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DIYstompboxes.com  |  DIY Stompboxes  |  Building your own stompbox  |  Wirewrap? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Wirewrap?  (Read 731 times)
Joe Viau
Posts: 126

« on: January 29, 2005, 11:53:51 PM »

No one here seems to be talking about wirewrapping as a method of doing simple to intermediate projects.  I remember once, a long time ago, where there was a special wirewrap tool that used wire coated in polystyrene so that you could wrap sections of your circuit.  When you applied a soldering iron to a section that you wanted to solder, the polystyrene would evaporate, making the wire bare so that you could solder and the insulation would be intact on the rest of the wire.  The wire came in different colors and was on a spool that mounted on the back end of the wire wrap tool.

I've tried to Google but can't find this anywhere.  Does anyone know anything about this?

And yes, I've read R.G.'s prototyping articles.  The "dead bug" method is neat, but I still crack up irrationally when I hear the name for some reason.

Posts: 252

« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2005, 12:23:14 AM »

I cant say i've ever heard of this kind of wire, though i might suggest the reason you don't find it anymore is because when applying a soldering iron to  polystyrene, you're burning plastic which is possibly very bad for your health if you're inhaling these fumes.

i'm not sure if this would be much worse than soldering... but it could be a new convention that it is not to be manufactured.

none of this is fact... just what came to my mind.... so feel free to tell me i'm wrong  :wink:

Peter Snowberg
Global Moderator
Posts: 4898

« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2005, 03:21:21 AM »

I've done lots of wire wrap, but all for digital stuff. It's not too elegant for building analog circuits and thankfully it's not the standard any more. I still have a big box of precut #30 Kynar wire.

Wire wrap was really for IC sockets. Wrapping a resistor lead is messy and doesn't really work so you have to solder the connections to discretes anyway. About 15 years ago 3M came out with a prototyping socket system that used insulation displacement rather than wrapping. I switched from "level 3" wrap sockets overnight. Cheesy

You can file wire wrap away with flea clips. Cheesy

Oh yeah.... #30 kynar wire still survives as the standard for repairing bugs in PCB designs after the board has been built. Shocked

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Paul Perry (Frostwave)
Posts: 7470

Paul P.

« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2005, 03:52:09 AM »


OK there are plenty of 'how to solder' sites, but this one shows you how to solder kynar wire to mod SMT stuff. Like if you want to try to mod those SMT pedals maybe :wink:
Posts: 1199

Sacatomatoes, KaliforNeeAh

« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2005, 09:43:55 AM »

i have a **bunch* of wire wrap socketboards, many different sizes, including large VME boards.  Also prestripped wire & a few electric & manual tools.
If interested, PM me.
Soon 2 go on ebay...
thanx 4 the bandwidth.

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Posts: 16655

« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2005, 01:41:39 PM »

I used some of that, way back when. It starts off looking pretty neat, but the resulting boards are fragile. I have one of the tools somewhere. I didn't like it much.

The solder-through insulation wasn't all that reliable at soldering through, as I remember. And the wraps held reliably on square cornered pins, not well at all on round resistor/cap pins, so it was a grand pain for analog stuff.

"Solder Wrap" I think it was. A quick google search shows nothing like it.


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Gilles C
Posts: 1491

Quebec, Canada

« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2005, 01:42:38 PM »

I've also done a lot of wire-wrap in my earlier days of digital. And I also used the kind of wire you're talking about.

But it was not very good. It was too easy to make short circuits. Mostly aimed at hobyists.

Real wire-wrap with teflon coating was a lot better, and used in commercial equipment... for digital as said before.

I would say that vero-board was the closest thing to wire-wrap for both audio and digital.

And it's coming back again these days... Yeah...  Tongue

Posts: 1484

Jeff is my first name

« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2005, 09:14:36 PM »

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I did wire wrapping for about 6 years. We had special "guns" that you fed the wire into the tip, stuck it down over the pin, and it would cut, strip, and wrap the wire. They were very expensive, but you could turn out prototype work in a flash with them. I have never heard of the type of sytem you're talking about. it looks like as soon as you got the insulation burned off, the wire would have to be loose, unless it somehow displace the insulation on the corners of the pin. Wire wrap is a one time good deal, and if you have to unwrap the wire for a boo boo, then that wire is trash, and the other end has to come offf too, since it nicks into the pin corners.

Homer: "Mr. Burns, you're the richest man I know"            Mr. Burns: Yes Homer It's true... but I'd give it all up today, for a little more".
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