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post #11 of 30 Old 01-12-15, 09:21 AM
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Re: Working with speaker wire

I always heat from the bottom of the wire and apply solder to the top and it pulls it through. Ive done up to 12awg wire with no issues using a 35watt Weller iron with a pointed tip.

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post #12 of 30 Old 01-12-15, 09:58 AM
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Re: Working with speaker wire

You can also try a lower melting point solder
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post #13 of 30 Old 01-12-15, 05:44 PM
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Re: Working with speaker wire

Jack N wrote: View Post
My only remaining option is to use a direct flame from the micro torch directly but I'm not fond of that idea. I'll try it if it turns out to be my only option.
For eight-gauge wire, there will be no other option, for soldering at least. The million dollar question is if the insulation will take the heat. Iím guessing it wonít.

There are better options for splicing wire that thick than soldering. You should be able to adapt a coupler of some kind designed for car audio use that will have a pressure (screw terminal) connection. Probably your best bet, as I doubt you can find a twist-on wire nut for wire that large, and butt splices in that size are industrial fare that will require special crimping tools.

BTW, thereís no good reason to use eight-gauge speaker wire, especially if the individual drivers in the speaker are 4-ohm or greater.

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post #14 of 30 Old 01-12-15, 05:52 PM
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Re: Working with speaker wire

To solder large wire you have to have a very large tip to hold enough heat or use a solder pot.

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post #15 of 30 Old 01-12-15, 07:46 PM
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Read this :

I solder my RC car LiPo battery that use 8 gauge wire with my Hakko 936 clone soldering station and each solder take a maximum of 10-15 second for this wire (which is insanely long to me).

The trick is to have a not too bad iron with an as large soldering tip as you can physically fit where you have to solder. Flux also help and lead solder while being toxic work much better (just wash your hand corrently, don't touch your mouth, etc). Usually iron temps should be between 650 and 700F for leaded solder. Wick your tips as the molten solder transfert all the heat.
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post #16 of 30 Old 01-12-15, 08:42 PM
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Re: Working with speaker wire

You need to use a good soldering iron such as the Weller which accepts PTE8 tips or a soldering gun such as a Weller 8200PK soldering gun. Also if the wire is multi-stranded litz, you need a soldering pot to burn off the varnish insulation. I personally would recommend using some T&B Butt crimp connectors, but then you need to have the right crimping tool, plus the right size butt connector for the wire gauge. Don't settle for cheap connectors sold at Radio Shack or most auto part stores. To do a good solder job on heavy gauge wires, lay the stripped ends next to each other, then take a separate 18-24 gauge solid bare wire and spiral wrap around the two connectors to make a tight mechanical connection and then solder.
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post #17 of 30 Old 01-12-15, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Working with speaker wire

Tonyvdb Ė Thatís how Iíve always done it (except for using a flat tip instead of pointed) in the past and its always worked so I was little surprised when I couldnít get anywhere this time around. I thought I might have some trouble with the heavy gauge but thought I would eventually be able to solder it. Not so.

Andre Ė Iím using 40/60 to get better electrical conductivity. I realize that the melting point is 60 deg higher, but would prefer to exhaust all other options before going to a 60/40.

Wayne Ė You are correct. I tried using a direct flame and the insulation will not take the heat. Not only does it melt, it wants to catch fire and thus I end up getting a lot of black soot in the joint. Unless I can get better at controlling the temp of the wire and aiming the heat source, direct flame probably isnít going to work.

Before making the decision to solder I literally went to six different stores trying to find a coupler, splitter, or anything that would work. I didnít have any luck. Although I did find wire nuts that might work, I donít feel comfortable using them on stranded wire. I've been thinking about using a crimp on connector on the end of each wire and then bolting them together.

Iím not an electrical genius by any means so I have done some research on wire gauge. Please feel free to correct me if Iím wrong. I know that wire gauge is directly tied to the length of the run, and load. Load level will probably be 4 ohms, and the run length will be somewhere around 60ft. According to generic charts that Iíve seen, 10ga would suffice. I decided to go 1 size heavier figuring itís better to be safe than sorry.

Lcaillo Ė Solder pot! Thereís an idea!

Steeve-O Ė Looks like a good article. Thanks. Iíll finish reading it at work tomorrow.

Maughanaudio Ė I have a Weller iron that uses a similar tip. I thought about trying the 8200 but decided not to because itís only 10 more watts than the one I have when I put it on high temp.
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post #18 of 30 Old 01-13-15, 05:54 AM
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Re: Working with speaker wire

The conductivity difference in solder is essentially meaningless. 63/37 actually has the lowest melting point. Using a 40/60 is most of your problem. That is worse in terms of heat needed than lead free solder. That much difference in the melting point with the heat sinking of the large wire is tough to overcome.

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post #19 of 30 Old 01-13-15, 08:43 AM
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63/37 is definitely the right choice for solder.
In addition to lower melting point it transitions from liquid to solid much faster than 60/40.

Heat shrink is insulation (electrical) that is a tube. You slip it over the wire, solder, move it to cover the exposed wire, apply heat to the shrink tube and it shrinks to fit.
Its mu h better than electrical tape.

I would recommend sitting the wires parallel to each other instead of perpendicular.
The larger surface area where the eires touch will make a better joint.

I would recommend using the largest flat tip you can fit into your iron.
Apply solder to the tip and let that solder conduct heat to the wire.
Continuously feed solder into the joint between the tip and the wire.

Pretin each wire separately by melting solder into it until it is full of solder measured from the end of the wire two - four times the diameter of the wire.

If you have a real heat gun it will be a big help. I don't think a blow dryer will help you.

If you have lintz wire the recommended solder pot will be required to melt away the insulation on the individual strands of wire.
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post #20 of 30 Old 01-13-15, 04:04 PM
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