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Source for Ace Connectors

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JimLewis, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Anyone have a good online source for Brass Ace Connectors (#90335 by King Innovation) ?

    I know about the Direct Burial Landscape Lighting Connectors, but I don't think I'd like them as much as I do Ace Connectors. First, you need a tool for those and this is just one more thing for my crews and myself to lose or misplace. I like the fact that the only thing you need with an ace connector is the allen wrench that it comes with. Also, it seems to me that a screw holding the wire down is more solid than a piece of metal just crimped down over it. So that's the second reason I don't want to buy those.

    But damn! Ace connectors are getting expensive these days! I guess it's an un-written rule that we don't discuss pricing in this forum. So I guess I cannot say what I am paying for them. But they seem ridiculously expensive. Unfortunately, the prices I have found online are even HIGHER than I am paying locally. So just wondering if anyone had a good source for these, in bulk.
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    Hey Jim, It's hard to find them in bulk anymore. I can get them through my local distributor, but like you said, they have gotten a little salty. Frankly, I rarely use them anymore anyway. I used to be religious about them, but I much prefer the crimped connection now. I use the copper buchanan barrel crimps with the buchanan tool. I have to say the connection is WAY tighter than I ever had with the Ace connector screws. Occasionally I would have a wire that could be pulled out if the screw didn't seat just right. You should check out Suresplice.com For direct burial, I like the security of the crimped connection and the speed of a DBY. The heat shrink just takes soooo long in the field and on a windy day....well forget it!

    Call AJ at Florida Outdoor lighting or Joe at Northstar industries (suresplice.com) and have him send you some samples.
  3. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    Jim, you can crimp those barrel connectors with any crimping wire cutters, like these - http://www.service.kleintools.com/T...-Purpose Tool STRIPPERS-COMBINATIO-LGNSMLTPRP. The crimped connection is more secure with the connectors you linked to because the heat shrink is heavier than what comes with the Ace and a screw will loosen up over time due to the heat/cool cycles.

    I used to use the Ace in my hubs because I thought I could come back and add to them but in reality I have to cut them out anyway because of the heat shrink so I use the other ones now for a fraction of the cost.
  4. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Tim, are you still using the ace connectors for above ground applications, or have you switched to the lighting shrink?

  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    I buy my own bulk, adhesive lined heat shrink tube and use buchanan crimps for above ground apps.

    Mostly using suresplice DBY's with buchanan crimps for below ground apps. I haven't used an ACE in years.
  6. Rainman7

    Rainman7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 291

    I've been trying to find a source for the bulk adhesive lined heat shrink. Could you please tell me your source. I want to start using the buchanan crimps because they are soo easy to get but haven't been able to find a source for the tubing.

    Also, do you not think the adhesive shrink provides a good enough waterproof connection for underground? I normally use lighting shrink but they are expensive, a pain to keep ordering and charge alot for shipping..at least to my area.

  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Why don't you call Jeremy at Lighting shrink and talk to him in regards to your issues with the shipping. He is located near you s shipping should not be the deciding factor. Also he is a very reasonable guy. As for raw weatherproof shrink tube, Thomas & Betts is very good as is 3m. They sell it in various diameters in 4foot length through any good electrical wholesale dealer... But don't think it will be cheap, cause it is not.
  8. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    Here is where I buy my bulk heat shrink.

    You can get different wall thicknesses. I prefer the medium wall since it is a little heavier jacket (much like the Ace Connectors tubes). It comes in 4' long sticks that I cut down to desired size and put into zip lock bags for use. Like you said, the buchanan crimps are easy to find and make a solid connection. I still only use the heat shrink for above ground applications anymore. I have been using the Suresplice DBY with the buchanan crimp for several years now and really like it. A super tight connection with good strain relief, lightning fast to put together and the super high temp grease inside the tubes that is nice and sticky. The specs on their grease is better than the blazing connectors.
  9. Rainman7

    Rainman7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 291

    Thanks!! Just placed an order.
  10. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    I tried getting the crimps and the heatshrink from buyheatshrink.com about a year ago also. I found that I couldn't ever get the same heat shrink that Jeremy uses, it was always a slightly different ID and there wasn't anywhere near the same amount of adhesive. Between that and the time to go pick up the crimps locally (those were dirt cheap) and the time spent cutting the 4' pieces down to the correct size and bagging them up, I decided it was really easier and cheaper to just buy them from Jeremy.

    As far as them being watertight, we use the same types of connectors in submersible well pumps (not his but a different vendor with a thicker heat shrink rated for higher voltage) and have no problems with water intrusion. I figure if they're good enough for that application, they certainly should work well for lighting.

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