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alternative to soldering?

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  • alternative to soldering?

    I am a terrible solderer. It takes me approximately 15 minutes per piezo. Is there a decent quick alternative? Hell, can I simply wrap the damned things in electrical tape or will it work itself loose?

  • #2
    If you could buy jacks that have wire leads already soldered to them you could just get some female/female wire crimped connectors. I'm sure that's not the technical name, but I purchased some for some household handyman work years ago and use them often when connecting small diameter wire. Stick the wire in, crimp it, repeat with the other side, and you have an insulated connection.

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    • #3
      Soldering is not rocket science. It requires a decent soldering iron (you typically get what you pay for), a properly tinned tip, and sometimes a little acid flux of the liquid or paste variety to effect a proper bond.

      Check out the following link for a useful tutorial:

      http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solder/

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      • #4
        TBH, all you'll get without soldering is dodgy connections. SITM has some very useful advice!

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        • #5
          Well, nothing is better than soldering for this application. But, maybe you should look into conductive glues -- search google for options. Try to find something with a very low electrical resistance.

          Whatever you do, you really need a solid connection because you are hitting your drums with sticks and creating lots of vibration. You don't want the vibration to create any intermittent connections because that will cause intermittent triggering.

          -SD-

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          • #6
            I supose you could twine the cables together and dawb it in hot glue or an epoxy of some sort. That way, you'd be holding the wires together, and stopping the wires moving about too much as well. Whether that would prove reliable in the long run is another matter. Obviously, you couldn't attach the wire to the piezo using that method. As long as the piezo wires were pre-attached, it might work.

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            • #7
              I gotta agree with stickinthemud here. Get a fairly decent soldering iron, read the online tutorials, and spend a little time PRACTICING on scraps of wire, old jacks, etc. But seriously - you need a decent soldering iron. I've bought the cheap ones online for $5. They suck and don't last. I've used what was once a decent iron that was getting old and not working so well. In both cases it was not a fun experience. The results were not good... In other words, the problem may not be you, but your equipment.

              I do a lot of soldering, so I finally bought Weller's most basic soldering station, the Weller WLC100. You can spend a fortune on industrial-type soldering stations (designed for people who are working all day soldering), but I find the WLC100 works fine for me (a hobbyist). What a difference it makes!! The temperature is adjustable, so I can do everything from fine PC board work to soldering on the back of a guitar control pot (it accepts different tips, as well). If you don't want to go this route, then buy a good quality pencil-type iron. I would recommend 30-35 watts, but opinions vary. You could also check out this one on ebay. Also, the third hand or "helping hand" gizmos can make a difference, too (anyone who's fought that battle without the right tool to hold things knows what I'm talking about), and you may be able to snag one at a dollar store or someplace like that.

              Stick with it and practice. Soldering is by far the cheapest and most reliable once you get the hang of it!
              Roland TD-10exp, DIY 13" snare, DIY toms, DIY mesh Bass Trigger, Roland CY-15r, CY-8, CY-5, and Pintech PC cymbals

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              • #8
                Solder Stations

                Hiya, that's great advice about the stations and third hands, never knew they made them! last night i was soldering wires onto a jack connector, i held the iron on the tag for ages and the solder would not melt to catch the wire, i ended up putting solder on the iron itself to melt, i gather that's wrong? is it me? or maybe the iron? how long should it take for a tag to heat? it's an old iron ...

                Many thanks

                ps original question, i get piezos with the tails already on and squeeze a tiny tiny bit of Superglue on the joint to secure them as they always seem to fly off and when i try and solder them on it's blob city ...

                If ya really desperate you could use crimps to extend from the short piezo tails to the jack and crocodile clip them to the tags lol he he ... BUT of course "you can't beat a good joint" erm yeah ...
                Last edited by daveybabes; 05-29-08, 03:12 AM.
                WEBSITE - http://www.diamondelectronicdrums.com/
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                FACEBOOK me at ... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...83235555050736
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by daveybabes View Post
                  Hiya, that's great advice about the stations and third hands, never knew they made them! last night i was soldering wires onto a jack connector, i held the iron on the tag for ages and the solder would not melt to catch the wire, i ended up putting solder on the iron itself to melt, i gather that's wrong? is it me? or maybe the iron? how long should it take for a tag to heat? it's an old iron ....... BUT of course "you can't beat a good joint" erm yeah ...
                  A few soldering tips Daveybabes -

                  * Make sure your iron is thoroughly warmed up before you start. The solder should melt instantly and easily as soon as it touches the tip once at operating temperature.

                  * Make sure the tip is clean between soldering each connection by wiping it on a damp (not soaking wet) sponge

                  * Tin the tip with a small amount of solder, tin the connector to be soldered without the wire attached with a small amount of solder, tin the wire in the same manner without it attached to the connector.
                  (Tinning is the process of coating the connectors and wire with a thin layer of solder)

                  * Wipe the iron tip clean on the sponge and re-tin with another small amount of solder.

                  * place the wire in position on the connector and heat both with the iron, applying another small amount of solder. The two should 'fuse' together easily. Hold until the joint solidifies.

                  If you are having trouble with the tinning of the jack connector, try scraping it lightly with a sharp knife or some very fine sandpaper (fine wet and dry is ideal). If that fails, your iron may not be hot enough.
                  Make sure you are using flux core solder.

                  Once done, sit back, relax and share the joint

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                  • #10
                    Here's some no-soldering products in action. I happened to have these leftover from some other project years ago so I can't actually tell you what they are called or provide part numbers. But they're simple insulated crimp connectors. Stick the wire in, crimp using the appropriate gauge section of the crimp tool, crush it down, and the wire isn't going to come out and has to be cut to be removed. Repeat on the other side of the connector for whatever you're connecting the piezo leads to. I believe I bought them at Radio Shack so you could print the picture, take it in, and I'm sure they'd get you the right product.

                    I don't have any type of crimp connector that would provide a solid connection to the 1/4" jack though. But I'm sure they make them as well.

                    Note I'm not advocating this over soldering. Just providing the information. Though I see no reason why this product won't provide years of solid connections.

                    Personally, if I had to do it all over again I'd buy bare piezos with no leads, 1/4" jacks, and a big spool of wire so I could have a nice unbroken continuous wire from the jack to the piezo.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gastric View Post
                      .......Personally, if I had to do it all over again I'd buy bare piezos with no leads, 1/4" jacks, and a big spool of wire so I could have a nice unbroken continuous wire from the jack to the piezo.
                      That is almost exactly what I do except the piezo's I get have wires on them which I remove prior to adding my own. I bought a big spool of coloured ribbon wire (usually used for data applications) for a ridiculously low price and it is purrfect for DIY drum projects.

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                      • #12
                        Uhhhhhh!!! I hadn't actually ever considered REMOVING the included wire leads. HAHA! That's so much more simple than soldering more wire to the leads, heat shrink wrapping the connections, yadda yadda.

                        It's funny how your mind often overlooks the simplest solutions sometimes.

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                        • #13
                          LOL .... too true about the simple things Gastric..... wood for the trees?

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                          • #14
                            Solder tips

                            If those connectors work perfectly over time then that may be fine. However solder is the standard for a reason. As previously stated a good iron is essential. The soldering station mentioned earlier is handy but you can definitely get by with just the $20 iron http://www.technicaldevices.com/Deta...?ProdID=330561
                            but you need one at least this good and you need 60/40 rosin core solder. Most soldering problems are from cheap irons and/or lead-free solder. Then read a bit of tips online and practice for 5- 10 minutes. The beautiful thing is that once you get the knack you've got it for life. These irons will start to wear out after 10 - 20 hours = don't leave them on when not in use. It's fun to solder once you get it!

                            I would NOT glue the connections as proposed. Solder is metal and electricity only flows through metal. Soldering can be easily learned by all.
                            Last edited by Nimbuzz; 07-01-08, 10:50 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Good soldering skills take a bit of practice. By the way, there are various conductive epoxies made. I've used these in the past to attach microwave leadless chips to hybrid substrates (this was in commercial stuff). It's kinda like gluing the parts together - actually, that's exactly what it is. I wouldn't recommend it for this, just practice your soldering.

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