Wire rejecting solder?

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I tried to solder a new jack on my hands free since the old one was destroyed.

After I stripped the wires on the jack and the hands-free, I burned the wire tips red hot with a torch to expose them of their insulation.

After making the connections and "knitting" the wires together I tried adding solder to them but they all seemed to repel it. What gives?

Even though the connections are solder-less now, the headphones seem to work just fine.

TO THE FINDER... THE ISLE OF KOHOLINT, IS BUT AN ILLUSION... HUMAN, MONSTER, SEA, SKY... A SCENE ON THE LID OF A SLEEPER'S EYE... AWAKE THE DREAMER, AND KOHOLINT WILL VANISH MUCH LIKE A BUBBLE ON A NEEDLE... CAST-AWAY, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH!

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Excess heat will result in excess oxygen in the copper; flux removes a very thin layer of oxide.

Similar process occurs during excess heat when soldering; result is intermetallic oxide that decreases the lifetime of the bonds between the lead wire, die's pad, and die.

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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tellSlater wrote:

After I stripped the wires on the jack and the hands-free, I burned the wire tips red hot with a torch to expose them of their insulation.

After making the connections and "knitting" the wires together I tried adding solder to them but they all seemed to repel it. What gives?

 

If the wires are the ultra thin 'braided type, heating them to 'red hot' puts a 'glaze' on them(as I call it), which solder will not stick to.

 

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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I kind of suspected it could be something like this. How much heat should be applied? At what temperatures does this glaze appear?

TO THE FINDER... THE ISLE OF KOHOLINT, IS BUT AN ILLUSION... HUMAN, MONSTER, SEA, SKY... A SCENE ON THE LID OF A SLEEPER'S EYE... AWAKE THE DREAMER, AND KOHOLINT WILL VANISH MUCH LIKE A BUBBLE ON A NEEDLE... CAST-AWAY, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH!

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That 'wire' is a pain in the A$$.  I never could solder to it.  Most of the earphones/earbuds and such that use that stuff are crap to begin with and are easier to replace than worth repairing.

 

\YMMV

 

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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 I burned the wire tips red hot with a torch

Use flux & a soldering iron, not a torch.  This is electronics, not  plumbing! 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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I repaired a USB Communications Headset (for Skype etc.)  where the controller connections were dodgy.

 

Yes these wires are dreadful. They consist of very few stands of the thinnest copper you ever did see wrapped around several much thicker strands of (nylon ??)  filler.

 

You probably did manage to tin the wires but because the copper is so thin you didn't notice you were successful.

 

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Some headphone cables use enamelled wire like roadrunner but thinner.  You have to keep the heat on long enough to melt the enamel.

 

David 

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Don't let the smoke get in your eyes. If it does, you'll know it!

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Most of the earphones/earbuds

That was my first thought when I read the Thread's title.

I, also, could never solder the wires on a couple (cheap) earphones.

I didn't know what the problem was, I just knew it was very frustrating!

 

JC 

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Maybe the unsolderable wire is Al instead of Cu? Just guessing. I have no idea if that's even used.

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In the cheapest items (probably non-flexible), they use copper-coated steel wire!

 

paraphrased from the web:

I recently bought some stranded copper speaker wire from the local Dollar store. The have good prices on stranded copper wire that I use for low voltage wiring to operate my telescope and other similar applications.
They had a new product packaged the same as the other speaker wire but is "monster" 10 gauge stranded wire for around 10 or 15 dollars. I don't remember exactly, it was a very good priced for that amount of copper wire 

 

Tonight I had a use for some and proceeded to cut a short piece. Surprisingly my small nippers didn't even make a dent in it. I hauled out the Excellite piano wire cutters and even they had a tough time cutting it.
This was very unusual and I puzzled over it for a bit. Then it struck me that all may not be as it seemed. I grabbed a handy magnet and it smacked itself against the roll.
THIS WIRE IS 99% STEEL, NOT COPPER.  It has a micro thin plating of copper to make it look like copper. The strands are purposely very thin to keep it flexible like copper. The insulation is polarity striped as it should be for copper speaker wire .

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

Last Edited: Sat. Nov 23, 2019 - 10:11 PM
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Steel or stainless steel?

Stainless Forgotten History: A Revolution in Steel - YouTube (13m12s, 12:25 for anti-bacterial, The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered)

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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The wire must be copper. Here is a photo of the old jack.

The small cables seem to be non magnetic (I tested with a magnet). I would guess the reason of not absorbing solder is what people above reference as oxide forming.

I will test your suggestions tomorrow and post results. A big thank you to everyone! This forum has taught me so much.

TO THE FINDER... THE ISLE OF KOHOLINT, IS BUT AN ILLUSION... HUMAN, MONSTER, SEA, SKY... A SCENE ON THE LID OF A SLEEPER'S EYE... AWAKE THE DREAMER, AND KOHOLINT WILL VANISH MUCH LIKE A BUBBLE ON A NEEDLE... CAST-AWAY, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH!

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They consist of very few stands of the thinnest copper you ever did see wrapped around several much thicker strands of (nylon ??)  filler.

If there is plastic in there (either as part of the wire makeup or due to melting), you can forget about soldering.

 

Are you any good at normal soldering of wires, chips, etc?

 

Crimp it!  Or borrow your friend's pair "for a while"

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

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Hahaha I that is evil >< 

I am ok at soldering. Yes there are plastic fibers in between the copper strands only on some of the wires. Other wires seem to be without the plastic fibers in them.

The plastic fibers come off easily though by applying medium heat.

I am not familiar with crimping at all! Could you recommend a crimping tool and crimping consumables for joining wires together?

TO THE FINDER... THE ISLE OF KOHOLINT, IS BUT AN ILLUSION... HUMAN, MONSTER, SEA, SKY... A SCENE ON THE LID OF A SLEEPER'S EYE... AWAKE THE DREAMER, AND KOHOLINT WILL VANISH MUCH LIKE A BUBBLE ON A NEEDLE... CAST-AWAY, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH!

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Could you recommend a crimping tool and crimping consumables for joining wires together?

I'm sorta joking, since these wire are soooo thin.  There is probably a sleeve to do so, but it will be very very small & rare & probably $$$ 

 

The plastic fibers come off easily though by applying medium heat.

Any residue will prob prevent soldering...you might try dipping the wire ends in flux and maybe acetone first (will dissolve a lot of junk)...DON'T get it on your phone or any plastic or paint.  

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.   I look forward to being able to predict the future!

Last Edited: Sun. Nov 24, 2019 - 08:08 AM
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By the way, the headphones work fine after I only twisted the wires together, applied silicon glue on each of the four twisted-exposed wires two times and then

stuffed them carefully in heat shrinking tube with a bunch of additional silicon glue and heated it shut.

Although the oxide covered wires repelled the solder they seem to be as conductive as they used to be.

TO THE FINDER... THE ISLE OF KOHOLINT, IS BUT AN ILLUSION... HUMAN, MONSTER, SEA, SKY... A SCENE ON THE LID OF A SLEEPER'S EYE... AWAKE THE DREAMER, AND KOHOLINT WILL VANISH MUCH LIKE A BUBBLE ON A NEEDLE... CAST-AWAY, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH!

Last Edited: Sun. Nov 24, 2019 - 09:35 AM
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gchapman wrote:

Steel or stainless steel?

Stainless Forgotten History: A Revolution in Steel - YouTube (13m12s, 12:25 for anti-bacterial, The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered)

I like the bow-tie.

 

Philips or Robertson?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-mDqKtivuI

 

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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I got better results by sanding the thin copper strands lightly with high grit sanding paper.

After the sanding the polyester fibers tend to separate themselves from the copper wires automatically.

The solder does not get as much repelled from the wires and although the join does not seem that strong mechanically,

it must have good electrical properties since it absorbs seemingly enough solder.

TO THE FINDER... THE ISLE OF KOHOLINT, IS BUT AN ILLUSION... HUMAN, MONSTER, SEA, SKY... A SCENE ON THE LID OF A SLEEPER'S EYE... AWAKE THE DREAMER, AND KOHOLINT WILL VANISH MUCH LIKE A BUBBLE ON A NEEDLE... CAST-AWAY, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH!

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Thanks for am now aware of the advantage of the Robertson screwdriver.

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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In my theatre alternate ego, when we build a set destined to tour outside of Canada, we ship a half-dozen or so Robbie bits with it. It's important that these be reachable without the use of a Robbie bit ;-) ... On at least one occasion, they were shipped >>inside<< the crate, which was buttoned up with Robertson screws. The receiving crew had to demolish the crate with prybars!

We generally make a small inset compartment with an exterior vover, fastened with Philips screws.

There are screws with an 'all-in-one' head (fits Philips, Robertson, and sometimes slot), but they are the El Camino of the fastener world (all the ride comfort of a truck, all the cargo capacity of a car).

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]