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Hybrid fourdoor 25th January 2004 03:17 AM

Anyone use magnet wire for point to point wiring projects?
Just wondering if anyone use magnet wire when building stuff. I kind of like using the leads that are already on Caps and resistors, because there pliable, easy to work with, and most importantly already there :) . When I need to make a bridge between to components I usually just use a scrap piece of lead. I also tin all the leads.

Anyways I was wondering if anyone use magnet wire, since the 18awg is a descent thickness and it's solid core, so it can hold its shape good, plus its has an insulation layer to protect it. I can buy like 5lb's of it for <$6.

Is it easy to work with? Solder stick well? Also how do clean off the enamal on the ends once you get a piece?

Sch3mat1c 25th January 2004 03:28 AM

I'm sure most people will consider it a safety risk, but you're right, the enamel (at least on formvar(?) type stuff) is rated for some good voltage. And you don't reach your hand in the chassis except by accident anyway. :o

Like all clean copper it tins well.. I strip off the enamel with a sharp knife (or Mom's good scissors, etc.). :clown:

Personally I prefer 24AWG solid or stranded PVC insulated wire... easy enough to use, cheap enough to buy. And yes, leads make great short links.


Brett 25th January 2004 04:42 AM

In P2P, I use the leads as much as possible, where the layout permits. Otherwise I use fine magnet wire for everything internal to the amp.

eeka chu 25th January 2004 04:23 PM

The coating is so horrible if you try to burn it off.

I was messing around with some of it to see what it's like to work with. When it gets hot enough, the coating starts to turn goo-ey where it's being heated. It bubbles and makes a lot of black muck. As you feed the solder it, there seems to be nothing sticking. When you let it cool, the muck scrapes off and you have a reasonably clean join.

It's a bit like stick welding, where you have flux on a weld. As it cools the flux pings off and you see a nice, pretty, shiny weld underneath.

In this case, the coating is not actually acting as a flux, so it's better to consider it as a contaminate.

I was looking at possible ways to clean the gunk off properly without having to start scraping it off. One idea I came to was to use some kind of acid. Hydrocholoric or nitric acid. I think if you could get some of it at fuming concetrations it might do it in a few seconds. Caustic soda was another consideration. Each of these examples will blister your skin though if you're not careful with them. My elbows will attest to this. They were burnt for weeks due to the residue of some fuming acid being on a sceince lab bench!

Hydrofluoric acid dissolves practically anything it touches. But it's also one of the most toxic acids, if not the most, available in the commercial enviroment, and all of these methods might leave reactive ions floating around in the joins. Hydrofluoric acid dissolves glass containers! :eek:

I would not even consider touching fluoro based etchants unless you are familiar with all the nasty things they can do.

If you're going to use magnet, or coiling, wire... buy it thick enough that you can scrape the muck off. :)

A scapel or a Stanley knife might work well!


Sch3mat1c 26th January 2004 02:37 AM

An organic solvent will do orders of magnitude more than an inorganic, salt-forming acid. Although if you want some slip-on insulation, nitric will dissolve the copper right out from under the enamel! :bigeyes:

I would guess some chlorinated solvent like methylene. But those are illegal or something these days, and probably don't work well, if at all, on the strong enamels of today.

The other preferred method is some emery paper... sand off the end of the wire clean then tin it. Works better on fine wire (circa >35AWG) which is more liable to break when using a knife edge ;)


hacknet 1st February 2004 02:41 PM

i`m using 30awg enameled copper wire for my internal wiring and as interconnects..

i get round the enamel problem by scraping some off with the back of a penknife before heating it with some solder. after, scraping of the crispy cooked flux. then tinning it again...

it sounds good. thats all i have to say...

eeka chu 1st February 2004 07:28 PM

I found surgical spirits, denatured alcohol, cleans the flux off joins really nicely and you can buy it from a chemist. It's used for sterilising things. If I can buy it here in the UK, anyone should be able to get it.

If you dunk a q-tip in some and give the join a rub, it wipes off all the visible flux in a few seconds.


KBK 2nd February 2004 01:22 AM

The coating is a special kind of enamel/hardcoat, but flexable. I work directly with a gentleman who developed that kind of product for the inductor/wire industry.

hacknet 2nd February 2004 02:44 AM

did he recommend any good way of removing the enamel?

elizard 2nd February 2004 02:48 AM

My dad used to wind electrical motors for many years, and he always just scraped it with a knife. It worked even for thinner wires (i can't think of how thin of a wire he used to deal with, but i'm thinking around 0.25mm or even less, although generally he'd do bigger motors which require thicker wire naturally). Also, after making the individual windings, and placing them in the motor, he'd cover everything in some sort of a special lacquer which would harden in mild heat, so then the wires would be further isolated and they wouldn't move anymore.

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