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Netlist 13th July 2004 04:08 PM

Soldering nifty headphone wires.
Those among you who tried it will know what I’m talking about.
Headphones usually come with jacks that are unable to open.
Wire breaks after the jack if you’re lucky.
You cut off the shiny ‘golden’ jack, take a good solid Neutrik and start stripping the wires.
The few headphones I did were almost all equipped with strange wire, not or very difficult to solder.
The solder just doesn’t stick to the copper.
I tried with the good old Aspirine trick (haha, I hope someone knows it ;) ), soaked them in flux, heated them till I had to re-strip....
Nothing works, the result is always bad.

So how can one make a solid connection with these things?

/Hugo :)

Jean 13th July 2004 04:15 PM

I have done that a few times, and just normal flux worked for me w/o doing anything special. Aspirin trick :D

You are talking about very fine spring type wire correct ?

li_gangyi 13th July 2004 04:48 PM

there are actually 3 different wires inside that 1 piece of cable...I group them together (diff. colour or "tone") and then sand off the enemel...then I just solder them on...seems to work pretty well...

karma 13th July 2004 05:31 PM

i just take a lighter to the ends burn's the coating off

im lazy but it works;)

Netlist 13th July 2004 07:24 PM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally posted by Jean

You are talking about very fine spring type wire correct ?

Yes, and the only isolation is the enamel.


Originally posted by li_gangyi
...sand off the enemel...
I guess my fingers are too big for that :D


Originally posted by karma
i just take a lighter to the ends burn's the coating off

im lazy but it works;)

That's what I did, didn't work for me. Total thickness of one wire is about 0.4mm. When the tissue that is inside the wire is not taken into account, I'm left with something like 0.1mm. That small wire consists of 10 or 20 extremely thin wires, surrounded with lacquer. You can imagine what happens when the lighter tries to remove it. Zip...wire gone. :eek:
Maybe there exists some chemical stuff to remove the enamel.


kelticwizard 13th July 2004 07:45 PM

I've done this once or twice successfully using the sandpaper or steel wool method.

Remember, not all the enamel has to come off all the tiny wires. Just keep abrading as gently as you can, and enough copper gets exposed so that you can dip the end in flux and solder away.

You might find it useful to spread the enamelled wires out thinly on the table you are working on and start sanding/steel wooling them by pressisng them down on the talbe as you abrade. Then when you have finished one side, turn them over. Easier than having the wires up in the air and trying to get around each individual wire.

See if that helps.

Stocker 13th July 2004 08:03 PM

I have had good success doing this!

Using the tools on hand as a much-younger person (15yrs ago)
I got it to work with a great deal of trial and error.

Use a pocket knife. Scrape scrape scrape ever so gently. Try to not cut the wires or harm the conductors. Roll the wires around on your fingertip while scraping, to expose the sides of the strands. When you see more copper than not, you are probably well on the way to solderability.

Do not use a super-sharp knife or all you will get is a shorter cord. :D

Netlist 13th July 2004 08:23 PM

It's relieving to hear that it's not only me who struggles with it.
I succeeded with separating the tissue from the copper, burned the tissue (some kind of nylon) away, wrapped the copper wires together and again 'torched' them. Then I was able to make some tin stick to the wrapped wire.
It's not what I would call an audiophile soldering but it works.
I’ll save the sandpaper, steel wool and scrape techniques for another time. :cool:

/Hugo :)

Stocker 13th July 2004 10:12 PM

Note: if after cutting the connector off, you come up with some plastic (non-enamel) insulated wires... you can burn it off usually, but you might have to remove the oxidation residues (soot/black nasty stuff) from the wires by one of the other methods.

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