I am working on a lighting installation which uses 384 rebel stars, enclosed in an acrylic ball and suspended from a ceiling using 2 very fine nylon coated steel ropes. The diameter of the ropes is 0.58mm. The steel ropes are being used for both suspension and powering the luxeon stars.
The issue I am having at the moment is getting a decent solder connection with the steel rope and rebel star.
Is it possible to use a very small brass/copper ferrule on the end of the steel rope - or are there alternative/better ways to solder the steel rope onto the luxeon star board.
Thanks in advance!
While I have never personally tried to solder steel wire to a PCB pad, it *may* be possible with the right tools and enough practice.
First, ensure that the steel wire is impeccably clean. Use some steel wool or something similar to polish it clean. Then apply a liberal amount of solder flux to the wire and pad. An acid based flux may be necessary, but if you use an acid flux, be very sure that you thoroughly neutralize and clean the flux off the joint when you are done. Next, be sure you are using a hot enough iron with enough power. A soldering station with a temperature controlled tip would be ideal.
Finally, you will need to practice. It may take a bit of skill to finally get a suitable joint.
Alternatively you might be able to find a brass or copper ferrule that can be crimped to the steel wire and then soldered to the LED, but I am not aware of anything that is commercially available.
A suggestion would be to solder short pieces of copper wire to each rebel star and then use a mechanical connection to the steel cable.