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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2013, 16:03 
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Joined: 16 Oct 2013, 08:47
Posts: 2
Hey there folks, I have just came across this forum and it looks interesting and lively over here :up:

I love fixing electronics and I`m a graduated technician and studying an undergraduate electronics engineer course. All my friends are into DJ`ing tunes so I have been getting increasingly into the audio side of electronics.

In particular, repairing headphones and earphones for my friends. As anyone who has tried would know, the coating on these woven copper cables is quite a problem to solder. You solder one, the other breaks, have to redo all 3 to get them the right length for the jack connection to be strong.

I have been searching for an easy and reliable method of soldering these cables, and the best results I got were the common advice circulating around; burn cable, sand it with a dremel, clean it with isopropyl alcohol, dip in flux many times and in the end solder. Sometimes its easy, but some particular cables are a massive challenge....

So when you buy spare headphone cables, the ends are nicely tinned by the manufacturer. If the manufacturer can do it and sell replacement cables for pennies, I know there must be a bloody simple way to tin those cables, reliably.

My first move will be to purchase a 220v 150W Solder pot. Compared to the 60w Ayoue soldering station I have it should do a better job, they dip the cables into the solder right?

It would be brilliant if I could get some suggestions on what type of flux and solder to use. I have concidered silver etc...

Few other things I`m concidering. I know the cables are coated usually with enamel but also rubber and plastic. Maybe a chemical arsenal is in order to dissolve them? I heard suggestions on using no 4 & 5 brake fluid and thinners. The problem is these cables are multiple strands of copper with coating and after burning the coating off its somewhere inbetween those strands turning into carbon and causing problems...

And finally, if all this fails, I may concider electroplating the cables before I try and solder them. Silver electroplating isn`t expensive at all and if needs be I would pay for gold chloride =)

So whats everyone think, slightly overkill? Maybe the solder pot alone would do it :D


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2013, 16:19 
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Joined: 26 Oct 2012, 21:00
Posts: 188
Location: ontario canada
in most cases nail polish remover (watch for the stuff that has caratin or other oils added) or straight acetone (it's enamel where removing)
braided cables can wick acetone pretty fast so i generally clamp them with a pair of hemostats at the length i want say 3/16" or so. the heat /flame method also works for me but is tricky.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2013, 04:56 
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Joined: 16 Oct 2013, 08:47
Posts: 2
turk 182 wrote:
in most cases nail polish remover (watch for the stuff that has caratin or other oils added) or straight acetone (it's enamel where removing)
braided cables can wick acetone pretty fast so i generally clamp them with a pair of hemostats at the length i want say 3/16" or so. the heat /flame method also works for me but is tricky.


Thanks for the response Turk 182, are you of Turkish descent? Merhaba kardesim, bende Kibrisliyim turkce ana dilim =)

I love your idea on using hemostats, always wanted a pair of them anyway will get onto ordering some.

I`m going to go and talk to some engineers on the topic today and gather more information.

How long do you bathe them in acetone for, is the stripping process instant or does it take a little while?

Thanks anyway buddy!


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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2013, 18:25 
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Joined: 26 Oct 2012, 21:00
Posts: 188
Location: ontario canada
with stranded stuff i dip them for a couple of seconds and wipe with a soft cloth or paper towel (visual confirmation the enamel's coming off) a quick hot water rinse a backstroke scrape with a razor knife and voila! i do the same with solid core enameled wire (custom x-over coils need love too)
and no i'm not turkish i'm french canadian not that ethnicity matters to me but thanks for asking.

with respect to the heat trick when it comes to really fine stuff i've destroyed the copper in an attempt to remove the coating!


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