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Topic: What kind of wire is in the photo? (Read 507 times) previous topic - next topic

task

What kind of wire is in the photo?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/92380311@N04/8473561583/in/photostream

Could it be steel? 
Why would a manufacturer not use copper?
Is copper too expensive?
Are they just trying to save every cent and that that means they don't give the best product possible?
Does copper make a difference in something like laser tag gear?

Grumpy_Mike

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Could it be steel?

Possible but unlikely. Most wire is tinned copper strands.
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Is copper too expensive?

Often it is too soft and so an alloy is used.
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Are they just trying to save every cent

Yes that is business.
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that that means they don't give the best product possible?

Most things are not the best possible, most of the time good enough is sufficient.
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Does copper make a difference in something like laser tag gear?

Absolutely not.

CrossRoads

Probably aluminum. Less expensive.

"Does copper make a difference in something like laser tag gear?"
Probably not for a toy.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years.  Screw Shield for Mega/Due/Uno,  Bobuino with ATMega1284P, & other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  my website.

Grumpy_Mike

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Probably aluminum.

Well it is almost impossible to solder on to aluminum.

task

It was difficult to get the soldering to stick to the wire

So what kind of wire would you suggest I use?  This is for outdoor laser tag gear being used in the bush

retrolefty

Can you explain the picture in more detail. I don't think the problem is with the wire or solder but with the material your trying to solder the wire to. Also the mass of the metal being soldered to looks pretty large, how do you expect your soldering iron to get it hot enough to accept a solder joint assuming it's a compatible material?

Lefty

task

Oh no I wasn't soldering it onto the laser tag weapon.  I was soldering it onto the terminals of the button I was replacing.  The photo was just the cleaned off wires after I cut it off the bad button.  I normally put soldering on the terminals and then some on the wire.  I then place the wire against a terminal and then heat it all up so that the soldering on both parts become liquid and that seems to bond nicely.  Just when I was trying to add soldering to the wire it didn't get absorb like when I use copper, it became more of blobs

The wire question is related to my button question (http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,149006.0/topicseen.html).  My thinking was to focus on one component and trying to find out from people that know more than me on what would be the best way to go forward when building my own weapons.  Wires not being copper made me worry since the button had to be replaced with less than probably 1000 presses so it makes me wonder about the quality of everything in our weapons

Grumpy_Mike

Wires not being copper will have no effect on the life time of your button. That is just down to the quality of the button.

MarkT

There is no way to know from a photo what metal it is.

Test for copper:   cut through it with a craft knife and look for copper coloured centre (surface is usually tin-plated)
Test for aluminium: very soft, silver coloured throughout, can be melted readily in a gas flame, conducts heat well.
Test for steel:  magnetic, hard to cut with a blade, needs wire-cutters.  Conducts heat less well than copper or aluminium
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