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Old 13th November 2008, 02:22 PM   #21
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mar del Plata, a BIG seasonal getaway city, can see the Ocean from our residence.
I'll trade you some of these pretty sparkly things for your furs?
---------
No really...I didn't mean to confuse nor rail on things. What I see is these Asian (Chinese) products of gold (plating) being hyped as THE product for 'high end' audio connects. I was trained to use and used extensively a gold electroplating machine. I was warned/advised to not 'apply' the gold in a generous fashion. The result was, the gold plating was applied so thin as to be 'untouchable'...just enough to look pretty but unusable for anything else. I would bet the farm some Chinese peasents are plating gold over ultra-cheap RCA connects this very second & hyping them to an unsuspecting market.
To be sure, I would pop for the $100 plus "gold" connects made in Germany or the States....low volume, hard to find (Not well marketed).
Yes indeed switches are rated for a life cycles EG 10,000 cycles..........but really what does that mean?? With no caveat it is a meaningless "specification" Does that mean the contacts will be completely worn away at that number, does it mean the switch will stop conducting at that value...and what will the resistance value be over this cycle range?
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Old 13th November 2008, 04:04 PM   #22
hermanv is offline hermanv  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by garak

You're reinforcing the urge I have to just go super cheapo. The pseudoscience in the audio community is really frustrating.
There's plenty of "real science" available, it's just a lot more work than posting on a forum. I'm pretty sure you can't have it both ways.
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Old 13th November 2008, 05:05 PM   #23
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Gold is a very incorruptable metal, but it doesn't conduct terribly well.  When it's used on electrical contacts, it should be used micromm thin.  I don't think the 'scrubbing' effect described above is as destructive as one might think, if both contacts are gold plated.  After all, gold is very planishable and malleable (it doesn't scrub off as much as skooshing around); where is it going to go?  The rotary switches I've seen all use thick silver contacts (which is a fab conductor), and the toggles don't have a 'wiping' action so there's no scrubbing anyway.  The E-Switch numbers I gave are also hermetically sealed, so I don't worry about oxidation of the silver.

Aloha,

Poinz
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Old 14th November 2008, 02:06 AM   #24
garak is offline garak  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by hermanv


There's plenty of "real science" available, it's just a lot more work than posting on a forum. I'm pretty sure you can't have it both ways.
Touche. I just figured there would be less confusion and contradiction about such basic things.

Quote:
Originally posted by Poindexter
Gold is a very incorruptable metal, but it doesn't conduct terribly well.  When it's used on electrical contacts, it should be used micromm thin.  I don't think the 'scrubbing' effect described above is as destructive as one might think, if both contacts are gold plated.  After all, gold is very planishable and malleable (it doesn't scrub off as much as skooshing around); where is it going to go?  The rotary switches I've seen all use thick silver contacts (which is a fab conductor), and the toggles don't have a 'wiping' action so there's no scrubbing anyway.  The E-Switch numbers I gave are also hermetically sealed, so I don't worry about oxidation of the silver.

Aloha,

Poinz
Sounds right. According to this wiki page about electrical conductors used for space equipment:

Gold is not an especially good conductor at all, though it is better than aluminum but not per unit weight due to it's much higher density. It is very expensive, but compared to the cost of transport to the Moon from Earth, the cost is not significant. Gold is usually only used as a conductor in very specialized applications such as very fine wires like those used to wire bond integrated circuits to their lead frames.

A more important everyday use of Gold is in connectors

For connectors gold reigns supreme for several reasons

1. It doesn't tarnish (important on Earth, important indoors on Luna)
2. It is soft, so you can make the connectors tight and they dig into each other forming a good connection.

Gold is not known to be available on the Moon.
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Old 14th November 2008, 03:23 PM   #25
hermanv is offline hermanv  United States
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Northern California
Quote:
Originally posted by Poindexter
Gold is a very incorruptable metal, but it doesn't conduct terribly well.  When it's used on electrical contacts, it should be used micromm thin.  I don't think the 'scrubbing' effect described above is as destructive as one might think, if both contacts are gold plated.  After all, gold is very planishable and malleable (it doesn't scrub off as much as skooshing around); where is it going to go?  The rotary switches I've seen all use thick silver contacts (which is a fab conductor), and the toggles don't have a 'wiping' action so there's no scrubbing anyway.  The E-Switch numbers I gave are also hermetically sealed, so I don't worry about oxidation of the silver.

Aloha,

Poinz
The gold plating on my banana jacked commercial speaker cables wore off after about 5 insertions and removals. My bananas were the twist sleeve locking style which does make the contact pressure much higher than usual. I note that my Cardas quite expensive interconnect has the gold worn off one center pin for about 1/2 the circumference.

Toggle switches do have a wiping action. Inside the switch, as the pressure leaf flexes into place, the contact is pushed across the mating surface for probably .010 inches. That's enough to remove contact micro pits caused by switching low level signals.
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Old 14th November 2008, 07:29 PM   #26
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Thanks.

P
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