EL Wire Tips & Info

How To Solder A Connector To El Wire

11/17/2008 by Andrew Lytwyn with ThatsCoolWire.com

HOW TO SOLDER A CONNECTOR ONTO YOUR EL WIRE

We highly recommend watching our video "How To Solder A Connector Onto Your El Wire" and then coming back here while actually soldering.

This is a very detailed step by step section explaining and showing you how to solder a connector or lead wire to your el wire.  By learning these steps it will save you money as well as

STEP # 1

STEP # 1

In Step # 1 you need to remove a 1/2 inch to 3/4 of an inch of the outer el wire jacket as shown above.  You can use standard wire stripper or automatic wire strippers to accomplish this.  The most IMPORTANT part of this process is you can NOT break either of the two small hair thin wires shown in this picture and you do NOT scrape off any of the white phosphorus coating off of the center core wire.

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STEP # 2

STEP # 2

In Step # 2 all you need to do is cut the center core wire and you want to cut a little more then half of it about 60% as shown in step # 2 above.  Very IMPORTANT do NOT cut the two (2) small hair thin wire as show above just leave then alone.

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STEP # 3

STEP # 3

In Step # 3 all you need to do is scrape off between 1/6" to 1/8" of the phosphorus coating as shown in Step # 3 above.  You can use a razor blade or your wire strippers and all you are doing is scraping off the thin outer coating of phosphorus and it will just scrape or flake off.

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STEP # 4

STEP # 4

In Step # 4 all you need to do is take your needle nose pliers and bend the exposed center core wire into a hook as shown in Step # 4 above.  The most important part of this step is to make sure the exposed wire of your hook is not touching or is very close to the two (2) small hair thin wire.  Make your hook just like above and you will be in great shape.  

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STEP # 5


STEP # 5

In Step # 5 we are showing you the el wire on the left side and our Male connector on the right side.  In this step we want to solder the shortest of the two connector wires to the hook (center core wire) that you made in Step # 4.  IMPORTANT please note the details in this picture the Male connector on the right side has one shorter wire and it is shown touching the hook.  Please also note you will see a small piece of black shrink tubing that we put on the shortest connector wire prior to attaching it to the center hook wire this is extremely IMPORTANT.  The last thing to notice is the second connector wire which is longer (closest to the ruler on top) you do not have to do anything with it at this time.   

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STEP # 6


STEP # 6

In Step # 6 the only thing that needs to be done is to completely wrap the shortest connector around the center core hook wire as shown.

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STEP # 7

STEP # 7

In Step # 7 we are showing you that we soldered the shortest connector wire that you just wrapped around the center core hook wire.  IMPORTANT when making this solder connection please make sure the small shrink tubing in not close to the solder area.  Shrink tubing shrinks next to heat and that is why you do not want it near your solder connection.

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STEP # 8

STEP # 8

In Step # 8 once the solder connection has cooled down then you can slide the shrink tubing over the solder connection as well as the remaining exposed phosphorus coating as shown above.  The most IMPORTANT part is to make sure you slide on the shrink tubing prior to making your solder connection as shown in Step # 5.

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STEP # 9


STEP # 9

In Step # 9 we are showing you that a second piece of shrink tubing has been placed over the first piece (see difference between Step # 8 and this step).  IMPORTANT when placing and shrinking the second piece of shrink tubing MAKE sure the two (2) small hair thin el wires are on the left side or el wire side AND make sure the second piece of shrink tubing overlaps the outer jacket of the el wire by about an 1/8 of an inch to 3/16 of an inch.  You can see that the left side of the second piece of shrink tubing shows the outline of the el wire jacket that was covered. 

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STEP # 10

STEP # 10

In Step # 10 we are taking the second connector wire (the longest of the two connector wires) and wrapping it around the shrink tubing.  This is very IMPORTANT make sure you do NOT wrap the second connector wire around the el wire jacket.  This picture is showing that before you start to wrap the second connector wire around the shrink tubing you should fold / move the two (2) small hair thin wires to the right and then start to wrap the connector wire around the shrink tubing.  In this picture the two (2) small hair thin wires are under the connector wires. 

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STEP # 11

STEP # 11

In Step # 11 we are showing you that we have completely wrapped the second connector wire completely around the shrink tubing and the two (2) small hair thin wires are still waiting to be wrapped.

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STEP # 12

STEP # 12

In Step # 12 we are showing you that we are now wrapping the two (2) small hair thin wires around the connector wire.

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STEP # 13

STEP # 13

In Step # 13 we are showing you that both the connector wire and the two (2) small hair thin wires are all soldered together.  Look close and you can see the two (2) small hair thin wires on the left edge of the shrink tubing and el wire jacket.  This is a PERFECT solder connection.

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STEP # 14

STEP # 14

In Step # 14 we are showing you that we have slid on the last piece of shrink tubing (the largest size in our 5-Pack) and then heated it with our heat gun.  Our shrink tubing has adhesive glue in the center so when you heat it the glue melts and the shrink tubing shrinks and when it cools it hardens giving you a great solid solder connection with great protection.  If you look close you can see the glue coming out on the edges of the shrink tubing.

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STEP # 15

STEP # 15

In Step # 15 we are now dealing with the other end of the el wire.  The end of the el wire with the connector is complete and now we have to put the end cap on.  In Step # 15 above we have removed approximately 1/8 of an inch of the outer el wire jacket ONLY.  If done correctly you will be left with the center core wire and the two (2) small hair thin wires.

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STEP # 16

STEP # 16

In Step # 16 we pulled with our needle nose pliers the two (2) small hair thin wires off, you can also cut them off with a razor blade but make sure you do NOT scrape any of the white coating off the center core wire.

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STEP # 17

STEP # 17

In Step # 17 we cut off most of the center core wire BUT WE DID NOT CUT IT FLUSH to the el wire jacket.  IMPORTANT you just want to make sure that the two (2) small hair thin wires are NO WHERE NEAR the TIP of the el wire.  This step will keep you from ever having trouble with your el wire.

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STEP # 18

STEP # 18

In Step # 18 we have glued on the end cap with CLEAR PVC glue which you can get at any hardware store.  The PVC glue can come in contact with the center core wire and will not cause any issues.  Just brush on the glue to the outer jacket and then push the end cap on, it will be permanently on in about one minute.

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STEP # 19

STEP # 19

YOU ARE DONE!!!!!