Soldering Tips + Tricks


SOLDERING TIPS + TRICKS

Wash your hands first. On everyone's skin there's always grease and by doing so you will prevent that soldering surfaces become greasy / dirty. Use a soldering iron for electronics use, 30 or 40 Watts. This one here is 30 Watts. 
Furthermore you'll need a sharp hobby knife, a punch, a 2 mm Allen key and a watchmaker's screwdriver. 
Of course, for these audiophile grade connections, you will use our 4% silver solder (accessory).
Put something like yesterday's paper underneath to protect your working surface.
Carefully cut 15 mm from the outer insulation, without cutting through the braid underneath.
Unravel all strands using a pointed tool like a punch.
Spread all strands evenly.
Split these strands in two parts, pull both to one side and twist. This way you will prevent this assembly to become too thick to get through your connector and later on it makes soldering easier.
Then cut and remove other screening material, if any, close to these twists.
Cut 10 mm from the inner insulation, whereby some 5 mm remains. Do this carefully, don't cut too deep when circumcising with the knife, as the signal core shouldn't be damaged. Then pull off this piece of insulation by gently turning at the same time.
Next twist the 10 mm signal core firmly, if necessary. 
Fold back 4 mm from the end. Thus you'll prevent this core from splicing when pushed through the connector's opening.
Bend the two screen twists forward and push this assembly into the connector.
Rotate the cable slightly while pushing it in and see to it that the two screen twists end up at the backside of the connector. When half-way, use a small screwdriver to "help" these twists come out at the right location.
Also take care that the central core finishes up right into the contact pin and further into the tiny hole there. Guide it, if need be and push back strands that possibly came loose. Press the two screening twists over the small "bridge" provided for soldering and bend both ends a bit downwards.
Put something heavy like a spanner or plier over the front part of your connector. This way it steadies the connector when soldering and it takes some of the heat from your connector. Take your soldering iron as soon as it is hot and press it to apply heat to one side of the "bridge" on the backside. We advise to first apply some solder (sparingly) onto this backside of the plug and on the cable ends. When these spots will be hot enough, the applied solder will flow freely, otherwise take some more time to heat. Then the other side of this "bridge".
Turn the connector and fix it again with your spanner. Next, solder the signal core by applying heat right onto the central opening of the contact pin. Because this core was twisted and folded back, it will more easily make contact by itself, in addition to the soldering, which is always better. 
The connector forms a relatively heavy body and therefore takes up a lot of heat. So it will take some time before solder will flow. When finished, blow at it to cool the new joint. And of course DON'T MOVE IT!
Soldered leads should never "swim" in a puddle of solder. This wouldn't form a perfect electronical connection. There should always be a direct contact. Be careful not to overlook loose strands touching the wrong sides, remove or cut these.
At the backside, the soldering joint might protrude too much and as such be in the way when you want to screw home the locking barrel. Use a file to reduce this and don't forget to blow away any fine particles left, that could cause short-circuit of your precious signals.

Next, fix the cable with the 2 mm hex nut and screw home the locking barrel. If you have an Ohmmeter, check for short-circuits, otherwise you will undoubtedly notice once you install your interconnect and turn up the volume! (slowly of course). 

Your cables will need some time to improve on sound quality, reckon with a few weeks. Always use your cables the same direction: an easy method to adopt is to always have your signal follow the direction of the printing on your cables. 

Your comments or suggestions will always be welcomed to further improve this topic.

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