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Help setting up track for vintage and new cars


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#1 Gary Bluestone

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 04:35 PM

I am working at setting up a track for vintage and modern cars using Carrera track. I have some old Strombecker power track which uses a strip of flexable copper to connect each rail. I have a few of these copper strips which are bent in a V shape so they remain under tension when installed into the rail channel from underneath. I would like to make more of these connectors so I can run power to all sides of the Carrera track but the copper I tried has no spring to it. Does anyone know what the flexable material is exactly, and a supplier. I see Carrera sells jumper leads with similar connectors but I would like to use a lot of connectors.

  Besides that issue, all our vintage cars are 12V but Carrera  cars are 18V for the 1/24 scale and 14V for 1/32 . Has  anyone come across this problem, and is there a suitable power supply that will serve all our needs. I believe Trackmate has one that is variable up to 15V , which I could use if I avoid Carrera 18V cars. I'm not sure what other modern hardbody RTR cars are available in 12V ?






#2 Tim Wilkins

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 05:06 PM

Nomad Raceways was using his Carrera track to race modern and vintage cars.  

http://www.nomadraceways.com/


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#3 Mattb

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 05:22 PM

To be honest, I would run 12-14 volts and either switch the motors in the Carrera cars or just forget them altogether. You can buy pre-fab jumper cables and cut them in half, that gives you double sets if you hook the cut end to a main track feed. Or...you can use #12-16 gg wire and just strip it down to an inch or two and slide it in the under side of the rails. This really works fine. You can actually wire a 2 lane track completely using 12/2 with ground Romex style house wiring. The copper carries the neutral to both lanes and then a black is pos feed to one lane and the red feeds the other lane.
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#4 88honcho

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 09:09 PM

 Does anyone know what the flexable material is exactly, and a supplier.

 

Beryllium Copper.

http://www.sidecuts.com/BeCuCoils.aspx


Nicholas Killmer

#5 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 01:34 AM

I would not bother trying to integrate the Carrera track with the Strombecker.  The Carrera has a full standard depth slot and the strombecker is quite shallow requiring modifying the flag.  Old Revell track is OK, but making connectors to join the different track brands is more work than needed.

 

Most sets use a low wattage output that actually lowers voltage under 'normal' load.  I recommend a minimum of 5 amps per lane at 12 - 13 volts DC.  Our club use the Pyramid ham radio power supplies.  Many have the variable voltage feature to suit your needs. Commercial tracks are usually ten amps/lane minimum.@ 13 volts.

 

 

It is easy to solder lead wires to the underside of the plastic track rails if you lay the piece on an aluminum plate to draw the heat away from the plastic to keep it from melting.  Tin your wires first and work quickly....use 18 - 20 ga wire minimum for jumpers.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#6 Gary Bluestone

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 03:16 AM

I tried soldering to Carrera track rails with no luck , so it was my intention to make these beryllium  copper connectors like Strombecker used. I had no intention of using Strombecker track. I was trying to find some beryllium  copper sheet locally or scrounge up some from somewhere like some kind of electrical device like a power cord or something like that if anyone has any ideas. I did find a local company that makes custom springs so I will persue that. I checked out pyramid and found something  ps8KX  12V 6 A regulated , just wondering if I need 4 seperate power packs?



#7 Mattb

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 08:13 AM

Try using a bare piece of wire before you get too involved in making something. A piece of stranded copper wire 16 gg or so works fine. You just fold the bare end back over the insulation and slide it under the rail. I've done this on several setups and it works fine. If you want to solder, you probably need some of the fancy solder that will solder stainless steel.
Matt Bishop

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#8 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 11:07 AM

Remember that Carrera rails are Stainless Steel and usually require tinning with an acid flux before adding the pre-tinned wire. 

 

Most any copper or brass strip can be stuck between the plastic and rail under the track, but ensure that corrosion from electrolysis and time is rduced.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
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race directing around Chicago-land

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