How to Bond Cables

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If you need to bond two cables together in order to make them longer or repair them, you should solder them together. Soldering produces a metal bonding between two points. Solder joints conduct electricity well and last for a long time. When you solder two cables together, you also can better protect the connection by using heat-shrink tubing. This will protect the soldering joint and prevent the joint from causing a short circuit.

Things You'll Need

  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Fan
  • Heat-shrink tubing
  • Wire strippers
  • Safety goggles
  • Put on your safety goggles. Hot solder is typically a mixture of molten metal and a chemical agent called flux. Make sure it doesn't get in your eyes.

  • Plug in your soldering iron. Depending on the manufacturer of your soldering iron, it will take 5-10 minutes to heat up.

  • Turn on the fan and open any windows in the room. Solder fumes can be harmful if your workspace isn't properly ventilated.

  • Strip the cables with the wire strippers so that bare wire is exposed on both cables.

  • Lay the cables so that the bare ends you wish to connect overlap.

  • Twist the bare ends of the cables together.

  • Apply solder to the tip of your soldering iron. This is called "tinning" the iron and helps with heat transfer.

  • Wipe any excess solder off on the sponge attached to the base of your soldering iron holder. If your iron does not have a sponge, use a damp paper towel.

  • Touch the soldering iron to the twisted cables. This will heat the cables so that the solder melts when it touches them.

  • Touch the solder to the twisted cables. The solder should melt onto the cables.

  • Slide the heat-shrink tubing over the joined cables so that it covers the soldered point.

  • Hold the wider part of your soldering iron near the heat-shrink tubing in order to shrink it to fit the cables. If your soldering iron does not produce enough heat to shrink the tubing, use a cigarette lighter.

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