Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have read the extensive guide on soldering RCA connectors by Mr Wayne. Thank you very much for the guide.

I have done a fair amount of soldering on breadboards but connectors are new to me. In the guide, I see that the solder cup of the RCA connector is tinned with solder and the wire is than melted into the pool of solder in the solder cup. This would cause the wire to be floating in the pool of solder right (not in direct contact with the solder cup) ? From what i have learnt a good solder needs mechanical connection with wire and connector before soldering.

May i know if there is a special reason for soldering the rca as done in the guide ? I am kinda confused would appreciate if anyone could enlighten me. Thanks.
 

·
Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
Sadly, that's how solder-on ends are usually done, which is why I prefer crimp connectors and coax wire.

When I do need to solder, I use silver solder (4% usually) and try to twist the wires such that the diameter is very close to the cup in the connector. That way there is some "squeeze" connection going on and not using as much of the solder for conduction.

If you do use silver solder, make sure to get a nice soldering station, as it needs more heat and does not flow as well. The cheap "all-in-one" soldering iron wands aren't up to the task. I use a Weller station with adjustable temp and it works well for it.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. So seems like solder connectors are bad quality. I tried soldering an rca today. I must say that it is a pain to hold the wire in the center solder cup to solder. I was trying to do a direct mechanical contact before soldering. This is just too difficult and time consuming. Is this why you guys just solder by tinning as highlighted in the DIY interconnect guide ?
 

·
Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
Yeah, it's the easiest way. Once tinned it takes very little heat to melt and glue the two.

I have a set of "helping hands", basically a stand with two adjustable alligator clips and a magnifying glass. You can hold the wire and connector in there and then have both hands free for the solder and iron.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,054 Posts
I always find that using a very small amount of flux on the wire and the cup helps make the bond faster and cleaner. Weller definatly make a great solder iron but use a 35watt iron for best results othrwise it will get the connection too hot and melt the plastic insulation.
 

·
Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
That's why I like the adjustables. We have Weller PES51 solder stations at work and you can dial in the temperature really fine. I have the PES50 (I think) at home. Not quite as nice and you guess at the temperature, but still a good soldering station.
 

·
Plain ole user
Joined
·
11,121 Posts
It is a common myth that smaller soldering irons get the work less hot, thus reducing damage. In general, you want the hottest iron that you can get in order to heat the work faster. Most damage is done by heating for too long. The down side to higher wattag or higher temperature irons is that when you leave them for a while at too high a temperature, the tip oxidizes and this will make it much harder to get the heat to the work. A good clean tip with as much mass as possible for the size of the work, kept shiny and hot, will produce the best joint with the least damage. Small, skinny tips on low wattage irons have damaged more circuits than larger tips on higher powered irons, at least due to heat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yes higher power = better. i have no problem getting the solder to melt at the joint. The problem is the connector is so small and my soldering iron so big. My hands are not very steady too.
 

·
Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
We just got a bunch of new tips for our Weller station at work. One of them is extremely sharp -- a very fine tip, almost like an ice-pick. Definitely better for fine pin work and not too bad for wire work. We just used it (the thin tip) to splice some 14 gauge wires together with no difficulty.

If you don't go with a Weller, make sure the brand you pick has interchangable tips. It does make a difference.

Good luck.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top