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Voice coil cable, oh snap!


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Hi collective SNA wisdom

 

I bring to you my tweeter which died and on closer investigation have discovered that one side of the tweeter voice coil has snapped.

 

It requires some delicate surgery and initial attempts to solder it back together has proven unsuccessful as the strands are so fine it's not taking any solder. Anyone have experience or ideas?

 

image.png.726edb5fb4760e099e57ad924fe3f5ad.png

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33 minutes ago, spamnoj said:

Hi collective SNA wisdom

 

I bring to you my tweeter which died and on closer investigation have discovered that one side of the tweeter voice coil has snapped.

 

It requires some delicate surgery and initial attempts to solder it back together has proven unsuccessful as the strands are so fine it's not taking any solder. Anyone have experience or ideas?

 

image.png.726edb5fb4760e099e57ad924fe3f5ad.png

A lot of times that wire is enameled and needs a light scrape with a scalpel or stanley knife blade. Give that a go and try resoldering. Usually you splice in a new wire to bridge the join.

 

Not an expert but is the voice coil burnt? The former looks a little discoloured.

Edited by kelossus
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Sometimes, once you have bared a portion of the wire, using a hotter than normal soldering iron will remove the remaining enamel, when you tin the ends of the wire. If you have soldering flux (not the plumbers kind), that will help too, even though most hand solders will contain flux.

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1 hour ago, kelossus said:

A lot of times that wire is enameled and needs a light scrape with a scalpel or stanley knife blade. Give that a go and try resoldering. Usually you splice in a new wire to bridge the join.

 

Not an expert but is the voice coil burnt? The former looks a little discoloured.

 

Thanks will give that a go but I'm having trouble getting the solder to 'stick' to the fine strands.

 

I did wonder if the voice coil was burned but the black stuff seems to be a kind of oil, and the copper itself looks OK.

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32 minutes ago, spamnoj said:

 

Thanks will give that a go but I'm having trouble getting the solder to 'stick' to the fine strands.

 

I did wonder if the voice coil was burned but the black stuff seems to be a kind of oil, and the copper itself looks OK.

Sounds like ferro fluid. The wire has a clear enamel coating. It needs to be scratched off and the solder should stick if it's decent. Worked for me in the past with standard Jaycar solder, nothing special.

Edited by kelossus
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I had a similar problem a week ago, when my cat ran through the cable connected to the tweeter and ripped out the terminal snapping the voice coil lead in wire. It was a very difficult repair taking multiple attempts before I got it working. the problem is the wire is thinner than a human hair. I replaced the wire from the terminal to the voice coil so that I had enough length to make the join.

 

If you can't do the repair, you might find someone else who can do it for you. 

 

It may also be possible to buy a replacement voice coil - what model tweeter is it?

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On 08/04/2021 at 3:32 PM, kelossus said:

light scrape with a scalpel or stanley knife blade.

 

or sandpaper.  Given the situation near the voice coil, maybe a slow turning dremel with a sandpaper attachment?

 

On 08/04/2021 at 3:42 PM, bob_m_54 said:

Sometimes, once you have bared a portion of the wire, using a hotter than normal soldering iron will remove the remaining enamel, when you tin the ends of the wire

 

Yes, once the solder gets started on the bare end of the wire it sometimes softens the enamel enough to "wick" back up the wire a bit. 

 

But it's fine wire, so tread carefully.

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Good advice here everyone.

 

It is an extremely finicky process as the wire is very fine as everyone has said. I managed to bridge it with a single strand of copper cable and some tweezers holding it in place while soldering. The heat from the iron was sufficient get rid of any enamel that might have been coating the wire. It was tricky to get the flux to adhere so it did take a few attempts but some patience got me there in the end.

 

The speakers are going again and sounding great. I imagine that the damage might have first occurred in the process of moving these speakers so will have to take extra care in the future when moving them. Don't think I'll be able to find a matching replacement voice coil in the future as the manufacturers are now defunct.

 

Just glad it wasn't a burnt voice coil and was able to repair it ?

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/04/2021 at 8:54 AM, spamnoj said:

It is an extremely finicky process as the wire is very fine as everyone has said. I managed to bridge it with a single strand of copper cable and some tweezers holding it in place while soldering. The heat from the iron was sufficient get rid of any enamel that might have been coating the wire. It was tricky to get the flux to adhere so it did take a few attempts but some patience got me there in the end.

 

You did extremely well I'd say! Congratulations! As it happens I just spent a considerable period trying to do the same thing myself on tweeter with both sides of the coil open due to oxidisation....those wires are indeed impossibly small. The trick was scratching off the enamel for me as @kelossus said. I do seem to have another issue though now - the tweeter is reading a lot lower resistance than the other because I had to unwind a turn or more of voice coil. Perhaps I'll create another post about that though. 

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