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Re: [TowerTalk] Soldering Ground Connections

To: Gary Schafer <>,'Roger D Johnson' <>,
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Soldering Ground Connections
From: Peter Chadwick <>
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2006 10:00:56 +0200 (CEST)
List-post: <>
Gary said:
>Solder will corrode in the ground or in the weather.
Solder will melt when high current goes through it long before the conductor
May be true for 'soft' solder - tin/lead alloys, melting at around 230 deg C. 
Silver solder - 'hard' solder' -  is another matter, as it doesn't melt until 
its at red heat. As someone said, if your conductors get that hot through a 
current surge, they're way too small! Silver solder is pretty corrosion 
resistant too. The firebox and smokebox of a 5 inch gauge coal fired steam 
locomotive can't be described as being environmentally benign, and the silver 
solder seems to manage OK there without corroding.
Actual brazing of copper with 'spelter' is likely to be a bit dodgy, because 
you have to get it very hot and you can melt the copper. Bear in mind that 
strictly, 'brazing' and 'silver soldering' are different, although the terms 
get used loosely as being the same. Brazing actually uses finely divided brass 
(spelter) to provide the joining material, and, from memory, is heated until 
there is a puff of white smoke where some of the zinc boils out of the brass, 
and the spelter has melted. BTW, brass shouldn't be used in high temperature 
applications over a long period because it gets weakened by 'dezincification'. 
Not very applicable to ground rods.....
Peter G3RZP

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