How-to: Correctly Wiring E3D’s V6 or Volcano Heater Block to the Artillery Sidewinder X1

GUIDE BY CHANH PHUONG
1/11 /2020

If your upgrade includes changing the stock heater block to E3D’s V6 or Volcano, follow this guide to properly connect the thermistor and heater cartridge to the X1. While soldering will work to get things going, when you have the option to crimp, it is the preferred method. Crimping is mechanically better than soldering, this is a fact. I will take you through what’s needed to properly connect your new heater block to the X1.

What you’ll need:

Must-Haves – 

For the fans, thermistor, and optionally the BLTouch: 2.54mm JST-XH Connector and Crimps – You can buy a kit like this

  • (x3) 2.54mm JST-XH 2-pin Connectors
  • (x6) 2.54mm JST-XH Crimps
  • If you’re adding BLTouch, (x1) 2.54mm JST-XH 4-pin Connector, and (x4) JST-XH Crimps.

For the heater cartridge: 3.96mm JST-VHR (x1) Connector and (x2) Crimps – 

Crimpers:
Don’t get the ones that come with these kits, they’re junk. I know this from experience. They can crimp some things like big Dupont crimps, but if you try to use them for JST crimps, it’s horrible. I recommend getting an open-barrel crimper. I use this. It takes some practice but it’s way better than the one that came with one of the kits I bought.

Wire Strippers / Cutters:
I got some from Harbor Freight, they work just fine. I use this one for larger gauge wires. Amazon has the same one here 

For smaller wires, I use this one, it’s my go-to wire stripper. Not sure where I got it, but I love this thing. It seems to automagically cut just the insulation and leave the wires intact no matter what gauge. You can get these here

So, how do you crimp?

I bet all this sounds daunting… Rest assured, it’s not that bad. If I can do it, you can! It will take some practice but don’t give up. Here’s my method. Keep in mind, I’m not some Journeyman Electrician. I’m just a regular guy that loves to tinker. So maybe my method isn’t to standard but hey my printer hasn’t blown up yet. Anyways…

  • Step 1: Cut the wire you’re crimping to the length you want including the length for the part that goes into the connector. I like to just put the wire up to the thing I’m connecting and just eyeball the length I need and cut it. I’m sure there’s a professional way to do this. 
  • Step 2: Strip the insulation to expose some of the wire. You want to expose just enough so that it makes contact with the bottom part of the crimp. Per the diagram below, it’s based on the wire you’re crimping, so this zone only needs to be as big as it needs to be. Any larger will diminish the integrity of the crimp.

Diagram Credit: https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Good-Dupont-Pin-Crimp-EVERY-TIME/

  • Step 3: Using flush cutters, cut off the crimp you need.
  • Step 4:We need to crimp the exposed wire first. Using your crimper, parallel the part to crimp the exposed wire. This will make it easier to load into the crimper slots.
  • Step 5: Load the crimp into a similar sized slot of the area you’re crimping, place the wire in as far as it’ll go and crimp. 

• It should look like this:

So what makes a good crimp? Here are some good diagrams from Instructables.

  • Bad!
  • Good!

Installation 

  • Step 1: Once you’ve crimped all the wires, insert them into the appropriate connector. On the connector, you’ll notice that there is a rectangle part, this is where the crimp locks into place. 
  • Step 2: Feed this part into the connector so that it locks. Tug at it a little to make sure it’s locked. If you want to reuse a connector, you can push this part down and pull out the wire. 
  • Step 3: Make sure you insert the wires in the correct slots. I like to mock up the connector and orient it correctly then figure out what wire needs to go where. For the Fan and BLTouch, the wire location is super important. For the thermistor and heater cartridge, it doesn’t really matter where you place the wires. These are the locations and types of connectors needed:

Here are the correct wires and where they need to go. Take note of the wire colors. If they do not match this picture, something will not work.


Whether you’re upgrading your stock extruder to the BMG/V6 or Hemera or just changing out the stock heater block, knowing how to crimp will increase the reliability of your printer. Crimping will take some practice, but I promise you, when you get it right, the results will be awesome. I thought crimping is a one-time thing but thanks to having this knowledge, I’ve done things like shortening fan wires without soldering, and making adapters instead of rewiring things. So, the next time you must solder some wires, I hope I convinced you that crimping may be the better solution.
- Happy Printing.