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Mueller micro-clips versus small alligator clips

  • stevebyan
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1 month 2 weeks ago #12048 by stevebyan
I notice that small alligator clips have started showing up at the low power launch pads in place of the Mueller micro-klips. Do some people prefer them, or is it simply an expedient replacement due to lack of Mueller micro-clips?

Any date set for the Equipment Maintenance Day yet? Where does it usually take place?

 

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1 month 2 weeks ago #12053 by guyw
Maintenance day not schedule yet. Discussion for next meeting?

As the person that does most of the cleaning, repair and replacement of the clip leads, I can lend some insight. There have been one or two suggestions that alligator clips were preferred. My own experience is that the Mueller clips are more prone to abuse, especially from mid and high power fliers using non-Estes starters. Some tend to bend the ends up or down and wrap the stater leads around them. I try to clean the clips in vinegar and straighten them back out as often as I can get to it. Alligator clips are much more difficult to mangle, and seem to be a little less prone to binding up, which I believe is at least partially why the Mueller clips sometimes get bent out of shape in an effort to make better contact. For the high power pads, I have some even larger stainless steel alligator clips that I have started using that seem to help alleviate both issues.

BTW, I was unaware that the flat clips were called Mueller Clips.

Guy.

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1 month 1 week ago - 1 month 1 week ago #12054 by stevebyan
Replied by stevebyan on topic Mueller micro-clips versus small alligator clips
Thanks for the explanation.

Mueller Electric is the manufacturer that originated the design of the micro clips, and markets them under the name “micro clip”. I think they were also the originator of the alligator clip. Other manufacturers may offer similar styles of micro clips, I’m just in the habit of referring to them by brand name as “Mueller micro clips”.

Personally, I prefer the micro clips when using Estes igniters, or for you really old rocketeers, 32 gauge nichrome wire wound once around the tip of a ball point pen :-). The small alligator clips don’t have as much surface area on the small diameter wire, and so I find they tend to slide off of the wire too easily. I guess I can cure that by getting in the habit of wrapping the end around the clip.
Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by stevebyan.

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1 month 1 week ago #12055 by KennB
As Guy said, the smooth jawed micro clips do get beat up pretty quickly. Wrapping the starter leads around one side of the clip helps with the physical hold and electrical connection. Just making a loop in each lead and clipping across that works well, too.

The alligator clips used to be the club standard, as I recall. They didn't work too well with the Aerotech Copperhead igniter if you didn't have the special clip that acted as the go-between from the clips to the ignitor. With the use of paper or tape to insulate each side of the Copperhead, we needed the smooth jaws that wouldn't bite through the ignitor and short it out.

With a loop in each lead, the alligator clips will work very well with even the Estes starters.

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1 month 1 week ago #12056 by guyw
Bending back the wires of an Estes starter/initiator so that there are 2 contact points for each clip is what I do no matter what the clip looks like. Works very well for me.

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