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Idiots Guide no2 Flexi track Joiners

Postby Nutter » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:43 am

An idiots guide to Making T gauge Power feeders from Flexi Track Joiners.
By Mike Sharp aka Nutter.
The purpose of this is to document how I have built power feeds from flexi-track joiners. I am assuming you can actually solder properly – if not please learn how to do so before proceeding with this. I have worked in electronics for over 30 years and still occasionally make stupid errors.
Tools used:
Wire Strippers
Sharp modelling knife of personal choice.
Cutting Mat
Antex 15W soldering Iron
Multicore 22SWG 60/40 lead/tin multicore solder.( Obviously modern solder choices [Health and Safety] available but I still have 2 reels of this stuff).
Products Used:
7.0/0.2 mm flexible wire in different colours. ( I often use 22swg tinned copper wire instead of flexible wire and use a main wiring bus under the base board )
Pack of 4 flexi-pack joiners R-011-2
Method of construction. (In very simple terms)
1 Clear your work bench to provide a comfortable work area, with adequate lighting and magnification if you need it. Use a tray for small parts if you want.
2 Layout your tools so you can grab them safely when needed. Soldering Iron needs a stand and if mains powered make sure the cable cannot be snagged or caught by an arm or leg pulling a hot iron onto yourself or anything else it could cause damage to.
NOT TRYING TO TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO SUCK EGGS WITH 1 AND 2 BUT IF YOU WANT TO WORK SAFELY AND WELL IN THIS SCALE THE ABOVE SHOULD APPLY TO ALL MODELLING YOU ARE DOING.
Open the packet of rail joiners and turn over so the rail joiner strips are on the mat.
When you look at the back of the joiner there appear to be 4 holes in the moulding that are behind the metal joiner.- picture 1
Very carefully using your sharp blade cut away part of the plastic as shown in the picture 2
On this joiner I am only doing one rail as it is on an isolated siding
Warning if you use too much pressure you can damage the joiner.
Switch your soldering iron on and have a cup/mug of beverage of choice whilst it warms up.
Very carefully tin the exposed metal without letting the heat of the Iron melt the sleepers

Be prepared to write at least one connector off when you do this. BTW I still have not got this 100% yet,picture 3 This one is going to be electrically ok but a write off if it was on view. I will be using this to supply power in a siding and will be hidden under a building.
. Another trick is to slide the rail joiner onto the end of an offcut of flexi-track and then solder once in place- this will help the actual joiners stay at the correct spacing if the plastic becomes a bit warm. The solder is only on the underside of the joiner so the rail will slide out and the joiner is ready for its intended use.
Select the wires you want to solder to the joiner and cut to length ( I always cut them longer than I need – you can easily shorten then but it is a pain to have to make them longer, been there and got the teeshirt). Strip back approx. 5mm of insulation and tin the strands of wire. picture 4 bare wire stripped. picture 5shows how I use tinned copper wire.
Very carefully using the hot iron join the tinned wire to the joiner. DON’T hold the iron on the joint too long or you will have a molten blob of plastic.
What I do is solder the wire along the joiner and have the tail of the wire towards the centre of the track – DO NOT SHORT THEM OUT. The other option is to have the wires leaving at the side of the sleepers but still on the underside of the joiner. Side exit makes the wires harder to hide in scales smaller than N.Hiding minor errors can be achieved by careful ballasting after the track has been laid.
Obviously where to decide to have the wires exit is your own personal choice.
I keep a couple of offcuts of flexi track that I test the joiners on by using my multi-meter and buzzing from the other end of the feed wire to each end of the rail the connector is on to confirm it has worked.
These pictures are very cruel bearing in mind the photo’s were taken at 500x magnification.
I hope this helps, the other option to using multicore solder is to you can use solder paste but I have never tried that as I don’t have any. The one possible advantage to using paste would mean that there would only be one case of a hot iron on the joiner.
Pictures will be added next week.
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.
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Nutter
 
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Re: Idiots Guide no2 Flexi track Joiners

Postby Nutter » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:50 am

Pictures as promised
Image
Image
Image
Image
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Image

I have somehow lost picture 5 with the tinned copper wire.
Mike
DON'T knock it at least I am trying to do something, with only one good hand.
User avatar
Nutter
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:05 pm
Location: S E London


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