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Help identifying component

Markhopcraft

Apr 22, 2018
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Hi, apologies if this is the wrong place to post. I've gone and shorted out a component on my camper and I'm struggling to find it online.

It's a metallic strip that sits behind the terminal block pictured. It has loops that bend around to fit in the lower terminals on the return path / black side of my circuits, connecting them to the casing of the distribution box which is then earthed to the chassis of the van.

I've searched every child combination of euro style barrier terminal jumper / common rail I can think of but nothing looks the same.

It looks like when bought new it comes in with the loops spaced for every terminal then you just cut off the uneeded ones. Maybe the loops are straight when new so it looks like a gnomes comb.

I tried soldering it but it won't take and I don't have anything where I am to rough up the surface.

Any help appreciated!
 

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kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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It is likely called a 'busbar' or 'commoning' strip (or rail) but where to source one???? Looks like it's been made purposely for the task and I doubt you'd source one easily.

Make a small wire with a crimped-on ring terminal and fit between the screw terminal and any one of the screws holding the terminal strip to the chassis.
 

Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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Likely you may have damaged something else as well.
Shorting out a component sounds like a fairly broad statement that could mean anything.
Get an electrician to check. They will have the knowledge and meters to check your installation.
Last thing you want is to liven up the van chassis and cause injury or worse.
 

Markhopcraft

Apr 22, 2018
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I've got a meter and have tested all the the internal cabling. The section of the jumper that melted seems to have prevented any other damage. It's part of the domestic distribution unit I fitted myself. There's a rectifier to take 230ac to 12dc, that still works but was isolated by switch position anyhow when I shorted it. The unit has a two position switch to run he outlets from either the starter battery or leisure battery. On the starter battery selection everything works. The only part of the circuit that's not shared is pretty much the broken return loop. I've eyeballed everything and there's no visible charring etc anywhere. So I'm as confident as I can be it's good. Thanks for the reply though, always better to be safe than sorry :)
 

(*steve*)

¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
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Jan 21, 2010
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I hope you will also fit fuses and/or circuit breakers.
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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If you use the wire/crimp ring repair, make sure the wire is thick enough to carry the current. That terminal strip looks 'good' for around 15A so you'll want at least 1.5mm2 wire on the crimp.
 

Robert_fay

Jun 15, 2017
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I know at Digi-Key and I imagine all of the Big Distis there are Jumpers for the Euro blocks that look something like this. https://www.digikey.com/short/j47qvf
HCL8-12_sml.jpg

If you have pitch and number of positions I can try to help locate a better example.
 

hevans1944

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Jun 21, 2012
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I tried soldering it but it won't take and I don't have anything where I am to rough up the surface.
From your photo it appears the buss bar strip is made from aluminum, which makes sense if the "tabs" were originally straight and die-cut from a flat metal strip before bending and looping over for insertion into the terminal barrier strip.

Aluminum is of course almost impossible to solder. A TIG welder is generally used to join aluminum, but that probably doesn't help you. The suggestion to use bare, solid, copper wire (of appropriate diameter for the current) is probably your best solution. I would not bother with the ring terminal, they only work well with stranded, not solid, wire. Just form a loop on one end of solid copper wire and attach it under a closely convenient screw that is electrically in continuity with the rest of your "ground." Insert the other end into the appropriate terminal of the barrier strip. You could also use aluminum wire of a somewhat larger diameter, but aluminum will creep under compression from the screw head and require periodic re-tightening.

That must have been one helluva short to melt off the "grounding" tab without damaging the barrier terminal strip. That's generally a "feature" of low-voltage DC power circuits... plenty of back-up current available when something goes wrong. Generous and liberal use of fuses is recommended to protect the wiring.
 

WHONOES

May 20, 2017
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You could always use a solder tag to accommodate the wire or even make one from a bit of brass , copper or tinplate strip.
 

Markhopcraft

Apr 22, 2018
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Apr 22, 2018
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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, well I've learnt somethig new, I didn't realise you couldn't solder onto aluminium. Yes it was a good short, it's embarrassing but I'd been away with work for a couple of months and when I got back my van starter battery was flat. I had the 'brainwave' of connecting my leisure battery to the starter battery with jump leads and then connecting the 230acv into the distribution unit with it set to charge so it would pull current from that, rather than the leisure battery as apparently they don't give enough initial current draw.
Then my excuse is that I was jetlagged and leaning under the seat in th dark but I caught the positive jump lead on the distribution box casing.
I'll go with the suggestion on a 1.5m2 solid copper wire I think. Thank you to the link for barrier terminal jumpers but none of those look like they've got a connective back plate to them.
 
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