How to Choose the Right Time Delay Relay

80030flTime delay relays are simple control relays with a time delay built in. They are designed to control an event based on time. Work trucks, buses, emergency vehicles and other mobile equipment require delayed circuit operation for several applications. The solid state design of time delay relays withstands the electrical environments typically found in on and off-road vehicles and equipment. The key is selecting the right time delay relay for your application.

When designing circuits using time delay relays, you should consider the following questions:

  1. What initiates a time delay relay?
  2. Does the timing start with the application or release of voltage?
  3. When is the output relay energized?

Three industry standard time delay relay functions are available: On-Delay, Off-Delay and One-Shot.

On-delay timer relays are used when one circuit function must activate a time delay after another function. For example, you want to start an air compressor five seconds after the PTO is activated. The circuit that activates the PTO would be connected to the on-delay timer relay’s timer input. The timer’s output would operate the compressor’s start circuit. When the PTO is activated the timer starts. Five seconds later the timer’s output would start the compressor, and would stay on until the timer’s input is removed.

Off-delay timer relays are used when one function must start a second function and the second function must stay on for a time period after the first function is deactivated. For example, a school bus has an egress light that must be started when the door is opened, and must stay on for 10 seconds after the door closes. The door open switch is connected the off-delay timer relay’s timer input and the egress light is connected the timer’s output. When the door is opened the timer’s output is activated, turning on the light. When the door switch indicates the door is closed the timer starts. After 10 seconds the timer’s output is deactivated, turning off the light.

One-shot timer relays are used when one function must start a second function and the second function must stay on for a fixed time period. For example, a rear view mirror heater must only operate for 15 minutes to prevent damage to the mirror. The mirror heater switch is connected to the one-shot timer’s input and the timer’s output operates the mirror heater. When the switch is turned on the timer starts and its output is activated, turning on the mirror heater. After 15 minutes the timer’s output turns off regardless of if the switch is on or off.

For more information on time delay relays, call 800.328.2724.

How To Extend the Life of Your Anderson Connectors

Anderson-MultipoleAnderson Power Products (APP) suggests a series of procedures for maintaining and extending the performance life of Anderson Connectors. Following these installation tips, preventative maintenance and corrective procedures can result in lower connector operating costs, greater efficiency and productivity.

Connector Installation Tips

  1. Reference Assembly Instructions specific to the connector. Assembly instructions for a connector can be obtained from APP or a distributor.
  2. Use proper assembly tools.
  3. Reference all applicable electrical standards requirements such as NEC, UL, CSA, etc.
  4. Perform a sample assembly of a few pieces for assembly verification testing. Test these samples for proper crimp dimensions, crimp tightness, crimp resistance and operating temperature.
  5. Perform periodic assembly verification testing to assure assembly process and tooling are performing correctly.  Typically, crimp dimensions are checked at short intervals and crimp resistance and secureness are checked at longer intervals.  The changes in the wire gauge, wire stranding, wire coatings, contact crimp tools, crimp dies and crimp dimensions will affect the quality characteristics of the crimp.  Verification testing should be performed when any of these change.

Connector Crimping and Soldering

Proper crimping and cleaning of the wire is essential for optimizing connector service.  A proper crimp that is performed on oxidized wire may have high resistance and could result in excess heat.  Cutting back cable to a non-oxidized area and / or cleaning the wire with a wire brush or 3M Scotch Bright ™ is recommended.

improper-stripped-wire1. Stripping Cable Insulation: Problems with cable harness and connector systems often begin with improper or accidental cutting of wire strands while stripping cable insulation.  Each strand is important, and all of them must be included in the contact barrel to avoid unnecessary hot spots during operation.  When removing insulation, position a sharp blade at  a right angle and apply steady, controlled pressure, cutting only the cable insulation, not the copper wire.  Strip cable to the proper length for the contact being crimped.  Proper lengths are listed in the instruction sheet with each APP connector.

2. Cleaning Copper Wire

Cleaning Copper WireAged and badly tarnished copper should be thoroughly scraped with a stiff wire brush that penetrates the entire bundle cleaning every strand. The wires will then be ready for insertion into the contact barrel when they are brushed to their original bright copper finish. Contact barrels are lined with silver or tin plating to assure consistent conductivity, which will be reduced if the barrel is crimped around aged or tarnished wire.

3. Crimping


The best preparation will be defeated if inadequate tools or improper crimping procedures are performed.  Never use a hammer and chisel or the “squeeze-in-a-vise” method.  They won’t do the job and will result in substantial reduction in connector life.

Use an APP crimp tool.  Make sure the stripped cable is inserted all the way into the barrel of the contact and that the contact point is centered in the crimp tool.  A crimp tool will effectively compress the contact barrel tightly around the cable strands, allowing them to be pressed tightly against each other and against the inside wall of the contact barrel.

When the crimp has been completed, check the appearance of the contact.  A properly crimped contact barrel is compacted tightly with the outer strands.  The outer strands on an improperly crimped barrel will be loose and will not have adequate clamping force.  Test for low pull-out force.  If the cable can be loosened, recrimp until it is tight.






4. Soldering

The alternative to crimping is to solder all cable strands within the contact barrel.   When using an open flame, make sure that you are not in an area where explosive gasses are present.  The right proportion of solder is essential if this procedure is employed.   Use a quality 60/40 solder (60 percent tin, 40 percent lead) in wire form with a rosin flux core.  Cable strands should be separately fluxed with rosin paste, and the contact should be held in a vise with the barrel end facing up.  Apply heat to the outside of the barrel while the solder flows in beside the wire strands.

Here are some things to avoid when soldering:

A.  Don’t use too much solder, to the point that it flows out of the contact barrel.

B.  Don’t allow flux or solder on the outside of the contact.  This will interfere with contact mounting within the installation or with the contact connection to a mating connector.

C.  Don’t overheat and cause excessive solder to “wick” up into the cable and stiffen it.  This could interfere with contact flexibility when connectors are mated.

D.  Don’t solder when contact is in the connector housing.  Solder away from the housing and then insert the contact into the housing.

NOTE: Underwriters Laboratories (UL) requires the use of a cable clamp for soldered connections to unsupported leads.

5.  Inserting Contact into Housing

Contacts should never be forced into housing.  If the contact does not fit easily, check the contact barrel for distortion.  Replace the barrel if it is distorted or shows signs of wear or damage.


Halogen vs. Xenon HID HeadLamps

Both halogen and xenon headlights are popular light options in the automotive, truck and heavy equipment world. They both have very long lives, longer than incandescent miniature bulbs, so what are their differences and how do you decide which type to use?

Halogen Headlamps
Halogen-Bulb-PX26dH7-47854_fHalogen headlights have a lifetime of about 1,000 hours under normal conditions. They create a very bright illumination and they come in many different base sizes, so they are flexible in any replacement application. When a halogen headlamp burns out, the replacement costs are generally very low. Although the halogen light bulbs usually come to the end of their lifetime due to their somewhat inefficient design and construction. They produce very high temperatures, argon and nitrogen gasses, while generating a radiating light which wastes energy. Halogen light bulbs are also sensitive to various substances. For instance, the salt and skin oil in hands results in damages to the glass bulb. Toughing the bulb can result in early burn-out because the glass won’t be able to withstand the high temperature inside. It is mandatory to avoid touching the glass of the bulb when replacing.

Xenon HID Headlamps
HID-Bulb-PK32d-2T3D2S-47865_fXenon headlights are known to be more efficient than halogen lights because of amount of light they generate. They are officially called high-intensity discharge headlamps. Efficiency is the number one thought when considering an HID Headlamp over a Halogen. The xenon headlight uses less energy, reduced fuel consumption and less CO2 emissions. Additionally, the amount of power saved by the xenon efficiency can be used for a variety of other electronic devices. They have a long lifetime – about 2,000 hours, which is double the life of halogen bulbs. Some consider the illumination of xenon headlights a setback because they are known to produce a glare for other drivers on the road. Xenon lights are also more expensive than halogen lights, however they last double the time, making for lower maintenance or replacement costs.

How to Protect Electrical Connections from Corrosion, Pull-out and High Repair Costs

Reducing recurring electrical problems and repair costs is always on the minds of fleet owners. Electrical connectors must operate in adverse conditions like extreme heat, extreme cold, vibration, strain, snow, rain, moisture and chemicals. These conditions cause electrical connector corrosion and wires to pull-out, resulting in equipment downtime and high repair costs.

Electrical-Connector-CorrosionCorrosion damage is estimated at over $23.4 billion in the transportation sector. Wiring and lighting is the most frequent corrosion problem in maintaining fleets. These issues often stem from faulty electrical connections. Equipment downtime often results in hundreds to thousands of dollars in violations, repair costs and lost opportunities.

Heat-shrink-electrical-connectorsUsing a high quality sealed electrical connector can protect against moisture and contaminant causing corrosion. The simplest way to prevent corrosion damage is to use heat shrink terminals and electrical wire connectors in place of non-insulated, vinyl or nylon insulated options. Heat shrink electrical connectors are constructed with adhesive lined polyolefin heat shrink tubing to seal-out moisture. Their initial cost is a little higher than non-insulated, nylon or vinyl electrical connectors, but they offer strong environmental protection, easy installation and durability, making them an extremely valuable selection.

Increase Life of Your Batteries with Master Battery Disconnect Switches

Master-Disconnect-Switch-44058_fBattery Disconnect switches have several important jobs in commecrial vehicles and equipment. They cut-off electrical power, help protect against electrical fires and theft when equipment is not in use, provide a reliable shutdown of power during maintenance, and protect batteries from excessive drain. Waytek carries a new line of Terra Power Products Battery Disconnect Switches to perform these jobs and help increase the life of your batteries.

Master disconnect switches isolate high current DC circuits from battery sources and are capable of carrying 300 amp continuous current. Ignition protected to SAE J1171 and ISO 8846 for operation in hazardous atmospheric environments in battery box or on vehicles carrying hazardous loads.

Waytek offers three case design options in surface mount, panel mount or floor padding trim mount. Many features on the master disconnect switches were designed for harsh environments, including tin-plated copper studs to provide maximum conductivity, stainless steel hardware for corrosion resistance and IP67 rated housing for moisture and dust protection.


How To Choose the Right Circuit Protection Devices

The most important aspect of selecting circuit protection devices for trucks, off-road equipment and other mobile equipment is a complete understanding of the system to be protected. Because the circuit protection design is usually one of the last considerations, and time is always at a premium, this aspect of electrical system design is usually rushed. Mechanical Products, a manufacturer of thermal circuit protection devices, recommends an easy seven-step process for effectively selecting your overcurrent protection solution.


1. Determine what is to be protected and why. i.e.-device(s), component(s), circuit(s).

2. Determine how damaging overcurrents and natural inrush currents and surges can be developed in those items listed above.

3. Determine where a current interruption device should be placed. Depending on placement, You will need to consider the type and size of automotive wire and cable and electrical connector

4. Calculate the magnitude and duration of the potential fault currents of Step 2 as they relate to those items listed in Step 1. Determine maximum voltage requirements of the protective devices you will use. It is also important to consider what kind of environmental elements the circuit protection device will be exposed to.


If your circuit protection device is going to be subject to harsh environmental elements, you might want to consider weather-proof or marine rated components.

5. List the supplementary requirements for the protective device. What will it be connected to? i.e. auxiliary switch for an alarm circuit, lighted actuation, environmental considerations, electrical trip, relay trip, etc.

6. Determine the regulatory requirements. Depending on your application, you might be required to circuit breakers, automotive fuses and other circuit protection devices that are SAE rated or UL rated.

7. Choose a circuit protection device that meets the requirements of your application.

To offer more details on step 1. What is to be protected and why, keep the dynamics of circuit protection in mind. In order to avoid nuisance trips attributable to start-up inrush and harmless surges with power systems, it is necessary to provide a margin of tolerance between the steady state current of the circuit and the rating of the protector. In general, the recommended margin for fuses is 25%; for circuit protectors, 15 to 20%. Additionally, there is a trip window or tolerance on the calibation of the protection device.

For precise circuit breakers, this tolerance is between 25% and 35%. This means that a circuit breaker will hold 100% and will trip between 100% and 125% to 135% within the hour. Based on this common industry specification as an example, a 10 amp rated protector can be expected to hold 10 amps or 100%. It can also be expected to trip at 12.5 or 13.5 amps within an hour. The expected trip point is governed by the Maximuim Ultimate Trip (MUT) specification. In this example, the Maximum Ultimate Trip is 125% to 135%, depending on the circuit breaker’s specifications.

The most important considerations when matching potential fault protection to a circuit protector are the I2t factor and the fault trajectories. The I2t factor proects the potential for Circuit-Breaker-Trip-Curvedamage in a component – i.e. automotive wire, motors, power rectifiers, transformers, etc. Generally, this factor is a measure of what a device can absorb and still survive. The measure is a function of current in amps versus time in seconds.

The fault trajectory is simply a graphic representation of a fault and, if it is specified as a current in amps and time seconds, then bot hthe I2t and fault trajectory can be put on the same graph. The point at which two lines cross on the graph represents the condition where circuit or component damage can be expected. For further clarification, the trip curve of the specified circuit breaker can be superimposed on this graph, giving a visual indication of the level of protection offered by the circuit breaker and its suitability for the application.

It is necessary to consider all of the aspects of the circuit protector that affect its published operating characteristics when considering its trip curve graph. Specifically, variations in performance can be encountered when factoring:

1. Position differences in magnetic circuit breakers

2. Ambient temperature changes in fuses, thermal circuit breakers and magnetic circuit breakers

3. Potential for overreaction to inrush currents often encountered in magnetic breakers

4. Effect of voltage on the published trip characteristics of magnetic circuit breakers.

Having considered all these variables, the designer must also weigh the ancillary product considerations of a circuit protection, i.e.- allowances between product cost and performance, supplementary requirements, and regulatory approvals.

Waytek Is Now An Authorized Distribution Partner For Mechanical Products New Series

Minneapolis, MN March 2014 - Waytek, Inc., a leading distributor of electrical wiring supplies, connectors and circuit breakers, announces that they have been selected to be a Mechanical Products (MP) authorized distributor partner for their new Series 17 line of Thermal Circuit Breakers.

The Series 17, manufactured in the U.S.A., is a main or branch circuit breaker used in accessory or auxiliary direct circuit (DC) electrical systems operating in harsh environments to provide protection in the event of overload and/or short circuit interruptions. The Series 17 is available in 25 – 100 amp ratings (up to 200 amp circuit breakers will be available in late April) with stainless steel terminal SEMs nuts as an option.

The new Series 17, which is designed for industrial, transportation, and vehicle accessory manufacturers, includes Agricultural, Construction, Marine, Material Handling, Emergency Vehicles, Automotive Lifts, Battery Chargers, and Recreational Vehicles and Trucks industries. The series is available in Type I, Type II, and Type III.

The Series 17 offers designers and end-users improved access to wiring and operation, corrosion resistant studs and hardware, superior moisture sealing, a variety of mounting options, higher amperage ratings, and potential use of bus bars while enclosed in a durable, sealed thermoplastic housing. The Series 17 is compatible to existing mounting profiles while offering new features and mounting styles that allow for next generation designs.

The MP Series 17 offers new Side-by-Side Surface and Easy Access, 90-degree Panel Mount designs, in addition to standard mounting profiles. Surface Mount configurations are available in 1/4” and 3/8” heavy-duty stainless steel terminal studs. Panel Mount units are available with 1/4” brass, nickel-plated terminal studs.

The MP Series 17 is designed as a drop-in replacement for existing surface and panel mountable configurations in the market today. These high quality breakers are assembled in the USA and available only at Authorized Distribution Partners like Waytek, Inc.

The NEW Series 17 Thermal Circuit Breakers are an excellent complement to MP’s existing Series 18 breakers, also designed for harsh environments, available in 2 through 60 amp ratings. For additional information on these and other high quality MP thermal circuit breakers, visit Mechanical Products at

About Waytek: Since 1970, Waytek has been providing electrical wiring supplies to OEMs in the truck body & trailer, construction machinery & equipment, agricultural equipment, and emergency vehicle markets. Waytek maintains a large inventory of over 10,000 different electrical supplies in stock. Waytek prides itself on the philosophy “If it’s in the catalog, it’s in-stock.” To view the Mechanical Products Series 17 thermal circuit protection, go to

Mechanical Products' thermal circuit breaker

About Mechanical Products

MP has been a leading supplier of thermal circuit protection since 1943. MP circuit breakers are used in thousands of commercial and industrial applications ranging from medical equipment, appliances, lighting, and communication devices, to recreational and off road vehicles/equipment, and electrical protection devices. MP has been management owned and operated since 1998, is headquartered in Lombard, Illinois and maintains manufacturing capabilities in the US and overseas.

Waytek Now Offers Updated Electronic Catalog Ready For Download

Minneapolis, MN, February 2014, - Waytek, Inc., a leading distributor of electrical wiring supplies and connectors for the mobile equipment market, is pleased to announce the addition of their new online electronic catalog.

The catalog can be accessed and downloaded from Waytek’s website or by clicking here. It offers electronic functionality to help users quickly find the products they’re looking for regardless of how they prefer to search the electronic catalog.

Waytek Catalog #227 is the latest catalog in the company’s 44-year history and includes more than 10,000 parts and descriptions. The electronic version of Catalog #227 offers several electronic methods of finding products, descriptions, and technical specifications that are more effective than the traditional catalogs. This efficiency allows users to access and review key information quickly for any equipment-building project.

The entire electronic Catalog #227 can be accessed from the website or download to the user’s desktop for quick reference and ease of use.  The download process allows users to save and access the entire catalog with a few clicks of the mouse.

Simply clicking on a desktop icon provides the user with instant access to all of the electronic catalog’s features. Items in the electronic catalog are linked to the website for additional product information, current pricing, data sheets, and other products the user will need. Once on the website, orders can be placed for all your electrical supply needs.

It’s easier to find products using the electronic catalog rather than a traditional hardcopy. Products can be found by flipping page-by-page, clicking on index descriptions that are linked to specific products, or users can jump to the page needed by simply entering the page number. A tile function also allows the user to see all pages on one screen and select the pages they need from there.

A features button allows users to flag and add notes to frequently used pages for ease of reference. The notes tool is a great way to add reminders for individual products on pages that are frequently used.

Our philosophy, “If it’s in the catalog, it’s in stock,” has just taken on a whole new meaning. Check it out for yourself by visiting our website at

Image of Waytek catalog

About Waytek: Since 1970, Waytek has been providing electrical wiring supplies to harness manufacturers and OEMs of truck body & trailers, emergency vehicles, construction machinery & equipment, and agricultural equipment markets. Waytek has an inventory of over 10,000 different electrical supplies.

Waytek Adds Picker Components To Their Existing Line Of Equipment Relay Options

Minneapolis, MN, January 2014, - Waytek, Inc., a leading distributor of electrical wiring supplies, connectors, and relays, is proud to announce the addition of Picker Components to its broad, in-stock relay offering of OEM manufacturing electrical components.

Picker Components builds a broad line of electro-mechanical and solid state relays and has become a quality leader among relay manufacturers. Picker’s automotive relays use proprietary silver tin indium oxide contacts that provide superior contact performance with respect to inrush current. Picker relays are available sealed and unsealed, with and without mounting brackets and as plug-in or PCB mount configurations.

Waytek offers Picker Components’ extensive line of Automotive, Power, Signal and Solid State relays, stocking the popular mobile equipment versions. Picker Components’ offering includes the PC7150 family 150 amp PCB power and maxi ISO relay with two 1/4″ and three 3/8″ terminals. This part also brings with it a new relay connector for the 150 amp relay.

Waytek offers complete relay lines from TE/Bosch, Song Chuan, Hella and now Picker Components. “Regardless of your preferred relay, Waytek carries the most popular lines, so you can order your relays, wire, connectors, and loom from one company and have it shipped the same day,” said Jim Keister, marketing manager, Waytek, Inc. “Picker Components round-out our relay inventory and allow us to offer a full family of high current, mini ISO, micro ISO BS maxi ISO relays, ISO 280 micro relays, ultra micro relays, and appropriate connector lines.”

All new relays and connectors are in-stock at Waytek and ready for same day shipping for all orders placed by 4:30 pm CST Monday-Friday.

Since 1983, Picker Components has manufactured one of the broadest lines of relays in the marketplace. “We want to offer our customers a wide-selection of relay components and connectors to meet their OEM requirements,” said Bob Lamoreaux, President of Waytek. “Quality manufacturers such as Picker Components help us meet these demands for our customers.”

These relays have been added to more than 10,000 quality electrical wiring supplies already in-stock at Waytek’s mid-west location. All products are on the shelf and ready to be picked, packed, and shipped.

Image of Waytek picker components

About Waytek: Since 1970, Waytek has been providing electrical wiring supplies to OEMs in the truck body & trailer, construction machinery & equipment, agricultural equipment, and emergency vehicle markets. Waytek maintains a large inventory of over 10,000 different electrical supplies. Waytek prides itself on having the “Right Parts, In Stock, and delivered On Time.” To view Picker Components in Waytek’s product line, go to

About Picker Components: Since 1983, Picker Components has manufactured one of the broadest lines of electro-mechanical and solid state relays. Picker Components manufacturing facilities are ISO9001-2000 and ISO14001: 2004 certified and have been issued an ISO/TS 16949:2002 certificate by TUV SUD. Picker Components is a leader among relay suppliers. Offered at a competitive price, they provide the highest quality relays in the market.

Automotive Wire Gauge Guide

Automotive-Wire-On-ShelfThe automotive wiring you select for manufacturing and maintaining vehicles and equipment is an integral part to keeping electrical systems reliable. Not only is the type of wire you select important, like automotive gpt primary wire or automotive cross-link wire, but it’s also important to choose the best automotive wire gauge size based on your application current draw, potential electrical resistance and voltage drop.

Voltage Drop & Automotive Wire Gauge Guide
Voltage drop is the amount of voltage lost over the length of the automotive wire or cable. Voltage drop changes as a function of the resistance of the wire and should be less than 2% if possible. If the drop is greater than 2%, efficiency of the equipment in the circuit is severely decreased and life of the equipment will be decreased.  As automotive wire lengths get longer, electrical resistance builds up until it forces the voltage down below a usable level. At that point, up-sizing the wire gauge will restore the voltage to its intended level.

Voltage drop can be calculated using Ohm’s Law: Voltage Drop = current in amperes x resistance in ohms. 

For a more convenient calculation, voltage drop calculators and automotive wire gauge guides, like the chart shown below, can be helpful reference tools. This wire gauge guide shows the maximum run of wire that is recommended for 22 through 4/0 automotive wire gauges based on different current draw ratings.


Disclaimer: Many factors can affect the performance of the application, such as voltage, temperature, load, etc. With so many variables, Waytek is providing this wire gauge guide as a general guideline only. Please refer to your design engineer for final decisions.

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