Feeder wires??

Trains Dec 7, 2017

  1. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    Going to try and make my own. Will be using Unitrack jointers. Is it best to use stranded or solid wire?
    They will be about 12" long.

    Don
     
  2. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think it is easier to solder solid wire to the joiners. I remove them from the plastic piece and solder to the bottom. Some flux makes it go easier. Then I use scotch lock connectors to connect to the bus. Easy and effective. Buy the real 3M connectors, knockoffs tend to cause headaches.

    Trey
     
  3. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Another option, which then does not rely on the unijoiner-to-track connection is to solder directly to the unitrack. On the underneath, just behind the unijoiner, are two larger openings below each rail. I take the tip of a diamond point file, scratch those rails just a bit, for better bonding surface, touch with some liquid flux, then a bit of solder in each hole. I use 24 awg solid wire, put a 90 degree bend on the end, pre-tin, then touch the soldering iron tip to the wire sitting on the rail. A fast and easy very solid bond.
     
    Carolina Northern likes this.
  4. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks guys, I got a couple of wires on the jointers. The problem I have is shaking to much!!!
    Not as young as I use to be! Going to take me a little longer.

    Don
     
  5. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Just a note on the Scotchlok connectors, They were designed for use with solid wire. People have used them for stranded wire with varying success. On my new layout I have decided to go with solid wire on all my feeders and bus wires.
     
  6. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Always use solid wire on feeders and solder the other end to the bus.
     
    mtntrainman likes this.
  7. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    DCESharkman,
    That's what I plan on doing. Now I have to get in gear and get some 1x4's and plywood to get started!
    Getting very hard to get going at 71 years old! Don't want the wife to have to worry about getting rid of it
    if something happens to me.
    Don
     
  8. nickelplate759

    nickelplate759 TrainBoard Member

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    If shaking hands are a problem, use tools to help. For example, stick the joiner to a heat-resistant surface with paper tape (stick side up - then use more tape to fasten the tape to the surface) so it won't move. Tin the joiner and the wire. Then use either more tape or one of those "extra hand" stands to hold the wire in position. Solid wire will make this much easier as it's not so flexible. Then you only need to steady the soldering iron.
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  9. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    For flex track another tip is to flatten the end of the solid wire to provide a larger soldering area. Then fold it over ninety degrees and solder to the bottom of the rail.
     

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