Power feeds to LGB track

  • Thread starter tramwayknowledge
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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!
 
stevedenver

stevedenver

Registered
24 Oct 2009
5,364
31
have you considered tapping screws into the fishplates (side into rail webbing) and attaching an eyelet with a soldered lead?
 
Tanker man

Tanker man

G scale and 5 inch ride on
10 Jun 2015
294
51
Oxford
What wattage iron are you using? I use a 75 watt iron which works ok, if the wattage is too low the heat will dissipate too quickly for the solder to melt and get a good joint.
Dave
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Phase 1 complete, roll on Phase 2
23 Feb 2018
2,003
320
65
Weston-super-Mare
tramwayknowledge tramwayknowledge you seem to have two threads running with the same title ,,,
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
23,862
612
Tamworth, Staffs.
If you can ease the rail out of the ballast/dirt (which can conduct heat away). Avoid a windy day (a draft will cool the rail). A clamp, or pliers, or a lump of metal, on the rail about an inch away from where you are soldering, will stop the sleepers melting.

Alternatively, use Massoth (other makes are available) rail-clamps.. They have solder-tags which are a lot easier to make connections to.
HINT: If doing these in the garden, use an old tray under your work (so as not to lose bits in the ballast). Solder the wire to the tag, THEN fasten the tag to the rail.. :)


Ask for tags..
 
P

Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
690
71
With your low wattage iron you could try soldering to the thin rail joiner. Wire brush the metal and use flux. Tin the wire with solder first then heat the joiner with iron for a few seconds and tin that too. Then apply the wire with a little solder. The Massoth track connection clamps with ring terminals like PhilP said is probably the best solution. You can get ones just for the wires or get the rail joiners to do the same.

 
ped

ped

N/A
13 Dec 2009
841
16
Anglesey,North Wales
I used 2mm copper wire on my track, All soldered with electric iron 100 watt, no problem and no sleeper melting
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,807
199
North Essex
I used 2mm copper wire on my track, All soldered with electric iron 100 watt, no problem and no sleeper melting
Yep, I did all of mine on a fine and reasonably windless day, track in place, didn't use any heat-sinking and had no problem at all with melting sleepers!
Each joint was quick and easy, took just a few seconds of direct contact with the iron.

Track well cleaned at point of application, everything very well tinned with plenty of good traditional leaded solder, worked a treat.

Jon.