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Connecting very fine wire to larger wires

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PED
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Connecting very fine wire to larger wires
Posted by PED on Friday, January 04, 2019 9:45 PM

I have some pre-wired surface mount LEDs that have 36 ga wire leads that I want to use in signal heads. They are a RGY LED thus have 4 leads. I need to connect them to a heavier wire such as 24ga Cat5. I do not know yet what the wire coating is.  If I can do this successufly, I will want to do this for a bunch of LED's so I need a method that is not too difficult.

Would prefer some type of connector but have not been able to find anything on web that might work for wire this small.

Suggestions?

Paul D

N scale Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Southern Oklahoma circa late 70's

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, January 04, 2019 11:33 PM

My choice would be a soldering iron and some heat shrink tubing.

Wayne

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, January 05, 2019 1:35 AM

I agree with Wayne. Soldering them and using heat shrink tubing is probably the best way to go.

The wires will either be varnished or they will be coated with plastic of some sort. Varnish is clear and the plastic is opaque.

If it is plastic the easiest way to strip it it to pinch the wire with your fingernail and just pull on the wire. Usually the insulation will break and slide off. This can be hard to do with some teflon coated wires.

If the insulation is varnish then you can burn it off with a hot soldering iron. Just remember to clean the tip before trying to do any soldering.

If you want to be able to disconnect the LEDs you can make your own micro connectors. Here is a thread where RRMel shows how to make them:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/p/271785/3088859.aspx#3088859

Dave

 

 

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 05, 2019 10:23 AM

 The fine wire is usually what's called magnet wire, because the other use is in making eletromagnet and transformer coils, the isulation is usually an enamel coating. You can scrape it off witht he edge of a knife, but it also melts off under soldering temperatures so usually you cna get away with doing nothing but soldering it to something thicker. Using some flux when soldering will help clean the wire.

                               --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, January 05, 2019 11:19 AM

I did that some years ago with some 1.5 volt light bulbs using the same type magnet wire. Soldering iron stripped the insulation just fine. Wrapped a few turns around #30 decoder wire and some small shrink.

Trivia.

There use to be a company back many years ago that sold a small bottle of chemical designed to strip enameled covered wire but it must have been toxic. I remembered it did smell awful. Might have been in the 1950's when I started using electronics winding coils. Quick dip, wipe with rag insulation gone.

I believe it was called "Strip-X. EPA banned it. Some company now uses that name in it's paint stripper. I cannot remember the company that sold some electronic products in the same small bottles at the time. Google no help so far.

Rich

N

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 05, 2019 11:53 AM

 Lacquer thinner or a decent (not water based) paint stripper will probbaly do it, at least soften it up enough with a quick dip that rubbing it through a paper towl will strip off the coating.

 The old way without chemicals was to pull it through sandpaper. But that was usually for connecting it to something without soldering, like a screw terminal, since the heat of soldering is usually good enough.

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, January 05, 2019 12:24 PM

PED

I have some pre-wired surface mount LEDs that have 36 ga wire leads that I want to use in signal heads. They are a RGY LED thus have 4 leads. I need to connect them to a heavier wire such as 24ga Cat5. I do not know yet what the wire coating is.  If I can do this successufly, I will want to do this for a bunch of LED's so I need a method that is not too difficult.

Would prefer some type of connector but have not been able to find anything on web that might work for wire this small.

Suggestions?

Lightly tin the larger wire. Smear or brush a thin layer of flux on the tinned end. Touch the wire with a hot iron. Hold it there and wait a second or two until the flux starts to fizzle. Touch the hot tinned wire with the thin magnet wire (either stripped or not as previously described). Remove iron. Hold three seconds. Go on to the next connection. Easy.

I haven't insulated these connections on my layout with shrink wrap. There are about 200 of them. Probably foolish of me (and certainly lazy), but that's what I did. Dr Wayne suggests to do so, and I agree.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


PED
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Posted by PED on Saturday, January 05, 2019 7:41 PM

Since no one offered a connector of any type, I guess solder is the way I will go. I like the sounds of Roberts suggestion so I will try that first.

Paul D

N scale Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Southern Oklahoma circa late 70's

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 05, 2019 9:22 PM

 There really aren;t any crimp type connectors that support such varying wire sizes, plus you would need to make sure the enamel coating was removed from the wire.

 If you want some sort of connector where you cna plug an dunplug things, you could solder the fine wires to a plug or socket, and solder the bigger wires too the opposite mating piece. Or solder the fine wires to the thicker wires, then insert whatever sort of connector you like in the thicker wire, since there are more choices of connectors that will work with the thicker wire.

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

PED
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  • 538 posts
Posted by PED on Saturday, January 05, 2019 9:51 PM

Rndy....I was thinking of that approach by using some of the small JST connectors I am useing elsewhere on my layout. My concern was the small wire connection to the pins that get inserted into the connectors. I was afraid that the wires would break off easily with no strain relief from shrink tubing since I don't think I can get the pins into the connectors with shring tubing applied. That is why I think I can solder on a short piece of larger wire (with some shrink wrap) and then use the larger wire in a tradtional connector.

These will be used in signals that I want to build on my workbench then take to the layout for installation. I need a connector in the loop.

Paul D

N scale Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Southern Oklahoma circa late 70's

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, January 05, 2019 11:13 PM

Paul, did you look at the link I posted to RRMel's home made connectors? They will do what you want for pennies each.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/p/271785/3088859.aspx#3088859

Dave

PED
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Posted by PED on Sunday, January 06, 2019 4:51 PM

Dave,

I did not see any posting from you at that link so I am not sure what you are refering to. However, I think I have a solution along the lines of what Randy said. I can solder the 36 ga wire to a circuit board type connector and have enough room to slide a piece of shrink wrap over the pin thus giving me the strain relief I wanted on the 36 ga wire. 

I am going to a train show in Plano TX in 2 weeks and they have a Fry's there that I intend to visit. Fry's offers a ton of tiny connectors that I can browse thru and pick out the best solution. I have used the "break apart" pin style before as a connector so I will look at those or anything else they have.

Paul D

N scale Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Southern Oklahoma circa late 70's

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 9,136 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 06, 2019 8:22 PM

PED
I did not see any posting from you at that link so I am not sure what you are refering to.

Hi Paul,

Sorry, I should have made the reference clearer. I wasn't referring you to one of my posts. I was referring to one of RRMel's posts where he has a link to his method of making micro connectors. Here is a direct link. Scroll down:

http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/2017/12/december-15-2017-micro-connector-update.html

Here is where he buys the header pins:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2060353.m570.l1311.R1.TR5.TRC0.A0.H0.X2.54mm.TRS0&_nkw=2.54mm+pin+header&_sacat=0

I have used the same methods many times. Mel does a better job of explaining it.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, January 06, 2019 9:01 PM

 I think that may be what Paul means when he says PCB connectors. That's what those header pins are usually used for.

 Buying from eBay may be cheaper, but man, I wish we had Fry's or something like that around here. Though in some places, Fry's is going the way Radio Shcak did and don;t have the electronic parts selection any more - but even in their heyday, Radio Shack didn;t have the selection of a Fry's. It's been at least 30 years since there was a real electronics parts supplier anywhere near me - the kind of place where they would have ALL popular parts in stock, and only truly oddball components would have to be ordered. I remember getting a repalcement CPU for my first computer at one such place. IN STOCK. I think Radio Shack once had 8080 CPUs as a stock item - years after anyone was building 8080 based computers! 

                                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

PED
  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • 538 posts
Posted by PED on Monday, January 07, 2019 8:10 AM

Dave,

The second link is the mico PCB pins I was refering to but I am open to other similar options. I hope that Fry's has a good selection to consider when I get there.

Paul D

N scale Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Southern Oklahoma circa late 70's

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