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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone clear my mind. 50 years of playing with Scalextric. I have recently installed the arc pro base to my circuit which is roughly 165 feet long at the moment with a mix of classic and sports track. Since installing the base i am finding that the braids get dirty (black) very very quickly. This did not happen anywhere near as quickly when using DC power supply. Is this accelerated by using PWM with analogue cars? Track is maintained to very high level of cleanliness.
 

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Hi Wednesday... apologies I am no expert in this area... but am wondering... are you using standard Scalextric braids or something more specialist?

Then, a second question... are you using INOX MX3?

Maybe worth sharing a photo of the blackened braids to help our forum gurus consider what best advice to share...

c
 

· *** Leo A Capaldi ***
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Hello Wednesday,
This issue has been discussed before but I cannot find the topic. I cannot recall what was going on, it may have been too much Inox had been deployed causing the braids to retain dirt.

Leo
 

· Circuit Owner
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Black braids could be black for a number of reasons:

- because there is sparking (untidy braids cause this as can uneven and corroded rails)

- because the rails are dirty

- because the track is dusty

- because the track has loose rubber deposits on it from tyres

- because the rails are oily

You havent said whether this blackness is effecting performance.

Microfibre cloths (used dry) can be most effective at removing even more dust after a good vacuum cleaning. Inox MX3 can reduce sparking (a clean signal is great news for the smoothness of your digital driving experience) but needs to be used sparingly.

Easiest ways to clean black braids is by using lighter fluid and an old toothbrush (brush gently) or small strips cut from a cellulose sponge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
- because there is sparking (untidy braids cause this as can uneven and corroded rails)

New braids fitted

- because the rails are dirty

Clean rails to start with

- because the track is dusty
vacuum cleaner and damp cloth used.

- because the track has loose rubber deposits on it from tyres

Damp cloth used on track surface

- because the rails are oily

Nothing but Inox MX3 used very sparingly since ultra clean.

You havent said whether this blackness is effecting performance.

seriously effected

I think it is safe to say. Inox MX3 must have been the issue. Maybe I used to much. It was put on microfibre cloth and rubbed onto the rails what I would say was very sparingly. I have since spent hours (again) rubbing rails and in slot to death with microfibre cloths until no traces of black on cloth. This has seriously helped but I am pretty sure braids are getting dirty quicker since introducing the ARC PRO base.

Having done the same in years gone by with De-oxit 5 and WD40 contact cleaner with a similar outcome but not to the extent of the speed at which braids were getting black.

When I said rails were clean to start with I mean clean. During the lockdown period I spent over 2 months of continual cleaning of all 500 ish pieces of track. Buffed rails with appropriate polishing compound. Cleaned inside all connectors with miniature buffer which was a pain. Took rails out of some pieces that were damaged, made about 30 good pieces out of around 50 damaged ones. All track pieces were then put in ultrasonic cleaner with appropriate metal cleaning solution to get the buffing compound off and any debris from the track surface. Track is cleaner/shiner than the new pieces I have still sealed. I am pretty sure there has been no damage to metal surface during this process.

Tracks that are built are usually around 150 feet in length with the aid of a multimeter making sure connection is good between pieces. At the moment track is around 165 feet with no booster cables.

I have come to the conclusion that I will not be using any chemical on the rails in future and continue using lighter fluid for cleaning the braids making sure they are completely dry using paper towel before using. I think whatever there is out there to clean/protect rails leaves some form of residue which does not help in the long run.

I have always used a vacuum cleaner, probably not as often as I should and wiped track surface with a very slightly damp cloth which noticeably improves tyre grip

Until someone comes up with a magic potion I think I will continue using the next best thing, the wife.
 

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Has the Dc power supply without Arc been retried to rule in or out that the problem is the power base?

I'm probably way off here but................

I'm thinking some kind of metallurgical issue due to the protective coating/plating on the rails no longer present?
 

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Strange that you have the issue even after cleaning off buffing compound etc. When I use inox I use maybe 2 drops for my whole approximately 40 foot circuit. Maybe try the DeOxit D5 again (on a test section) since it probably leaves less residue than the inox. But Id use as little as possible. I really dont know whats going on though. Im on my iPhone so apologies if some strange things happen to the punctuation in this reply.

Edit: Have you tried cleaning the braids on the cars in case they are spreading inox around. I also wonder if there is some kind of oxidisation going on which might be exacerbated by the Arc Pro as you were sort of suggesting. Drifter2 raises a good question about the coating I think.
 

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Surely any blackness visible is particles in between the wire threads of the braids and will not impair conductivity?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Track is in central heated garage. After cleaning again and again problem is almost gone. It must be left over polish ingrained in the rails. I have rubbed and rubbed until my fingers are bleeding. I am surprised at this as rails look mirror finish. Cleaning with any chemical seems to make matters worse. Maybe chemical is breaking up what cannot be moved just by rubbing alone. (De-oxit). Obviously the ultrasonic cleaner did not clean as well as it should have or maybe not left in long enough. I put a couple of old motors in ultrasonic cleaner while i was messing about with track. The dirt that comes out of a motor is unreal. They run so much better after a dipping. Takes the fun out of stripping a motor and cleaning by hand.
 

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Glad to hear of your progress, sorry my suggestion of trying De-oxit again was a little off!

Wonder if something like lighter fluid might help get it all out but then again, it might make it worse for a while if its bringing the buffing compound out of the rails. Maybe just enjoy it for a while before you potentially make more work for yourself!

Keep us posted.

Steve.
 

· Circuit Owner
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Our digital club track (C7042 APB) is rarely cleaned. We all use Inox MX3 every race night. The rails are less than shiny in many places and some of our braids look quite dirty BUT we have no connectivity issues or power issues (every track piece is jumpered underneath and board joints are jumpered). So we are far less diligent than the OP and yet have no issues. I do wonder if the OPs black braids and poor conductivity are unconnected. Perhaps it is the power supply unit?

Our APB has the power mod so the main power is a 15A supply and the track jumpers ensure no power drops around our 20m circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am pretty sure I have found the answer. The track is on the floor in a central heated / carpeted garage. It has only been there a couple of months, it was previously in the loft with no issues. All track had been meticulously cleaned and brand new braids used before garage use. Track was played with first couple of nights of building with no issues whatsoever. Then not played on for a couple of days, this is when cars were struggling to do a lap without stopping due to black braids. Braids were cleaned numerous times before a lap could be completed using lighter fluid, de-oxit, WD40 contact cleaner, Inox MX3. I would have tried anything it was doing my head in. Once a lap was completed everything was fine. Next evening if track was used again this cleaning of braids would start all over again. Never even dreamt track would be dirty after one day with no use. I have found if I wipe over track with damp cloth / dry cloth before every use there are no issues at all. Conclusion >>> Dust coming through garage door seals at a far greater rate than you would have in the house. So the more and more chemicals I was using was making matters worse as the dust along with chemicals were clogging the braids. Track could have been left a month in loft without use with no issues.

Thanks for all your input. I am pretty sure what I have concluded is the correct answer.
 

· Greg Gaub
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Stop with all the chemicals.

Once you've got it working, no more anything.

But, if a car EVER starts to stutter, put ONE drop of INOX MX3 on each braid and run it around. Run that same car around until it no longer stutters. Then, test another car in the same lane. If it works, Do the same on the other lane. If it doesn't, then add one drop of INOX on each braid and repeat. When both/all lanes work for any car, stop. Have fun racing!

Yes, dust and such will be different in the garage than in the loft or whatever, but trying all kinds of things willy nilly will be just as bad.

Trust in the INOX. :)
 

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I am pretty sure I have found the answer. .................. Conclusion >>> Dust coming through garage door seals at a far greater rate than you would have in the house.
We recently had some building work done on the ground floor of the house. Despite the room being sealed, the dust got absolutely everywhere - even as far as the attic (the second floor), where my track is.

It took me weeks to clean the track to the point where all the cars would run satisfactorily. I could not believe the amount of filth less than a cubic metre of building rubble generated. :eek:

Any idea how you're going to resolve the problem, Wednesday?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not sure I can do anything more than is already done apart from possibly cover the track with something when not in use see if problem goas away. Garage door is a roller door and has been sealed best I can to keep heat in.
 

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What about a special purpose car with some kind of dust pick-up pad ahead of the guide assembly... you run it around the track a few times before each race session? must be an option?

c
 
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