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Old 28-06-2018, 09:01 PM   #11
Steve M
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Soldering droppers under the board is straightforward.

Bare a section of the bus wire then wrap the bared dropper round it. Rest a soldering iron of sufficient power on the joint and touch the joint with solder. Job done. It can easily be done at arms length quite safely.

Don’t be tempted by manual connectors, they aren’t up to the job - I know some will disagree but the best advice for all joints is to solder them.
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Old 28-06-2018, 09:09 PM   #12
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Yes that’s true Steve so I have left plenty of wire spare in the future for them to be soldered and tidied up.
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Old 28-06-2018, 09:16 PM   #13
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Thank you for your reply. Very interesting non solder solution.
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Old 28-06-2018, 10:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
Soldering droppers under the board is straightforward.

Donít be tempted by manual connectors, they arenít up to the job.

No it isn't if you have a fixed baseboard. Soldering upside down carries risks. If you're agile and happy to do so, then that's fine. But if you're not, then using manual connectors works equally well.
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Old 28-06-2018, 10:39 PM   #15
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I found using a connector (small chocbloc) at the end of the dropper - under the boards, and then taking a wire from the connector to the "bus", where the joint was soldered, has worked well. As Steve said, if you strip the covering on one of the bus wires and wrap the wire from the dropper around it, touch with a hot iron and the solder will just flow and make a secure joint. It pays to have your dropper wires colour coded with the bus wires. You can take several dropper wires (same colour) and solder them as one onto the bus wire.
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Old 28-06-2018, 10:46 PM   #16
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If you must solder from underneath PLEASE take adequate precautions against solder dripping off the joint, especially eye protection. I, like others above, prefer to use choc blocks previously attached to the bus wires during the initial build phase and when the baseboard was in an upright position.
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Old 28-06-2018, 11:48 PM   #17
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I have roughly a 1000 scotch blocks under my layout i have not had any problems with failed connection, and will continue to use them....
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Old 28-06-2018, 11:54 PM   #18
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I put a crimp on the end of the wire I intend to connect to my bus wire and then secure using one of these: Crimp Blade Splicer. I've had no issues and they're held very secure.

Every section of track does have a pair of dropper wires soldered to it underneath the rail just to be sure of a good connection too.
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Old 29-06-2018, 09:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by growler View Post
I’m interested in this article because I need to solder my lights but what puts me off from soldiering is the fumes, I have Silverline lead free but apparently it still as 40 % lead. Is it safe to use or could the fumes cause problems to your health ?
As an ex Fireman I can assure you that almost any fumes (Any Smoke or chelical and solvents) will harm your your health. But if you put the thing into perspective. The ammount of fumes you are likely to encounter just doing bit of soldering around the layout is not normally a health hazard. Not like breathing in saw dust all day 5 days a week in a canbinette makers shop. Or,
It is not as if you are working in factory full of people with soldering irons going it all day. Dont think that the lead will do much harm unless you eat the stuff. Or suck you fingers after holding the solder.
I would not worry if I were you just dont suck your fingers after holding the solder.
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Old 29-06-2018, 10:08 AM   #20
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Hi
How can a product be 'Lead Free' if it contains 40% lead??

Fumes from a home soldering job or working on the layout are not going to harm you. Prolonged exposure to fumes from every day continuous working is where problems arise and smoke extraction hoods are then used.

I will not use Lead Free solder due to its need for a higher soldering temperature and the fact it tends not to flow so readily as lead content solder. I'm still buying and using 60/40 lead content cored solder quite happily and get 100% joints every time.

As with any work, always wash your hand thoroughly before touching food.

BTW using lead content solder is not illegal for the home /personal user nor is it breaking any rules. It is only the manufacturing industry, where items are sold, that has to follow the EU directive and use lead free solder.
For the very best core solder try to obtain a solder that's containing silver at around 2% these solders flow beautifully and offer perhaps the very best soldered joint, but they are more expensive to purchase than standard 60/40 types!
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