Types of Electrical Connections: Soldering

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on December 27, 2011
Last Updated on Friday, July 17, 2015 at 3:24 PM
Total Updates: 6

One of the best ways to make an electrical connection is by soldering your connection. It makes the best electrical connection because of its low-impedance, corrosion-resistance and its physically strong connection. Only use 60/40 (60 percent tin, 40 percent lead) rosin-core solder and be sure to clean your connection thoroughly of dirt and corrosion. Re-tin the tip of your soldering iron periodically. Do this by coating the tip of the soldering iron with solder and brushing off the excess with a cloth until it is smooth and silvery. When soldering, always heat the connection, not the solder. To heat the connection, use the side of the soldering iron tip, not the point. When finished, your solder joint should be smooth and silvery, not rough and gray. Rough and gray joints are called "cold" joints because not enough heat was used to melt the solder. Make sure to always resolder cold joints.

To insulate a solder joint, you can use either electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing. Heat-shrink tubing is preferred because it doesn't fall apart over time. Heat-shrink tubing is a tube of insulation that shrinks when heated. To use heat-shrink tubing you must first slide the heat-shrink tubing onto the wire before soldering. Then when your soldering is complete, you can slide the heat-shrink tubing over the solder joint. Then heat the tube with a butane lighter or heat gun until it shrinks to conform to the connection.

References
Rumreich, Mark. Car Stereo Cookbook, Second Edition. New York:
    McGraw-Hill, 2005. Print

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