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I have just built my first large ish layout approx approx 4/5 top gear size sets to build it and I have a few dead sections.

If I copper tape the entire layout will this solve the issue?

Should I be running 2 power bases in my layout to avoid power drop off?

Its scalex sport and its not all new track if that makes any difference

Just realised ive posted this in the wrong section could a Mod move it please! ?
 

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Living the Life!
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Hi Cam ......... and Welcome to the Forum


First off, do not use two powerbases ...... you will end up frying one or both of them.

You will need to look at the joints to sort out the dead-sections. Make sure that the pins are tightly crimped in place with a pair of pliers or similar and that they fit tightly into the next piece of track, again that can be carefully squeezed together. I would start by looking at the older pieces first.

Have a look at this LINK.

There are many threads to be found in in Track & Scenery forum as well and many ways to fix your track.

It might be best to avoid using copper tape on your track unless you are going to keep the design on a more permanent basis as removing it and the ensuing stickiness is not easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the link Greg and the welcome!


It is going to be a permanent setup in the loft, once the track is down ive got to get started with the paper mache etc etc Its like being a 6 year old again!

Is the copper tape wise to use on a fixed layout ive heard its quite good with temperature fluctuations etc?
 

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Living the Life!
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You are most welcome .....

There are plenty of people on here who will be passing by soon and they will be much better able to help you on the copper tape side. I tend to just stick with the standard scaley track and just run digital.

Will you be running analogue, digital or both??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just analogue for me at the moment its quite exciting having a large fixed layout let alone going digital aswell!
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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hi
i would give the coppertape onto sport track a wide birth...

Not because it does not work,it does work very well but crimping all the joints and using good ol inox is much better...

Coppertape is best left to routed layouts...
 

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Nobby Berkshire
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Yes, certainly use two power packs, one per lane.

If it's new track there should be no issues with track connections as Scalex Sport is 100% when new, so it sounds like you've been sold bad stuff. I've picked up reject track on Ebay before. Best thing to do is report it to your supplier and get a replacement.

If you have power breaks then the best way to sort these is to take the track apart and check your connections by applying power and have a friend pressing each section to find the loose one's. If you are too hesitant to report to your retailer, then tighten the connections.

End of problem.

One set of power cables might help moving the volts around more efficiently if you go over 80 feet, too.

Copper tape? Stuck on your track? Waste of time and effort and money. It'll eventually cause more issues in broken power as it wears down and tarnishes and corrodes with reaction to the metals in the pick up braids on cars. It's a fashionable short-term solution, but in the long run your track surface will look a mess and you'll be forever fiddling around with corrosion and old glue and wear and tear. And when you decide to modify your layout, the whole connection surface is ruined.

If it's a permanent layout then perhaps roll a little copper tape up and stuff it into each track section connection joint. Cooking foil does just as good a job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Again thanks for the advice, My first move will be to go over all the joints and see if that fixes it! i'll give the tape a wide berth.
 

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Cam,

Here's my "two penneth worth"

I solder my track pieces together (new and secondhand) using small strips of insulated wire connected underneath the track. If you look on the underside of the track you will see small metals tabs - solder to these. Cut small V's in the plastic track joins so that the wires do not sit proud and let the track sit flat.

I do this in sections of about 7-10 pieces of track so that I can get to work on the sections if I need to without disturbing the rest of the track.

I also solder one set of wires to each section and thread them through the base board to underneath the layout. I then join the sections together using choc blocks, so giving me power connectivity all the way round the track. For these I use car electrical wire (from Halfords)

It is a bit time consuming to do but if you do it right you only do it once and I have never had a power problem on any of my layouts. all you have to worry about then is keeping the track clean, for which I use a product called "Plebys".

I am presuming you can solder!!!


Hope that helps.

Steve
 

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Ian
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Cam,

Here's my "two penneth worth"

I would go down the copper tape route I have tried all other methods and combinations of some of them, to get a complete and balanced flow of power.

All methods have their advantages, I personally am not keen on sprays or liquids in an environment the suffers from fluctuations in temperature, just by its nature things will eventually move, and break your continuity, it is not possible that crimping joints and using a lubricant would in anyway match the conectivity of a solid joint.

I believe it has to be a solid connection across the rails so that for me has to be solder or tape. Come to think about it a permanent layout is no different to a routed track when it comes to continuity of power.

Copper tape is cheap and effective once in place, which is simple to do, it requires very little to no maintenance. (I use my track almost everyday)

Copper also creates a smooth surface for your braids to run on and reduces braid wear. Should you ever decide to switch to digital then the smooth surface also prevents electrical chatter.

To consider the time it takes to solder and or repeat treatments of lubricants the copper tape option has to be the winner every time.



Hope that helps.

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again for the input!

Firstly Ian, I have to say if my layout ends up half as impressive as yours ill be a very happy chappy!

I'm certainly leaning towards the copper tape and an extra power feed tbh, My initial thought about running tape was you would never seffer from dead spots or track seperation.

Watch this space I'll post some pictures up when im a little further on with it!
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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hi
for coppertape supplies just look on ebay. It's the conductive backing version you will need.

I ordered 100 meters from china and it was even post free,took just over a week to arrive. Very good quality..

The stuff from chna was £11 for the 100 meters,buying it from England was a £1 a meter and much poorer quality...
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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hi
no sorry, i just tapped it in the ebay search function and it came up with a list. The seller i used was selling from china.

The rolls come in 50 meter lengths and there is a choice of non conductive backing and conductive backing..

The width to look for is 5mm..

From memory i tapped in 5mm conductive copperfoil tape into the search box,hope that helps.


i also laid all mine by hand there are a few threads on here wich describe how to make a tape laying machine but with a bit of practice it goes down very easily...
 

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i have been having the same issues i checked all my track and cleaned it all and it did improve but not 100%
i was thinking about tape while at work when i picked up some contact grease for circuit breakers and the light bulb came on.....
i could use this. Ive put a little on the pin at the end of each track section before putting them back together and now the track works 100%
fine. So if you can get hold of some industrial contact grease it does the trick.
 

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I'm right about the tape because like you say copper is a better conductor
I just didn't want to make my track permanent just yet, so was reluctant to do it as I read
on here its hard to get off
 

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QUOTE (rawhidejohnson @ 6 May 2012, 07:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm right about the tape because like you say copper is a better conductor
I just didn't want to make my track permanent just yet, so was reluctant to do it as I read
on here its hard to get off

For what it's worth...there's no problem changing your layout with copper tape on it, I used to do it all the time (prior to going wood routed). The thing is, much of your layout "subsections" stay the same...such as a long straight,
or constant radius turns. You just add 2 inches of "bridging" tape whereever you've broken a joint and it's good as new. As for removing the conductive residue...there's actually no reason to...it conducts, and it's not sticky or anything.
At least I never bothered to...

Having said that, though...all of these approaches work fine to a greater or lesser extent. Whatever works for you...

with best regards,
John
 
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