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Old 1st November 2004, 05:33 PM   #1
wytco0 is offline wytco0  United Kingdom
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Default Soldering and holding Large wires !

Hi I would be grateful for any tips and suggestions for soldering large wires. I am fairly OK with normal hook up stuff but I have just spent a couple of hours trying and failing to solder some 79 strand wire to a speaker connection.

I tried my normal soldering iron (Antex 660TC) but that could not heat it enough to even tin the 79 strand, then I tried and old solder gun I have and that managed to melt some solder but it would not flow and didn't tin the ends, it just left some solder on the surface of the wire but it was no good and had a very dull surface.

I am not getting anywhere near being able to solder the wire to the speaker connection, in addition I am taking so long trying to heat the wire that the sleeving is melting !!

Now I know some of you must have done this many times and it cant be to hard, what am I doing wrong?

Also any tips on holding wires like this when soldering them?

Many Thanks.
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Old 1st November 2004, 06:50 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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Major tip- use a bigger soldering iron or soldering gun. 100-150 watt would be a good start for that sort of cable.
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Old 1st November 2004, 10:00 PM   #3
wmb is offline wmb  United States
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Solder guns that haven't been used recently tend to have trouble heating properly due to corrosion where the tip contacts the metal posts that supply the current. The solution is to tighten the nuts that hold the tip in place. It might be helpful to remove the tip and scrape down to bare metal in the area that contacts the hold-in nuts, but I've never had to go that far; simply tightening the nuts generally works.
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Old 1st November 2004, 10:19 PM   #4
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Some people use a heat gun (or a torch) for large diameter wires... How to hold something getting so hot? ...very carefully...

Also, how about silver impregnated epoxy for a cool solution? Radio Shack sells a form of this.


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Old 1st November 2004, 11:18 PM   #5
markp is offline markp  United States
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Use thinner solder or low melt solder.
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Old 1st November 2004, 11:57 PM   #6
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are you sure your wires are clean enough?
use the gun, tighten the connecting like they say
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Old 2nd November 2004, 12:27 AM   #7
wytco0 is offline wytco0  United Kingdom
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Well I have managed to get a joint, its not brilliant however it will do for now.

I switched to a lower temperature high silver content solder with the solder gun and managed to get the wires tinned OK, the joints are so so....

Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 2nd November 2004, 05:23 PM   #8
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When soldering large wires (Like the power wires for a car stereo) I use a small propane or butane torch. The trick is FAST heat. Slow heat conducts down the length of the wire and dissipates. It also makes the wire difficult to hold onto and promotes corrosion and oxidisation of the copper (And I don't think it's a good bargain to pay all that money for OFC just to oxidize it with the heat!)

I have a small and a large torch with soldering tips. The large one will work on plumbing copper pipe, so it's plenty good enough for wiring.
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