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Book and silver wire

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fixit7

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I will shortly order this.
Practical Electronics for Inventors by Scherz, Paul

Some of the wire i strip and solder is a dark silver color.

Its a pain to solder to copper.. Is it aluminum?

I read that a Al forms a non conductive oxide on exposure to air.
 

sagor1

Active Member
You cannot, generally, solder Aluminum to Copper. Aluminum creates an oxide barrier as soon as it is exposed to air.
Where do you get the wire form? Some dark silver wires may be silver plated copper, which can be soldered to copper easily. Dark silver coated wires are dark because the silver tarnishes, just like grandma's silverware, but it is still conductive and can be soldered with good resin flux solder.
You can tell if a wire is plated copper if you scrape off the finish enough, you will see copper beneath. If you still see silver color only, then odds are it is aluminum wire, which is of little use in hobby electronics (in general)
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I will shortly order this.
Practical Electronics for Inventors by Scherz, Paul

Some of the wire i strip and solder is a dark silver color.

Its a pain to solder to copper.. Is it aluminum?

I read that a Al forms a non conductive oxide on exposure to air.
The wire is likely "tinned" with lead free tin alloy. This alloy has a higher melting point than traditional lead/tin solder. Just re-tin the leads with some solder and that liquid solder will quickly dissolve the tin and all should be fine. Tinned leads solder very easily - and eliminates the need for a third hand.
 

fixit7

Member
The wire is likely "tinned" with lead free tin alloy. This alloy has a higher melting point than traditional lead/tin solder. Just re-tin the leads with some solder and that liquid solder will quickly dissolve the tin and all should be fine. Tinned leads solder very easily - and eliminates the need for a third hand.
You are right. It took longer for me to get the solder to melt.

But then it formed a good bond.
 

fixit7

Member
You cannot, generally, solder Aluminum to Copper. Aluminum creates an oxide barrier as soon as it is exposed to air.
Where do you get the wire form?
I assume that "wire form" was supposed to be wire from.

I salvage items I find or someone throws away for useful parts.

When an appliance etc. breaks, I also salvage usable parts from it before throwing it away.
 
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