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Miscellaneous Crimping and Crimp Tooling (TS, TRS, Banana, etc)


I'm curious if anyone's come across a crimp on connector for TS or TRS connectors ("phone connectors" used in audio applications). I've come across crimping applications for pretty much every other "standard" style connector besides these (even XLR, see Neutrik's "XX Crimp" series, and RCA, see Canare's "RCAP" series). I figure if there's a way to make a decent crimp connection for the RCA "phono" connector, then it couldn't be that hard to make one for a TS "phone" connector (TRS obviously being more difficult).

Adjacently related is the question of crimping banana connectors. I have never seen a great way to do this. My use case is test leads. Here are the three best options I have found:

1. Radiall R941019 (4mm plug), R921019 (2mm plug). These actually specify a crimp tool which are the ONLY banana connectors I have seen that give a specific crimp tool. It uses the standard Buchanan/Astro 612548 crimp tool, but unfortunately it references a seemingly non existent "locator" to be used with the Buchanan tool. This locator has part Radiall number R282561(4mm plug), and R282982 (2mm plug). I contacted Radiall about this locator twice and never received a reply.

Radiall Data Sheets:

2. Pomona 5169/5170 (4mm only). Says you can crimp it, but doesn't give instructions or crimp tool part numbers. I assume you can use a standard ratchet crimp with a die for uninsulated terminals. However, I have never tried this.

Pomona Data Sheets:

3. Parts Express 091-350 (4mm only). Of course, these are targeted at audio applications and there is no data sheet. They also do not officially specify a crimp tool. However, a staff member did respond to a customer's review with the following: "We recommend using a crimp tool rated for non-insulated terminals... ". Apparently there is a design issue where the banana tip is separated from the crimped barrel end which can cause issues. This is noted in one of the reviews.

Parts Express Link:

Does anyone have any better options? Or is it a waste of time to look? I started in the crimping world by making BNC video cables. Therefore I crave a part number for the crimp tool, crimp die, stripping procedure, and assembly procedure, haha.

If you look at this:
Similar to the Parts Express banana jack, you can see suitable crimpers linked at the bottom.
I'm sure a generic non-insulated ratcheting crimper would work OK, they generally come with 3 crimp tooth sizes.

The "Buchanan/Astro 612548 crimp tool" looks like a avionics/military style crimper, which would give you a more reliable 4 sided crimp (less stress on the metal). Looks like they are reasonably priced used. But could take more legwork to find one thats the right range/size.
You don't really need a locator (shown in this image), that sets the height of the crimp. Can do it by eye, or if not 3D print or machine something to locate your connector.

thm_w, thanks for the reply.

I will take a look at those crimp tools at the digikey link.

About the avionics/military style crimper: I was wondering whether or not I really needed a locator, so thanks for addressing that. I have never used that style crimp tool. I might pick one up and and some of the Radiall plugs and see how the 612548 does at crimping "by eye" without the locator and report back my findings.

“Pro” tip for ghetto-crimping with avionics/military crimpers: use wire ferrules to practice with!


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