Attaching nichrome wire to copper

Discussion in 'Atomizer Mods' started by seadooman, Aug 5, 2009.

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  1. seadooman

    seadooman Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Anyone have definitive answer for soldering/attaching the nichrome to the copper wiring? I am ready to start making a coil for an e-cigar but there seems to be different ideas on what to use.:confused:
     
  2. Carlos49

    Carlos49 Moved On

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    So far I have not had any trouble with my solder joints to the NiCr wire with copper leads. My soldering Iron has two settings one is 20 watts and the second is 40 watts I used the 40 watt setting. I also used water souluable tinning flux and tinned the ends twice before joining the cooper leads. I'm not sure what gauge NiCr wire you are using, I made mine with 32 gauge and I will tell you it is very robust. (a little too much really) On my next one I will probably drop down to 36 or even 40 gauge. I am no expert nor claim to be and my coil has been working well for about a week of HEAVY use and abuse to see if it will hold up.
    Back to the tinning... In my experience there is a fine line of how much heat to apply to the NiCr wire so use another piece to practice. Basically I dipped the NiCr wire into the flux and applied the heat to it when all the flux was burned off I let it cool and did it one more time with a little silver solder. After it cooled I attached my copper, that was also tinned, and so far so good. After the wires are attached I cleaned the joints to remove any exccess flux that might be there.
    Hope this helps and like I said this is new to me and I'm sure others are working on other ways to attach the NiCr to the power leads.
     
  3. HockerMagnum

    HockerMagnum Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    After tinning, as Carlos described, bend a V in the end of each wire, hook together, squeeze the Vs closed, then solder. That way if you happen to get it too hot it won't pop loose at the joint.
     
  4. breakfastchef

    breakfastchef Moved On

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    Good suggestion. From my observation and a few searches on the web, soldering nichrome is not an easy task. When looking at the connection in an atomizer, it appears the solder 'blob' at the end of the copper wire is holding the nichrome ends to the wire as opposed to actually getting solder to stick to the nichrome.
     
  5. Carlos49

    Carlos49 Moved On

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    Will try that this next time ... thanks for the info
     
  6. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Super Member ECF Veteran

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    Solder with an acid flux. Makes things much easier.
     
  7. seadooman

    seadooman Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Thanks for the advise
     
  8. tmbrown327

    tmbrown327 Super Member ECF Veteran

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    Is there any chance a welder would do the trick? We have (or had) one at work we used for attaching braided wire to posts (40 mil pins).
     
  9. h8isgr8

    h8isgr8 Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Acid flux is a requirement when soldering NiChrome; not an option. (just clarifying)

    Don't ever use acid flux for electronic circuits though.
     
  10. joedirt

    joedirt Full Member Verified Member

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    Aug 11, 2009
    Can you even use silver solder on nichrome? I thought the heat of the nichrome will desolder these!!

    Why not just twist the wires and use epoxy putty?? I'd have to check the temp ratings and see what happens over long use of heat on the epoxy putty. (is muffler stuff good?) Also some is more resistive than others.

    Mechanical crimps will work?
     
  11. kender

    kender Moved On

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    I dont think a crimp fitting will work for long because nichrome builds up an insulating layer around itself as it heats up.
     
  12. Carlos49

    Carlos49 Moved On

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    Well so far all my solder joint are holding up very well and like I said this is the one I'm testing. The joints are still together and no signs of the solder melting or even changing shape. I can honestly say that I have abused the heck out of this thing and it seams to be holding up so far. I guess here before long I'll give it the "ooops it stuck on" test to see how it holds up. I'll tell you the 32 gauge NiCr wire is pretty tough. It take a while to get used to vaping with, because it's hotter, you gotta keep everything very moist and it gose through more juice. I'm also still using the original 3.7 volt battery and it acting like the 6v unit my friend has. (magnum mod)
    I have taken the sugestion of HockerMagnum and put a "V" in the ends of another atty I rebuilt, with 36 ga wire, and it's holding up well for the last five days. Thanks HM alot easier to solder up like that, I'll PM you with a couple of questions. I've seen a lot of people say that you have to use acid flux on NiCr wire, maybe, I use a water soluable tinning flux and it works great and being water soluable I just rinse the wicking of the atty out when I'm done soldering. (leaves no nasty tasting residue). Of course it might be considered acid flux, I'm not sure.
    I didn't realize I babbled this long, well have fun and I'll post anything new I might find.
    Carlos
     
  13. h8isgr8

    h8isgr8 Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Plenty of organic acid fluxes are water soluble.
     
  14. Carlos49

    Carlos49 Moved On

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    Thanks didn't know that
     
  15. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Super Member ECF Veteran

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    Carlos, how quickly does your 32 ga coil start making good vapor after hitting the button?

    Re: acid flux. If you have it, the Nu-Calgon ice machine cleaner works well. It's around 70% phosphoric and rinses away.
     
  16. Carlos49

    Carlos49 Moved On

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    Mine starts making vapor within 1 -2 seconds after hitting the button, of course depending on how juicy I make the cart. It acts like a 5v -6v mod running at 3.7 volts.I have a friend here that has a magnum mod at 5v and can tell no difference between the two (had him take the blindfold test) LOL.
    Is there a certain place where I can purchase the Nu-Calgon or is it only sold to companies with a permit?
     
  17. joedirt

    joedirt Full Member Verified Member

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    Aug 11, 2009
    Check the Nu Calgon website and they list local suppliers.

    It hits "like a 6v mod" because the resistance is different and it probably is the same current as a 6v mod. What was the final resistance of your atty? How much length of 32ga NiCr did you use?
     
  18. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Super Member ECF Veteran

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    Just call local HVAC suppliers. Most of them should have it. I buy lots of stuff like that from a wholesaler without a permit or an account. Make sure they know you don't want "nickel safe".
     
  19. Carlos49

    Carlos49 Moved On

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    First of all I added to my post above that this atty runs on a 3.7v battery.
    I'm not sure on the length but I used a 1/16 inch stainless, tig welding, wire to wrap the NiCr wire into a coil and I believe it has five or six wraps. Sorry I didn't get very scientific or take measurements when I did this it was my first one and I just did it. I do not understand, when you say, it "probably is the same current as a 6v mod". Could you explain?
    When I get home tonight I'll pull my e-pipe apart and check the resistance for you.

    Carlos
     
  20. Carlos49

    Carlos49 Moved On

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    Thanks I'll look into getting some as soon as I can. OK I borrowed a meter from a friend and it reads 1.7
     
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