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THE AM BULLETIN BOARD => Technical Forum => Topic started by: WA1GFZ on June 30, 2005, 09:26:45 AM

Title: solder
Post by: WA1GFZ on June 30, 2005, 09:26:45 AM
Last night I was making my weekly home Depot run. I was running low on solder so gragged another roll and noticed I was using  an alloy of silver solder rather than the softer stuff. This solder is stronger and similar to stuff used in some electronic work. I was think this would be good for antenna applications with the right flux making a stronger joint.
My brother a gold smith tells me Map gas is the stuff to use. He said it will also melt gold.
Silver electronic solder still has some lead while the stuff I bought is
harder. I think about 95% tin.  fc

Title: solder
Post by: K1JJ on June 30, 2005, 10:57:40 AM
Interesting, Frank.

Yep, I'll bet silver based solder wud be better outdoors
for connections that are exposed - like ground radial
connections, assuming they aren't sealed like they shud be..

Though, all connections on Yagis and dipoles, etc are about
feedline connections, I'd say. So they all shud be taped up
and sealed against weather.

I think the weather thang is what ruins lead based connections,
so it might be an even wash once sealed up.

Also, since higher temps are needed to melt, we wud run
the risk of melting coax and damaging non-Teflon connectors
from the extra heat. But, it cud be done.


Title: solder
Post by: 2ZE on June 30, 2005, 02:39:54 PM
I use low temp silver brazing rods from my local welding joint for soldering ground connections. Works very well with MAPP gas, and the solder joint holds up much better than lead/tin solder. I actually had a ground strap break off the ground rod after that really bitter winter 2 years ago. Never again.

Title: solder
Post by: WA1GFZ on June 30, 2005, 03:38:14 PM
That is a great idea for grounds. I'll have my brother get me supplies when it is time to bond the grounds at the new qth. TNX !

Title: solder
Post by: wa2zdy on July 01, 2005, 09:17:13 AM
The environmentalist movement is afoot to eliminate lead from solder.   I understand the new stuff works just fine.

Title: solder
Post by: WA1GFZ on July 04, 2005, 08:39:39 PM
Just finished doing the whole house without a single leak. It has a dull color when hard that tricks you to reheat. Mike's idea using silver rod for grounds is a good one! How about flux I wonder if it is on the rod?
I know my bro has some cool stuff that is a liquid and some paste if i remember.

Title: solder
Post by: Rob K2CU on July 07, 2005, 12:13:11 PM
HI Frank!

Buying the silver solder in the form of brazing rods is a pretty good idea. they usually come with a coating of "flux".  BTW, flux for silver solder is usualy just a form of borax.  way beack, when i was brazing together microwave horns made of sheet brass, we used silver solder in bare rods. we had to make a flux paste out of 20 mule team borax. Rosemary DeCamp where are you?

One thing to keep in mind when using brazing with antenna wire or feedlines is that the high temp heating with a torch will screw up the anneling of the wire and make it weaker than, a) it was; b) the solder.  

Remember the old rule of solder connections, that the joint should be mechanically solid befor you apply solder.  I would guess that this was to ensure that the componenets would not move while the solder was molten or semi molten  and cause a cold solder joint.

Title: solder
Post by: WA1GFZ on July 07, 2005, 02:01:55 PM
Sorry I didn't return your call. Crazy week. Yup, borax is good stuff.
Ants hate it too.
Primary feed at new qth has a western union splice on copper wire with no clamps.
It has been there at least 50 years. I see the p[ower co has installed new insulators so they may be getting ready to upgrade the run.
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