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Discussion Starter #1
Im having a bit of a problem due to not having the right tip and 12g being so large. I have to extend my speaker cable. I was going to do what I knew, which is to tin the ends, bend into hooks, hook together and 'crimp' hooks with plyers to make a good mechanical joint then solder together. Works good with 18g, but knu 12g karma SS is so thick I think it is not the best way. I also only have an 1/8 pointed tip on my soldering iron so it is hard to get a lot of contact without paralleling the wire with the iron. Good iron:
Soldering Station
So I figure I will be better off stripping them longer and twisting them together straight and then soldering but this wont be easy either as I will still have a hard time heating the wire due to my tip. Or I could twist together like you do a home wire twist on, but thats ugly...not sure what to do.
Thoughts?
 

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Although its not good for the life of your solder tips, but you can dip the ends of the wire in flux, push one wire end into the other and melt solder over them. The solder will sink right through the wire strands and solidify to make a good joint.... I did it with 4 gauge wire then applied heat shrink, over a year and no problems.....
 

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that soldering station is too small for the job. Your wires are carying the heat away faster than the iron can provide. You need a big soldering gun or use a torch. Or try those miny torchlike lighters.
 

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I use an inexpensive hand-held weller w/ a standard point-tip and I can solder 12ga no problem....not to be rude but it may be a technique problem
 

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I use a Snap On butane soldering iron and it will do 10 or 12 ga easily, not sure of the price though:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The soldering station has plenty of power. The tip is at 450*C and stays that hot. It is an awsome soldering station for the money. The issue it getting enough contact area from the tip to the wire, so I had to parallel the tip to the wire to get enough contact area to transfer heat to the wires. A larger tip would have made this a bit easier but using the technique shown below it worked fine. The most time consuming part is stripping the outer insulation off the knukonceptz Karma SS 12 Gauge speaker wire. Anyone who has done this knows.
So not sure if there is a how too on here but here is one in case anyone like me has never done this before.
  1. Ideally strip outer insulation far enough back on one set of wire that allows you to have a ~1.5-1.75” long strip of heat shrink tubing on the wire with another 1.5-1.75” left of the wire before the end. Most wire this is easy to do. Karma SS is a PITA. You just need to have enough that will cover the solder joint. Also make sure it is large enough to fit over the joint.
  2. Use a sharp razor to cut thru wire insulation almost all the wa and do not cut into any of the strands. Then bend wire at cut line to break the way thru the rest of the insulation and use fingernail to remove it. If you don’t know how to strip a wire good, go learn how to do that first.
  3. Fan out wire to separate strands. Pinch back together to get nice and tight as possible.
  4. MAKE SURE HEAT SHRINK TUBING IS ON WIRE!
  5. Holding the tips of the stripped wire, push together end to end so they wires weave together. Then grab further back and continue to push together. They will start to fan out, but that is fine. Once you have about 1” of them overlapping, place in the wire holder if you have one. If not this will be a PITA. I got mine for like $4 from the same place I got the soldering station.
  6. Twist the wire that fanned out in opposite directions to get it as tight as possible.
  7. Add flux. Im sure I use too much but it makes the solder flow well.
  8. Melt some solder on the soldering iron tip.
  9. Place tip of iron so as much area of contact from tip to wire is obtained. Start adding solder to wire. Move tip around wire as needed.
  10. Once a good joint is made let cool. Remove excess flux as required. I did not do this cause im lazy.
  11. Remove the wire holder and push heat shrink tubing up over joint. If the ends shrunk, slit them with a razor.
  12. Shrink heat shrink tubing around wire and insure no wire is exposed or poking thru. Add electrical tape if needed.
  13. Add heat shrink tuning to cover it all up or wrap in electrical tape.
 

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450ºC is too hot.

Try about 350ºC. I use 60/40 and never solder above about 700ºF, any hotter and the quality of the solder joint decreases.

Set your station up and let it heat. Touch the solder to the tip, if the smoke fades away in less than about 3 seconds, it's too hot IMO. In soldering, too hot is just as bad as not hot enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
450ºC is too hot.

Try about 350ºC. I use 60/40 and never solder above about 700ºF, any hotter and the quality of the solder joint decreases.

Set your station up and let it heat. Touch the solder to the tip, if the smoke fades away in less than about 3 seconds, it's too hot IMO. In soldering, too hot is just as bad as not hot enough.
I wouldn't normally use it that hot, but felt I had to with these large wires. I just got the iron too so I have little experience with it. I have done a lot of soldering but I am no expert. THanks for the input. Wish I had gotten it earlier. The joints came out good from what I can tell. Maybe I should have tried it lower, but not sure how well the heat would transfer. Oh well.
 

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Please explain. Not being a smart ass. Just want to learn.
I have no scientific evidence, just experience. I race RC cars so soldering is a very important skill. Bad soldering jobs can cost you $300 in electronics if anything arcs, or a solder joint breaks and shorts the electronics.

When the iron gets too hot, you'll get oxidation on the solder joint. The tin will burn off quickly and then you'll see the oxidation. Those joints perform just like a cold or dry solder joint, they may look pretty good on the outside, but they're actually weak. When soldering wires together that isn't too big of a deal, but when soldering wires to solder posts, it's important.

It also depends on how well regulated your iron is. Some cheaper irons will heat to 650ºF, and then once you put a load, they can't maintain that heat. The ability to maintain heat under a load is far more important than its ability to heat to a peak temperature at idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I started solder at 10 trying to make a battery for my JRX pro. Failed. Over time learned more and have worked at an electronics where I learned to make a mechanical joint first. That is when i learned my normal way of soldering two wires together, which is to tin the tips (they had a tin pot, I just tin them with my iron), bend them into hooks, crimp the hooks together to make a good mechanical joint then solder. I also worked for Rockwell Collins and helped improve the process of making wire harness for aviation radars that scan so I did a fair amount of soldering there. The harness would fail over time so I did more soldering there, but never owned a good station until now so I never had temp control for my home soldering work. And soldering thin wires is so quick its not as important. I have done a little circuit board soldering. So I am a novice with more experience then people that dont know how to solder at all. We have all seen those joints where it is just a ball of solder that is not bonded to the wire or the post. Im off to solder an 1/0g ring terminal to knu kollossus flex 1/0 for my ground. Using a propane torch like I saw in the video online so I hope it works. I have a spare ring terminal so I have 2 chances to get it right...I worry that Im not making a mechanical bond first, but I think the wire is so thick it will be hard to fit in the ring terminal so hopefully the snug fit will provide that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
that didint go well....Im going to cut it off and try again I guess. melted all the gold off and oveheated the wire and didnt get enough solder obsorbtion. Wonder if crimping first would help.
 
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