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Offline Manga  
#1 Posted : 08 March 2023 10:30:03(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 46
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
This might be over-the-top for most, but can be achieved even in crazy small Z-scale (1:220)

I have seen numerous people solder to the outside rail, which is easier and more convenient, but I have never seen it done under the rail.

I wanted a more realistic scene, so let's take this a level up - steady hands and magnifying glass ready ?

01 Cut section between sleepers.jpg
Cut a section out of the bottom between sleepers (if you wish, you can slide plastic sleepers further apart to avoid melting them with the soldering iron - make sure you have a very fine tip ~1mm)

02 Solder under rail.jpg
'Tin' your wires with solder first, then bend them with a 1mm section at right angles and solder to the bottom of the rail (using regular electronics resin core 60/40 solder will do)

03 Side view.jpg
The wires should bend to the centre track position and then downwards

04 Finished product - can't see the soldered join.Weathered grey ballast using pastels.jpg
Drill a hole into baseboard to suit wire size (mine was 2-3mm)
Ballast and add scenic material as per usual (here I used some lightly brushed pastels over the track to add weathering effects)

05 Compare against ouside rail soldering.jpg
This is what you get soldering on the outside of the rail.
thanks 4 users liked this useful post by Manga
Offline H0  
#2 Posted : 08 March 2023 10:41:48(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 15,277
Location: DE-NW
That looks great.

Would it be better to make the cut-outs at different spots? Right rail between one pair of sleepers, left rail between a different pair? More stability maybe?
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 Toosmall  
#3 Posted : 08 March 2023 11:48:26(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 617
Location: Sydney
It's a great idea. While one has the sleepers off silver solder all the rail together for realistic continuous track.
Offline costing  
#4 Posted : 08 March 2023 16:54:22(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 157
Location: Geneve, Geneva
I wouldn't do this in a larger scale / large layout, a small gap and free movement would help in heat or humidity driven dimension changes.
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin, Roco, ESU, Bemo locos / Christmas car collector
Offline Toosmall  
#5 Posted : 08 March 2023 22:00:55(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 617
Location: Sydney
People conveniently blame thermal expansion for their poor layout quality.

You are only looking at 0.268mm over a metre with a change in 20°C.

Not to forget to factor in thermal & humidity changes for the layout base material which might even be a bit more, so then you need to subtract the rail from the base material.



thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Toosmall
Offline Manga  
#6 Posted : 09 March 2023 08:03:03(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 46
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
That looks great.

Would it be better to make the cut-outs at different spots? Right rail between one pair of sleepers, left rail between a different pair? More stability maybe?


I don't know nor have tried. This was only a test.

The strength will be in the solder joint, not where the wires are.
The solder should be shiny. If it's a dull grey/crackly looking - that's called a dry joint and could come off more easily.

Apply heat to the rail first for a second or so (maybe two for HO scale), then apply the solder, remove solder and keep the heat on for another 0.5 to 1 second.
I've got electronics experience, so it's a breeze for me.
Try to get 0.7mm solder for N or Z scale. 1mm for HO should be fine.

thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Manga
Offline Toosmall  
#7 Posted : 09 March 2023 09:17:36(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 617
Location: Sydney
Originally Posted by: Manga Go to Quoted Post
The strength will be in the solder joint, not where the wires are.

Drill a hole in the bottom of rail to key in wire (sorry for the bush carpenter approach, this was done by hand with drill between fingers for a guide with cutting fluid. A drill press would do better job).
_MG_1833_071031.jpg
Offline husafreak  
#8 Posted : 10 March 2023 17:41:02(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 559
Location: California, Bay Area
You guys are nuts, ha ha, but in a good way ;)
Offline Toosmall  
#9 Posted : 11 March 2023 13:35:55(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 617
Location: Sydney
One could just pretend you simply have an earth connection, but to be authentic you need catenary.

default_56.jpg
Offline Toosmall  
#10 Posted : 12 March 2023 23:42:56(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 617
Location: Sydney
"Earth connection", 0.5mm hole drilled in side of rail to key in wire. Could have run a black Texta over the solder after.

_MG_1916_094006.jpg
Offline Toosmall  
#11 Posted : 14 March 2023 01:42:19(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 617
Location: Sydney
I soldered the wire from the powered 8912 catenary mast into the 0.5mm hole drilled by hand (not ideal). The wire seem fairly good quality. If I was powering the rail I would then after a few cm attach a heavier gauge wire and then heatshrink.

It wasn't actually that difficult, other than I did stack a few pairs of reading glasses so I could actually see, and good lighting.

I have 2 of these soldering irons https://en.goot.jp/products/detail/px_335 (lead/tin solder is easier than tin only, and better from a long term technical issue with 'tin hairs').

_MG_1938_105821.jpg

Photo technical details: Canon 85mm f1.4 (brilliant, buy one even if Wifey is required to generate income (I had a Canon f1.8... sell daughter for f1.4). A B+W https://www.bhphotovideo..._77mm_Close_up_NL_4.html close up filter on the lens, plus a 12mm extension tube between a 1.4 extender (you can't fit extender directly on the 85mm lens, but for close up work it's not an issue). On tripod with mirror lockup and shutter release cable.

Two photos stacked f22, and f11 for the key area, doubled pixel size in LAB sharpening L chanel and a touch of Blur on AB channels (I did clone out the dust on the camera's sensor as it was embarrassing!). Half pixel size to original photo size (300dpi > 600 > 300 is the least thinking process).

Camera body is a prehistoric Canon 5D mk2 bought 2008.

default_59.jpg

There was a white piece of material used to bounce light back into the scene to help fill in shadows. White A4 or A3 paper will serve the purpose, or polystyrene foam offcut from foam box or packaging is brilliant for this task.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Toosmall
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