Neutrik Connectors: Gold vs. Silver Contacts
Old 29th December 2012
  #31

Good crimp pins are airtight - though there are others available.

Personally, I often put a bit of solder over the crimped end before I insert it into the connector when reliability is critical.




-tINY

Old 29th December 2012
  #32
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iron oxide is bigger than iron, so corrosion can spread on things like car sheet metal by cracking the metal deeper and exposing it to air/moisture/etc. this is not the case with aluminum. is the same true of nickel?
Old 29th December 2012
  #33

I know that we use a Nickel plate over copper and then plate gold on top of that for "hard gold" contacts on CPU sockets. It's definitely stable, durable stuff.

In fact, undercutting from the copper eroding faster than the nickel is a constant hassle in this process. Besides, Have you seen the old nickel plated revolvers? It eventually just wears off after a lifetime of hard use.



-tINY

Old 29th December 2012
  #34
S21
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Crimped connectors have the advantage of high pressure at the join. Good crimps are better than good soldering.
Old 29th December 2012
  #35

That's what they said in school. I still like the idea of a sheath of sacrificial lead and tin - especially if there's exposed copper wire between the crimp and the insulation.



-tINY

Old 29th December 2012
  #36
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Crimped terminations may well be better than soldering, but I wouldn't bet on that when the crimps are made with tools/dies that may not perfectly match the pin, and by someone with little previous experience. Another reason I prefer solder-pot pins. Not to mention the fact that solder-pot pins tend to be SOLID "screw-machine" parts, and the crimp terminals tend to be thin STAMPED metal that are not nearly as strong. Especially for heavy use like stage boxes/snakes, etc.
Old 30th December 2012
  #37
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrowley View Post
...but I wouldn't bet on that when the crimps are made with tools/dies that may not perfectly match the pin, and by someone with little previous experience.
The crimp tabs all vary slightly in their dimensions, so this comment would suggest that each $.05 contact part number requires its' own $500 crimp tool. Not that it would surprise me, but is that the understanding in the industry?

I've heard it is a mess using the wrong crimper, but how close do you have to be? After all, all we are doing is curling the tabs in toward each other and then compressing them into the conductor. I would think there would be a range of acceptable die dimensions.

maybe this should be another thread...
Old 30th December 2012
  #38

If crimping these onto tin-plated copper conductor wire, I wouldn't worry about the solder. But tolerances on these are pretty tight....



-tINY

Old 30th December 2012
  #39
is that??? yes! yes! it is! the sound of a record skipping..
Old 31st December 2012
  #40
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameal View Post
is that??? yes! yes! it is! the sound of a record skipping..
if this is something that has been discussed before, and it is getting on your nerves, the most effective way to put a stop to it is to post a link to the discussion to which you are referring.
Old 31st December 2012
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

If crimping these onto tin-plated copper conductor wire, I wouldn't worry about the solder. But tolerances on these are pretty tight....



-tINY

what make/model are those?
Old 31st December 2012
  #42

These are typical pins for the circular mil connectors. Most of the ones I worked with (missile system form the early 60's) had solder-cup connectors.

These not only made great cribbage markers, when used with a 4-point crimper, they were permanently attached to a fairly wide range (26-20 AWG) of wire sizes.



-tINY

Old 1st January 2013
  #43
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how do those work...just squish the tube like a bicycle brake cable terminator?
Old 1st January 2013
  #44
S21
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Squish with a special squisher that doesn't deform the general shape of the pins. :-)

Hence the need for the correct crimp tool
Old 1st January 2013
  #45
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As S21 says, you must take care to NOT deform the pin when crimping or it won't fit properly into the connector shell. Unless you use a good crimping tool with the proper die set, crimping isn't nearly as easy as it sounds. You could wind up with a big, expensive mess.
Old 1st January 2013
  #46
S21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

Personally, I often put a bit of solder over the crimped end before I insert it into the connector when reliability is critical.
My "must not fail" connectors have the backshell filled with epoxy or hotmix glue. This makes it impossible to repair the connector, but does provide mechanical support.
Old 2nd January 2013
  #47
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Old 8th January 2013
  #48
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Ive been screwed so many times by tin plated switches and tin plated connectors or contacts (in general), that i get gold plated everything, even if its overkill on some applications.
Old 18th October 2013
  #49
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Old 13th March 2015
  #50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Whichever you select ( I prefer the silver versions) do not mix silver and gold connectors. That will cause metal migration or an alloy molecular movement. To avoid metal migration use gold on gold/silver on silver.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
gona revive n old thread. can you help me answer. if my mic had a gold xlr connector, that i would be plugging into an interface that has silver connector inputs, can you have a combination of both. like gold contacts on one end of the cable (for mic) and silver on other (interface), to mate gold with gold and silver with silver.. is that unusual/ strange?,

or should i just stick with same contacts whether silver on both ends or gold and its really irrelevant. id appreciate your opinion please.
Old 13th March 2015
  #51
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Hi
Gold and silver each have advantages and disadvantages. Gold is soft but tends to tarnish less so is a good material for connectors that are not often plugged and unplugged, such as EDAC multipins and other high quality multipin types used for INSTALLATIONS. Gold will wear if repeatedly connected thus possibly WORSE connection as the dimensions change.
Silver is harder and will not wear as much and when repeatedly plugged will stay clean.
Mixing silver and gold should not really be done but in the grand scheme of things is unlikely to have any bearing on the overall 'sound'.
The 'bling' factor of gold MUST be ignored for this application as the important aspects are down to metalurgy and not 'wow factor'. Hence 'gold plated Toslink connectors!!
A point raised earlier about solder tinning a wire before crimping contacts. This should not be done as solder is soft and more malleable than copper so over time it will deform and make a looser contact. Even copper does this but to a lesser extent hence the use of 'sprung' contacts in power distribution situations (mains sockets).
Matt S
Old 14th March 2015
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
A point raised earlier about solder tinning a wire before crimping contacts. This should not be done as solder is soft and more malleable than copper so over time it will deform and make a looser contact. Even copper does this but to a lesser extent...

Crimp, then solder.... But only for harsh usage is it really any benefit.



-tINY

Old 6 Days Ago
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerFoote View Post
Quotes from the McGraw Hill Audio/Video Cable Installers Pocket Guide
Highly recommended btw...

"Silver is the most conductive metal"
"Silver oxide has exactly the same conductivity as the silver underneath"
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackinthebox View Post
Silver oxide is the tarnish. Oxidisation is rusting or tarnishing basically. Oxygen attacking or reacting with the surface of the metal. Silver plating will tarnish but the oxide layer is still conductive.
Sorry for the huge bump. I searched the internet for neutrik gold vs. silver plating and this thread is what finally made me register for Gearslutz: somebody was wrong on the internet...

Now, that being said, the first quote above is irrelevant and the second is plain wrong. Silver oxide has nothing, repeat: nothing, to do with the black tarnish that forms on silver, since silver oxide does not form naturally from contact metal-air. Instead, it's another compound: silver sulphide. The chief culprit is sulphur dioxide and water in the atmosphere that combines with the silver. In contrast to silver oxide, the conductivity of silver sulphide is poor and it behaves like a semiconductor. So, it is definitely a potential problem.

My two cents worth on the topic is that gold does not degrade chemically, while silver does. However, with frequent use, the silver sulphide is removed mechanically from the softish silver and should not be a problem. On the other hand, a thin layer of gold plating will also wear off. The silver plating on the Neutrik contacts is 2 µm, while the gold plating is only 0.2 µm over 2 µm of nickel. My conclusion is that if you frequently connect and disconnect, the silver plating makes sense. In situations where the connectors are plugged in on a more or less permanent basis, gold makes more sense. The caveat is that both the male and female connector should be gold in order for the connection to stay free of contaminants.

/Kranis
Old 4 Days Ago
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

The "silver" contacts aren't siver. They are a nickel alloy.
Neutrik XLR's are available with Ag as contact plating.
Old 4 Days Ago
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

Crimp, then solder.... But only for harsh usage is it really any benefit.

The possible problem with this is that if you're using stranded wire, the solder will wick up the wire and form a sharp stress concentrator where the solder stopped wicking into the wire. At the same time, the annealing of the copper will be disturbed by the solder heating, making it more brittle as well. So, by adding solder, you have weakened the stranded wire and made a very precise stress concentrator to encourage the wire to break there due to flexure.

Typically, a crimp connection will cold weld the conductor(s) inside of the crimp pin and then provide some length of mechanical support before the wire leaves the pin. This way, the crimp is mechanically protected, better than it will be if the crimp was then soldered after crimping.

Solder after a crimp could work but only if everything has been immobilized. Just use the proper crimp tool and it will indeed be better than solder, while saving an assembly step.
Old 3 Days Ago
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY
The "silver" contacts aren't siver. They are a nickel alloy.
Yes.
The last 1000 Neutrik D XLRs we bought are plated over silver.

some years back, I had a contract job in a chemical process plant where there was sulfur dioxide used as a "de-chlorination" agent... Lots of AB switches that had bare silver plate. Sulfides were an issue there... After 20+ years in service. I say issue because you could see the sulfide discoloration, but the switches had a proper wipe. Just like XLR.

When I mentioned silver oxide, it was a curiosity that the oxide is the same conductivity as base silver, as it reads in the McGraw Hill handbook cited.
Old 3 Days Ago
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerFoote View Post
Yes.
The last 1000 Neutrik D XLRs we bought are plated over silver.

some years back, I had a contract job in a chemical process plant where there was sulfur dioxide used as a "de-chlorination" agent... Lots of AB switches that had bare silver plate. Sulfides were an issue there... After 20+ years in service. I say issue because you could see the sulfide discoloration, but the switches had a proper wipe. Just like XLR.

When I mentioned silver oxide, it was a curiosity that the oxide is the same conductivity as base silver, as it reads in the McGraw Hill handbook cited.
What???
Silver oxide does NOT conduct very well at all....
I find this amazing...
Never had to clean a Oxidized switch? This is so easy to prove...
Ever had to solder to a oxidized switch?

I use GOLD 100%...connectors, switches with very few exceptions...
Old 3 Days Ago
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

These are typical pins for the circular mil connectors. Most of the ones I worked with (missile system form the early 60's) had solder-cup connectors.

These not only made great cribbage markers, when used with a 4-point crimper, they were permanently attached to a fairly wide range (26-20 AWG) of wire sizes.



-tINY

oooo fancy tools. I think it was $500 for the crimping tool set last time I was looking at cannon plugs.
Old 3 Days Ago
  #59
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
What???
Silver oxide does NOT conduct very well at all....
I find this amazing...
Never had to clean a Oxidized switch? This is so easy to prove...
Ever had to solder to a oxidized switch?

I use GOLD 100%...connectors, switches with very few exceptions...
Well, silver oxide is not the oxide that could be found in all switches, just some switches, so therefore, oxidized switches can still be a problem, but the problem is not from silver oxide. And, silver also can form a sulfide, which is not conductive. Finally, a very thin silver plate can have the base metal, such as copper, oxidize through the silver plate, coating it with a potentially non-conductive oxide.

There are lots of ways to make a contact go bad, but silver oxide is not one of them.

By the same token, a gold plating that is excessively thin, and not done over a nickel barrier, can have the base metal, usually copper, oxidize through the gold.

Again, there are many ways to fail, but fortunately, there are also many ways to use a variety of metals in reliable contacts.
Old 3 Days Ago
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monte McGuire View Post
The possible problem with this is that if you're using stranded wire, the solder will wick up the wire and form a sharp stress concentrator where the solder stopped wicking into the wire. At the same time, the annealing of the copper will be disturbed by the solder heating, making it more brittle as well. So, by adding solder, you have weakened the stranded wire and made a very precise stress concentrator to encourage the wire to break there due to flexure.

Typically, a crimp connection will cold weld the conductor(s) inside of the crimp pin and then provide some length of mechanical support before the wire leaves the pin. This way, the crimp is mechanically protected, better than it will be if the crimp was then soldered after crimping.

Solder after a crimp could work but only if everything has been immobilized. Just use the proper crimp tool and it will indeed be better than solder, while saving an assembly step.

I never leave a connection to flex like that. Always use proper strain-relief. (could be the wire clamp at the back of the connector shell or a wire-harness bundle with clamps or lacing tape)

When I say "harsh", I mean chemically - like outdoor equipment or amp-racks for Joe Quealy.



-tINY

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