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Soldering Actuator Wires


Soldering actuator wires can be done with the right tools and some patience. The most important thing is to get set up properly. You’ll need a good fine tip soldering iron which can be set to 450 degrees and also some BluTack or similar to hold the wires in place as you solder them. Most of all you’ll need to have patience and a steady hand – not to mention a keen eye. Make sure you ample bench space to rest your hands on the bench to steady them while soldering. Also, make sure you have plenty of light. For easy visibility, place the wires on a dark (black) background.

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Magnet wire has a coating on it and if you have unrolled the wire from actuator it will also have some glue residue on it. The best way to get rid of this and tin the wire is with a blob of very hot solder. You’ll need your iron to be at 450 degrees. Add a blob of “fresh” solder to the tip of the iron. Then pass the end of the actuator wire through the blob of solder and hold it in there for about 10 seconds. You should see the end silver when you take it out. If the solder sticks to the wire or the coating isn’t removed, then you may need a hotter iron or a fresh blob of solder.

Use BluTack to hold the wires in position as you line them up. This is like a soldering rig for your actuator wires and makes life much easier than holding them by hand.

Add heat and a small amount of solder. Run the soldering iron along the joint to solder the wires together.

You may want to cover the joint with heat shrink to strengthen it. Use 0.6mm heat shrink.


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Heat up the heat shrink

Squeeze it together. The heat shrink will not shrink enough to form a firm fit over the joint so squeezing it will flatten it and set the joint.


A short demonstration video showing how to prepare and solder actuator wires.