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Best solder free electrical connection

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by john hamilton, Aug 16, 2010.

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  1. I have to connect this AAA battery holder to a toy. Although I have a small
    soldering iron, my soldering skills are poor. I can see myself easily
    melting all the plastic around the contacts before I can get anything to
    stick to the tabs. (The part of the tabs with the small hole will bend
    upwards giving some clearence).

    My immediate plan is to poke a few strands of wire through the holes in the
    connection tabs twist and then apply some nail varnish to stop it unwinding.
    Since its a toy it does not need to be totally foolproof.

    If anyone had any ideas that were a bit more sophisticated I would be
    gratefull. Thanks.
  2. Toby

    Toby Guest

    Solder is the only reliable way, IMO

    Just bend the tabs out, so they are not touching the plastic, make sure the
    iron is nice and hot, dab some solder on the end of the iron, then place
    this on one of the tabs and feed in a little more solder to tin the tab,
    should take a couple of seconds.
    Now strip about 5mm of the wires and tin the end of the wire, if the
    insulation shrinks back, then snip the end of the wire off so it is about
    Place the wire on top of the solder on the tab and heat the wire until the
    solder on the tab melts again.

    Hold the wire with something other than your hand, as it may get quite hot!

    Once it has cooled, marvel at your handywork :)

    Or, buy these two from eBay, or anywhere that sells this sort of stuff...
    350373699059 (Twin AA battery holder with a PP£ type connector on the top)
    and one of these
    350350685890 (PP3 battery connector)

  3. 55 years ago, I was afraid of soldering, afraid I wouldn't be able to do it
    well. I was wrong. It's not that difficult; it just takes a bit of practice.

    If you're really uncomfortable, ask a friend to do it for you.

    Unsoldered connections might work for a while, but will eventually fail.
  4. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    What Ralph said. Also, if you can get some, apply a dab of rosin flux
    paste to the joint before you heat it. That helps the solder to "wet"
    the surfaces and flow into the joint better.

    And ensure that you have something keeping the battery holder and the
    wire in place. I'd go so far as to put batteries in the thing so that it
    could be clamped into a soft-jawed vice and use one of those "third
    hand" thingies to hold the wire securely. Trying to keep the battery
    holder in place with your palm, the wire under your elbow, with the
    soldering iron in one hand and the solder in the other isn't likely to
    result in a satisfactory soldering job. Not that *I've* ever done that,
    of course <cough cough>
  5. If you say which town/country you live in, someone here might
    volunteer to solder it for you. If you have an electronics repair
    shop near which does the work on the premises, they would probably
    do it.
  6. jeff_wisnia

    jeff_wisnia Guest

    While I agree with previous posters that soldering shouldn't be a big
    problem, if you really don't want to try it yourself you should be able
    to find someone else who will.

    Or, go for your "twist through the holes" approach and use a drop of
    electrically conductive epoxy on the joint:

  7. ...which will at best approximate to a 1k ohm resistor.:)
  8. Djornsk

    Djornsk Guest

    Depending on the dimensions of the tab it may be possible to bend it
    around the wire and carefully crimp it with sidecutters. Next try to
    anchor the wire to the battery holder a short distance along the wire
    from the tab to prevent it fracturing due to movement or vibration.
    You could then use your varnish (or a glue gun) to coat the connection
    to offer some protection from oxidation.
    This is not as good as a soldered joint done properly, but would
    probably be better than a soldered joint done badly.

  9. Bob Eager

    Bob Eager Guest

    To add to the other suggestions about soldering: if you can get/borrow a
    temperature controlled iron, run it at a lower temperature and use 63/37
  10. John-

    Soldering appears to me to be the best solution. Invite a friend to do
    the soldering. Bend the tab up first, and solder quickly to minimize
    melting the plastic underneath. The plastic should become firm again
    after it cools.

    What about threading tiny self-tapping screws into the holes in the
    rivets that connect the lugs to the contacts?

  11. tony sayer

    tony sayer Guest

    Better still have a practice on some bits of wire etc before you do this
    joint and than you've learnt a new skill:))..

    Do get the joint hot, and keep it hot just long enough to make it all
    flow properly it seems to me that under powered irons are the biggest
    cause of poor soldering...
  12. Try lead based solder 60/40 has a lower melting point
  13. tony sayer

    tony sayer Guest

    Seems its a dying craft making any of your own gear now.

    Anything on You tube on soldering at all?..
  14. Nate Nagel

    Nate Nagel Guest

    meh? I still solder quite regularly, because if nothing else, I'm far
    more likely to have solder and heat shrink handy than I am butt splices
    and a crimping tool.

    Also, the tool makes a huge difference. I (heart) my ancient Weller
    soldering station, the constant-temp tips make life so much better.

  15. Grant

    Grant Guest

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned cleaning up the battery tab first,
    some of that cheap gear is terribly difficult to tin, without a
    good scratching up and cleaning first. Emery paper, sand paper,
    even a sharp instrument. And wash the grease off too, metho or
    IPA should be safe for the plastic?

    The trick is to go in quick, if it doesn't work straight away (like
    less than a second), remove the heat, let the thing cool right down,
    and try again later.

    Problems happen when you keep the heat on to no effect, melting the

    Be aware of the need for the fresh heat bridge, created by applying
    iron and solder together, so the flux is working. It's perfectly
    fine to have several attempts, provided you let the parts cool right
    down between the attempts.

    And yes, practice makes perfect, so try some other soldering to get
    a feel for how the solder, flux and iron behave together. :)

    Try soldering (stripped) insulated wire together until you can make
    clean solder joints without burning the insulation, basic thermal
    feel and control. Don't be afraid to waste solder, learn to coax
    excess solder off a joint by application of the iron and new solder.

  16. Grant

    Grant Guest

    I used to use the Weller, but disliked that little jump when the
    magnet pulled in (or let go). Also iron based leads (like on
    signal diodes) could be troublesome :( The new Hakko I have now
    is great.

  17. Bob Eager

    Bob Eager Guest

    Point taken, but I didn't mean *that* much lower. It just reduces the
    complete melting point by a few tens of degrees; clearly it has to be hot
    enough to do the joint quickly.
  18. Bob Eager

    Bob Eager Guest

    I've been soldering (on and off) for well over 40 years, and find it
    strangely satisfying! Last project was one of these:

    and these:

    Great fun to build and to program!
    I keep meaning to have a go, since I seem to have mastered single-eye
    soldering now.
  19. Guest

    Bad idea. The nail varnish is an insulator, and is likely to wick back
    into the (non) connection.
  20. Guest

    Ore use a conductive "glue" like the stuff sold to fix rear window
    defroster grids, or printed circuit traces. After making the good
    electrical contact with that (it is usually silver bearing) add a dab
    of epoxy, or even hot melt glue, to give it a bit of mechanical

    Or just learn to solder - - - - .the low temperature eutectic "paste
    solder" would actually work pretty good for this and only requires
    minimal heat.
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