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Coil Spring Solderless Terminals

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by Bruce Kizerian, Jan 23, 2004.

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  1. Does anyone know where I can buy IN QUANTITY the coil spring
    solderless terminals commonly used on hobby kits like the "100 in One"
    experimenters kits sold by Radio Shack, etc.?

    Bruce Kizerian kk7zz
  2. I don't think you'll find them available anywhere in the states. I've
    been looking for months. Now if you had a contact in China or Taiwan you
    might have chance because that's where all those kits are assembled.

    I love what your company is doing with the radio kits.
  3. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    Buying mechanical parts can be a real pain because you're just supposed to
    know where to get them. Nobody writes books on how to do it because
    everybody knows, and the rest of us don't try because we don't know enough.

    Springs are going to be like inductors -- everybody wants something
    different and they're easy to wind. This means that they're mostly custom,
    so if you want them in quantity you can probably get them made to order. I
    would approach this in one or both of the following ways: try to find
    someone yourself, and get professional help.

    To do this yourself do a web search on "spring manufacturer" or some such,
    and call. Make sure that you have a notion of your planned annual purchase
    or your one-time buy amount (you know this, right?). If they have a sales
    rep who's local you should be able to give them a sample off of a 100-in-one
    kit and say "I want that".

    I was in the act of suggesting nickel-plated beryllium copper for the spring
    material, but then I remembered that beryllium is quite toxic. Marketing
    this to kids would be a _bad thing_. You want to be sure that when the
    18-month old little brother rips all the springs off and eats them nothing
    bad will happen. This would explain why most of those springs seem to be
    nickel over steel. My understanding is that chrome is fairly rigid, so
    it'll probably be more prone to flake off (and it's toxic to, but if
    frequency of warnings are a measure then it's not as bad as beryllium).
    Nickel will be more likely to flex. You should _seriously_ think about
    having the springs plated with copper first, then nickel (don't believe them
    when they say they can plate the nickel straight onto steel -- that's just a
    good way to make little shiny flakes).

    For professional help (not _that_ kind, people!), find yourself a good
    consulting mechanical engineer who makes mechanisms and gizmos for people.
    He (or she) will know a few companies to talk to, will be able to translate
    your desires into specs for the spring company, should be able to give you
    better advise on plating, and will be delighted to take your money. If you
    can afford it this it's a very good way to go. Your spring manufacturer
    will want to do some of this for you, but there will be no disinterested 3rd
    party looking over their shoulder. If you live close to Oregon drop me a
    line and I'll recommend a few names.

    Good luck, I hope it'll be part of something as neat as what you've got on
    there already.
  4. I've been trying to track these down for years. Never found any however.

    In my youth I owned several educational electronics kits made by GE that
    included these and I found that they were very useful for
    internconnecting larger components.

    If you can find a source, please post to the newsgroup. I know I would
    be interested, and perhaps others too.

    Terry Ilardi
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