Every once in a while we run small singal wires through our cars for various purposes. A great example I can think of is radio faceplate relocation.
When I install gear, I try to put disconnects at every "bulkhead" in the car for ease of servicing. Using the radio faceplate example, if the ribbon cable extending the face were soldered to the radio, you would have to deinstall the entire cable run through who knows where just to pull out the radio!
one can say the same thing if its soldered to the faceplate rather than the radio chassis.
AND on top of that, if one wants to leave the gear in perfect condition for restoration later, that means utilizing the existing connectors.
the big issue with this is the excessive number of solder joints that must be made. What a pain!
I recently took on a signals project (also faceplate relocation) and counted the number of wires used in the ribbon cable. Total of 46 connectors! That means to tap the existing connectors on the chassis thats 46 solder joints. Then a quick disconnect outside the chassis is another 46 solder joints. that is doubled for the faceplates (assuming they go in their own fabricated enclosure). Finally the cable that strings the two bulkheads together is another 46x2 solder joints. Thats a grand total of 300 seperate high density solder joints!
I dont know about you, but the opportunity cost of sitting down and making 300 solder joints is too high, not to mention how very easy it would be to route a wire incorrectly in such a slow process.
but these are ribbon cables! hunting for connectors a little (I decided on D-sub connectors for the quick disconnects), I found crimp ribbon headers. How convinient!
all I have to do is line up the ribbon in the right spot, clamp down on the cable, and thats 46 wires, all connected to their proper pins, done right the first time, in less than five minutes! Giving me plenty of time to think about cabinet construction for the remaining chassis and faceplates
now! there is a matter of the cable that connects the two. What if you wanted to use a non ribbon cable? no problem! I used a 60+ wire cable used to connect SCSI bays together, all twisted pair. Cut off the heads, and I have my own long cable to put these faceplates anywhere.
but how does one line up 60 pins on a crimp connector? Well it turns out the crimp sokets are exposed with the cover off and sharp enough to be effective even when using your hands to force the wiring down. I simply pushed down the cabling one pair at a time using a multi meter to confirm I was using the right wires. when I was done, I snapped on the protective cover, and I was done!
300 small wire connections, all routed with electrical perfection, fast as heck and easily serviceable. I will never buy a solder-cup D-sub connector ever again.