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Offline PeFu  
#1 Posted : 08 April 2018 14:33:58(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 936
My schattenbahnhof/shadow station level is completed including ramps to the visible levels, in total approx. 62 meter C tracks. For a long time, I have hesitated going K or C track. The sweeping K tracks curves are tempting, and the final dealbreaker has been: "How about soldering the stainless rails?"

There are a lot of Internet forum entries on this topic, and on a Swedish forum, I was suggested to try the "Meltolit Z-Fluss".

With a Dremel tool, first I opened some space at the back of the flex track (as on the below image). I heated the soldering tool to 370 degrees Celsius, and added a very small volume of Z-Fluss to the rail. Then, when soldering, the black cable was immediately fixed! I used the same method for soldering the red cable, with the same positive result.

I will now go on with K tracks and Merkur trackbed, most probably using this method. This will be fun, but unfortunately, snow is melting and the family asks for other activities too... Cool

2018-04-08 Soldering IK Track - Big.jpg
Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V9
Youtube Channel for the Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout
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Offline PMPeter  
#2 Posted : 08 April 2018 15:39:25(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,138
Location: Port Moody, BC
For the red wire you actually do not need any flux. Just scrape off the paint and use any rosin core solder and it will solder directly. For the black wire you could also solder to the rail joiner without any flux, but if you want it hidden then your solution is a nice one. You just have to be very careful that the solder does not touch the adjacent "B" metal when flexing the track.

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Offline michelvr  
#3 Posted : 08 April 2018 15:45:51(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,254
Originally Posted by: PeFu Go to Quoted Post
This will be fun, but unfortunately, snow is melting and the family asks for other activities too... Cool

Hello PeFe,

Glad you had success with soldering K track, I agree it's fun to do.

Lucky you! Snow is melting? Scared

For us in Barrie, Ontario, Canada the snow keeps on falling down, last night another 10cm! Crying

Where is Spring? Wub
Offline PeFu  
#4 Posted : 08 April 2018 16:04:09(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 936
Originally Posted by: PMPeter Go to Quoted Post
For the black wire you could also solder to the rail joiner without any flux, but if you want it hidden then your solution is a nice one.


The challenge is when soldering rails for contact tracks, where rail joiners aren't applicable...

Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V9
Youtube Channel for the Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout
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Offline PMPeter  
#5 Posted : 08 April 2018 16:13:36(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,138
Location: Port Moody, BC
Originally Posted by: PeFu Go to Quoted Post

The challenge is when soldering rails for contact tracks, where rail joiners aren't applicable...



Agreed. Then you need flux. I use the Fohrmann soldering oil for that purpose. Works great with a very little amount.

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Offline DaleSchultz  
#6 Posted : 08 April 2018 16:16:35(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
Good decision, as you say, this is a common topic... I have built two largish layouts using K-Track and I can tell you you do not have to solder onto the rails directly.

It is very easy to solder onto the rail joiners, and if you are using flextrack (which I suggest even for straight tracks), it is very easy to add additional rail joiners as needed for detection rails etc..

To place a rail joiner in the middle of a rail, one pulls the rail out (they slide out), you cut some of the plastic rail clips with a knife where you want the rail joiner, and slide the rail back in, through the rail joiner. Then you crimp it and then solder to that.

Using rail joiners lets you avoid flux which has a tendency to corrode the wires after a period.

You can solder to the brass connectors for the center (red) wires. See pics at:

https://cabin-layout.blogspot.com/2005/07/laying-k-track.html
Dale
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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Offline hxmiesa  
#7 Posted : 09 April 2018 15:48:20(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,324
Location: Spain
I wanted to comment on this too, beucase building with K-track is my "specialty". But DaleSchultz has already explained it perfectly.

Although I admire your ability to solder with 370º and flux without damaging the plastic parts of the rail, this is by far much too complicated for what is needed here. Also, the photo that you show is at an EXTREME risque of short-circuiting, with the ground solder-blob placed between two center-power-conductors. Doing THAT on a slightly curved flex-track section will almost guarantee a short, as the track moves easily when you install it...
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline PeFu  
#8 Posted : 09 April 2018 19:12:26(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 936
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
I wanted to comment on this too, beucase building with K-track is my "specialty". But DaleSchultz has already explained it perfectly.


Are you using the same method as Dale, soldering on rail joiners? Which brand and type of joiners do you use, as I guess some are easier to solder?

Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
Although I admire your ability to solder with 370º and flux without damaging the plastic parts of the rail, this is by far much too complicated for what is needed here. Also, the photo that you show is at an EXTREME risque of short-circuiting, with the ground solder-blob placed between two center-power-conductors. Doing THAT on a slightly curved flex-track section will almost guarantee a short, as the track moves easily when you install it...


Good remark. I’m thinking of using a small piece of shrink tube at this area of the cable. Re. the 370ºC heat, it probably helps for saving the plastics, as only a very short time is required.
Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V9
Youtube Channel for the Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout
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Offline hxmiesa  
#9 Posted : 10 April 2018 12:55:46(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,324
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: PeFu Go to Quoted Post

Are you using the same method as Dale, soldering on rail joiners? Which brand and type of joiners do you use, as I guess some are easier to solder?

Yes, I use the same method more or less; Sometimes, instead of inserting an extra shoe, I simply cut the track before and after an already existing shoe.

The shoes I use are from the kit that comes with the pack of 10 flex-track sections. (Actually I dont remember if it comes WITH the tracks, or if you jave to buy it apart.) Anyway they are Märklin originals, and I think there are 10 shoes and 10 copper-tounges for the center pukos, (Needless to say I never use the copper parts, as the center studs can be easily soldered, once the black paint has been scraped off.

Some 3rd party set of track shoes fits perfectly too. I dont remember the brand name, but could be Peco. They only cost a fraction of the original Märklin parts.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline DaleSchultz  
#10 Posted : 10 April 2018 16:47:06(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
I used cheap Peco rial joiners
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline DaleSchultz  
#11 Posted : 10 April 2018 16:48:38(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
and yes, if you think before you cut, one can often cut ether side of an existing rail joint, so no additional shoe is needed.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Minok  
#12 Posted : 10 April 2018 19:00:02(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,235
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
and yes, if you think before you cut, one can often cut ether side of an existing rail joint, so no additional shoe is needed.


That seems more like luck - in that where you want S88 detection section changes would not often align with where the section of flex track happens to end, would it? Or is there a trick to laying out the track that helps ?
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/
Offline DaleSchultz  
#13 Posted : 10 April 2018 21:25:40(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
and yes, if you think before you cut, one can often cut ether side of an existing rail joint, so no additional shoe is needed.


That seems more like luck - in that where you want S88 detection section changes would not often align with where the section of flex track happens to end, would it? Or is there a trick to laying out the track that helps ?


Sometimes it works out well. For example, say you have a length of 2m between turnouts and you are using 2205 flex tracks (cheapest per length). One piece will be 20cm long, plus 2 lengths of 90cm. So, by placing the 20cm one at the end, where one needs an s88 detection, one can do it at the last joint. The other end would need its detection right after the turnout.

If I needed a detection point in a hidden area, and the location of the s88 is not so critical, then I could typically shift it to where a joint would naturally fall.

I would not allow it to influence the location of a track detection point where it was important.



Dale
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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Offline applor  
#14 Posted : 11 April 2018 04:04:53(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,515
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
Although I admire your ability to solder with 370º and flux without damaging the plastic parts of the rail


It's actually not that dangerous because the rail is such a big heat sink that you can solder and the ties don't melt.
It does help to dab it with a wet cloth afterwards to be safe or just blow it for a few seconds.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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