Soldering DIY Cable

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by The_Mole, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. The_Mole

    The_Mole
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    I've recently made DIY Cat5 Speaker Cable for my home cinema.

    I would like to solder the banana plugs, to achieve an anti-oxidised connection.

    I have bought a solder iron and some solder, and have been trying to solder the plug in various ways, but the solder does not want to stick.

    I have searched the Internet for the ideal guide to soldering, but all they seem to contain is how to solder joints such as circuit boards and such.

    If anyone has DIY'ed their Cat5 cables and soldered them too, I would appreciate a quick informative guide, with pictures if possible.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    May sound daft but what solder are you using and what type of iron?
    It is sometimes difficult to solder to banana plugs. Practice makes perfect I'm afraid.
    You could try the following for starters. (Apologies If you know all this already)
    Making sure you have the soldering iron hot enough is often the first place to start. Avoid using silver solder as this is often difficult to work with. Ensure the surfaces are clean. Solder flux will be useful (If the solder doesn't have it built in). It helps burn off oxidisation and makes a better joint.
     
  3. Jules

    Jules
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    I'm not an expert, but I did make some of my own cables and learned the hard way after making loads of mistakes..

    - Don't expect the solder to stick the moment you release the iron.
    Keep hold of the connection for a few seconds afterwards allowing the solder to cool..... not as easy as it sounds! Not moving the joint after removing the iron took me a bit of practice.

    - Make sure the iron is hot enough for the solder to flow, and it might help to heat the cable a little before applying the solder. Otherwise it can cool sufficiently on contact to prevent any flow.

    - Always apply the solder in such away that it can flow 'down' and around the joint. Expecting the solder to flow uphill is obvioulsy not going to work very well.

    - Use a vice


    Like I said, I'm not an expert but I did eventually master the art sufficiently to produce a few decent iinterconnects that still work.
     
  4. Iain

    Iain
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    Check out head-fi.org, this link for starters
    http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=52044
    I'm just getting into this after seeing the price of cables for my sennheiser hd650's, did some soldering years ago. The best advice I can give is follow the above tips and any on the link and just practice on some old cable and any broken bits of electronics you might have lying about. As Jules said you'll make mistakes but some research and plenty of practice will see you alright.

    also check out http://www.eichmanncables.com/hintstips.html for some specific tips for bananas
    Cheers
    Iain
     
  5. nath69uk

    nath69uk
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    Get yourself some flux, you can get in a few different types. I bought mine from maplins and its in a pen. I'd coat the wire in flux then heat the wire with the iron, once you think its hot enough then try applying the solder to the hot wire. I've found in the passed this helps trying to join tricky wire. Watch that you dont start melting the protective coating around the wire. Once te solder has melted and has run through the wires a quick blow should set it.

    Thats the best way I've found when trying to solder dodgy wire in the passed.

    If that doesnt help try core 5 solder. (I think thats what its called) Halfords sell it. Made of a few types of metal and allows you to join certain metals normal solder wouldn't
     
  6. The_Mole

    The_Mole
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    Is it only the ends of the wire that need protecting from oxidisation. I cannot completely 'tin' the wire without touching the protective cover.
     
  7. The_Mole

    The_Mole
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    Does anybody know?
     
  8. Iain

    Iain
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  9. The_Mole

    The_Mole
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    Thanx Iain. Did manage to tin wire except the last 2mm otherwise the outer coating burnt. Was worried about oxidisation. Will try to copy the technique on the video. Wish me luck. Thanx again :)
     
  10. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    If you're worried about the bit which you havn't tinned then you could always put some heatshrink or tape over it. :)
     

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