Power feeds to LGB track

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tramwayknowledge

tramwayknowledge

Tramway Modelling
22 Oct 2011
33
4
Fife
I have all my track laid out, cut, cleaned and fitted with lovely bright new fishplates . I am building an Electric Tamway, so I want to have good, frequent power feeds to the track. However, I am having great trouble soldering leads to the rails to link them to a busbar. I have done all the 'right' things; ground the rail web back to bright brass, used good flux, rosin cored solder etc.

BUT an electric soldering iron does not produce enough heat to secure a clean flow of solder, a gas pencil torch also seems to lack the power to achieve a good 'wet' joint, conversely a Butane torch heats the rail, melts the sleepers and burns the wire. I admit that I have never got the hang of soldering, but I must be missing a trick here.... can anyone offer me a few hints - or come round and spot-weld tags to my rails!
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Registered
13 Jul 2015
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153
Ascot
You can solder the power leads to the fishplates, that is much easier. The rails are a very effective heat sink which makes soldering very difficult. Alternatively buy a few rail clamps with eye tags to which you can solder your power leads. Or use the LGB or PIKO power lead clamps, a bit ungainly but very effective.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,193
547
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Dave’s advice is Sound. But what Power of Iron are you using? You need a good chunky one in the region of 80 Amp or higher.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Phase 1 complete, roll on Phase 2
23 Feb 2018
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I agree, both Dave and Jon’s idea are sound..
 
Tanker man

Tanker man

G scale and 5 inch ride on
10 Jun 2015
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Oxford
Dave’s advice is Sound. But what Power of Iron are you using? You need a good chunky one in the region of 80 Amp or higher.
Jon, I think you mean 'watts' not amps! ..........not sure how you could get 80 amps !!
Dave
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,807
199
North Essex
Agreed, a big iron is the way to go - and it doesn't need to be an expensive purchase. I bought a 100 watt iron from Rapid for around £20, specifically for soldering me power feeds to the rails - did the job outdoors, with the track in situ, and it worked just fine. Use good old leaded solder, not the lead-free rubbish, tin the rail foot and the cable end, then hold the wire in place with pliers while you firmly push the iron against the tinned end.

Jon.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,193
547
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
tramwayknowledge

tramwayknowledge

Tramway Modelling
22 Oct 2011
33
4
Fife
Agreed, a big iron is the way to go - and it doesn't need to be an expensive purchase. I bought a 100 watt iron from Rapid for around £20, specifically for soldering me power feeds to the rails - did the job outdoors, with the track in situ, and it worked just fine. Use good old leaded solder, not the lead-free rubbish, tin the rail foot and the cable end, then hold the wire in place with pliers while you firmly push the iron against the tinned end.

Jon.
Well, my 100w soldering iron arrived from Rapid today...I'm busy on Thursday, but if it's not raining on Friday and Sunday I am having a soldering orgy!
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
27 Oct 2009
6,186
230
66
Hutt Valley, NZ
To paraphrase Ferdinand Porsche. 'You've got to have the horsepower'.
My outdoor soldering iron, is 100W. A big beefy one, with a handle at one end..... and always take note of which end it is, too.
:cry:
 
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Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,807
199
North Essex
Well, my 100w soldering iron arrived from Rapid today...I'm busy on Thursday, but if it's not raining on Friday and Sunday I am having a soldering orgy!
OOO-ERRR Missus..... :rofl:

Jon.
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
27 Oct 2009
6,186
230
66
Hutt Valley, NZ
To paraphrase Ferdinand Porsche. 'You've got to have the horsepower'.
My outdoor soldering iron, is 100W. A big beefy one, with a handle at one end..... and always take note of which end it is, too.
:cry:
Many a true word spoken in jest...... Ferdinand's greatest car, the VW Beetle, finishes on the production line today.
 
tramwayknowledge

tramwayknowledge

Tramway Modelling
22 Oct 2011
33
4
Fife