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Gold in contact surfaces?

 

Bronze Member
Username: Decker

Post Number: 16
Registered: Jun-04
Hello...can someone explain to me why Gold (the element/material) is used at all in electronic/electric equipment?

Aparently moster cables have some gold, and I guess it's for sure that the keypads we use to punch in our lunch numbers at school have a tiny tiny bit of gold in them.

My question: WHY?
Last time I checked, and everytime anyone in the known universe checked, Gold has a higher resistivity than copper and a lower conductivity.

It would seem extremely inefficient to use gold in anything. Silver also seems to be horrible to use in anything. It may have a lower resistivity than copper, but I don't think it's enough to make it useful.

Why in the world are gold and silver ever used in cables? Copper is abundant and electrically awesome - it seems to be a near perfect material for wiring.
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 1143
Registered: Dec-03
resistance to corrosion as opposed to copper which reacts to oxygen quite easily and that green oxide is not very conductive.
 

Unregistered guest
can anyone briefly explain to me how gold's microstructure gives it such low resistivity.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 37
Registered: Nov-04
adam, as berny said gold is better for corrosion resistance. copper does indeed have a higher conductivity but you dont have 10' connectors so resistance is not a thing of concern for applications of gold in electronics. silver does have a lower resitivity and here are literature values: silver-> 1.47 x10^-8 ohm meter as opposed to copper-> 1.72 x10^-8 ohm meter. i have never heard of people using gold or silver in cables, that would be in the thousands. i think you may be confusing what people mean by gold cables with gold connectors on cables.
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Like copper, gold and silver are superb conductors of electricity. Gold is favored for use in contact areas because it does not oxidize, which silver and copper will. However silver and gold are not really practical for use as wires because of extreme cost considerations and unless they are combined with other metals, far to soft to used for wire. Some brands of interconnects such as Kimber Cable use silver, but these are VERY expensive, somtimes 1k$ for 1 single ended connector. The values that C. Lee quoted are correct, but for the most part resistance in a wire unless it is an extremely thin very long,hundreds of feet or more is insignificant. Dr. Schirmacher gold is in fact a better conductor than copper, its just that copper is not quite a soft, far,far cheaper and much more abundant, so it is used instead. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
The reason gold and silver are better conductors than copper is because they have slightly more elctrons in their valence shells. This means that they will share electrons more readily,although slightly more, than copper. I find it inconceivable that any chemist, engineer or scientist would agree that copper is a better conductor than silver or gold. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

Bronze Member
Username: Decker

Post Number: 34
Registered: Jun-04
Slightly more? That kind of sounds like a non-whole-number value when you say it like that. Besides, all three elements have one valence electron.

Furthermore, when industries are making conductive alloys, they literally just guess-and-check. My chemistry teacher used to work for a company that made conductors, and he said they basically jsut threw stuff together and tested it.
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
A metal's atomic structure rather than it's microstructure determines it's conductive properties. An electrical current is able to flow through a metal by electrons being exchanged in the outermost ring,"valence shell" of each atom. Resistivity in the cases of these three metals, copper,silver and gold is mostly negligible. What you must understand is that these specs that C. Lee quoted are VERY small,equating to a fractional proportion 1/1000000 or less! In simple terms a 16 awg stranded copper wire would have to be hundreds, probably thousands of feet long to have a resistance of 1 ohm or more. In the field of industrial electricity wire resistance values were almost never used in circuit parameter calculations because these values were so insignificant. Actually gold is very similar to copper as far a physical properties are concearned. Both are brightly colored metals with a high melting point. Both are very malleable and ductile ,although pure gold and silver are much to soft to be drawn into a flexible conductor. Ewan if your refering to the density of a metal and comparing that with its conductivity there is little of a relationship. Soft iron is rather pourous yet highly conductive. Gold, like copper, is very reluctant, meaning it cannot be magnatized. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Incorrect, DR. Scirmacker A conductive metal has 8 electrons or more in its valence shell, a semiconductor has 4 and an insulator 2. From what I know of the mettalurgy industry it is hardly a "guessing game" atmosphere but one that is highly scientific and methodical.E Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
If all three elements had only one valence electron the would be INSULATORS! It would be impossible for current to flow! Sorry I mispelled your name Dr. Schirmacher. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

Bronze Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 63
Registered: Nov-04
adam, any transition metal has more than one charge state. they can be +1, +2, +3 and so on. the reason why the numbers are so small is because you are dealing with a very small thing. one coloumb of electrons is almost impossible to to find in daily life, a 1 farad capacitor is extremely rare and contains an enormous amount of energy. the second point u bring up has nothing to do with your initial complaint. alloys are a different story. i agree with ramsey that no one would think gold is inferior to copper in coductivity. just out of curiousity, what are you a doctor of if you are one? if its any science i will be very surprised you dont already know these things.
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Pardon me gentlemen for I have made an error. Dr schirmacher is right. A highly conductive metal such as copper or gold has only one valence electron. This glaring simple mistake baffles me considering I had to learn how to convert decimal to binary and hexidecimal, learn to use an o scope well, program PLCs, program an ABB robot,use an micrometer,and much more to graduate. I will walk away for a while with my tail between my legs for now. E. Ramsey
 

Bronze Member
Username: Decker

Post Number: 35
Registered: Jun-04
Okay, what is this? First of all, lets just get it straight that the number of valence electrons doesn't have a very cut-and-dry relationship to how good a conductor is...there are other things at work as well.

Second of all, C. Lee, I found your post to be very inconsiderate and inappropriate. My original question was very honest and I have not made any personal attacks to justify your implications on my credentials and level of knowledge. Furthermore, you nor E. Ramsey have not said anything to contradict what I said.

This isn't an argument, keep any personal jabs to yourself. We are all here to learn about the same things. Work together.

Also, charge states (I'm not totally familiar with the term - I'm assuming you are talking about oxidation states?) are a number representing how an atom gives up or takes electrons in an ionic bond.
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
The number of valence electrons has a definite relationship with conductivity. Metals with one valence electrons are good conductors, whereas an element with 6 or 7 valence electrons would be a poor conductor of electrical current. This is absolutely a direct relationship. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

Bronze Member
Username: Decker

Post Number: 36
Registered: Jun-04
I never said it didn't have a relationship. Are you intentionally misreading/misinterpreting? I said there wasn't a cut-and-dry relationship. That is to say, there are inconsistencies.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Decker

Post Number: 37
Registered: Jun-04
To elaborate, there needs to be a large density of free electrons. Not *just* the number. For example, Aluminium is almost as good of a conductor as copper, in fact its one of the best, although it has three valence elctrons.

In contrast, Mercury has only two valence electrons, yet it is a much worse conductor than aluminum. Platinum has one valence electron, yet it is also a worse conductor than aluminum.

Furthermore, the major reason why the transition elements are such good conductors is because the valence shell for these elements is the d-orbitals. This orbital extends very far out from the nucleus of the atom (look at the average position of an electron in the 3d orbital when compared to the 4s). When atoms of these elements are "locked" into place in a solid, the d-orbitals have a larger tendency to overlap and hybridize with their neighbors (nearest neighbors and even next nearest neighbors), forming conduction bands.
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
OK doctor, i,m not an expert on atomic theory, my training lies industrial electricity and robotics so I will have concede at this point on your last subject. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics.
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Actually, Dr Schirmacher it is silver that is the best conductor of electricity, since it resistance is 1.59 uOhms/per cm, which is slightly lower than gold and copper. This slight diffrence only makes silver very marginally more conductive however. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Actually, Dr Schirmacher it is silver that is the best conductor of electricity, since it resistance is 1.59 uOhms/per cm, which is slightly lower than gold and copper. This slight diffrence only makes silver very marginally more conductive however. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

Stewart Mala
Unregistered guest
Hi everybody. Its been fascinating following the thread of this discussion. I am just a curious member of Joe public - no scientific qualifications of any note and no experience in any industry relevant to this discussion. However, I have a question which is open to anybody to answer.

As it appears that Copper is the 'best' electrical conductor and a cheaper element to use (when compared to Gold and Silver), why do most high end Hi-Fi equipment manufacturers favour using Gold (and occasionally Silver) as the conductor of choice in many of their components? Surely Copper, if insulated properly - atomospherically speaking to prevent oxidisation - should be the element of choice, giving 'the best' electical properties at a (substancial) cost saving over Gold and Silver.
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Silver is the best conductor of electrical current since it has the lowest resistance per given length of conductor. Some manufacturers use gold in contact surfaces because it does not oxidize like silver and copper. In the high end spectrum of audio silver and gold are used in some components,but this is one reason why you pay lots of money for this "highend" equipment. Copper is used extensively, particularly for wire because it is only marginally less conductive than silver or gold,although it is still an excellent conductor, but more for cost considerations because it is far more cheaper than gold or silver and much more abundant. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

TPE
Unregistered guest
I do get a kick out of the posts regarding the book values of the conductors. I agree with most of the information between the posts, except for the quote by ramsey of ohms (resistance) in relation to length. Hundreds or even thousands of feet to drop one ohm of resistance!!??? Check your numbers again, one can drop a ohm in a matter of feet. Like I said the numbers provided are accurate to a extent....the real world. I cant help notice that most of these posts seem to consist of one running to a book and making a post as if they understand it....book smarts, very good...but not prefered over field experience. Now take into account distance, bends, temps, emf, emi, ect. That effects conductivity, gold connectors are stricly used for low oxidization (that and lets face it...everybody know what gold is and the 'image' of the best), these connectors are also very soft, subjecting them to stress more so than silver or copper. AL would be a great conductor if it wasnt so sensitive to expansion and contraction with temps..this makes it a horrible connection. Alot of attention should be put into the connection, as a lot of loss occurs at this point. But dont ignore the other real world factors, (also consider equipment connectors at each end...ie, if the equipment terminal is copper why get gold or silver connectors??).....besides the basic property of dissimilar metals and reactions hindering the connection...if you want to get technical! I dont disagree with the posts...just dont think they are fully applicable in informing someone about AV connections.
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Perhaps you need to check your numbers again as 1.59uohms per cm is the correct resistance of silver. This quote is from a very reliable source. Being that this resistance is in the order of micro-ohms which is a millionth of one ohm if you do the math you can see that it will take hundreds perhaps thousands of feet to equal 1 ohm of resistance. Since gold and silver used in interconnects and contacts at ambient or room temperatures, expansion characteristics are extremely small and thus irrelavant. If you are reffering to emf or electomotive force this is simply a voltage . Bends do not effect a speaker wire as copper is non- directional. Please do not hide behind acronyms of electronic terms that you may or may not understand in an effort to challenge those of us who do understand electricity and electronics as I have a degree in . While it is possible to have a net resistance of one ohm or more in a wire this would have to be a very thin wire probably 22 awg or more and even then it would be many feet 20' or more. This is not possible in a few feet of speaker wire 16 awg or larger. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
To continue I do not have to continually"have to run to my old textbooks" to quote values. I do however,occasionally use them as a source of reference. The melting point of gold or silver is far above any temps that equipment or contacts containing such would ever be exposed to so this consideration is irrelavant as it is pointless. In no way would two diffrent metals effect conductivity in a speaker wire or interconnect,provided that they are both highly conductive-with one valence shell electron. This would only be applicable in a chemical reaction,which this is clearly not. In today's enviroment,particulary in the field of industrial electronics in which I have a degree, "field experience" without an education to back it up,does not count for much in the eyes of prospective employers. I have seen too many times,young guys-19,20 years old get jobs before older men who have had as much as 20 plus years in the field simply because the have a degree. So if you really want to get technical,by all means proceed,as I can assure I have done PLENTY of math,an although I am not specifically trained in consumer audio,but my training is relevant and applicable as I have built amplifiers of all types and studied AC and DC current extensively and know how to use an o scope as well as a landscaper uses a lawnmower. I'm sorry if I come across as beligerant but please do insult me or my education by throwing acronyms for electrical terms at me to pass off as some type of knowledge or experience,as I have heard nearly all of them. Once again Silver is the best conductor, as it has the lowest resistance per given length. Look it up if you don't believe me. The resistance of a speaker wire 16 awg or higher is exceedingly low,far less than one ohm for any appreciable length. For more info visit www.audioholics.com. By the way, what the hell is EMI, did you make this up as I have never heard of this term. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Since gold and silver are so very soft and expensive they are rarely used in pure form other than very thin platings for contact areas. You haven't awnswered me yet TPE about EMI but you must have meant electromagnetic induction? This would indeed be a misnomer since all induction is based upon the principles of magnetism. A bend in a speaker wire or any wire for that matter will have no effect on conductivity whatsoever,as copper is non-directional and electrons do not care as they will flow in any direction as stated previously- to suggest such conveys a lack of understanding of basic electricity. If the average speaker wire, say 16 awg which is the least common denominator, with larger gauges being ideal, presented 1 ohm or more resistance with a length of only a few feet,with typical usage in home theaters being 50 to 100 feet this would cause almost every amp manufactured to oscillate in it's output stages and the sound of this would make it unlistenable. From what I read of your post your knowledge of electricity and electronics seems to be very limited as you present a charade of electrical jargon to present yourself as knowledegeble about the subject yet you don't seem to grasp basic principles. Once again it is possible to have a resistance of one ohm or more in a wire only a few feet long ,but as stated previously this would have to be a VERY thin wire much,much smaller in diameter and guage than a typical (16 awg) speaker wire ,and if you know anything at all about electricity, you know that a smaller wire is more resistive than a larger one. Perhaps this is where you are confused. E.Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 337
Registered: Jun-04
A part from being a record company, EMI is often used as short for "ElectroMagnetic Interference". The scientific research leading to this conclusion lasted 0.25 seconds and the method used was a google search on "emi+emf+interference". Please advise where to publish my paper :-)

Cheers
AL
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Thanks for the reminder A. Layne! OOPS! i nearly forgot as I have studied this subject when I was in school. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Input from an audio salesperson of twenty five years, M.F.A. in Technical Theatre and Master Electrician at a regional theatre (lots of field work, degree makes me one who would loose the job to a twenty year old with book smarts):

As Tye observed, gold is used primarily for marketing purposes. Gold will oxide more slowly than nickel, which is the common plating material for RCA connectors used in consumer audio. If you look into the physical construction of most RCA's soldered onto many high end cables, you'll find several layers of materials with nickel being included for the low cost and structural strength it provides. If the connector were made of simply copper and gold, both being soft and malleable, the RCA's could easily be distorted by the action of the overzealous audiophile who prefers to take a torque wrench to their five way binding posts. This layering of materials in a typical RCA connector constitutes a possible discontinuity as the connector passes microvolts according to the information I've been given. Since nickel is still common as the outer plating on many RCA connectors in consumer audio, the use of a gold plated RCA connector only magnifies the discontinuity. But, since an RCA connector was originally designed to make use of scrap material and is neither a gas tight nor self cleaning connector, we're already dealing with a rather poor connector for the transmision of audio. RCA's are a phenomenon of consumer audio. Their continued use while striving for the lowest level of detail in a system has always seemed a bit incongrous to me. You can also discuss the benefits of a balanced connection vs. the consumer audio choice for unbalanced which again came about in an effort to same money, not provide the best conductor or connector. An XLR is electrically a better connector which provides a gas tight connection that is self cleaning when inserted and released. An RCA plug, whether plated with gold or nickel, is the equivalent of a steam powered tractor. Amazingly it survives on equipment costing thousands of dollars. More amazingly the argument is over which piece of equipment using RCA's is more detailed.

Though it has some benefit in the oxidation category, gold is there for the client not the system.

In all your discussion of resistivity of metals at the molecular level, no one seeems to have observed that the actual resistance of the cable and connector plays only a small portion in the equation of how the cable operates electrically overall in a circuit. In this instance, my feeling has always been the overall impedance of the cable, terminated when necessary at a connector of appropriate impedance, is more important to the overall quality of a cable than simple resistance. I see numbers that represent rather insignificant amounts of DC resistance in cables and connectors when used at audio frequencies. Yet the amount of inductance and capacitance that can be involved in a cable are larger and more difficult to control than simple resistance. How one manufacturer of cable plays the L vs. C game is more important in most cases than whether a micron thin layer of gold is applied over the nickel based RCA connector.

I understand the original question was dealing with the resistivity of gold, but aren't we missing the forest for the trees with that question? This sort of discussion is why the value of cables is disputed by so many with degrees they received from book learning. The argument will focus on some small aspect of the numbers involved in a cable. Seldom will there be an explanation of the overall context of a cable. These "tests" then never go far enough to question the differences in numbers and what result they might have on the performance of a cable in a circuit. In proving the cables measure a certain way, the "what ifs" of actaully using the cable are ignored.

E. Ramsey - If you've been in a typical audio shop lately, you'll find that specific training in consumer audio doesn't exist. Ignoring the half deaf mouthbreathers at the big box stores, most decent audio salespeople I've worked with still use the working knowledge they acquire on their own through reading, listening and experimenting. A few had training as an EE, but not many. I am old enough to have been involved in audio when it was still a hobbyist that sold audio. Those people are disappearing faster than carbuerators on automobiles. Like those "old timers", many good audio salespeople seek out a bit of this and a bit of that to learn about what interests them. As such we know a lot about a little and a little about a lot. Where such a salesperson may have a void in book learning, much of what they know is just plain logic. That doesn't stop us from making errors, just like everyone else. No offense toward you, Ramsey, just an observation.



 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 340
Registered: Jun-04
Wise words, wonderful post, Jan for President!

Cheers
AL
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I'll be setting up an internet site for contributions to the campaign. Stay tuned.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Gentlemen, please carry on. You were discussing microstructure and 1-2-3 valence shells. I realize this is important to you.


 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
J.Vigne, I did not post on this particular forum to debate the balanced(XLR) vs. the unbalanced(rca) connector. The subject at hand was "the use of gold in contact surfaces" From what I know the XLR is preferred for long runs over 25'. I was not implying that you would lose your job to a 20 year old, you are misinterpreting what I said . I meant that in the field I am in industrial electronics, "field experience" alone is not enough to secure a serious career as an industrial electrician,or technician which can pay upwards of $60k per year with the right company. If your are posting from Europe I don't know how it is there but her in the U.S. a company will either require a candidate to be a certified industrial electrician or have a degree in the field or one closely related. Three phase 600v ac is a very serious matter and as such companies do not want untrained uneducated persons dealing with such. You could have 20,30 or more years experience as a "plant" electrician self-taught but a good company,trust me, will pass you over in favor of someone with these credentials. Even with this much "field experience" the most you can hope for is about 12 or 13 dollars/hour as an electrician helper,believe me I know plenty of people in the industry and they will tell you the same. I was not saying that this holds true for all jobs. When I said training "consumer audio" of course I know there is not a specific degree in this, I meant instead that I am not an audio engineer but my training,which is not strictly "book learning" but a great deal of "hands on" work as well is somewhat applicable as I have built audio amplifiers and studied amplification fairly extensively. A formal education of course is not available in many lines of work and in these jobs "field experience" would be the standard. It is however, pretty safe to say than in the field of electrical work or engineering a formalized education, "book learning" is the preferred standard. I am not interested in the opinions of the plethora of "big chain" audio salespeople as I usually know much more about the products they sell than they do themselves. I do agree with you that l and c parameters in speaker wire and interconnects are of the most import in consideration. I am a reasonable man,but the comments of TPE somewhat were offensive to me, especially given his apparent lack of knowledge of basic electrical principles, which anyone who thinks by simply bending a wire that you effect its conductivity knows very little of the laws of electricity.From this point forward one should be careful when throwing around electrical jargon and terms they do not understand,if they are not truly knowlegable,because there are people on this forum that will see right through this. By the way, J. Vigne are you a "certified" master electrician? E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
J.Vigne, I did not post on this particular forum to debate the balanced(XLR) vs. the unbalanced(rca) connector. The subject at hand was "the use of gold in contact surfaces" From what I know the XLR is preferred for long runs over 25'. I was not implying that you would lose your job to a 20 year old, you are misinterpreting what I said . I meant that in the field I am in industrial electronics, "field experience" alone is not enough to secure a serious career as an industrial electrician,or technician which can pay upwards of $60k per year with the right company. If your are posting from Europe I don't know how it is there but her in the U.S. a company will either require a candidate to be a certified industrial electrician or have a degree in the field or one closely related. Three phase 600v ac is a very serious matter and as such companies do not want untrained uneducated persons dealing with such. You could have 20,30 or more years experience as a "plant" electrician self-taught but a good company,trust me, will pass you over in favor of someone with these credentials. Even with this much "field experience" the most you can hope for is about 12 or 13 dollars/hour as an electrician helper,believe me I know plenty of people in the industry and they will tell you the same. I was not saying that this holds true for all jobs. When I said training "consumer audio" of course I know there is not a specific degree in this, I meant instead that I am not an audio engineer but my training,which is not strictly "book learning" but a great deal of "hands on" work as well is somewhat applicable as I have built audio amplifiers and studied amplification fairly extensively. A formal education of course is not available in many lines of work and in these jobs "field experience" would be the standard. It is however, pretty safe to say than in the field of electrical work or engineering a formalized education, "book learning" is the preferred standard. I am not interested in the opinions of the plethora of "big chain" audio salespeople as I usually know much more about the products they sell than they do themselves. I do agree with you that l and c parameters in speaker wire and interconnects are of the most import in consideration. I am a reasonable man,but the comments of TPE somewhat were offensive to me, especially given his apparent lack of knowledge of basic electrical principles, which anyone who thinks by simply bending a wire that you effect its conductivity knows very little of the laws of electricity.From this point forward one should be careful when throwing around electrical jargon and terms they do not understand,if they are not truly knowlegable,because there are people on this forum that will see right through this. By the way, J. Vigne are you a "certified" master electrician? E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

No, theaters won't pay for a "certified" master electrician. It is a title which simply means I had more keys on my ring than most other people in the building and that I was called at all hours when a problem arose. I no longer have the job due to circumstances beyond my control. I returned to sales after leaving the theater. I know you didn't imply I might loose my job, you missed my point. My knowledge is from my experience as much as my degree. I'm not very interested in what pay scale I would fall in if I applied for a job in your field since that won't happen. I do think it is just a bit too bad that experience is not judged to have more merit. I felt that way when I was twenty years old also. It was from those who had the hands on experience that I learned the most.

I understand you were discussing the use of gold in contact surfaces. I was discussing the use of gold "on" a connector. If you wish to carry on a discussion of the molecular structure of conductors, I will not stand in your way. I do believe you are missing the boat when you look at one material and question its use in audio. I find the discussion to have turned into mostly a big boys pissin' contest over microstructure. That is a subject that a decent search engine could answer in seconds.

The amount of gold used on a connector is insignificant in the construction of a cable. The bigger issues outweigh even the most cynical question about its presence. You are free to discuss whatever you like, and if this is important to you - everybody's got to do something.

Concerning the XLR, the length of the cable is of no consideration. A balanced cable can be 6" long and an unbalanced cable can be 200' long. Of course the unbalanced cable will be more susceptible to noise, loss and ground problems no matter what the length. To be clear, my point was once again something either you failed to read or I failed to make obvious. An RCA connector is a weak point in the connectivity of a system whether it is gold plated or not. To debate the use of gold in any connector is to ignore the larger picture.

My knowledge does not include microstructure and valence shells. It probably takes some o' that there book learnin' to know that kinda stuff. I know cables with gold connectors sell better than cables without gold connectors. I believe that was the original question.



 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
Believe me J. Vigne, I really don't care to discuss atomic theory, or the microstructure of metals either,as I have better things to do with my time. I don't see this forum as a"pissing" contest,it just the comments of TPE which are grossly misinformed caused the "agressive" factor to rear it's ugly head,as he attempted to attack my credability and education, which normally does not bother me provided the person doing such is knowlegable themself,as this creates a "fun" intellectual contest. But in TPE's case his opinions are not based on any correct knowledge or training an thus terribly misguided. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

O
 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
o.k. J.vigne, now that the factor of ignorance has been eliminated. I don't care about the use of gold but I know that since cable hooked to a gold plated input or the cable is gold plated itself this is a good idea since the back of most peoples entertainment centers or audio racks will never be cleaned or dusted so this is an additional assurance of a reliable connection,so there you have your use for gold. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics. By the way I am not 20 years old I'm 34.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I don't know what you keep reading into my posts. My post read, "I felt that way when I was twenty years old also." I was referring to myself. Your age is not relevant to me. What was made relevant was the idea that someone with twenty to thirty years of experience can only HOPE for $12-13 an hour as an assistant because they would be considered untrained and uneducated. I would make a bet with anyone the untrained, uneducated $12 an hour worker would, after thirty years, know that three phase 600 VAC is serious stuff. I would be suprised if the uneducated worker couldn't teach the twenty year old quite a bit about the job. The idea that experience and the wisdom it imparts is of less value than just book smarts is rather disgusting to me. Many of the companies that were responsible for tremendous innovation in audio during the '50-60's were employing men and women who earned their knowledge during the second World War. They didn't have degrees, they got some training and they learned as the went along. But they could think and reason. They saw a problem and found the solution. They thought the problem forward. Thinking and reasoning do not seem to be valued in the US any longer. That is too bad.

Mr. Ramsey, of AAS industrial electronics, please don't take this the wrong way, but in some areas your knowledge of electronics sucks. I'm not certain the ignorance factor has been eliminated. You don't seem to understand fully the use of balanced and unbalanced connections and the idea of an XLR plug. Furthermore, when it is stated that the surface of a contact doesn't oxidize as quickly as another material's surface will oxidize, there is no relationship to dust and dirt. Oxidation is a chemical reaction with oxygen being in contact with the surface of the material. You can take a copper wire and place it inside a jar covered with cheesecloth and in time it will oxidize though no dust nor dirt has reached its surface. Another copper wire laid along side the jar will oxidize at the same rate. Why? Because both surfaces are in contact with the oxygen in the air. That's what oxidation means. Pull a piece of silver out of a drawer and it will be oxidized despite being protected from dust and dirt. Maybe you can find something in your books to show me where I'm wrong and I will thank you. My knowledge tells me the only way to slow oxidiation is to place the material in what is termed a "gas tight" situation. In audio this would refer to a connection that is made so tightly and completely that no gaseous substance can get to the surface to cause the chemical reaction called oxidation. A spade lug used on a tightened five way binding post or barrier strip would be the best examples in consumer audio. When used correctly the surface material of the spade lug can be left in that gas tight connection for years and not suffer the effects of oxidation. If a bit of bare wire between the spade lug and the wire's insulation is left exposed, it will oxidize quickly due to its reaction to the atmosphere. There are claims that cable inside the insulation will eventually oxidize, but I've never seen numbers on how long this takes. I know I've stripped insulation of twenty year old cable and seen bright, shiny copper inside. If the insulation is made and applied correctly, it should constitute a gas tight seal around the conductors. That's what I learned. Please set me straight if I am in error.

In the context of an RCA connector, there is no gas tight seal and the materials are left exposed to the air. They will in time oxidize. An XLR plug, however, forms a gas tight seal and has self wiping fingers that clean any possible oxidation from the surface as the plug is inserted into the jack. This is provided in case someone should use a connector that has been left exposed to the air. The oxidation that has occurred on the surface of the pins will be wiped clean as the plug is inserted. In this case, gold is an option for the final plating of the pins since XLR's are often ordered in large numbers and may not be used immediately. In a profesional studio, cables are plugged and unplugged constantly. While a cable sits waiting for its next use, the pins on the plug and jack can oxidize. The use of a self cleaning connection means the engineer will not have to clean the contacts of the XLR plug each time the cable is used.

I hope that information is useful to you. I understand you don't use XLR's or RCA connectors when dealing with 600VAC. Good luck with your serious career.







 

E. Ramsey
Unregistered guest
J. Vigne, Apparently you still don't understand my post, I am not downplaying experience, of course, that is valuable. However, in any serious line of electrical work not that which is ho hum and simplistic a degree or formalized education is the expected standard. I don't need to remind you that you can pick up any newspaper or other job listing for engineering or electronics tech. and a degree is required. This is my point, I not downplaying the person who doesn't have an education who does basic electrical work for 12 or 13 dollars an hour, this is honest work.
Pardon my sarcasm,like I don,t know that a piece of copper or silver wil oxidize readily in free air. This was a frivilous jab since this type of info is elementary to me. Apparently there is some value to the rca connector as it is still extensively used in the audio industry on equipment designed by highly trained and educated people. When I said the "ignorance factor" I was not insulting you, I was talking about the opinions of the poster TPE whose electrical knowledge is probably nonexistent. Gold seems to be used to ensure a reliable connection irregardless of the type of connector. And speaking of xlr which I don't really want to get into but have you considered that the connection inside the equipment leading to the xlr is probably not "airtight". A serious home theater hobbist or audiophile will regularlary clean their equipment and connections and interconnects. But for the most part most people won't and hence a gold plating will prolong the deterioration of the connection. Please, there is no need to attack me as I havent't really done the same to you. But If you want to discuss any practial subject of electricity or electronics,not atomic theory or physics,as I am not a physics professor,I am game. E. Ramsey AAS industrial electronics
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

No, I believe I am exhausted. I see things in your posts that you claim aren't there and you do likewise with mine. I see things such as gold being a better choice if you don't dust regularly. Things such as the connections inside the unit leading to the XLR not being airtight. XLR's being the preferred choice when the interconnect is over 25' long. These are things that amaze me that you put in print and then back away from.

I admit I do find your attitude bothersome that anyone who has put in thirty years in any profession did not have, and never will have, a "serious career". You miss my point once again. I don't doubt what you say about the need for a degree in the job marketplace. And I'm certain your reassurance that they have been doing good, honest work is most generous on your part. I plainly said I find it disgusting that they would be considered uneducated and untrained. That's just me apparently. You have your attitude toward this subject and I have mine. This forum is not the place for socio-economic discussions. I had no real intention of attacking you. Maybe my intent was to move you a bit in your opinion of those good, honest workers. Maybe my intent was to explain what appeared to be a lack of understanding about several subjects. Whatever my intent was, I haven't been successful. You apparently did know what you were talking about, you just didn't state it properly.

I very much appreciate your offer to discuss electronics with me. I think I'll decline. I'm content with the amount of knowledge I already have. Once again, good luck in your career. J. Vigne, just some schlub out here







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