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I have a small PCB repair I need to make. I am reading that wire-warp is a suitable option. I don't have any wire wrap, but I do have tons of cat5 and cat6 solid core wire. I was thinking about gutting one of those and using an individual strand from as a jumper. Is this a bad idea? Or is this a case of if it works then it is a good idea?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Be careful as there is copper-coated aluminium wire sold as Cat6 in the market. That one isn't good for anything but crimping. \$\endgroup\$ – Janka Sep 20 '19 at 21:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ It would be helpful if you could provide a photo of the PCB you want to modify. \$\endgroup\$ – Caleb Reister Sep 20 '19 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ CCA solders alright, the copper layer helps. \$\endgroup\$ – Jasen Sep 21 '19 at 7:00
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You can, its really great for breadboard wire. I used to use Ethernet or phone as my primary way to prototype (now I only solder).

A better way is to use the standard "blue wire" 30AWG for jumper connections, its smaller so it's easier to attach to most SMT pins.

There are some caveats with solid core ethernet wire though, The main problem is strain relief and breakage. As with any wire, stripping can nick the wire, and the wire breaks after moving. This is especially a problem if the wire is causing intermittent connections, it can be hard to track down.

So be careful not to nick the wire, and if you can, provide strain relief with tape or soldering. Don't move the wire after it is placed.

(you should also not use solid core ethernet from the wall to the computer, if it's stepped on it breaks, and if it's moved too much it breaks, use stranded instead)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A little dab of hot glue is great for strain relief, too. And for some jobs for which 30AWG is too big (!) you can use enameled magnet wire. \$\endgroup\$ – TimWescott Sep 20 '19 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've done that before, the other day I had a small pitch SMT part, went looking for something that had strands of 34AWG. \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike Sep 20 '19 at 22:15
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If the wire will fit (not too thick) and you can cut and bend it to fit and not short anything out then there's no problem.

You'll need to solder it in place, though. If you don't have a soldering iron and solder then it won't work.

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it works alright, the biggest hassle is that the insulation is ordinary PVC, and that melts at a fairly low temperature, so it can be tricky to retain the insulation near the ends when soldering. wire with Teflon or irradiated PVC insulation is easier to use.

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