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Old 10-01-2018, 02:23 PM   #1
Bigfilmguy
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Default When to solder track feeds.

Hi all,

I've started practising my soldering on a piece of track, but I was wondering what people think is the best time to solder track feeds, before laying track or after? I've been using a helping hands to hold the track and some tweezers to hold the wire, but I have seen a few YouTube videos of people soldering after they have laid the track. Ive got some scrap plywood I can mount my practice track to if people think it's easier to do after laying.

Opinions or advice welcomed!
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:36 PM   #2
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if you don't want the wires to be seen, some will recommended to solder them to the underside of the rail first and feed them both down one hole in the centre between the rails, once ballasted they will not be seen. This will be the method I will use when the time comes.
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:54 PM   #3
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I prefer to do it after the track is laid. Thatís just my preference, there is no right or wrong way.
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:48 PM   #4
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If you do not want to see the soldered 'blobs' on the rail sides where the wire is soldered to the rail, then solder the droppers to the rails undersides before track laying.
If you don't mind seeing them or feel they are hidden by rail painting etc then solder them to the rails outer web area after track laying.

Whichever method you use, always scrub clean the rail before soldering, even if its brand new track. It will be tarnished! I use a fibre pencil but a file or scraper of some sorts should be used to clean the rails surface pre soldering.
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Old 15-01-2018, 01:34 PM   #5
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Ok, I've been practising my soldering and I'm happy with my progress. I have a new question though.

I want to get my track laid before soldering all my track feeds as I have found that easier than soldering beforehand. Before I start in earnest I want to test run a loco (after running it in of course) for a good few hours so I'm happy with everything.

My question is whether to invest in a couple of track power clips for temporary power or just solder a track feed to one piece of track on each oval? I'm going to have some spare flexitrack so should I just use a couple of sections of that? I know I won't get necessarily get the most constant power all the way around, but I don't want to solder everything then find out I need to change my track plan.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 15-01-2018, 01:38 PM   #6
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BFG, for the purpose of a test, just solder two wires to one section of track and join up your track as normal. You may get a dodgy joint, you may not, in fact it’s as they get older that the ‘normal’ fishplate joint can become unreliable. Soldering droppers att the outset futureproofs the layout.
But for ‘proof of concept’ go with two wires and take it from there.
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Old 15-01-2018, 02:12 PM   #7
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Cool, thanks Steve.

Logically, I know it should all work, but it's my first layout and I just want to be sure!
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Old 15-01-2018, 02:15 PM   #8
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Donít forget if you solder wires to the track you can always unsolder them if you want to move them.
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Old 15-01-2018, 03:12 PM   #9
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Yeah, I suppose I could try out the desoldering pump I got with my kit, just in case!
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Old 15-01-2018, 04:09 PM   #10
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Just reheat it, remove it and wipe solder again with iron.
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