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Re: Tips DIY for Primo Em172

Subject: Re: Tips DIY for Primo Em172
From: "Eric Leonardson" eleonardson
Date: Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:12 pm ((PDT))
Here's a nice "how to solder" tutorial from Nicolas Collins:

Sent via mobile device.
Eric Leonardson

On Sep 16, 2012, at 13:15,  wrote:

> The photo of the 'kit' shows that the mic capsules have no wires attached=
> A soldering *gun* will be so huge in terms of size and heat that it will =
indeed destroy the capsules.
> You need a very small iron, about 10 - 15 watts, preferably temperature-c=
ontrolled, with a miniature conical tip. Use high grade, low melting point =
solder. The cost of this could easily be 3 - 5 times the cost of the mic ki=
t. But you'll have a good tool to construct future cables and rigs.
> There is no "foolproof" method of soldering. You must learn the technique=
 and the practice,practice, practice! If you have not done any fine work of=
 this sort, it may be best to just have a professional do it for you. You c=
an also have them teach you and help you out while you do it. Otherwise you=
 may have cold solder joints or ruin the capsules. Perhaps there are some t=
utorials on YouTube.
> In a nutshell, here is the technique:
> 1) heat the soldering iron to about 600 - 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
> 2) apply solder to the tip of the iron to coat it. This is called 'tinnin=
g'. Then wipe the tip off on a moistened ( not "wet") sponge and re-apply a=
 thin coat of solder. Do the wiping/tinning process each time before solder=
ing a wire.
> 3) strip the wires ends appropriately to the length required, which depen=
ds on where they are being soldered. In the case of the mic capsules, the b=
are wire length should be about 2mm long, shorter than each solder pad on t=
he mic so that you do not end up with short circuits!
> 4) tin each bare wire end by applying the iron tip from under the copper =
wire and apply fresh solder to the top of the wire until it melts and flows=
 freely. Remove the applied solder from the wire as soon as it coats the co=
pper. Be careful not to melt the insulation of the wire. Remove the iron fo=
rm the wire as soon as it has been tinned properly. When the wire cools dow=
n, check it to see if the tinned length is still correct. If it is too long=
, use a small pair of diagonal cutters to trim it back to the correct lengt=
> 5) make sure that the iron is now clean and tinned properly. Bring the wi=
re end close to the capsule. Have the capsule held securely in a small benc=
h vise with rubber jaws, but adjust the force to just prevent the mic form =
moving. Don't crush the mic and have the solder pads facing upward. Apply t=
he iron tip to the top of wire to melt the solder on the wire as you bring =
the wire down onto the pad. As soon as the pad solder melts, the wire shoul=
d be as far down onto the pad as it can get. The moment that the solder flo=
ws freely one the pad and around the wire, remove the iron and keep the wir=
e end *absolutely* still until the solder cools. The solder joint should lo=
ok shiny, not dull. If it is dull the you have what is known as a 'cold' so=
lder joint which is a bad connection and is mechanically poor. If this happ=
ens, you need to take the wire and remove it, clean the wire end and the pa=
d with Solder Wick and start over. But you must be very mindful of how much=
 heat to use eac h time you do this. The idea is to use enough heat to do t=
he job quickly, but not enough to damage the mic pads or the element. The p=
roper technique is developed only through practice and experience. Again, f=
ind a tutor or have it done by an experienced person that has the right too=
ls. BTW, don't nick the wire when you strip the ends!! If you do that, it w=
ill break off and sever the connection at some point. If you do nick the wi=
re, cut it off at the nicked point and re-strip the end.
> There are many more things that can be said about this process, but just =
practicing on junk with various pieces of wire is important. There should b=
e other resources on the web for this. Remember to buy good miniature hand =
tools and but a high quality soldering iron and solder.
> As for what wire goes where, well that is something that should be includ=
ed with the kit.
> Good luck with your project! I hope that I have given you some insight in=
to the process.
> -Greg
> Sent from my iPad
> On Sep 16, 2012, at 12:05 PM, Peter Shute <> wrote:
> > The EM172s I got from Frogloggers already had short leads attached, and=
 Gene said he doesn't attach them, they just come like that. Perhaps yours =
will have them too when they arrive, and you won't have to solder them dire=
> >
> > Peter Shute
> >
> >
> > --------------------------
> > Sent using BlackBerry
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: 
> > To: 
> > Sent: Mon Sep 17 01:46:31 2012
> > Subject: [Nature Recordists] Tips DIY for Primo Em172
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi All,
> >
> > Recently ordered DIY kit for the Primo em172 from FEL ( http://www.micb= )
> > in the UK to ship to my location here in Vietnam. Have a standard one s=
etting soldeting gun and I know there was some discussion on how not to ove=
rheat the capsules. My soldering skills are minimal at best. Any tips on ho=
w best to gauge overheating those capsules? Or >foolproof< techniques to ma=
ke sure I don't?
> >
> > Cheers!
> >
> > Mark
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

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