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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Soldering HO Track together.

Bridge over troubled solder.

 

I once read somewhere that soldering AFX track together was problematic. But finally, about a week ago it was me that camd undone. Unless I go all the way around the track after every race, several segments are at some stage of coming apart.

The result: DC line loss, “ticking”, an added variable, and performance loss in general.

So I got out my iron and some old trashed pieces I keep around for just such an occasion and tried my hand at bridging the junctions. It worked great! So I did the whole track.

The result: The smoothest ride I have ever witnessed on a plastic segmented track, elimination of a variable, improved distribution of power, and quiet.

The only draw I can see is the commitment to one layout. I am of the male gender so instinctively I reject commitment in any form but this is one case where the benefits far out weighed the sacrifice. I also practice separating some track pieces with a solder sucker and found that, at my skill level anyway, it is doable and reusable at least once.

 Here is the procedure I used:

 Forty watt iron, let it warm up ten minutes. A thirty watt iron is to weak. The idea is to get in, heat up the rails, apply the solder, and get out in less than 4 seconds before the plastic melts.

 Use a soldering tip about the size of a dull pencil lead. Make sure it is cleaned a tinned to insure max heat transfer to your work.

 With a small screwdriver to apply a dab of solder paste (flux) to each connection. Very important as this will make the solder flow unsolder iron over AFX Trackto the rails and prevent “whips” when removing the iron.

Position your iron just over the connection. Apply a small amount of solder to the tip to increase the contact area of the iron with the rails.

Place the tip right in the crotch (pardon the expression) of the rails as pictured. Use 60/40 alloy solder. Apply solder to tip (NOT THE RAILS). I used about ¼ inch of 1.2mm solder.

 Stay on for about one full second longer and get out. Done, smooth as................something that's really smooth.

Should have been it years ago, uninterrupted racing, never comes apart even when cleaning.
HO track soldered together

 

6:40 am est

Monday, May 6, 2013

Slot Dragon 4 Lane System
We have already begun work on our 4 Lane System. This is the master PCB.4-lane-PCB.jpg
3:02 am est


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