Repair Cables and Connectors in the Field to Keep the Show going
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[pic][pic]Jan 15, 2009 Richard Mudhar
Basic soldering skills help musiciansand road crew to make minor repairs on site to keep the show on the road.
Anybody who uses music equipment in the field should consider learning how to solder . Most of theproblems that occur in gear that is moved about a lot can be traced to poor connections. Knowing how to resolder dodgy connections can make the difference between a minor panic and the loss of the wholeshow.
For soldering connectors and signal-carrying cables, a soldering iron of between 25 and 50 Watts is needed. The cheapest soldering irons are thermally balanced - the power matchesheat loss to the air such that the soldering iron tip reches approximately the right temperature. This works well for soldering connectors and cables, but struggles where the joint includes largemetal parts that conduct away the heat, lowering the tip temperature. Such an iron should be about 25-30W
More expensive temperature controlled irons power the element only until the tip reaches theright temperature, and thereafter power is applied to maintain that temperature. These are easier to work with as they hold their temperature more closely to the optimum.
Theideal soldering tip temperature depends on the type of solder that is being used and the type of iron. For the older type of tin-lead solder with a melting point of about 188 C (370F) the soldering irontemperature ranges between 330 to 350 C (630 to 660F). However, particularly in Europe with the ROHS regulations which forbid the use of tin/lead solder, tin/silver solders are used instead. These havea poorer performance than the older tin/lead types. These need a higher temperature of about 370C (~700F)
Only electronics type solder should be used, with internal flux cores. This has a...