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Old 12th February 2009, 12:08 AM   #11
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cal Weldon
I use aluminum slide on female connectors <snip> just the wire and the spade.
My brain is just too fuzzy at the moment - I don't grok this. Can you give more details Cal? Pics, maybe?
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Old 12th February 2009, 01:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by panomaniac


My brain is just too fuzzy at the moment - I don't grok this. Can you give more details Cal? Pics, maybe?
By "spade" I believe he means the male quick disconnect terminal.

female QDs
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Old 12th February 2009, 04:29 AM   #13
Ryan_Mc is offline Ryan_Mc  Canada
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A few more tips...

Tinning both prior to isn't necessary but it can make the job easier.

A lot of beginners are too timid and make a few common mistakes. First use a HOT iron (oh and clean and tin the tip as stated above) and use the biggest hottest iron that has a tip small enough to do what you need. Sounds counter intuitive I know but the idea is to get in do the joint and get out quickly before the heat has a chance to travel down the wire and melt the insulation or travel down the terminal ans melt the solder at the other end. Using a small iron you have to hold the iron to the joint for a long time and in extreme cases the parts being soldered will suck the heat out of the joint faster than the iron can put it in and you get nowhere except cook some stuff. Using a hot iron heats the joint locally very quickly and you can do the joint before the heat can travel anywhere and do damage.

Use the iron to heat the joint to the point where it will easily melt the solder on it's own even if you remove the iron. Failing to do so will probably result in what's called a cold solder joint. It will look like it's soldered correctly and will probably even work fine but what happens is the solder has just melted around the joint like putty and this will eventually fail. If the parts are good and hot the solder will wick into the parts and bond to them making a MUCH better joint. You don't need to hook the wire through the hole just passing it through is fine. You just need it to be mechanically sound enough to hold things inplace while you do the soldering. Mechanically a solder joint isn't very strong but it is easily strong enough for what we're doing and if there is enough mechanical stress on it to break a proper solder joint then you've probably damaged something else anyway.

Use flux core electronics solder, I like 60/40. You don't need to get crazy about cleaning the joint as the flux is a paste acid that will clean the joint when it melts but being thorough never hurts. I've never come across a time where my finger oils from twisting wires compromised the solder joint.

Having a clean tinned iron tip helps a lot with the heat transfer and as stated above you shouldn't be relying on the iron to melt the solder but sometimes i will touch the solder to the tip of the iron while doing the joint. It will make a small bead that further helps get the heat into the joint quickly. If you do this watch the solder, at first it will just sit there and then once the joint is hot enough for a proper solder it will soak into the joint like water into a sponge.... might give you a better feel for what's going on.

Hope that helps,
Ryan
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Old 12th February 2009, 05:25 AM   #14
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Bravo Ryan_Mc!

I learned solder long before I (tried) to learn electronics - on my HO scale train set when I was single digit age.
30 years of experience says: Ryan_Mc's post before this post is dead on and well written to boot. If you have doubts on how to be a soldering expert, reread Ryan's post until you get it right.

I also agree with Moondog55, good 60/40 makes those beautiful mirror finish joints - NOT lead-free crud (yes I know silver is a great conducter but IMO makes a useless and dull solder).
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Old 12th February 2009, 06:34 AM   #15
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I actually have a favourite solder, it is called "Savebit" and has 7% copper, it makes really nice joints.
Regards
Ted
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Old 12th February 2009, 07:09 AM   #16
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I prefer 63/37 (eutectic) PbSn as there is no intermediate stage between liquid and solid. IIRC this helps joints stay strong even when the parts in the joint may not be motionless during cooling.
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Old 12th February 2009, 07:41 AM   #17
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I have meant to try 63/37, but cannot give my opinion as of yet. I have never seen a solder with copper - seems cool as copper is next best as a conducter after silver......
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Old 12th February 2009, 08:01 AM   #18
Stuey is offline Stuey  Australia
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Ted, I've found Jaycar's stock lead 60/40 solder is pretty good, actually. Slightly better than Altronics'.

As for 63/37, I've never found any seller close by in Aus to try it. Not worth importing due to the weight, IMO.

Stu
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Old 12th February 2009, 09:18 AM   #19
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Hi Stuey, "Savbit" is from Sydney, used to be sold by DickSmith, you should try and get some Colin Whatmough used it in most of his good speakers

http://tds.loctite.com/tds5/docs/M-POFA-EN.PDF

Multicore make good stuff
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Old 13th February 2009, 02:38 PM   #20
patherb is offline patherb  United States
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Thanks for all the good advice. I'm finishing staining (tung oil finish) right now. I'm hoping to have a more experienced solderer oversee the soldering, but I'm prepared to go it alone if he is unavailable. Will post pics of the entire system when done.
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