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 Post subject: Soldering tinsel wire
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Sep Fri 08, 2006 12:14 pm
Posts: 317
Location: North Fork, CA 93643
What's the method for soldering tinsel wire into speaker connector pins? I am replacing the cord on my Radiola 103 speaker. I should have asked the other day, as I did get them connected, but, after the fact, I would like to know the correct way to do so.

What I did was to take a pin, insert it into a tiny vise on my work bench with the open end up, twisted the tinsel wire, inserted the wire into the opening, and then held it in place with a piece of solid solder also inserted into the hole. I then heated the pin with my iron until the solder melted. It holds, but it isn't very pretty. I'm sure there's a better way!

Thanks in advance,
Charlie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 7:14 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Tue 16, 2007 11:48 pm
Posts: 6679
Location: Hueytown, AL
Apparently you used no flux at all? A good non-corrosive electrical grade paste flux works well for me. Put a bit into the pin and/or on the tinsel wire. Solder wets and flows out better.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Sep Fri 08, 2006 12:14 pm
Posts: 317
Location: North Fork, CA 93643
jkaetzjr wrote:
Apparently you used no flux at all? A good non-corrosive electrical grade paste flux works well for me. Put a bit into the pin and/or on the tinsel wire. Solder wets and flows out better.


Sorry, yes I neglected to mention that I did use flux. I guess what I'm saying is that the connection looks sloppy and ragged with frayed cloth threads around the neck of the pin. Even though technically they won't show when connected to the radio, I'm just a stickler for such things. I wondered how they made the connections so neat from the factory.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3791
Location: Seattle WA US
Western Electric used crimp lugs on their tinsel cords, with raised points inside the lug that pierced through the wire as the crimp compressed it.

I've never seen a neat solder joint with tinsel, but have made some ugly ones that seemed to work.

--Chuck


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 7:28 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Tue 16, 2007 11:48 pm
Posts: 6679
Location: Hueytown, AL
Haven't done a lot of these but sometimes the jacket of the wire will fit into the pin opening if it's small. Just melt solder in pin then immerse the wire into it so jacket is inside a bit Use a bit of flux on the wire. If the overall insulation is too large for this, a few turns of sewing thread at the end in a proper shade with a dab of clear glue neatens it up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Sep Fri 08, 2006 12:14 pm
Posts: 317
Location: North Fork, CA 93643
Brilliant! Thank you!

Actually, what is the advantage of using tinsel over solid wire?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 25381
Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
Take one strand from stranded wire, wrap it around the tinsel and partly over the cloth braid, the way you would whip the end of a rope. Then tin the wrapped end with flux and solder. This should make a neat connection that can be inserted into the phone tip and soldered.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Sep Fri 08, 2006 12:14 pm
Posts: 317
Location: North Fork, CA 93643
Thank you very much, Alan. I like that approach.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Jun Thu 15, 2006 1:21 am
Posts: 3702
Location: NE Ohio
And if it looks bad clean it up with a short piece of shrink tubing.

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Bruce


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 22, 2008 8:59 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Niskayuna, NY
I guess I'm not familiar with tinsel wire? Is it some sort of super-flexible wire, like the wire used in cheap telephone cords, with the plastic in it?

-Ian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2773
Location: Circleville, OH, USA
I use Alan's method. Works fine.

For retrohacker, tinsel wire is made by winding thin copper foil around a cotton cord in spiral fashion. Four or 5 such cords are then wound around a central cotton cord. The resulting bundle is covered with a cotton braid. Two of these bundles are then covered with another cotton braid to form the finished cord.

The result is a very flexible cable. Unfortunately, the cotton cover does not give any protection from corrosive fumes. Old cords are frequently open due to corrosion at some point in the cord.

When buying speakers, horns or headphones at a swap meet, one never can be sure that lack of continuity is due to bad drivers or bad cords. You take your chances.

_________________
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 01, 2008 10:34 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Tue 16, 2007 11:48 pm
Posts: 6679
Location: Hueytown, AL
Alan's method is cool as a blue moose!


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 Post subject: Re: Soldering tinsel wire
PostPosted: Aug Sat 18, 2018 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Sep Mon 18, 2017 2:23 am
Posts: 8200
Location: Plymouth, MI
Agreed, it worked great for me!! :D

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Dan

Museum Curator
https://roaringtwentiesantiqueradiomuseum.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Soldering tinsel wire
PostPosted: Aug Sat 18, 2018 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 16, 2007 7:02 am
Posts: 4780
Location: Lexington, KY USA
Tinsel wire is used for (landline!) telephone and electric shaver cords, as well as old headphones.

The conductor is actually hard and springy, rather than like the soft copper strand in a lamp cord. The tinsel construction is intended to keep the conductors from bending sharply enough to exceeding their yield point, so they do not work harden and break.

The fatigue life of tinsel cordage is vastly greater than that of even fine stranded soft copper.

The downsides are that tinsel costs more to make, and is very bulky for the current capacity. It would otherwise be nice to have a tinsel wire cord on your electric iron, but that isn't going to happen. Cord would have to be as big as a garden hose, else would get as hot as the iron.

A crimped connection is best, but soldering can work. Sometimes it helps to burn the textile strands out of the very end of your wire with a flame before trying to solder.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Soldering tinsel wire
PostPosted: Aug Sun 19, 2018 2:09 am 
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Joined: Mar Wed 16, 2011 10:44 pm
Posts: 2065
Location: Peekskill, NY
Here are the steps I use for this:

1) Trim the braided cover to expose the inner tinsel conductors.

2) Wrap the ends of the braid with sewing thread, the way you would wrap the
end of a rope with string - tucking the ends under the wraps.

3) wrap the ends of the tinsel wire with fine copper wire, so the OD of the
wrapped section is small enough to fit into the tip of the pin plug.

4) heat the tip of the plug and fill the end with solder.

5) while the solder is molten, carefully press the end of the tinsel conductor
into the solder.

6) the cotton braid should fit neatly into the wide part of the plug.

The solder will take a LONG time to cool. Keep the whole thing still while it cools off.


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 Post subject: Re: Soldering tinsel wire
PostPosted: Aug Mon 20, 2018 2:13 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 12437
Location: Powell River BC Canada
Failure mode : Of a raw speaker made in Paducah KY to our specs.

The speaker voice coil loosened from the cone when the heat melted the dip.

The voice coil then did not move and the motional reactance was lost.

The voice coil shorted out on itself as enameling burned off.

The current in the tinsel wire burned out the fiber core.

The wire then glowed until it fused.

When it fused it threw red hot metal to the cone.

The cone started a very small fire spot which grew until
it was in flames.

The flames started the grill cloth on fire.

.....

It was repeatable using the amplifier we know was involved.

The cabinet fire scenario was handled with a mod bulletin.

_________________
de
VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
Steve Dow
ve7aso@rac.ca


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