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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok my track it going to be approximately 76ft.
I'm going to be using a PB Pro power base with the 4pb Master Slave Mod.
So in total 3 x 15v 5A Toshiba power supply's.
I currently have only 2 CLC's a pit lane and pit lane game (to be upgrade to pit pro) these will be using the 12v scaly supply which came with my pb.
Power taps are a no brainer and will be going every 2-3 track pieces (is this overkill?)

Ok that's the background, now the question, as this is going to be a permanent track is it worth me using copper tape?

My main reason for asking is that as you may or may not see form the pic some of the track pieces have seen better days, and i really don't want to have to replace the old track.

Thanks
Darren

Circuit Plan



Dry run mock up

 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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Try some Inox MX3 on the rails before resorting to copper tape. You will be surprised at the results. Although I'm not digital savvy, I'd be looking at some extra power taps on that monster too.

Embs
 

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Greg Gaub
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Definitely not. WD-40 works ok for a little while, but not as well as INOX MX3 and not nearly as long.
Power taps ever 2-3 connections is more than enough. Some might say overkill. The other option is less taps, and jumper each section together in a unit, with each unit served by it's own tap. That's what I'm planning.
I will not copper tape my track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok so rather than let's say 20 taps, I could do 4 main taps then 5 sub taps from there.

Are thier any advantages/disadvantages to tape?
 

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I copper taped my track about 3 years ago and I have no complaints. I did it before I heard of Inox so I can't really compare the two. One of the things I like with taping is the smooth run over the joints. The only minor issue is a bit of copper residue that has worked its way into the racing grooves.
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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hi
personally i would go for pbpro+simple h with the fan wired to 12v.Crimp all the track joints and use inox.

Using the above means a load of work saved in soldering and also the pb is contained all in one box.

One word of caution in doing the 4car slave mod is some of the later units are wired differently from the factory so if you follow the dummies guide you will end up with a short,this may be mentioned in the guide,perhaps Colin could confirm.???
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would love to get simple h but don't have the pennies for an extra £75.
I was planning on building my own black box containing the 2 bases pcbs and 1 main power output.

Also yes that small but worthwhile nugget of info is in the guide.

Thanks for the info and opinions guys keep them comming.
 

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It depends on the condition of the rails. If the rails are old and tarnished copper taping may be an option. Id try not to use IF possible.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (injectorman @ 29 Dec 2011, 09:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It depends on the condition of the rails. If the rails are old and tarnished copper taping may be an option. Id try not to use IF possible.

Rick

Wel tarnished is an understatement for some pieces.
I think rusy a pitted come to mind.
 

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Ian
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Humm as one of the first to use copper tape, on my original track I have tried all other options since, with several track changes in the mean time. I am currently working on my new track here .

And I have just purchased some more copper tape from creativeglass

I will re-tape my track once the scenic work is complete because I don't think any of the other options even come close to giving you a constant power source,(well you could power tap every track piece
) on a permanent layout, plus using copper makes the rails smooth you'll never need to change your braids as they don't erode on the track joints.

I've tried Inox, wd40 and every other option they just aren't a physical connection like copper especially with a big layout once you have done it you'll never look back. Surprisingly the cost of the copper tape hasn't gone up over the years either, to buy here in the UK it is still the same price it was five years ago which I found amazing! The copper tape I have just bought now comes in a pack that also works as a dispenser so no need to mess about making one of those.

The answer is: Copper tape every time!

 

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well...I've run Scalex and Carrera; with nothing, with conductive paste and/or aluminum foil in the joints, with power taps and with copper tape. That includes pulling up the copper tape and redoing the layout a couple times (80 foot or so). Currently (for the last 3 years) I've run only copper tape on wood routed. Personally (and I understand everyone has their on opinion on this)...I can't imagine any reason not to copper tape. As long as you get copper tape with a conductive adhesive, and as long as you pay a little attention to applying it (don't stretch too much, burnish afterwards...and once a year or so thereafter)...I'm not even sure what a realistic negative would be (!)

so, if you just want a show of hands...I vote for the copper tape. I'll add one more point too. On my Scalex track I found it susceptible to elevation differences where one track joins another. This is noisy and slows the car down, even if it doesn't contribute to breaking guides over time. I found the copper tape created a nice "transition ramp" that reduced the "click clack" sounds, and allowed the car to maintain more speed.

so yeah, there's my 2 cents. Good luck with your track!!!

John
 

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Prof I T
Ting Tong
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hi
unless you can be certain that the track will clean up as new and have the time to do it o would not use it unless it's taped.

Digital demands super clean rails.
 

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I did copper tape one of my earlier tracks at that seemed the way to go, fiddly particularly on the R1 bends. My latest track is digital and have treated it with INOX and a few power taps and it runs fine, without taping.

Removing the old copper tape from track pieces is a time consuming job.

If using tape makes sure you buy the one that has the conductive adhesive.
 

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Bruce Yingling
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QUOTE (TR7_Driver @ 29 Dec 2011, 06:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Removing the old copper tape from track pieces is a time consuming job.

This is the only negative for me. My Carrera digital track has been copper taped for three years now, and I am very happy with it. But in three years time there have been changes- even in a 'permanent' layout- and repairs have had to be made. Even though the adhesive on my copper tape (Venture brand) is 'conductive', it is not as conductive through two layers of adhesive as it is through one. So at some point you have to remove the old and put down new. Just for 2-3 pieces of track, it's a lot of work.

Carrera track joins are not terribly nosiy, so while tape does make them even quieter, my next track will probably not get this treatment. Just more power taps.
 

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Speaking from experience with a four lane Ninco digital track with H-Mod... I definately would not tape a Ninco digital track ever again - My brother had the ninco digital track... reliablilty of lane changers was ok, but we wanted more, so we heard laying copper tape over the rails was a good idea - And it was ... initially, then the tape started to wear, lift, etc and relaibilty went way down - Cars weren't registering, lane changers weren't working well, throttle control and car smoothness was just shocking... It was a nightmare cleaning the tape off the rails... really really hard work... a few guys went round to give my brother a hand to polish the rails back. Then we discovered Inox which was a massive improvement... great stuff for digital racing. We found the rails DO need to be super clean for ninco digital. In the end, my brother and I started racing at a routed analogue track and fell in love with routed tracks... so we are mid track upgrade - Scorpius digital routed timber (with braid)... but from our experience... I could never recommend anyone lay copper on a ninco digital track (I can't comment on other systems, but I would expect the same outcome)... I think tape on a plastic analogue track would be a different story and tape would be fine for analogue as it doesn't need to carry a signal.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Has anyone mentioned location? As I recall, if the track is in a location that will see wide temperature fluctuations (garage, conservatory, loft), then the tape will eventually split all over the place due to track expansion and contraction. This is the main reason I would not do it, as my track is in the garage. Once the tape splits, you lose half the point of putting it on.
 

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I know its a pain, but I'm partial to soldering the connections underneath the track - still have to keep the rails clean - but neice even conductivity. Its a bit of a pain on disassembly, but I'd rather cut wires and desolder than spend hours and hours scrubbing rails and not know if I got all the gunk off of them.

Just my .02...

Regards,

-- Rakete --
 
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