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  • Soldering wires to piezos.

    After completing my MegaDrum I wanted to make a trigger for testing.
    But I don't know how to solder my piezo. Hope you guys can help me out.


    All the piezo I have seen have a round ceramic center and an golden rim. The redwire (+) goes on the ceramic stuff and the black wire (-) goes on the golden rim.
    My piezo have a ceramic center with a bowling pin shape cut out. This shape confuses me, I don't know where to solder the red wire.
    Should it go on the bowling pin or on the other ceramic part.
    (The piezo are 27mm.)

    Did some tests with my multimeter set on 20V DC.
    I got readings ranging from 1 to 5 volts from both ceramics parts.


    BTW, does anyone know how to solder a wire to the rim?
    I had a hard time getting my solder to stick to the rim.
    Attached Files
    100% DIY!
    MegaDrum 2.8 kit and a DIY e-kit.

  • #2
    Originally posted by CyberFly View Post
    My piezo have a ceramic center with a bowling pin shape cut out. This shape confuses me, I don't know where to solder the red wire.
    Should it go on the bowling pin or on the other ceramic part.
    (The piezo are 27mm.)


    BTW, does anyone know how to solder a wire to the rim?
    I had a hard time getting my solder to stick to the rim.
    It should go "on the other ceramic part" That little bowling pin area is the exciter cirquit... not needed for what you are doing.

    Soldering to the brass... your soldering iron may not be hot enough... the brass takes more heat than the ceramic to get the solder to flow. A good way to solder the wire to either brass or piezo is to "tin" (melt some solder on) the wire first. Do the same thing with the brass or ceramic.... heat the surface until a small bead of solder adheres. Next step is to press the tinned wire against the solder bead with the solder iron and heat until the wire melts into the solder.
    I could tell you where to stick that piezo! ;)
    Stealthdrums.com Mega Kit: Powered by the TD-50 and 2ea. 2Box modules, drums and cymbals too many to count. VST quality sounds loaded into and played directly from the 2Box modules. Visit me anytime at: http://stealthdrums.com/

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info.
      Now I can build a trigger to test my MegaDrum!
      100% DIY!
      MegaDrum 2.8 kit and a DIY e-kit.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JmanWord View Post
        Soldering to the brass... your soldering iron may not be hot enough... the brass takes more heat than the ceramic to get the solder to flow. A good way to solder the wire to either brass or piezo is to "tin" (melt some solder on) the wire first. Do the same thing with the brass or ceramic.... heat the surface until a small bead of solder adheres. Next step is to press the tinned wire against the solder bead with the solder iron and heat until the wire melts into the solder.
        Sorry to hijack this thread.

        I'm always afraid of overheating the part I'm soldering to - 1/4" jack or piezo. Can a piezo be overheated and ruined? I've always bought piezos from Digi-Key WITH the leads already soldered on and a drop of glue put over the point of contact. But, I've read a few posts here about the extremely thin gauge wire coming off due to vibration. If I were to solder wires to the piezo myself, where do I place the iron on the ceramic to heat it up? My soldering iron has a "wedge" tip, about 1/4" wide. Maybe I need a finer tip?

        Thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tomlin View Post
          Sorry to hijack this thread.

          I'm always afraid of overheating the part I'm soldering to - 1/4" jack or piezo. Can a piezo be overheated and ruined? I've always bought piezos from Digi-Key WITH the leads already soldered on and a drop of glue put over the point of contact. But, I've read a few posts here about the extremely thin gauge wire coming off due to vibration. If I were to solder wires to the piezo myself, where do I place the iron on the ceramic to heat it up? My soldering iron has a "wedge" tip, about 1/4" wide. Maybe I need a finer tip?

          Thanks.
          I have a gun for soldering with that type of tip... it is 75 Watt, more than you need probably but it works perfect for me:
          http://www.amazon.com/Weller-7200PK-.../dp/B00002N5JU

          Yes you can overheat piezo ceramic... this is where technique and practice come in. This subject has been discussed at length many times in the DIY forum here. Here is one off site tutorial on soldering:
          http://www.mediacollege.com/misc/solder/

          A video on basic soldering: (I use a much smaller diameter solder than this guy for piezo soldering and prefer solder with Silver)
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLfXXRfRIzY
          Last edited by JmanWord; 05-03-09, 02:59 PM.
          I could tell you where to stick that piezo! ;)
          Stealthdrums.com Mega Kit: Powered by the TD-50 and 2ea. 2Box modules, drums and cymbals too many to count. VST quality sounds loaded into and played directly from the 2Box modules. Visit me anytime at: http://stealthdrums.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            I think there’s a little more than basic technique involved when soldering piezo’s.
            In DIY piezo’s are the hardest when it comes to soldering, the edge of a piezo is very hard to solder because you need to put a lot of heat into it to get the solder to flow.
            The ceramic however is easier to solder but also very easy to damage.

            The ceramic is covered with a very thin layer of silver, the melting point of solder lies very close to that of silver, the problem is that if you solder to long the solder will melt the silver on the ceramic around your solder pad and your wire will not be connected to the rest of the ceramic.

            According to specifications of piezo manufacturers the max solder time on the ceramic is 0.5 of a second! the edge however can take 3 seconds.

            This is how to solder the ceramic, with your solder iron (25-40 watt), put a small drop of solder close to the edge of the ceramic and move away immediately, now put a stripped and thinned lead on top of the drop and press lightly with the iron until the top of the drop melts, move away immediately!

            Story’s about nice shiny solder contacts don’t apply here!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by r0bbie View Post
              I think there’s a little more than basic technique involved when soldering piezo’s.
              In DIY piezo’s are the hardest when it comes to soldering, the edge of a piezo is very hard to solder because you need to put a lot of heat into it to get the solder to flow.
              The ceramic however is easier to solder but also very easy to damage.

              The ceramic is covered with a very thin layer of silver, the melting point of solder lies very close to that of silver, the problem is that if you solder to long the solder will melt the silver on the ceramic around your solder pad and your wire will not be connected to the rest of the ceramic.

              According to specifications of piezo manufacturers the max solder time on the ceramic is 0.5 of a second! the edge however can take 3 seconds.

              This is how to solder the ceramic, with your solder iron (25-40 watt), put a small drop of solder close to the edge of the ceramic and move away immediately, now put a stripped and thinned lead on top of the drop and press lightly with the iron until the top of the drop melts, move away immediately!

              Story’s about nice shiny solder contacts don’t apply here!
              Good info.... like I say covered many many times from when this DIY forum opened here at vdrums.com. I've done hundreds of piezos exactly like this... with the exception I've got hundreds of hours in so I can use a higher watt iron with perfect results, but only because of that practice. So, I will add that PRACTICE is important. Buy a few extra piezos and practice.

              For those using piezos with leads already attached a simple way to solder new leads is to remove the existing wires.... I remove them by simply wiggling them back and forth a few times and breaking them off... they break off easily and that is why you want to replace them. After removing the existing wires tin your new wire... stranded is the way to go here. I use 22 gauge, choice is varied, but just be sure to limit yourself to a size wire that is not going to be so massive it is larger than convenient for going in a slot on your foam. After tinning the new wire press the new wire lead against the existing solder on the piezo with your iron, heat until the wire melts into the solder and pull the heat off immediately.

              We'll make this thread a sticky, so it won't be necessary to use the search engine for this info in the future....
              I could tell you where to stick that piezo! ;)
              Stealthdrums.com Mega Kit: Powered by the TD-50 and 2ea. 2Box modules, drums and cymbals too many to count. VST quality sounds loaded into and played directly from the 2Box modules. Visit me anytime at: http://stealthdrums.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks guys.

                I checked out some of the soldering links (on youtube) that I found here, but didn't find anything specifically on piezos. I didn't realize the ceramic was covered with silver. I wondered how the solder stuck to it.

                I thought about breaking the leads on my piezos and resoldering using the existing "lump" of solder, but, there's epoxy over the soldering point. Do you suppose the epoxy would keep the leads from vibrating loose?

                Well, I have a few trashed piezos I can practice with I guess

                Have a good one!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tomlin View Post
                  Thanks guys.


                  I thought about breaking the leads on my piezos and resoldering using the existing "lump" of solder, but, there's epoxy over the soldering point. Do you suppose the epoxy would keep the leads from vibrating loose?
                  The epoxy won't coat the new wire. The epoxy melts when soldering the new wire. I always put a tiny bit of hot glue over my new wire connections when finished. Be sure your new wire is "tinned" and your tip is "tinned" when melting the new wire into the solder.
                  I could tell you where to stick that piezo! ;)
                  Stealthdrums.com Mega Kit: Powered by the TD-50 and 2ea. 2Box modules, drums and cymbals too many to count. VST quality sounds loaded into and played directly from the 2Box modules. Visit me anytime at: http://stealthdrums.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here is a short video of me soldering wires to a piezo sensor. I'm no expert at soldering, but seems pretty easy to do.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI3tTF3hv2c
                    MY DIY Drums

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                    • #11
                      i am having trouble soldering the edge of my piezo.
                      i believe it is stainless steel.
                      the solder wont even stick onto it.
                      Kits : RMP-5 practice kit, td-6

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by xnonox View Post
                        i am having trouble soldering the edge of my piezo.
                        i believe it is stainless steel.
                        the solder wont even stick onto it.
                        Sometimes it takes some pretty good heat to get the edge to adhere. How many watts is your iron?
                        sigpic JerEd Systems, LED drum triggers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The easiest and fastest way I have found is this. http://www.wireglue.us/

                          It works just as well as solder without having to worry about ruining the piezo.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jman 31 View Post
                            Sometimes it takes some pretty good heat to get the edge to adhere. How many watts is your iron?
                            actually i dont know,
                            i just use a cheap basic iron that i bought from radiashack
                            Kits : RMP-5 practice kit, td-6

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I use this soldering paste, it makes this kind of soldering a breeze.
                              http://www.panelectronics.cz/index.p...s=1&epc=165018

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