Developed during the heyday of the telegraph, the Lineman’s splice is designed for connections that will be under tension. It is commonly claimed that, properly made, a Lineman’s splice is stronger than the wires of which it is composed. In any case, it is a time-proven method, and, coolest of all, one of NASA’s Required Workmanship Standards. To wit, in a NASA-approved Lineman’s splice:
- The conductors shall be pre-tinned.
- There shall be at least 3 turns around each conductor and the wraps shall be tight with no gaps between adjacent turns.
- The wraps shall not overlap and the ends of the wrap shall be trimmed flush prior to soldering to prevent protruding ends.
- Conductors shall not overlap the insulation of the other wire.
Though the Lineman’s splice was originally used without solder, today soldering is common. And NASA insists on it:
- Solder shall wet all elements of the connection.
- The solder shall fillet between connection elements over the complete periphery
of the connection.
This material comes from page 84 of NASA-STD 8739.4 (PDF), which is a great reference if you’re interested in best practices for interconnecting cables and wires.
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