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Stiff wire (not copper?), how to repair/reconnect?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by redbelly, May 16, 2007.

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  1. redbelly

    redbelly Guest

    I am trying to reattach 2 broken wires on one side of a pair of
    headphones, but normal solder is not working.

    When I scraped off the insulation from the wires, I noticed that the
    metal is really really stiff and brittle (though I was able to bend it
    without breaking), very unlike copper. Tried soldering it to reattach
    it anyway, but the solder didn't stick. (FWIW, I used rosin-core
    60/40 solder)

    So, my two questions are, (1) what the heck is this wire made of,
    anyway? and more importantly (2) is there any way a home hobbyist can
    reattach such wire?

    These are just a regular pair of light-duty headphones, with a
    standard 1/4" phono plug for a stereo system. The wire is stranded,
    28 AWG or smaller (i.e., my 26 AWG stripper is too big for it). Is
    there some standard material, other than copper, that is used

    Thanks for any help, suggestions, etc.

  2. If there was thread material in it then it may be tinsel. If so it may be
  3. Puckdropper

    Puckdropper Guest

    That's my thought, based on how the solder's acting. What color is it?
    A grey-ish metalic? (Dare I say an "Aluminium" color?)

  4. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

  5. redbelly

    redbelly Guest

    Yes, it was gray or silvery. Until I tried soldering and it turned
    rather blackish, perhaps from some burnt flux or insulation on it.


  6. redbelly

    redbelly Guest

  7. It's wrapped around a core of cloth/thread. That may have burned.
  8. redbelly

    redbelly Guest

    Okay, that may be what happened.

    Went to a local supply store today, that professional electricians
    use. They did not have crimps for wire this small, but an electrician
    who happened to be in the store overheard me and gave me a few from
    his own supplies. Will see how they work out, but it'll need to wait
    until the weekend.

    My wife will be pretty happy if I get this thing repaired :)

    Thanks again,

  9. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    *Size* is NOT the biggest factor.
    You may get that to work, but I wouldn't bet on it.
    The special lugs for tinsel wire have little spikes
    that stab THROUGH the cloth insulation.
    (There is no stripping.)

    I should have mentioned this before. Sorry.
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