Skinny Wires

Posted: February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Is it just me or are wires for stuff  like headphones getting flimsier by the day. It starts with a little static noise and then the left side starts cutting in and out and then you are going through a bunch of yoga-like poses to keep the signal going. I had a similar problem with a power cord (using the word cord here for the thinnest wires ever conceived is a bit a misnomer) for a discman while driving to what i thought was a cottage not New York. But that’s another story.

If you are adventurous you may track down the issue to a bend in the wire or a bad solder joint. With the ultralight and ultra small wirestrands that are used today, soldering can be a challenge – check out http://www.alexwhittemore.com/soldering-the-thinnest-wires-ever-conceived-headphone-modding/. He’s not exaggerating. I came across some nonfunctional but comfy headphones the other day. After some investigation with a multimeter (http://www.ladyada.net/learn/multimeter/continuity.html), I found both the jack and one of the ground wires to be faulty. Trying to find the ground wire problem was impossible with the double strand shielded wires, so i started rooting around for something a little more robust. I needed at most 4 wires or 3 with a common ground.

I found a roll  of telephone CAT3 station wire that seemed to fit the bill. The wire casing was a bit heavy so i cut a bunch out, leaving a few pieces in to keep the wires together.

Now on to the soldering. After working with the thinnest wires ever conceived (he wasn’t kidding), this was much more manageable – all the wires have a plastic coating – so keeping them isolated is a breeze and it’s one thick strand not five micro strand that can break if breathed on.

I need to disconnect the thinnest wires ever conceived from the jack and the headphones. Don’t forget to slide the jack cover over the wires before soldering! The heavier gauge wire make the cord less pliable but I’ll take that over the slightly shielded microstrands.

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