Tips for soldering feeders

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by prodigy2k7, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    I tried to play around with soldering feeders to my old bachmann ez track for practice.

    DANG I SUCK lol..

    Its a lot harder than soldering two pieces together.
    The 20 gauge wie is pretty thick compared to the rail itself. It is almost the same height as the rail itself, it fits right inside the groove of the I shape rail.

    Any tips of how to do this properly and easily? lol
  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

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    resistance soldering is the easyest
  3. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    What size of soldering iron are you using? I use a 100 watt gun that gets the rail hot enough to solder in a hurry. I also use an acid flux to clean the rail before I solder. Other than that it's just a matter of heating the rail and wire, feeding a bit of solder in and holding the wire to the rail while the solder cools (I use an old pair of needle nose pliers for this)
    If I'm not misstaken isn't EZ-track steel? That could change your soldering properties.
  4. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    40 watt iron with a pencil shape tip. I have water soluable flux and rosin flux.
  5. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

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    Get a set of heat sinks and some liquid flux. Make sure you use a tinned clean soldering iron. Clip on the heat sinks on either side of the are being soldered. Brush on some flux. Heat up the reil and flow some solder on.
  6. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

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    What is a heat sink?
    How do I hold the wire and solder at same time?
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I just answered your other question in this same forum. A heat sink draws heat away from the area of the rail where you don't want heat to keep from melting ties. You can buy heat sinks, but just as effective is an old rag or paper towel wet with water. The heat won't go through the water until it has first boiled off all of the water. As long as the rags or towels are wet, the ties are safe.
  8. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

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    You could probably use some alligator clips purchased at Radio Shack. I have a set of 6 heat sinks which are spring loaded and clip on to rail nicely. 3 small and 3 large.

    I've typically soldered rail joints on flex track, especially on curves. I put one heat sink on each side of the join, brush on the liquid flux and melt some solder on. Once you learn this techniquie it is very easy.
  9. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

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    You could probably use some alligator clips purchased at Radio Shack. I have a set of 6 heat sinks which are spring loaded and clip on to rail nicely. 3 small and 3 large.

    I've typically soldered rail joints on flex track, especially on curves. I put one heat sink on each side of the join, brush on the liquid flux and melt some solder on. Once you learn this techniquie it is very easy.
  10. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

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    I use a 100 watt Weller soldering gun and rosin core solder along with a paste flux. I dab a little flux on the wire end and a little on the side of the rail,then hold the wire in place with one hand while I handle the soldering gun with the other. I touch the solder point to the solder to get some on it, touch it to the rail and I have an instant solder. Very, very seldom do I ever melt a tie. Besides soldering feeders I also solder the rail joints. I'm not worried about expansion/contraction issues because I cut gaps in the rails for this purpose and also for blocking and setting individual power districts. In this way I can have a DCC locomotive pulling a freight around the layout while a DC locomotive switches the sidings. There are 16 blocks/districts on my layout.
  11. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

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    My layout is still in my head so I haven't tried soldering rails as yet. But I have done a LOT of soldering of electronic parts where rosin core solder is the ONLY way to go. Is it really necessary to use flux in addition to the rosin core solder? The rosin is the flux for electronics. Acid flux is a definite no-no for electronic parts because the acid isn't neutralized unless you go to great lengths to wash it off. I think that would hold for soldering rails because you are dealing with an electrical/electronic circuit, like it or not.
  12. Spawn of Chaos

    Spawn of Chaos Member

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    EZ-Track comes in steel and nickel silver. Black roadbed=steel and gray roadbed=NS.

    I have NO IDEA how to solder anything lol...ah well.

    Good luck! :thumb:
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Old Bob -

    You definitely need more flux than the rosin-core solder can provide. Liquid flux is good for stranded wires as it wicks in between all the individual strands, and that draws the solder in as well to make a strong joint.

    And you are right when you say to avoid acid flux for ALL model railroad applications, including track soldering.

    Andrew
  14. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

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    Amen to that! That stuff does a real hatchet job on track.
  15. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

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    Thanks for the response on flux, guys.