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Offline Drongo  
#1 Posted : 13 February 2019 07:17:55(UTC)
Drongo

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2008(UTC)
Posts: 997
Location: Sydney, NSW
Lately I've been having trouble with my C track. Here in Sydney, Australia we've had an extremely hot summer with high humidity. Consequently, the centre pukos are rusting faster than normal and of course the electrical conductivity drops dramatically. I know that a dehumidifier may help the situation, however, my layout is in a rather large room and the cost of running such a dehumidifier would be prohibitive. So, may I ask the question, why isn't the metallic strip that goes through the centre of C track, not made of stainless steel as like the rails of C track?

I'd really appreciate your opinions on this.

Regards
Greg
Take it easy . . . . or any other way you can get it !!!!
Website - www.simplesite.com/gregstrain
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Offline river6109  
#2 Posted : 13 February 2019 07:28:15(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,306
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Greg, my understanding SS is not the best electricity conductor.

The reason is that conductivity in metals is high is that metals form a crystal lattice where the outer shell electrons are shared and easily move through the lattice. When the lattice has imperfections the flow of electrons is retarded. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron with up to about 25% chromium (and sometimes a small amount of nickel or carbon) added for corrosion resistance. The chromium atoms disrupt the regular iron lattice and increase the chances of inelastic collisions with moving electrons.
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Offline dominator  
#3 Posted : 13 February 2019 09:50:21(UTC)
dominator

New Zealand   
Joined: 20/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 660
Location: Kerikeri
Do what Utkan and I do. We run our trains very very often. We have the sane problem over here. I have general cleaned all my M track rails before laying them and put the smallest amount of oil on them with my finger. Hardly any oil in fact and that helps.
Dereck
Northland. NZ REMEMBER 0228 for ä
Offline Drongo  
#4 Posted : 13 February 2019 10:21:17(UTC)
Drongo

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2008(UTC)
Posts: 997
Location: Sydney, NSW
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Greg, my understanding SS is not the best electricity conductor.

The reason is that conductivity in metals is high is that metals form a crystal lattice where the outer shell electrons are shared and easily move through the lattice. When the lattice has imperfections the flow of electrons is retarded. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron with up to about 25% chromium (and sometimes a small amount of nickel or carbon) added for corrosion resistance. The chromium atoms disrupt the regular iron lattice and increase the chances of inelastic collisions with moving electrons.


John, I understand what you are saying regarding the conductivity, but the rails are made of SS and they have to carry the current back, so what's the difference ?
Take it easy . . . . or any other way you can get it !!!!
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Offline David Dewar  
#5 Posted : 13 February 2019 11:44:04(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,548
Location: Scotland
Originally Posted by: Drongo Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Greg, my understanding SS is not the best electricity conductor.

The reason is that conductivity in metals is high is that metals form a crystal lattice where the outer shell electrons are shared and easily move through the lattice. When the lattice has imperfections the flow of electrons is retarded. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron with up to about 25% chromium (and sometimes a small amount of nickel or carbon) added for corrosion resistance. The chromium atoms disrupt the regular iron lattice and increase the chances of inelastic collisions with moving electrons.


John, I understand what you are saying regarding the conductivity, but the rails are made of SS and they have to carry the current back, so what's the difference ?



Well done for understanding what John is saying lol.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
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Offline rbw993  
#6 Posted : 13 February 2019 15:08:55(UTC)
rbw993

United States   
Joined: 19/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 506
I believe C track rails are nickel silver. Stainless has other issues too, it doesn't take blackening or soldering well.
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Offline Minok  
#7 Posted : 13 February 2019 18:36:52(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,808
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: Drongo Go to Quoted Post

John, I understand what you are saying regarding the conductivity, but the rails are made of SS and they have to carry the current back, so what's the difference ?


In addition to the rails maybe not being stainless, if they are there is still a difference in how the electrical circuit is completed between the slider over the pukos vs the rails and wheels.

On the rails, there are several wheels with flat surfaces in contact with the rail top providing several avenues to get electrical conductivity.

With the slider that is limited in pressure to its spring force over a limited contact surface of a handful of small puko spot top spike surface points on the bottom of the slider, there is much less surface area of the slider in contact with the puko, compared to the contact surface of the wheel/rail and forces at play there. That and customers not wanting a shiny visible string of dots or solid rail down the middle of the track in 2019.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
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Offline Purellum  
#8 Posted : 13 February 2019 20:46:56(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,898
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

The "old type" 1-gauge tracks were all stainless steel ;-)

The new "Hübner" type is nickel silver.

I think also K-track rails are stainless steel.

Per.

Cool
If you can dream it, you can do it!

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Offline applor  
#9 Posted : 14 February 2019 22:17:07(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,290
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Hi Greg,

I am up in Brisbane, so I understand your pain - though we are even more humid up here.
I have a large layout with a lot of hidden staging areas so this was a huge problem for me but don't worry there is a solution!

Clean the studs first and then run a graphite bar over the centre studs. Go with a 2B. If its a small area you could use a lead pencil (which is graphite) but that would be time consuming.

Graphite is conducting and has a clay binder, so the studs get a thin coat which prevents corrosion whilst maintaining conductivity.

2 rail guys use it on the rails, luckily we don't need to since as you know K (newer 22xx series) and C rails are SS and don't corrode.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline Drongo  
#10 Posted : 17 February 2019 10:58:22(UTC)
Drongo

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2008(UTC)
Posts: 997
Location: Sydney, NSW
Hi Eric,

Thanks for the tip. I bought some "Conductive Carbon Grease" form Jaycars and I've found this to be a good product - it's expensive. I've only used it just over a week ago and I can't really say if it's good or not - time will tell, so I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm also experimenting with an ESU loco - their "Engineering Editions", as this loco has some sort of capacitor in it and keeps the power to the motor when it hits a dead spot. Also, I'm in the early stages with it, but so far it's been great - it never stops.
Take it easy . . . . or any other way you can get it !!!!
Website - www.simplesite.com/gregstrain
Offline river6109  
#11 Posted : 17 February 2019 13:35:12(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,306
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Originally Posted by: David Dewar Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Drongo Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Greg, my understanding SS is not the best electricity conductor.

The reason is that conductivity in metals is high is that metals form a crystal lattice where the outer shell electrons are shared and easily move through the lattice. When the lattice has imperfections the flow of electrons is retarded. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron with up to about 25% chromium (and sometimes a small amount of nickel or carbon) added for corrosion resistance. The chromium atoms disrupt the regular iron lattice and increase the chances of inelastic collisions with moving electrons.


John, I understand what you are saying regarding the conductivity, but the rails are made of SS and they have to carry the current back, so what's the difference ?



Well done for understanding what John is saying lol.


for your information I don't think the rails are made of Stainless steel they're made of nickel and by the way David I never had any problems understanding me. BigGrin

John


https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline river6109  
#12 Posted : 17 February 2019 13:37:26(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,306
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
If the rails would be stainless steel you wouldn't be able to solder any wires onto the rail or the connectors.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline H0  
#13 Posted : 17 February 2019 15:15:42(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,377
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
If the rails would be stainless steel you wouldn't be able to solder any wires onto the rail or the connectors.John
Catalogue sez they are steel ("The Striking Profile: The solid running rails are made of very sturdy, rust-free stainless steel." - Märklin 2009/2010 Yearbook on C track).
With K track or C track people usually solder wires to the connectors coz it is very difficult to solder to the rails.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline PMPeter  
#14 Posted : 17 February 2019 15:48:51(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 918
Location: Port Moody, BC
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
If the rails would be stainless steel you wouldn't be able to solder any wires onto the rail or the connectors.

John


K track rails are stainless steel, but the connectors are not.
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Offline costing  
#15 Posted : 17 February 2019 19:16:03(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 66
Location: Geneve, Geneva
Yes, ESU EE have large keep-alive capacitors built in. They can run even a couple of seconds without contact... Excellent experience! After seeing it first hand I've added capacitors to all but one of my locos, as much as could fit inside (have yet to find a way to fit a cap in the Ee 3/3). They make a huge difference when the rail was not used for a while. Graphite also helps, I'm running a graphite bar on the studs. Together they make seldom running a comfortable experience.

Roco models with camera also have very large caps buit in and to Zimo decoders you can add a very compact supercapacitor after market. ESU decoder manuals have very good sections on adding caps. On Marklin, well, you have to follow the traces on the board. But to each there is a solution and is well worth investigating.

That said, I also wish the central studs would not rust. It was a surprising, unpleasant finding for a newcomer to M world (me) that the central contact is so unreliable.

Cheers,

.costin
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
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Offline Drongo  
#16 Posted : 20 February 2019 09:59:20(UTC)
Drongo

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2008(UTC)
Posts: 997
Location: Sydney, NSW
I think we can safely say that nearly everyone agrees that the rusting of the centre studs is an important problem and if the centre studs didn't rust we would have a more enjoyable time with our layouts. Sooooo, why can't we ask Marklin to make a better class of C track with rust preventing centre studs. There is usually a thread started each year on this forum asking members what they would like to see from Marklin. Well I think they should forget about making as many new models and start to make a better quality C track. Am I asking for too much ???
Take it easy . . . . or any other way you can get it !!!!
Website - www.simplesite.com/gregstrain
Offline dickinsonj  
#17 Posted : 20 February 2019 14:56:15(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 955
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: Drongo Go to Quoted Post
Am I asking for too much ???


No, definitely not. ThumpUp

Fewer gee whiz models and better quality track, turnouts, turnout motors and other accessories would be a great move for Märklin IMO. If your primary goal is to run trains, as mine is, then you need the boring stuff just as much or perhaps even more than all of the pretty models. Cool
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
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Offline Drongo  
#18 Posted : 20 February 2019 23:03:36(UTC)
Drongo

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2008(UTC)
Posts: 997
Location: Sydney, NSW
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Drongo Go to Quoted Post
Am I asking for too much ???


No, definitely not. ThumpUp

Fewer gee whiz models and better quality track, turnouts, turnout motors and other accessories would be a great move for Märklin IMO. If your primary goal is to run trains, as mine is, then you need the boring stuff just as much or perhaps even more than all of the pretty models. Cool


Very well said and I agree 100%. How many more members agree with this - perhaps I should start a poll.
Take it easy . . . . or any other way you can get it !!!!
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Offline Danlake  
#19 Posted : 21 February 2019 01:32:01(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,383
I understand your frustration Greg, but I think their main customer focus is a European clientele who has their layouts in well insulated houses with central heating etc. and not us dowunder having layouts in sheds and garages, living in a humid maritime climate...

That being said, my garage goes from 30 degree in summer to a low of 10 degree in winter and so far no rust on any of my C, M or K track.

Best Regards
Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
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Offline Drongo  
#20 Posted : 04 March 2019 10:56:54(UTC)
Drongo

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2008(UTC)
Posts: 997
Location: Sydney, NSW
I had a suggestion from a friend, however, I don't know if I should do this or not.

Suggestion:- Clean the centre pukos and then apply a small amount of solder on each puko.

What does everyone think, please ?
Take it easy . . . . or any other way you can get it !!!!
Website - www.simplesite.com/gregstrain
Offline mvd71  
#21 Posted : 05 March 2019 03:17:34(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 984
Location: Auckland,
Nope, use the graphite bar as recommended by Eric.
Offline lewistrain  
#22 Posted : 05 March 2019 04:46:47(UTC)
lewistrain

Australia   
Joined: 08/03/2016(UTC)
Posts: 43
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
Originally Posted by: Drongo Go to Quoted Post
I had a suggestion from a friend, however, I don't know if I should do this or not.

Suggestion:- Clean the centre pukos and then apply a small amount of solder on each puko.

What does everyone think, please ?


As an electrician and an amatuer electronics nut from way back......NO!
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Offline Drongo  
#23 Posted : 05 March 2019 10:29:06(UTC)
Drongo

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2008(UTC)
Posts: 997
Location: Sydney, NSW
Thanks for the advice. It looks like it's a no goer. The graphite bars arrived today and I've give them ago tomorrow.
Take it easy . . . . or any other way you can get it !!!!
Website - www.simplesite.com/gregstrain
Offline Minok  
#24 Posted : 05 March 2019 21:52:21(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,808
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: lewistrain Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Drongo Go to Quoted Post
I had a suggestion from a friend, however, I don't know if I should do this or not.

Suggestion:- Clean the centre pukos and then apply a small amount of solder on each puko.

What does everyone think, please ?


As an electrician and an amatuer electronics nut from way back......NO!


Indeed. Solder is NOT intended or designed to be a friction bearing surface, just to make electrical contacts. And the surface also oxidizes, and its soft. So spending ungodly hours applying solder to the tips of all the track pukos will get you, in some time down the road a mess of track that you may have to throw out (try getting solder back OFF those pukos if you manage to get it to stick to begin with). It just sounds and feels like a bad idea.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
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