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Offline eurotrain  
#1 Posted : 09 November 2017 14:54:30(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 26/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 23
Location: Pennsylvania, Mount Pleasant
How often should you solder a brown(ground wire) to you K track rail? What is the best method to insure a continuous circuit through the rail. Some of my K track connectrs have been distorted over the years. Do I solder the joints ? Am I right to conclude that if you are using software like Traincontroller gold that a "break" in the circuit is the same as a contact switch. How do you lay the track so that a contract track is just that and the rail is able to send a reliable digital signal to the train all of the time?

Pictures are worth a thousand words to me.

Thank you
Offline PMPeter  
#2 Posted : 09 November 2017 16:36:33(UTC)

Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,138
Location: Port Moody, BC
The usual rule of thumb is to have a power feed connection every 2 m (6 ft.).

On my K track layout I solder all of my power connections (pukos) at each track joint. The outside rail joiners are not usually a problem since even if they get slightly distorted they can easily be pinched back to shape using small needle nose pliers. For my power feed connections I solder the red power feed to one of the soldered connections below the track and solder the brown wire to one of the rail joiners. That way you do not have to worry about soldering to the SS rail and the need for a special flux.

However, if you are making contact track sections you will need 2 small gaps to isolate a section of one outside rail. A wire from that outside rail then needs to be run to your S88 or equivalent decoder. This will usually require a soldered connection to that rail. What I also do in this case is solder a jumper wire between the cut rails on either side of the isolated rail. That way I ensure continuity of the outside rail.

thanks 1 user liked this useful post by PMPeter
#3 Posted : 09 November 2017 17:00:54(UTC)

Joined: 06/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 260
My understanding is as follows:

- Marklin recommend a feeder track every 2 meters. That's a red and brown connection every 2 meters.
- To be able to interpret a contact track signal, the contact track needs to be connected to a feedback module, which turns the electrical impulse into a digital signal the software/digital system can understand. A contact track on its own will not communicate with a digital system and/or your software.

So, a bit of track cleaning, along with adjustment to some of the joints using pliers, or some soldering if you are keen, will go a long way in improving the power delivery, but will not help your software.

The standard Marklin modules are:
- the L88: this is a feedback module which is connected to the central station and also acts as a hub for other modules
- the S88 module: this is a feedback module, to be connected to the L88.

There are also other manufacturers of course.

Edited by user 09 November 2017 21:08:11(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline DaleSchultz  
#4 Posted : 10 November 2017 21:49:12(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
some pictures of how I solder my K-track are at https://cabin-layout.blogspot.com/2005/07/laying-k-track.html

Since the 2205 flex track comes in 90cm lengths, my maximum distance between track feeds is 180cm

if inr running rail is isolated for an s88 contact section, I ensure that the rail on both sides have soldered grounds.

I only solder to the rial joiners for running rails and to the underside of the center rail - typically at the joins which I solder together, or onto the underside after grinding off the black paint.

Bottom line is that every piece of track (= both running rails and center studs) have a soldered electrical path to the power supply.

Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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