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Author Topic: Soldering audio cables  (Read 590 times)
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Dallas
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I cut the end off a 3.5mm audio cable because I want to use it for a temperature probe I'm building. It has three conductors--blue, green and red. However, the conductors are covered with some kind of insulation that I'm finding impossible to solder through. It's like magnet wire laquer, only since it's twisted multi-strand wire, I can't sand it off. Is there no way to use this type of cable? I feel like I wasted an expensive cord, and I don't know what else to use anyway.
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Sounds like litz wire. I think it's designed to use a solvent to strip the coating before soldering.  It's a serious pain in the neck.

I've gotten a decent (not great, but useable) solder joint by overheating the wire while soldering, basically burning off the insulation.

-j
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Dallas
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With magnet wire I've always been able to burn off the insulation, but this stuff is solder-proof. I think I will try a lighter.
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a bit of sandpaper never hurt, it's worth a try.
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It might be polyurethane coating which will burn off with a hot soldering iron (but gives off cyanide fumes so don't inhale).  You need a hotter than normal iron.  It might be there to reduce "microphony" in the cable (caused by friction between wire and insulation).  Buy a different piece of cable?
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Ive had this problem so many times before! Just thinking out loud but what if you rubbed the end of the cable that your soldering to with some acetone (nail polish remover) it might help strip the enamel of the wire.
Never tried this though so let us know how it turns out!

Nadav.
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