Artist's depiction of solder fume-induced vision
What is this plastic-looking cylindrical object, you ask? It’s called a solder sleeve, and it joins wires together electrically and mechanically at the same time using these three common items cleverly combined:
- Heat shrink tubing
- Hot melt glue
How does it work? Like so:
Note: this depiction is sped up a bit to keep the .gif at a reasonable size.
It’s crazy easy and fast, and requires no soldering iron- just a source of heat such as one of our new heat guns- any heat gun should work, but a hair dryer may not get hot enough.
The heat melts the solder to form an electrical connection, melts the glue to hold the wires in place, and tightens the heat shrink to form a strain-relief and insulate the exposed wires. All at once. Boom.
Bonus: The resulting joint is waterproof!
Solder sleeves solve another related problem- splitting one wire into many, or vice-versa. It’s just as easy (and just as quick) to join a number of wires using the same technique. This is useful in situations like slaving two stepper motors to a single driver, or running multiple connections to the GND of an Arduino:
We now carry packs of 50 of a few common gauges, and a kit with an assortment of multiple gauges so you’ll always have the right size handy. Do yourself a kindness and check out the details on the product page. Your future self will thank you.