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Old 15th January 2009, 08:05 PM   #1
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Default Soldering 47awg gold wire

Hi gents

Happy and prosperous new year to you all.

I'm busy with a little job involving soldering 47awg gold wire. I have a temperature-controlled iron and a choice of solders to use. The quantity of wire I have is limited so I can't fool around until I hit the g-spot.

Any ideas of the best temperature and type of solder to use?

Thanks for your kind attention.

bulgin
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Old 15th January 2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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Hi,

I don't know if my input will be useful to you.... I have soldered some 0,03 mm gold wire (used/use it for resistors) and found that my soldering iron (weller at app. 370 degrees celcius) was too hot. It breaks when soldered directly. I ended up winding the wire around a thicker wire (copper) and then soldering a bit away from the thin gold wire and let the solder "float" onto the gold. And when the solder reached the gold I stopped soldering immediately, otherwise it would break.

Let me know if you need some additional wire. I have a bit of surplus.

I used silver solder ~ 1 mm thickness.

Best Jesper
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Old 15th January 2009, 08:33 PM   #3
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Use lead-tin solder with a few percent of silver. Normally gold dissolves in de molten solder, the silver adding helps preventing it to some extend. Also keep the gold wire as short as possible in the molten solder.
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Old 16th January 2009, 12:31 AM   #4
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Hello Jesper, Pyotr

Thanks so much for your kind and useful replies. I obtained the wire years ago from Cardas and there are two spools each containing about half metre. Both spools are labeled "Pure Gold" 99.99% 47awg and HPN on one spool and SPN on the other, which I assume refers to the insulating coating.

At the time when I received it, I contacted Cardas to get more information on what solser to use and at what temperature, but never got a reply. I later called and spoke to one of the Cardas family but there was still no useful information.

After some frustrating experiments soldering at different temperatures and with different solders, I gave up on the stuff.

Recently, I tried to use the stuff again and had just sufficient left to wind the armature of one mc cartridge. Each channel will take about 35 or 40cm.

I wound one channel and wanted to check continuity and some other measurements and needed to put a bit of solder on the coil ends, starting at 350 degrees C, very quickly as Pyotr mentioned and trying to let the solder flow towards the gold.

This was too hot and afterwards, I spent a few frustrating hours, working my way down the centigrade scale. Only at 211 degress, did I manage to get some solder to stick, which I fear is going to be insufficient heat to make a good join at the pins.

Today, I tried several types of solder I have here. The stuff I normally use, is ex RS, 0.7mm Sn62 LMP Tin/Lead/Silver. My iron is a station with LCD readout.

I reported my troubles to my customer who was very accomodating and suggested I revert back to the copper I've always used.

Since one channel is already wound and with the advice I received from Jesper and Pyotr here at diyaudio, I may well be able to try again later today, if I have enough wire left.

Another idea would be to deliver the job initially in copper and then recall once I've restocked with some gold wire. It seems 47awg is the equivalent of 0,0355mm. My first and last job in gold!

Thanks, guys

bulgin
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Old 16th January 2009, 01:35 AM   #5
tvi is offline tvi  Australia
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You could try Indalloy alloy 290 Indium/Silver, melting temp is 143°C so it shouldn't vapourise the thin Gold wire, see the app note here .

Hope this helps

Regards
James
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Old 16th January 2009, 02:36 PM   #6
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Default Soldering...

Gee, thanks guys

You really have the diyaudio spirit in abundance

@ tvi

I'll check with Indium Corp USA if there's a local distributor.

Thanks to all for the great help.

Regards

bulgin
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Old 20th January 2009, 02:05 AM   #7
KBK is offline KBK  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by tvi
You could try Indalloy alloy 290 Indium/Silver, melting temp is 143°C so it shouldn't vapourise the thin Gold wire, see the app note here .

Hope this helps

Regards
James

That's what I was going to say. move toward the indium solders.

That's about the only stuff that is going to work.

http://www.indium.com/products/
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Old 20th January 2009, 04:55 AM   #8
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Hi again,

Just a thought as I have not tried Indium solder: in my experience different materials have different sonic imprints. A suggestion could be to evaluate the sound of the indium wire in combination with the wire you are to use ....

Best,

Jesper
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Old 20th January 2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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Not only it is nearly impossible to solder that thin gold wire with tin based solders also the gold – tin interface will be “poisoned” and very brittle. What will that do to the sound?

The only other option is ultrasonic point welding, but for that you need to have access to a chip assembly workplace.

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Old 18th March 2009, 03:17 PM   #10
hanbillion
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Default Indium Wire

Hi Bulgin, I suggest that indium wire is your best choice. Indium wire is widely used to create high vacuum seals in cryogenic apparatus, 1.0mm diameter ideal for making seals where radial space is limited. We make a wide range of Indium wire diameters. One of the most requested sizes is 1.0mm, but our available range from 0.5mm to 3.0mm and larger.
For information about our products, you can visit our website at www.hanbillion.com
If there is any demand or any more information you need, please feel free to contact me at tonyhantao#gmail.com
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