Jump to content
Larry

(SOT) Making better electrical contact connections?

Recommended Posts

Not strictly for Atari, but certainly could be...  If I want to make better electrical contact between two steel (bright) plated surfaces, how can I improve it? I'm familiar with Tweak and similar liquids, but I'm thinking of something more permanent.  The surfaces are clean, but I get "iffy" 5V connections.  Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crimp or clamp them together ?

Steel's not exactly the greatest conductor, part reason we use the somewhat more pricey options of aluminium and copper.

Maybe there's some sort of conductive paste you could get, like silver or zinc?

 

The latest craze for CPUs is liquid metal which I imagine conducts well, and the old trusted Arctic Silver is probably the same.  Though there's the chance it can ooze out and wander.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

when you say plated, what is it plated with?

 

problem broken down in parts.

 

the bars touching may be a case of the polish and protect-ant getting in the way, a serious cleaning at just the contact points may be needed and a conductive protectant could be applied, using deoxit gold series after a thorough cleaning with other solvents comes to mind.

 

trying a different section of the bar or giving it a slight spin to another spot... could help as well.

 

re-plating the bar, or using electrostatic or electrolysis bonding of a more conductive material at the contact point works as well.

 

also consider spring pressure on the bars, most people don't hold a constant pressure especially as we age... we sort of pulse, jitter, and shake along. Springs over come minute wiggles and such.

 

the only other thing that makes an iffy connection, would be poor solder connection to the bars (possibly flux or polish adhesion as opposed to mechanical connection where the solder is in the pores of both metals, or pressure contact which is the same in some respects put needs great pressure to make a mechanical weld)

make sure the attached wires are truly connected with proper solder weld or pressure weld. If these are poor then slight resistances keep current flow at contact points elsewhere from working due to series resistance and lack of electron momentum and potential.

 

Edited by _The Doctor__

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The surfaces are bright plated with something or would rust.  Maybe nickel or tin.  I think that most contacts are plated with a nickel alloy (or much more expensive gold).  Think of the contacts, for instance, between the barrel plug and connector pin on a disk drive.  Or even the pins/jack on the XL/XE power supplies.  I'd be reluctant to use a conductive paste because of possible migration (as Rybags points out).  Maybe gold leaf, but the durability might be suspect.  Maybe Tweak, which can be better controlled.  Tweak is the easiest to try -- pretty sure that I have some around here.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My present issue is with a small Li-Ion battery charger for 1.5V AA batteries.  (Which are a big step forward from NiMH, IMO.) The charging voltage is 5V nominal.  It has solid positive connections and spring tabs for the negative.  I have had similar issues with the barrel plug and spring ground on a XF551 disk drive.  That was an ugly plating job, and I ended up replacing the whole connector.  I've also had similar problems on XL/XE power connectors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

clean both the bars and the batteries contact areas with deoxit then deoxit gold, do the same for power connectors if applicable... I'd bet that it's all good after that.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have both products -- will do.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

deoxit gold

From what I understand deoxit it gold is not a better quality version, but is instead a formula designed for gold contacts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

no, it's not just about that, it's gold series, with protectorate and additives that improve the contact area. That;s why we use the standard stuff for deep clean and follow up with gold series.

 

I think if we read the documentation you will see what's what. It works great on problematic connections, it does not have to be AU.

 

Edited by _The Doctor__

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...