soldering headphone cables

Thread Starter

jut

Joined Aug 25, 2007
224
Hello everybody,

I'm repairing headphones for a friend; the right channel keeps dieing because of broken connection within the plug. So I cut open cable, stripped it back and found some strange wire. The wire is wrapped around what appears to be very fine strands of cloth. And to make matters worse, the wire, which is stranded, has, I think, an enamel coating. When I tried to tin the end of a wire, solder would not flow onto it. Has anybody worked with this stuff?
 

beenthere

Joined Apr 20, 2004
15,819
Yes, it's a kind of tinsel used for low power applications. It will not solder unless you get very lucky. You may be able to make repairs with conductive paint, the kind you get for reworking PCB's.

Probably cheaper to get new headphones.
 

thingmaker3

Joined May 16, 2005
5,084
The wire is wrapped around what appears to be very fine strands of cloth. And to make matters worse, the wire, which is stranded, has, I think, an enamel coating.
Jeez, I hate that stuff. The only success I've had with it is to use a bit of xylol to dissolve anything not copper. Messy, smelly, unpleasant, and downright not fun. Even then, there's only a tiny thickness of massively misbehaving stranded copper to solder.
 

Thread Starter

jut

Joined Aug 25, 2007
224
So I ended up sanding the wire with emery cloth to remove the enamel coating and expose the copper. Even then it did solder easily.

I also tried soaking the wire in de-natured alcohol for 1 hr, but that didn't do crap.

Thanks for replying.
 
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