Author Topic: Power cords with wires impossible to solder  (Read 5383 times)

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Offline SnipTheCat

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Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« on: October 03, 2016, 09:13:12 pm »
I have been asking myself for a long time about this and didn't really find answer, and since I make my own power cords I am less faced with the problem than before.

The problem is that those power cords seems to have pretty dark wires (multibrain), When you try to solder you can some bubling and a lot of dirt as you cet with enamelled wires, but here the soldering doesn't stick to it. If you are patient enough you may have something that seems soldered, but usually you pull it apart quite easily. I have tried flux, no help, tried higher soldering temperature, no help...

Anyone knows any magic for those?
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 09:21:07 pm »
scrap off the blackish thing with knife..
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 09:22:14 pm »
Get some decent cables.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 09:27:22 pm »
Some really cheap cables use unrefined recycled copper. Since many recycled copper comes from scrap wall sockets or power strips, they have high phosphorous and beryllium content, which makes them hard to wet by solder.
Solution: buy high normal quality cables with either low recycled content or refined recycled content. You will not see crappy copper in Longwell or Volex cables.

Edit: s/high quality/normal quality/g
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 09:33:34 pm by blueskull »
 
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Offline Monkeh

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 09:28:02 pm »
s/high quality/normal quality/
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2016, 09:35:43 pm »
To increase flexibility, some wires are spun around, or interleaved with fibre/glass threads,  these are notoriously hard to solder, and are designed to be welded or crimped - not soldered.
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 
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Offline stj

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 09:57:03 pm »
maybe using crimp bootlace-ferrules would help.

if you do, get a 6-sided crimp tool - not a 4-sided one.
like this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141578568204
 
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Offline SnipTheCat

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2016, 10:17:20 pm »
Thanks for all the quick replies :-) I would think of the oxidized/impure copper... I have also seen those cables interleaved with fiber, they are also a pain to solder. I guess I'll just get decent cables instead to try to reuse crap... What is sad is that these had preddy decent gauge (~1mm^2 per wire)

 About scrapping the dark parts or even trying vinegar+salt I had very very little success
 

Online tautech

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2016, 10:24:04 pm »
Thanks for all the quick replies :-) I would think of the oxidized/impure copper... I have also seen those cables interleaved with fiber, they are also a pain to solder. I guess I'll just get decent cables instead to try to reuse crap... What is sad is that these had preddy decent gauge (~1mm^2 per wire)

 About scrapping the dark parts or even trying vinegar+salt I had very very little success
Sometimes a solder with a more aggressive flix can save the day, along with a much hotter iron.
A bit of a fiddle with some snippets can usually find a solution.  ;)

When all else fails scraping the conductors to shine them up can and does sometimes work or you'll have to resort to crimping ferrules or some other suitable terminal.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2016, 10:25:46 pm »
Probably copper coated aluminium (CCA) which is evil.
Chop it & replace with proper wire.
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 
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Offline bitslice

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2016, 11:19:49 pm »
if you do, get a 6-sided crimp tool - not a 4-sided one.
like this:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141578568204

Thanks for that,
I was looking for a bootlace crimper but didn't realise they did hex versions in that size  :-+
 

Offline Audioguru

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2016, 11:37:06 pm »
Copper wires that have been wet for a long time have black copper that is hard to solder to.
 

Offline SnipTheCat

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2016, 11:29:59 am »
Probably copper coated aluminium (CCA) which is evil.
Chop it & replace with proper wire.

I have the feeling that's what it was... anyway, tossed it away and got proper cable ;-)
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2016, 03:20:16 pm »
I have also seen many cables with copper coated steel wire.
 

Offline rob42

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2016, 04:50:46 pm »
try aspirin or other active flux
 

Offline george.b

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2016, 05:16:36 pm »
try aspirin or other active flux

Aspirin?  :wtf:
 

Offline Len

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2016, 05:38:17 pm »
try aspirin or other active flux

Aspirin?  :wtf:

If soldering is giving you a headache, take aspirin and use a good flux.  :)
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2016, 07:02:02 pm »
try aspirin or other active flux

Aspirin?  :wtf:

Works really well. Say goodbye to your tip, too.
 

Offline electr_peter

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2016, 08:01:54 pm »
Probably copper coated aluminium (CCA) which is evil.
Chop it & replace with proper wire.
I have also seen many cables with copper coated steel wire.
Metal strands can be made out of steel - check with magnet. Or it can be CCA, as Mike mentioned.

Either way, I would toss this cable out and get proper cable with copper strands. Copper clad aluminium or steel is not good in mains power cables (it is a desperate cost saving measure from a manufacturer, which results in very high resistance cable).
 

Offline stj

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2016, 09:14:25 pm »
could make a good flexable heating element!  :-DD
 

Offline george.b

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2016, 07:15:07 am »
Works really well. Say goodbye to your tip, too.

No kidding? Gotta try that one, sometime. Who knows when such a trick might come in handy...
 

Offline rob42

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2016, 01:46:13 pm »
Quote
Aspirin?  :wtf:
its just acetylsalicylic acid, you can use any other weak acid, like orthophosphor, acetic (vinegar), formic etc.
or weak organic (used in no-clean fluxes): palmitic, oleic, succinic, glutaric, paraffine / stearine, glycerine...
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 02:12:32 pm by rob42 »
 

Offline george.b

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2016, 02:53:11 am »
Quote
Aspirin?  :wtf:
its just acetylsalicylic acid, you can use any other weak acid, like orthophosphor, acetic (vinegar), formic etc.
or weak organic (used in no-clean fluxes): palmitic, oleic, succinic, glutaric, paraffine / stearine, glycerine...

I know, but I thought it would decompose at soldering temperatures, didn't imagine it'd work!
 

Offline helius

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2016, 03:09:10 am »
It may decompose, but it is an ester, so if it hydrolyzes at the ester bond it will produce two other acids: salicylic and acetic. I think water soluble fluxes frequently contain similar esters.
 
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Offline george.b

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Re: Power cords with wires impossible to solder
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2016, 04:06:23 am »
Aha, I see. Chemistry is not my strong suit ;D thanks!
 


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