Help needed, soldering material question

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,664
Santa Cruz
I’m putting together another wiring harness for my Esquire. I have an ok set up and I manage ok with my soldering skills but I’m far from being great at it.

My question is, I would like to use a “solid/hard” wire connection as a ground between the pots and for a couple of the connections between terminals on the switch. An example can be seen in the second photo. I realize normal wire would of course work but I would like to try the solid wire this time.

I have done a bunch of searchs and I can’t determine what type or gauge of wire to utilize or where to buy it. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

The project

2C8C6763-99CE-48E1-8F62-9FE9C68CDA18.jpeg

Example of the solid wire connections

AE4B4C60-6E59-4820-8B1F-9907ED481E21.jpeg
 

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,664
Santa Cruz
No advantage to rigid solid wire. It's less flexible so more prone to cracked solder joints or pressure on the joints with spacing of pots etc. The cloth push back wire is solid but at least somewhat flexible.

I wanted to try it for the connections between the switch terminals
 

tmcq65

Gretschie
Nov 10, 2021
129
Eastern Tennessee
Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but the same gauge of wire should translate between solid and stranded, thus, use the same gauge you would use in stranded. I'd probably go with 18 - 20 gauge???? The disadvantage of solid, as someone above said is it's less flexible and more prone to crack....the advantage is it's more efficient of a conductor than splitting up the same cross-section of copper into multiple strands. Multi-strand is typically used in guitars because that disadvantage is generally moot with the low currents of guitar circuitry.
 

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,664
Santa Cruz
Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but the same gauge of wire should translate between solid and stranded, thus, use the same gauge you would use in stranded. I'd probably go with 18 - 20 gauge???? The disadvantage of solid, as someone above said is it's less flexible and more prone to crack....the advantage is it's more efficient of a conductor than splitting up the same cross-section of copper into multiple strands. Multi-strand is typically used in guitars because that disadvantage is generally moot with the low currents of guitar circuitry.


Thanks


What material should it be? Are there some better than others?
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
21,499
Monkey Island
Looks nice on grounds and keeps the arrangement tidy once you try to shoehorn it into your guitar.
Try some steel tie wire(for fences), probably on Amazon or Harbour Freight.
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Jun 22, 2020
1,308
Ontario Canada
I’m putting together another wiring harness for my Esquire. I have an ok set up and I manage ok with my soldering skills but I’m far from being great at it.

My question is, I would like to use a “solid/hard” wire connection as a ground between the pots and for a couple of the connections between terminals on the switch. An example can be seen in the second photo. I realize normal wire would of course work but I would like to try the solid wire this time.

I have done a bunch of searchs and I can’t determine what type or gauge of wire to utilize or where to buy it. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

The project

View attachment 181662

Example of the solid wire connections

View attachment 181663
The solid bare ground link is used primarily as a positioning template to lock the distance between the pots.

Any fine gauge copper or S/S wire will work. Check local electronic supply shops.

I'm not in favor of any wire for this type of application that is not shielded.

Best with your harness!

BIB
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Feb 13, 2012
6,479
France
I do the same, @radd :

3r7JIb-preparation-control-plate.jpg


DePHMb-VT-module.jpg


bbGHMb-cablajdehpotardz.jpg


It will be easy for you to achieve it, as you own a good soldering station (Weller), and then you will have a neat, direct, sturdy wiring ! ;)

I hate messy, back-and-farth wirings, prone to issues... :(

A+!
 
Last edited:

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
2,007
Albuquerque
Wow you guys are even more anal than I am!

Why complicate things like that? No advantage with solid conductor, harder to replace components later, takes much longer to wire, puts excessive soldering heat into pots, unnecessarily locks components together so no movement with temperature changes, etc.

Does look cool though.

And BTW we are talking about millivolts here, no advantage to any conductor bigger than maybe .010", about the thickness of a human hair.

Not being confrontational, JMO.
 
Last edited:

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,664
Santa Cruz
Wow you guys are even more anal than I am!

Why complicate things like that? No advantage with solid conductor, harder to replace components later, takes much longer to wire, puts excessive soldering heat into pots, unnecessarily locks components together so no movement with temperature changes, etc.

Does look cool though.

And BTW we are talking about millivolts here, no advantage to any conductor bigger than maybe .010", about the thickness of a human hair.

Not being confrontational, JMO.

I thought it might be easier doing the very short jumpers between the switch lugs

BDD30057-B0A1-4874-9352-CD931524CBA8.jpeg
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
2,007
Albuquerque
I was an aviation electronics tech in the Navy, military aircraft vibrate like nothng else and that had a big effect on everything I did. Good solder joints broke, circuit boards cracked, components failed if there was any stress on them.

I always use short flexible jumpers even between the switch lugs, bent into a U shape, to allow some movement. Totally unnecessary, just the way I learned to do things.
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Feb 13, 2012
6,479
France
Thank you Guys ! 😁

I remember my mentor and friend Albert H. an OM ham Radio (F9FA) and electronics surplus seller - passed away for long, now : "Young man : you must study very carrefully your layout and wiring - it is almost as important as the schematic and is an inherent part of the final tuning of the circuit".

Fender 5E3 RI Deluxe - what I call a messy wiring :

1653732551901.png

Hiwatt DR103 100W head (original) - what I call a neat wiring (I consider it as a wiring reference in guitar amps) :

1653732665435.png

A+!
 

pmac11

Country Gent
Mar 4, 2018
3,595
Toronto, Ontario
Thank you Guys ! 😁

I remember my mentor and friend Albert H. an OM ham Radio (F9FA) and electronics surplus seller - passed away for long, now : "Young man : you must study very carrefully your layout and wiring - it is almost as important as the schematic and is an inherent part of the final tuning of the circuit".

Fender 5E3 RI Deluxe - what I call a messy wiring :

View attachment 181728

Hiwatt DR103 100W head (original) - what I call a neat wiring (I consider it as a wiring reference in guitar amps) :

View attachment 181729

A+!
That HiWatt is beautiful, although it looks like they gave themselves a lot of space to work with. Still, the wiring in my first tube amp build looked like a squirrel's nest by comparison.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
17,060
lafayette in
I've wired everything from audio, video, and lighting racks to dimmer banks to AC feed with 0000 cables. When you're dealing with terminating a few hundred mike lines, you keep everything neat and tidy in case you've got to go in to repair something. When we upgraded our theaters, I was tasked with the sad duty of taking a sawzall to lighting and sound patch panels. Every wire was laced with waxed cord into neat bundles, every turn was a sharp 90-degree angle, and all solder joints were beautifully made. Brought tears to my eyes having to destroy these works of art. I learned how to lace cabling---no zip ties for us; we used waxed cord on everything. Assembled our first video rack for the video crew---all wiring neatly laced and dressed. Three days later the vidiots had it all torn apart from the layout THEY designed. Last time I ever wired anything for them.

Even if no one ever sees your work, you know it's done right as a matter of personal pride. Nothing like a job well done.
 

ronbo

Gretschie
Feb 28, 2012
426
Broomfield, Colorado
You should be able to find pre-tinned buss wire at Antique Electronic Supply (aka Tubes and More):


They are a pretty good source for tubes, potentiometers and other guitar hobbiest electronic parts...

Also Mojotone sells small strips of 18 AWG solid buss wire for $.25:


If you make good, solid, clean solder joints, you'll likely never have a problem with cracking solder joints. Solid wire does have higher current capabilities than the same gauge stranded wire, but not really applicable in this instance since were talking very low current. I'd use 22 or 24 AWG wire, since thinner is more flexible and and will require less heat when soldering.

Good luck!
 


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