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CaptOblivious

So you want to try Tomix FineTrack?

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brill27mcb

If you mean that you want traffic lanes alongside the tram tracks in the roadway, then yes, you can use the Moving Bus road pieces to add lanes on either side. The curves and straights are made to be compatible. You're on your own if you want curbing and totally paved city blocks like Unitram has.

 

Rich K.

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katoftw

If you want something like what Kato offers. Then no.

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Clayton

Just got notification from the post office! It appears that the ship has already made it New Jersey awhile back and the container was unloaded. With that in this time my package was sent to the post office yesterday! I can't wait!!!! It has been a long time since late October whenever I ordered it!

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Clayton

Does anyone know if the Tomix 5538 DC feeder connecter will work for any of the fine track? The listing only says wide rail and slab rail. The other opinion Tomix 5534 sticks out to the side too far and is in the way.

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katoftw
18 minutes ago, Clayton said:

Does anyone know if the Tomix 5538 DC feeder connecter will work for any of the fine track? The listing only says wide rail and slab rail. The other opinion Tomix 5534 sticks out to the side too far and is in the way.

Most of the newer PC single track pieces also have a slot for that feeder. eg S280-PC / C371-45-PC

 

https://review.kakaku.com/review/S0000780658/ReviewCD=1196928/ImageID=446325/

Edited by katoftw
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Clayton
19 minutes ago, katoftw said:

Most of the newer PC single track pieces also have a slot for that feeder. eg S280-PC / C371-45-PC

 

https://review.kakaku.com/review/S0000780658/ReviewCD=1196928/ImageID=446325/

 

Yes, this looks like all of the fine track underneath. Even the older brown pieces. Now I will have to wait for payday.

Edited by Clayton

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katem

The 5538 feeder is really universal, too bad it's not marketed as compatible with ordinary PC FineTrack... The only place where they acknowledge the compatibility is a compatibility table on this TNOS page which is definitely something I would not have looked into to find this kind of information.

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roadstar_na6

... I wish I had known this earlier 😄 but it‘s good to know, thanks folks.

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katem

I ended up with a bunch of unused plug-in feeders as well 🙂 But they will come handy as well, for example on my latest layout design there is a C280-15 piece in a place where feeder is needed but unfortunately this little track piece is not compatible with the underside feeder.

 

So far only the very short pieces of tracks do not accept the underside feeder - S35, C243-15, C280-15 after looking into my collection. Some C317-15, C354-15, and C391-15 are on the way so I can add info about them later. Special track pieces sometimes do accept the underside feeder, sometimes don't, e.g. S140-RE has two places for the feeder, even the new S175-PT has one as well, whereas turnouts, buffer track, or S70 signal tracks do not have any. An interesting fact is that safety line PL-541-15-S140 does not accept the feeder, the underside looks just like the old, wooden ties S140, but the dummy S72.5 piece does accept the feeder even though the rails are plastic 🙂

Edited by katem
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disturbman

😱

Had not idea this existed. I need one (or more)

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Clayton
9 hours ago, katem said:

The 5538 feeder is really universal, too bad it's not marketed as compatible with ordinary PC FineTrack... The only place where they acknowledge the compatibility is a compatibility table on this TNOS page which is definitely something I would not have looked into to find this kind of information.

 

 

I take your word on it. Even with google translate it didn't translate the comparison with the other feeder.

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Clayton

Now I need to find a store that has 16 in stock. Yes, I am wanting all of the spur, yard & mainline track HOT! so I will not have issues with my DCC. Does any have any laying around that they would like to sell?

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roadstar_na6

tbh if you‘re going DCC you‘d best be off with just soldering wires to the rails from below 😉

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katem
46 minutes ago, Clayton said:

I take your word on it. Even with google translate it didn't translate the comparison with the other feeder.

It's an image - not sure why it's common to embed text into images in Japan 🤷‍♀️ For images I use either Yandex Translate OCR or Google Translate mobile app that can translate a camera video on the fly.

 

Screenshot_20210123-205424.thumb.png.af24214b4d8f26a6d253ddad1d9abe10.png

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Clayton
12 hours ago, katem said:

It's an image - not sure why it's common to embed text into images in Japan 🤷‍♀️ For images I use either Yandex Translate OCR or Google Translate mobile app that can translate a camera video on the fly.

 

Screenshot_20210123-205424.thumb.png.af24214b4d8f26a6d253ddad1d9abe10.png

I will have to avoid the older brown fine tracks ,if I understand this correctly.

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katem

You will have to avoid both the old brown tracks (first line) and also the newer Fine Track with gray bed and wooden ties (second line). I have to admit that Yandex did not translate it well...

 

Edit: Google seems to translate much better.

 

Screenshot_20210124-102113.thumb.png.d0a8a75c21c382d4dd5d540951f58efe.png

Edited by katem

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Madsing
17 hours ago, roadstar_na6 said:

tbh if you‘re going DCC you‘d best be off with just soldering wires to the rails from below 😉

I have tried several times but I have never been able to reliably solder wires to Tomix rails. I have a good soldering iron with temperature control. I have tried different types of solder (with and without lead). I have tried adding flux. I managed to do it a couple of times but this has always been long (with the risk of melting the track) and difficult. What am I doing wrong?

Marc

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railsquid
17 minutes ago, Madsing said:

I have tried several times but I have never been able to reliably solder wires to Tomix rails. I have a good soldering iron with temperature control. I have tried different types of solder (with and without lead). I have tried adding flux. I managed to do it a couple of times but this has always been long (with the risk of melting the track) and difficult. What am I doing wrong?

 

If I recall, the technique I found which worked best is to solder a blob of solder onto the exposed "bead", tin the end of the wire (probably with the aid of flux), then hold the tinned wire to the previously soldered blob and apply the tip of the soldering iron so they fuse together. Doesn't look pretty:

 

tomix-track-underside-wire-soldering.thumb.jpg.8a508fff230e3c6687e7e379bc447ece.jpg

 

but works well and the wired track pieces have survived removal from the old layout and some are in use on the new one. Took me a couple of tries to get it right; I was using a cheap-ish soldering iron and whatever solder I had at the time.

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cteno4

@Madsing Soldering is practice, practice, practice! Even though I’ve soldered countless tens of thousands of joints, I still will do a practice solder or two before launching into a batch if I haven’t soldered for a little while! I’ve found there’s just something that that test one does to make everything then go click again in eyes to brain to fingertips. It’s one of those zen things you just have to get into a grove with practice and just can force and get frustrated if it doesn’t work right off. I think that’s why so many people are scared or frustrated with soldering. I actually really enjoy it!

 

decent solder and tip also help a lot. A mucked up tip is your worst enemy! Doing a quick stab into small tip cleaner (just a wad of spiral metal shavings that are like a pot scrubbers) every 2 or 3 solders really helps. I don’t use the wet sponge cleaners as they can cause tip damage due to thermal shock and thus not as good of tip tinning and they don’t clean the excess solder and burnt flux off really well. Many times I find I don’t need to retin the tip after a stab as the brush has cleaned off the crap and the remaining solder there is evenly coated on the tip. Some think the scrub balls may wear the tip coating off which may be true, but it’s so slow I would rather replace a pretty inexpensive time every year and be using a clean tip for the best soldering.
 

pretinning really works well as you can focus on just getting the tip on one part fast and clean and in and out with a touch of solder to get things done cleanly and as cool as possible. Fusing then is fast as well and you don’t have to fiddle with solder so only have to concentrate on tip and joint. Pretinning also really helps when you have dissimilar metals or one part is much bigger (and thus a big heat sink) than the other as the small or faster heating metal will melt and draw the solder first and blob up there and potentially overheat it while you get the bigger/slower heating piece to temp it needs. Fusing pretinned pieces only means melting the two chunks of solder which is the easiest thing to heat and fuse! At times it’s even good to use different fluxes on different metals to get solder on them each well, then just fuse the solder.

 

for wire to track soldering I would not use lead free solder. Lead free is just not as good at fusing and flowing and tends to ball up a lot more and requires a higher temperature to melt and fuse. Good old 63/37 tin/lead solder works great on copper wire and nickel silver track. no need to worry about the lead as you won’t be licking or excessively touching solder joints. Just a tiny fan on the bench is best to blow/suck away burning flux smoke that will have a very tiny bit of lead that is diluted safe very fast with fresh air. Fan is 99% for flux smoke very very little lead in the smoke.
 

When soldering track to wire you have the issue above that copper wire will heat fast and suck up flux and melted and suck up solder fast, whereas nickel silver track is much slower to heat (and a heat sink to boot) to fusing temp and it’s a flat surface that doesn’t tent to wick up solder like braided wire. Each part really needs its own best approach to get solder fused to it well, so again why pretinning both separately then just fusing the solder works best. I also use a chisel tip on the track to get a nice patch warm fast which you can’t do with a needle tip.
 

Good quality rosin core solder should provide plenty of flux when pretinning, but if you are getting blobbing it can be a sign you need to paint the area with some thick or gel flux, but just a little bit as adding a huge amount can actually impede solder fusing as well as just get messy.

 

the ultimate point to put most the solder is on the piece right near where the iron is touching but not hitting the tip itself. The tip being hotter and more solder friendly than your part and will want to suck up the solder a lot. You can also do the trick of first just doing a quick touch of solder right at the tip/metal interface to make a tiny start to prime the solder patch and transfer heat better and and also some flux. Then touch the solder to the metal only right near the tip so the solder melts onto the metal not the tip. On wire joints you can do the first little prime at the tip/wire interface and then apply the solder to the other side of the wire joint from the tip and you will see the solder quickly wick thru the joint towards the tip and as this happens you pull off the tip. This really sucks most of the solder into the joint and not around the outside that can happen a lot and give a weak joint. This is why it’s best to use very thin solder and not fat solder. It lets you get the solder into tight areas of the tip/mental interface and really control how much solder you apply and where it forms as well as less blobbing and less accidentally getting too much onto the solder tip that you will just need to be clean off.

 

if I’m having difficulty fusing then I will sometimes just touch the solder end into gel flux to give a bit extra to get the initial patch started as flux put on the metal can get burnt up as soon as the tip hits the spot before solder gets in there.

 

for stranded wire I find a tiny bit of gel flux on the tip of the stripped bit can work well and the just putting the flat bit of a small chisel tip on the side of the wore and it sort of sucks the flux into the braid and solder flowers well into the braid and doesn’t blob on the surface.

 

again it’s a lot of practice and experimenting to get your technique to where it works best for your hands and needs. Aleays test and experiment before working on any final stuff so you have a plan that works!

 

jeff

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Madsing

Thank you Jeff.

What I always get is a blob of melted solder that “floats” on the rail but does not adhere to it. I will try again soon and follow the tips you mention.

Marc

 

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roadstar_na6

Hold the soldering iron to the rail first and let it heat up a little, then add some solder and let it connect and cool down. The tin the wire and solder it to your blob of solder that‘s connected to the rail.

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cteno4

Marc (funny auto correct wants to all cap your name for our local commenter MARC train is guess!),

 

Another thing to try on the rail is to scratch it up a little bit with a contact pen. These are little pens with a dense bunch of brass or steel wire or fiberglass (I don’t like these as much for the small fibers that can come off them) and are great for getting in and cleaning and roughing up the surface a tad. Found this helps with metal parts outside of leads, pins and pcb pads. Also bit of extra flux on the rail will help as flux’s job is to eat away oxides on the surface of the metal which retard the solder from fusing to the surface of the metal. There are some more aggressive fluxes but are a pain to use and clean that work better on hard to solder to metals. But I’ve always had good luck with plain old electronics rosin solder (thick liquid) or electronics gel rosin flux. Basically same stuff that in most rosin core solders. Decent solder also helps as I’ve found some of the cheap little spools of solder to be crappy at time. I bought a nice roll of thin, high quality solder years ago for like $20 and I have years left! 

 

also make sure you have a chisel tip that’s like 3-5mm wide so you can heat a good spot all at once. A pointy tip will not heat a longer surface like this well and you usually can’t cheat on the rail and use side of the tip some like you can tinning wires to get a bigger surface area. It’s really one big point to soldering is to use the right tip for the right solder job. Nice needle tip is perfect for soldering leads and pins to pcb contact pads, tinning small parts, and even tinning small wires but not the tip for doing rail tinning. There you need a chisel tip.

 

take a piece of old track and just practice down top or side of the rail tinning a patch. For wire attachment you only need about 5-10mm length. Try different temps on your soldering iron you may be getting the iron hot enough to melt the solder but not fuse to the nickel silver. Make sure to write down the combo that works for you! I’ve figured out good temps for various metal soldering and forgotten to write it down or misplaced my at sheet!  save the piece of track and when you need to solder some contacts to rail do a few practice tinning to your old test rail before going at your new rail. It really is a bit of the “feel” thang.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I've never really had a problem with soldering wires to Tomix track. I use a very small tip with quite a lot of heat. I just touch the rail from the bottom for a few seconds, then introduce the solder. Wires are also always pre-tinned, but I don't use flux for soldering wires to track. 

 

Sometimes the trackbed will start to want to melt, and it might get singed a little bit on the bottom, but nothing that's visible from the top.

 

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Madsing

Thank you all for the pieces of advice. I will try again.

I rode the MARC a couple of times, long ago, during a trip when I was a student in the 80's. I was staying in a hotel in Braintree.

Marc

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