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Old 01-13-2005, 02:46 PM   #1
Ramon_12345
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Default "Vampire" Tap

While reading a post of how to install an air/fuel gauge on Ravensbade-Impreza.com, I came across a term known as a "vampire" tap, he used it to connect the sensor on the gauge with the O2 sensor wire at the back of the ECU and apparently he didn't have to cut the O2 sensor's wire either to splice it. Does anyone have a picture of this orknow where I can go on the net to find more information about it. It seems to be a very ingenious gadget and I would like to know about it so I can purchase one here in Barbados. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:51 PM   #2
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vampire taps are often also called quick splice'es. you can find them at any walmart, advanced auto parts, or pepboys.

they are very handy. but be careful.

in wires that use waveform signals, it sbest to strip and solder. you dont want to have the "teeth" cut a part of the wire permenantly hurting throughput.


expect to pay 2-6 bux for a pack of 5-20
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:14 PM   #3
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3M makes 'T' taps, too.....another great product
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:42 PM   #4
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I don't really recommend the use of t-taps/vampire taps. They present the possibility of cutting through some of the copper wiring and weakening the wire. Especially for ECU wiring, I would carefully strip a section of the wire and use a linesman's knot. Then secure it with good electrical tape.

Calvin
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnk
I don't really recommend the use of t-taps/vampire taps. They present the possibility of cutting through some of the copper wiring and weakening the wire. Especially for ECU wiring, I would carefully strip a section of the wire and use a linesman's knot. Then secure it with good electrical tape.

Calvin

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Old 01-13-2005, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyber_0ptix
solder owns all
That's the best solution. . .unfortunately, some people aren't good with a soldering iron so I don't want to recommend it unless absolutely necessary. If you're not careful when soldering, you can have the solder travel down the wire and that would just cause all sorts of problems. Besides. . .if the person was good enough to solder, they wouldn't be asking about t-taps.

Calvin
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:56 PM   #7
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Old 01-13-2005, 06:25 PM   #8
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Vampire taps are just fine if used properly (these are low voltage, low current, taps) - you want to use one which is appropriately sized for the wire gauge you are using (one which is too small might cut the wire, and one which is too large might not make contact) and keep in mind that they are not water-tight (so they are inappropriate for under-hood use) - I also wouldn't want to use them for much other than power for a gauge - anything passing a signal and it's probably better to strip and solder. (one caution - make sure you use the tap in an area where you can readily repair the wiring harness if something bad happens)

here's a link for some are Radio Shack ($1.69 for 4)

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Old 01-13-2005, 11:29 PM   #9
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Also useful for hard to get to places.

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Old 01-13-2005, 11:34 PM   #10
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that is a mondo-ly hard to get to place.

but i did it with traditionaly cut and splicing.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:01 AM   #11
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I don't like vinyl electrical tape too much. If you can't pull the pin out of the connector and use heat-shrink tubing, use self-fusing tape instead. It glues itself to itself really nicely, and you don't need any heat either.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theBob
I don't like vinyl electrical tape too much. If you can't pull the pin out of the connector and use heat-shrink tubing, use self-fusing tape instead. It glues itself to itself really nicely, and you don't need any heat either.

where to pick this up:?

and most obviously, its insulated, correct?
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:19 AM   #13
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I got a roll at The Home Depot.
Insulated, yup. It's for electrical use. Looks just like vinyl tape, but it has a peel off backing on one side. It's not really sticky either, until you lay it over itself.
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Old 01-15-2005, 01:57 PM   #14
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it's for pipes!

i love the ****...just like the factory wrappings on my starion!! no sticky mess, easy to use, hard to pull the backing off tho
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Old 01-15-2005, 05:07 PM   #15
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I 3rd using the self-fusing tape.
Also, IMHO, the type of taps shown by DrD are much easier to use correctly and are more mechanically robust than the type shown by brunetmj.
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:04 PM   #16
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Since I solder for a living, is a Soldering FAQ needed?
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Old 01-16-2005, 06:41 PM   #17
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A comment from an avionics technician:

While soldering and insulating using heat shrink is OK, the recommended way to splice and tap wires is to use a proper crimped connector and crimper. A crimped connection does not have the stiffness of soldered junctions and is less likely to break due to vibration over time.

Having said that, either is acceptable. But a good crimper is often quicker and easier to use in tight spots - and makes very good lifetime connections!
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Old 01-17-2005, 10:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
A comment from an avionics technician:
While soldering and insulating using heat shrink is OK, the recommended way to splice and tap wires is to use a proper crimped connector and crimper.
Granted but having worked on aircraft myself it is quite a different situation. I mean we don't safety wire bolts and connectors either. Crimping can be quite effective but if not done correctly can lead to problems (wrong size connectors and/or poor crimp). Far to many poor crimpers are on the market today. I think for the average person soldering is the most effective and better than vampire taps.. Probably really depends on location. I even use wire nuts when I want a quick disconnect.(never cared for bullet connectors)
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Old 01-17-2005, 11:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber
Since I solder for a living, is a Soldering FAQ needed?
Only if you're really bored.

Those vampire taps have worked really well for me for low voltage stuff (gauges, on/off signal wires).
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:22 AM   #20
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Bringing this subject back to life-

I ordered a set of edms and they come with a wiring harness that uses vampire taps. Does anyone have any experience with using the taps for headlight applications? Would I be better off buying (making one isn't an option) an alternative to these? Any opinions?

thanks
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:05 AM   #21
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Those taps are not the best thing to use for headlights or other high-current applications, especially when they are also exposed to the environment. They may work ok at first but the connections will deteriorate over time and eventually become intermittent or fail completely.
Only crimped or soldered connections should be used with your headlights, and everything should be fully insulated and sealed to protect the wiring from the elements.
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Old 03-01-2005, 02:11 PM   #22
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yea...that's what I figured. I just ordered a true PnP harness from wagons_ho
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:45 AM   #23
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Default which wire for A/F gauge???

hey, instead of talking about silly stuff like "go to home depot" does anyone know which freaking sensor wire to cut and/or tap to make the A/F gauge work?

i don't have a current ECU diagram and any help would be appreciated. also, why read off the rear O2 sensor ? i would think front O2 would be more appropriate due to my new exhaust and LACK of a catalytic converter.

thanks,
jason
sadistic@vt.edu
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber
Since I solder for a living, is a Soldering FAQ needed?
I think would be really helpful especially for those who don't know how to solder (like me).
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:28 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadistic
i don't have a current ECU diagram and any help would be appreciated. also, why read off the rear O2 sensor ? i would think front O2 would be more appropriate due to my new exhaust and LACK of a catalytic converter.

thanks,
jason
sadistic@vt.edu
The "tap-in" type A/F gauges can only read a standard narrowband 02 sensor signal, your front 02 is a semi-wideband and is not compatible with your gauge. This is why such gauges are of little use, and if you want accurate A/F readings you have to pony up the $$ for a true wideband setup.
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