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patherb 10th February 2009 09:06 PM

Soldering Tips
Hi All,
I'm nearing completion of my bookshelf speakers. Tweeter: Raal 140-15D; Midwoofer: ScanSpeak 18W/8531G00. The design utilizes a BSS Audio FDS-366 Loudspeaker Management System as a digital crossover.

I really just need some tips for soldering my internal wiring (Mapleshade Golden Helix) between the drivers and the terminals. Terminals are from Dayton Audio:

It sounds like I should be tinning both the wires and the soldering points and then heating them together. Does anyone Have any tips? The ScanSpeaks and the terminals have holes in their connection points. Should I utilize these holes? Tks

HK26147 10th February 2009 09:16 PM

wigginjs 11th February 2009 12:04 AM

Wow, neat system. Post pics immediately! =)

Basically, here is the deal as best as my experience serves me. Take the tip of your soldering iron and tin it with solder, then wipe it off on a damp sponge or paper towel. Then twist the end of your wire together and slip it through the hole in the terminal and crimp it with your fingers or needle nosed pliers. Take the tip of your soldering iron and touch it to where the wire and terminal meet. Wait while the terminal and wire heat up (this will take different amounts of time depending on the power rating (watts) of your iron). You'll know they've gotten hot enough when the solder from the tip of your iron starts to flow a little onto either the wire or the terminal. At this point, with the iron still touching the joint between the wire and terminal touch your thread of solder to the joint as well. You should clearly see it flow onto both the wire and the terminal. Apply enough solder so that the entire joint is covered, but not so much that it is over saturated causing a lump to appear.

Hope that makes sense, it was completely stream-of-consciousness.

DavidN 11th February 2009 12:52 AM

Sounds like you have some sublime components there - but the same basic principles apply (I hope!)
It's exactly as you say. Tin both the stripped wire and the terminals.
Don't fill the holes - you need to push the tinned wire through and fold it over so that if the wire gets tugged it doesn't just break the solder. The strength of the joint should be mechanical - solder is a very feeble adhesive.
Clean! You need to clean the contacts and the clean wires before tinning the clean metal. You can use emery cloth to clean; or you can clean it with sand paper. You need to get the metal mechanically clean and bright BEFORE you the flux can clean it chemically.
A good hot iron - 40W, I suggest - with a fair-sized bit. You want a lot of heat in the tip so it transfers to the work quickly, rather than the work cool the iron down!
Depending on your preference, you might want to slip some heat-shrink tubing onto the wire first. Whent he joint is made - and tested - slide it back over and heat it to give a neat finish.

454Casull 11th February 2009 01:13 AM

It can be a hassle to remove a wire which has been bent through a hole, but the bend does increase the mechanical strength of the joint.

If the driver terminals and post terminals are standard sizes, you can purchase female quick disconnect terminals which you can crimp and/or solder over your wire for the connections.

Cal Weldon 11th February 2009 01:40 AM

I like to use a combo method. I use aluminum slide on female connectors and strip the wire long enough to reach the end of the connector that slides on to the tab. (remember to depress the wire retainer to allow it to travel to the end), crimp the connector to the wire coating and slide it on the driver spade. The wire is now in between the two curled parts of the connector over top of the driver spade ready to be soldered. The solder of course doesn't stick to the aluminum connector just the wire and the spade. This way you have a strong connection and the wire is held in place while soldering without having to bend it through the hole. It allows for easy de-soldering if needed.

mcmahon48 11th February 2009 04:09 AM

also use rubbing alcohol
something people forget is to clean the skin oil or other contaminates off the surface and to quench the tip once in a while

Moondog55 11th February 2009 08:03 AM

I can add one thing, use a good quality solder
Personal experience says avoid Lead-free solder as I have found it makes extremely poor joints

Stuey 11th February 2009 09:49 AM

Also, be very careful if you are soldering to speaker terminals that you don't overheat them and de-solder the braided wire to the voice coil (or wreck anything else).


HK26147 11th February 2009 11:16 AM

Alligator clips and hemostats can be a 3rd hand as well as a heatsink.

FWIW: Some industrial soldering tips - for the really big wires.


See bottom for various splices

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