Soldering Basics - Popular Solder Connections

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Aug 10, 2015


Soldering Basics - Popular Solder Connections
Soldering Basics - Popular Solder Connections thumb Soldering Basics - Popular Solder Connections thumb Soldering Basics - Popular Solder Connections thumb


  • We will do a pigtail splice. It is basic. It is easy.
  • It is not low profile. We start out by twisting the wire together.
  • This wire is rather robust so I will use pliers. You just twist it around like this.
  • You want a nice, firm joint that would be good even without soldering.
  • That mechanically sound so that when you solder it, it will not fall apart.
  • We will go solder it. When doing joints I prefer to start away from
  • the insulation. Then move towards it.
  • That gives the insulation, it does not heat it up as fast (as long).
  • It causes less melting of the insulation. Now I will leave it for a second, let it cool.
  • There's our pigtail joint. After soldering, when you are ready to finish
  • it out. You want to make sure there are no sharp points
  • or burrs sticking out because they will puncture tape or shrinkwrap.
  • This one is pretty clean, no sharp edges.
  • Another way to splice is to push the wires together like this.
  • I think it's called a x splice. Then you twist it. Make it mechanically secure.
  • It's a lot more difficult with a heavier wire.
  • You have a good mechanical connection, splice. Then you solder that. I will use a finer soldering gun and solder.
  • Start in the middle of the joint. And work both ways.
  • Again, a much finer solder for the much finer wire than before.
  • Back the other way. And there you have it.
  • Let me show you a variation of this cross splice.
  • Every once in a while you will run across some wire that is really rotten. You can scrape
  • and scrape on it and you can't get the nice copper color. But you need to solder it.
  • One thing you can do is use this x splice. It starts out the same way.
  • We will assume these wires somewhat corroded and nasty.
  • Go like this. Rather than twisting them, let me show you
  • what comes next. I will do this off camera since I can't seem
  • to hold it in focus. I will be right back. And show you what I have done.
  • Here's what I have done. I have wrapped the joint with a fine wire.
  • What this will do is, if the wire is corroded and you scraped it off the best you can, These
  • many wrappings will come in contact with the little places where the copper is clean.
  • It can actually make a workable joint. I've done this on a marine boat motor where
  • there was an urgent situation. It will work. It makes a relatively strong
  • joint. But again a lot of times it will work when the wire is kind of rotten and you just
  • can't scrape enough of the corrosion off to get a good connection otherwise. This can
  • sometimes work for you. It does not solder any differently.
  • Start in the middle. Work towards 1 side. Back to the middle, then towards the other
  • side. OK.
  • There's our wrapped x or cross joint.
  • How do I joint 2 pieces of solid wire? Say I am making a long antenna for my crystal
  • radio. I want to joint some copper wire together
  • to make 1 long piece. The wire has to be able to support its own
  • weight over long distances. So how do I do that?
  • First I come down about 1.5 to 2 inches. Then I wrap 1 of the wires around the other.
  • Then I will fold this side back. Then I will wrap this one around the other wire.
  • I will be right back after I have done that. So here we are done.
  • The right hand side wire goes through here. Wraps this way.around the left side wire.
  • The left side wire comes through wraps around the right hand side wire this way.
  • That will make and extremely strong connection. Let's go solder it.
  • We are not worried about the insulation on this one.
  • We will just start soldering anywhere. Need enough heat to make sure our solder carries
  • all the way through the joint.
  • Here is our joint. The solder goes through the ends. Got good penetration of solder throughout
  • the joint. That will be tremendously strong.
  • It will easily support the wire and will be about as strong as the wire itself.
  • Another splice option is one of these splice tubes.
  • I'm not sure if they are legal for house wiring and so on, so be careful how you use them.
  • If you have to cut a wire and you do not have enough to work with to make an x splice or
  • you've just cut a wire to do a test and there's no excess wire to make a joint, you can put
  • 1 end of a wire in there the other in there. See that little hole right there?
  • You heat it. Add solder to the hole and each end.
  • Solder will flow through there and forms a joint.
  • You can also mechanically crimp it before soldering.
  • Let's try 1 of these and see how it works. I chose a splice for the yellow size of wire
  • I've been using. As you can see, you don't have to bare much
  • wire. This is a butt splice, so it is not terribly
  • strong, but it's stronger than say trying to solder the ends of the wire together for sure.
  • This splice takes a lot of heat.
  • I'm introducing it into that hole in the center. Making kind of a mess.
  • Get some in the ends. I am blocking your view.
  • Clean up this drip under here. Let's take a close up look at this splice.
  • It's not beautiful, but it's OK. It requires a lot of heat. The insulation
  • took a beating. This splice is not insulated of course. It
  • needs to be taped or shrinkwrapped. or something. It's passable. It's got a solid connection.
  • If I were using it for a car or solar it would not bother me.
  • There's a butt splice. It's relatively strong. I'm not able to pull
  • it apart here.
  • Let's say we have this red wire and we want run a tap off of that.
  • So that we have a 3 way connection. How do we do that?
  • There are a couple different ways. Each have pluses and minuses.
  • You can simply wrap the yellow wire on to the red and solder it. The disadvantage is
  • that it can unroll and pull loose. There's another way of wrapping it where you
  • pretty much tie a knot then solder it. The disadvantage is that it requires more wire
  • and makes a bigger bump. Let's look at that.
  • We could just start wrapping it around here. Then solder it.
  • But again it prone to unrolling if pulled. It is not the strongest connection.
  • It's adequate for many joints. There is 1 variation, let me show you that.
  • It is stronger and we will make that one. For this style it will take more wire. So
  • I bared off more. Probably got a bit too much.
  • We will wrap it around, like this. Go up the red wire first. Keep it tight.
  • Then come back down this direction. Now I am under the yellow wire.
  • Continue wrapping down the red wire. Like this.
  • This is kind of extreme length. We will go all the way.
  • I will use pliers to finish this out. We will solder it and look at the final result.
  • This is a stronger 3 way joint. Here we go.
  • It is going to take a lot of solder. Wet our tip. Get the heat transfer going.
  • Get the solder flowing into the joint. Get this up here.
  • This is a lot of copper. Take the drip off the back.
  • Let it cool. And we will inspect it.
  • You can see clearly here our knot we tied in there.
  • By first going up then back down. This is a tremendously strong joint.
  • It does take a lot of copper, heat and a lot of solder.
  • That's the drawback. It is bulgy. It is not a nice smooth joint like an inline joint.
  • It is strong and I'd guess that either wire would break before that joint gives way.
  • Here's a tip: when you are putting in splices in wires that run close together. Like in
  • the zip line. You want to keep your splices farther apart
  • so that they are not directly opposite each other.
  • This has a couple benefits. One is safety. If the insulation on 1 or the other or both
  • they are not as likely to short. Another reason is that when you insulate them
  • you won't get as big a bulge in 1 spot. You will have 2 smaller spots that are easier
  • to hide. It does not matter what type of splice. Again
  • the trick is to stagger them so they are not directly opposite each other.

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Several types of popular solder connections shown. These are commonly used in things like cars, boats, trailers, RVs, motorcycle wiring harnesses, solar projects, low voltage yard lighting, drip systems, crystal radio antennas, etc.

SOLDERING BASICS VIDEO: 4 Steps to Good Solder Joints

- Soldering can be dangerous. If you do not know soldering safety, learn it or don't solder.
- Never solder live circuits of any type.
- Soldering house wiring, power wiring, etc. is outside the scope of this video. That should be left to professionals only.
- Electricity can cause damage, fires, burns and death. If you don't know about electricity, learn before doing.
- These are demonstrated for hobby work, low voltage - low amperage applications. NOT for mains voltages or currents or similar.
- Never use lead type solders where it will come in contact with food or drink or where it will come in regular contact with people.
- Lead is toxic. Take care to ensure that the byproducts / waste are contained and disposed of properly. Never hold solder in your mouth. Have proper ventilation.
- This is for hobby soldering only. Industrial users have more stringent requirements for industrial or large scale soldering operations.
- This is not all inclusive. If you don't know, get training before continuing.

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