XLR fixing issue

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jgimbel
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XLR fixing issue

Post by jgimbel » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:29 pm

I'm trying to fix some XLR cables that have bad connections on the male end. I get everything soldered fine, but since the pins are relatively loose, when I slide the outside back on, the pins aren't straight, so it's tough to plug the cable in. On the first one I melted a little of the plastic which let one of the pins move, and isn't so fixable.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent this from happening, other than just trying harder? I'm not bad at soldering itself, just the working space is so small and my soldering iron is a little big for the job. Anything you folks can suggest, other than getting a smaller soldering iron?

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Phiz
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Post by Phiz » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:49 pm

When soldering them, have it plugged into a female XLR. This serves three purposes:

1 - keeps the pins straight in case you melt the plastic a bit

2 - Acts as a heat sink by providing some additional metal.

3 - gives you something bigger to hold onto/put in your vise/lay on the table while soldering.

Don't give up, it is a skill worth having!

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:52 pm

Phiz wrote:When soldering them, have it plugged into a female XLR. This serves three purposes:

1 - keeps the pins straight in case you melt the plastic a bit

2 - Acts as a heat sink by providing some additional metal.

3 - gives you something bigger to hold onto/put in your vise/lay on the table while soldering.

Don't give up, it is a skill worth having!
Fucking DUH! Why didn't I think of that like 10 years ago. I've fucked up so many male XLRs.
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Post by jgimbel » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:57 pm

oh man, awesome! thank you so much, what a great idea!

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Post by jgimbel » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:40 pm

unrelated to the issue i asked about but related to fixing cords, is there any reason that an XLR cord might not work even if the ends are soldered correctly? I just resoldered both ends on some cables and neither of them are making a sound or showing any signal in my cable tester. the connections look good, no different than every other cord that I've fixed. Am I just screwing up without knowing it, or is it possible there's something else other than this that could be wrong? I've got a box of cables to fix for a guy and so far I've done 4, 1 fixed fine just like when I've fixed my own cables, but there have been 2 so far that after doing both ends still have no signal, while another gets a signal but when you move the cord it buzzes like crazy, but I can't move any of the soldering joints at all, so it doesn't make sense to me why it would buzz when moved. Blerg..

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Post by RodC » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:05 pm

On the female side, make sure the sockets are not too lose, pretty common as they get older.... Dang lots of jokes there.... o well another board.

You may have a broken wire inside the insulation., pretty common right down at the end of the cable. Did you try removing about 6" of cable and resoldering it?

Get out the ole ohm meter and figure out which connection it is, that my help you figure out whats going on.
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Post by jgimbel » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:53 pm

Awesome, thanks guys!

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Post by Scodiddly » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:57 pm

What's your soldering iron? A good regulated solder station is a very nice thing to have, but a decent Weller or whatever with at least 35 watts is OK. In general you want it hot, so you can make the solder joint quickly. If the iron is too cool you'll have to leave the iron on the connector too long, and it'll start melting plastic.

I used to use a 40 watt iron with a lamp dimmer - if it got too hot I could turn it down a bit.

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Post by The Scum » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:39 pm

A second on doublechecking iron temperature.

You want it just hot enough to more or less instantly melt solder, so you can work quickly. Too cold, and it takes too long to melt the lead, so you melt plastic, too. Too hot, and everything burns up.

Maybe I'm old and grumpy, but I really prefer a temperature controlled iron - I can do much more exact work with it.

A little bit of flux can help remelt the old solder too...it often oxidizes and resists heat - the flux cuts through the oxidization.

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Post by RodC » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:46 pm

The Scum wrote: Maybe I'm old and grumpy, but I really prefer a temperature controlled iron - I can do much more exact work with it.
I guess Im old and grumpy too... I havnt used a non temp controled since about '83. I dont know how you live without one.

I just re read your post, If you are getting them hot enough that the pins are moving you are spending too much time on the piece.
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Post by Scodiddly » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:07 pm

The Scum wrote:A little bit of flux can help remelt the old solder too...it often oxidizes and resists heat - the flux cuts through the oxidization.
A very good point. Even a touch of the iron to the coil of solder can make a huge difference, because the solder acts as a heat transfer fluid and carries some flux with it. When I'm working with difficult situations I'll often take a little bit of fresh solder on the iron before hitting the workpiece, just because it works much better that way - even if I immediately wipe that blob of solder off the iron.

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Post by RodC » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:37 pm

Scodiddly wrote:
The Scum wrote:A little bit of flux can help remelt the old solder too...it often oxidizes and resists heat - the flux cuts through the oxidization.
A very good point. Even a touch of the iron to the coil of solder can make a huge difference, because the solder acts as a heat transfer fluid and carries some flux with it.
You should always have a blob of solder on your iron (Not huge, but not just a light coat), without it the heat will transfer very slow. A lot of ppl think that tinning your tip is putting the solder on and wiping it off, you have to leave some on there, think wet mitt when you get somthing hot out of the oven, the heat transfers realll fast to your fingers.

When you pick up your iron:
1 Wipe the tip on wet sponge (This cleans old flux that got too hot while it was in the holder off the tip.)
2 tin the tip with a bit of solder
3 heat piece with iron (Solder on tip transfers the heat from the tip to the piece), apply solder to piece (Use the side of the tip, there is no heat and not enough area at the very end to transfer heat, unless its a real small piece.)

When you put the iron in the holder clean it off again

Its all about heat transfer...
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