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I have a scientific piece of equipment that has very thin silver wire (they are 0.008'' in diameter, with teflon coating, for a total outer diameter of 0.011''). I need to connect this equipment to another, but the wire are very brittle and easy to break.

I would therefore like to create a cable (using ~22AWG copper wire) with a connector on the end, and a mating connector attached to the silver wires.

I need a connector that's fairly secure but can be connected/disconnected easily. So far, I've made do with pomona mini banana plugs, but the thin silver wires are difficult to screw in and make a good contact, and they usually break at the connector after a few cycles of connect/disconnect.

enter image description here

Does anyone have a better suggestion?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You can solder into those banna connectors you know. But that might just make another brittle joint that can break so you might want to coat it in something else for stress relief first. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Feb 28 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why don't you solder it to a flexible copper wire first? It may take a little effort to get the silver to wet, but it will. I'd probably reach for my spools of 30 AWG silicone insulated stranded hookup wire with tiny heatshrink to cover the join. Or since your wire seems to be around 30 AWG you might also be able to use a wire-wrap tool on a square post, although that is typically intended for 30 AWG. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Feb 28 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ And by "first", I mean exactly the opposite of that...after you solder it. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen Feb 28 at 21:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the connection where you transition from thin sliver to thicker copper have to move? It would be ideal if it could be affixed to something solid, so that the sliver wire connection won't be subject to any mechanical strain when connecting/disconnecting. Dave Tweed's suggestion is one approach; a small PCB with silver wires soldered on + a connector of your choice would be another. \$\endgroup\$ – Nate Strickland Feb 28 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @natestrickland thanks, yes, I did think of a small PCB, which I think would be the right way to go. Do you know how easy it is to order small size PCBs (~1cm^2) \$\endgroup\$ – Diziet Asahi Mar 1 at 5:45
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Affix a small barrier terminal strip to the equipment that has the fine silver wires.

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Use whatever means is convenient — screws, glue, double-face foam tape, etc.

Put the silver wires under the screws along one side. This completely eliminates any stress on them.

Use whatever wires you like under the other set of screws to make the connection to the other equipment.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your suggestion. Although this would work to make the connection, it is bulky and cannot easily be connected/disconnected without the use of a screwdriver. \$\endgroup\$ – Diziet Asahi Mar 1 at 5:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ You would connect/disconnect at the other end, where your banana plugs are. The terminal strip's main function is providing the strain relief for the silver wires. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Mar 1 at 12:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see what you mean, that makes sense now. Still thinking it is a bit bulky for my application, but I'll keep that option in mind \$\endgroup\$ – Diziet Asahi Mar 3 at 8:33

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