass stock (from a sprue for brass detail parts), glued it down somewhere, and then soldered all the lighting wires that connect to the blue common there.  Again, easier and cleaner.

-Kevin
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: William Brillinger on November 09, 2017, 02:19:23 PM
Quote
Can you explain the benefit of using the soldering board for lights?

The advantage to me, besides keeping it tidy, will be leaving all the various wires in place and not disturbing them to remove a module in the future.
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: nodcc4me on November 09, 2017, 03:36:48 PM
Some good methods here. I'll have to try the tweezers under the lip of the connector, and the Teflon lube. A soldering board makes sense as well. Thanks for all the help guys.
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: TwinStar on November 09, 2017, 03:46:28 PM
Kevin and Bill:

This is obviously a good idea as you two and Lee are doing it. Post a pic sometime if you can. I'd like to see.

Are you using a single SMD resistor? Or multiple?
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: KPack on November 09, 2017, 04:17:42 PM
As far as I'm aware each LED needs a resistor, at least according to Ring's diagram.  That's how I've been doing it.  I bought a roll of SMD resistors from Digikey that should last me for many years and it was only a couple of bucks.  Way easier to use SMD than the older resistors....they take up no space and you can mount them to a flat surface, like the board mentioned earlier.

-Kevin
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: G8B4Life on November 09, 2017, 07:05:41 PM
I haven't had a problem with the grab-all-wires wiggle method yet but do remember that the quality, or should I say beefiness of the harness wires plays a big part in it. I use DigiTrax's 9 pin harnesses and they have beefy wires compared to say the 9 pin harness from TCS which are quite thin. Also the termination method probably plays a part as well, the individual crimped wires in the DigiTrax harness probably give more tension strength compared to the cheaper IDC (insulation displacement connection) of some other brands of harness. For DCC ready and installed locos my guess is that they will have IDC 9 pin plugs; it's cheaper.

When I am ready to commit to lighting, I plan on hardwiring all of my units using a method that Lee Nicholas suggested to me.

Lee uses pieces of circuit board material as solder locations attached to his own styrene board. (Brilliant!!)

I mentioned this method a couple of weeks ago in Jeff Schultz's P2K GP9 thread (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,478.msg3717.html#msg3717 (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,478.msg3717.html#msg3717)). It's a good method that I have used before.

- Tim
Title: Re: 9 Pin Plug Removal Techniques
Post by: Alan on November 09, 2017, 07:06:35 PM
I believe the tightness is caused by the pin contacts and receivers rather than the nylon housing. My control panels use 16 pin versions of the same JST connectors used on LMs. The 16 pin versions are a bear to remove. If you insert a male housing without pin connectors into a female housing it will simply fall out when you turn it over. Doubt lubricating the housing is going to do more than make them slippery to grasp and more difficult to remove. I use a pair of very small flat blade screwdrivers, one under each end, to gently lift the plug enough to grip it with my fingers.

(http://www.lkorailroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/DSC_1434-500x333.jpg)