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Soldering to track?

Postby Reith01 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:43 pm

I'd better ask before I needlessly wreck a piece of track - is it possible to solder to the track using standard multicore?

Many thanks if anyone who has tried this can let me know.
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Re: Soldering to track?

Postby martink » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:23 pm

Reith01 wrote:I'd better ask before I needlessly wreck a piece of track - is it possible to solder to the track using standard multicore?

Haven't tried it, but not recommended. There was a discussion about this on another thread, but the best approach is to solder to the brass rail joiners - they all have a tab that can be bent down to make this easy.
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Re: Soldering to track?

Postby mattd10 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:39 pm

I second the soldering to the joiners...and spend as little time close to the track with the heat as possible.

I soldered the rails and it does work, but it tends to melt the plastic sleepers and clasps holding the track in place.
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Re: Soldering to track?

Postby msimister » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:23 am

Yes, I've soldered to the rails on a non-scenic section of track, using caution and care. The sleepers seem to be unharmed but I don't recommend that you leave your soldering iron on the rails any longer than absolutely necessary!
Cheers,
Malcolm
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Re: Soldering to track?

Postby Reith01 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:41 am

Thank you, all

I wondered. If the train wheels are magnetic the rails would probably be steel which isn't easy to solder. I bought some flexible track so I'll wait until I have an offcut then experiment. What surprised me is that the ready-made isolating tracks don't have provision for power connection at one end. Still, I suppose that's for commercial reasons!

Cheers,
Reith.
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Re: Soldering to track?

Postby henningz » Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:22 am

Reith01 wrote:What surprised me is that the ready-made isolating tracks don't have provision for power connection at one end. Still, I suppose that's for commercial reasons!

That would make things so much easier...
Think Chinese, make money ;)
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Re: Soldering to track?

Postby dkightley » Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:47 am

................ is it possible to solder to the track using standard multicore?

Many thanks if anyone who has tried this can let me know.


Yes it is! I did it accidentally tonight when attempting to solder a wire to the side of a track joiner. :oops:
Doug Kightley
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Re: Soldering to track?

Postby Reith01 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:35 pm

Yes!

I took the precaution of prewiring every track length before laying it. It's meant losing a couple of sleepers at the joint but I was hoping to disguise that If likely to notice. Your superb work on soldering to track joiners persuades me that's the way forward in future. I now wonder if thick speaker cable may be necessary after all. I was using a short length of 7/0.2 to get it through the baseboard then splicing on 16/.02. But I do seem to have a problem. On a straight piece of track connected with crocodile clips these locos can creep. On the same piece of track installed, they don't, all other things being equal. Either there's resistance (which doesn't seem likely at 50mA even if the resistance were as high as 1 ohm) or a capacitance problem (equally unlikely). When I get the layout on a table again (probably next spring!) I'll look at the waveform around the track.

For anyone interested in soldering to steel it seems the aim is absolute cleanliness - get everything ready then scrape or emery the rail and tin it asap.

cheers,
Ivor.
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