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gavino200

Tomix Type 500 Shinkansen DCC conversion

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gavino200
56 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Just curious did you try to rough up the surface of the strip? Wondering if they put a coating on it that’s mucking up the soldering.

 

I didn't. I wondered about a coating. But wouldn't that affect conduction? Not necesarily? The strips are SUPER shiny. Zero corrosion or dullness. 

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cteno4

Coating would not hurt conduction in the strip only contact conduction. Does multimeter probe on it show no resistance? Guessing shiny bright silver is nickel silver which should solder pretty well.

 

jeff

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chadbag

I did not want to mess around with Kitty-chan 500, but I figured other Tomix Shinkansen (at least recent ones) may have the same strips inside, so I carefully disassembled the cab of my Hikari Railstar 700.   It has the same strips.   I took a fine diamond file and filed the top and bottom until it looked all scratched up (any coating woulrd be removed).  No dice.  Same basic result.  Solder does not stick.  It appears to sometimes but is easily knocked loose just by finger power.

 

Gavin said his HN liquid flux made it work.  I ordered some and will be trying it when it gets here..    Flux like that working makes sense given that the purpose of flux is to remove any impurities to make a clean surface.

 

 

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gavino200
40 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Coating would not hurt conduction in the strip only contact conduction.

 

The strip picks up current by contact with a pair of little springs.

 

40 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 

Does multimeter probe on it show no resistance? Guessing shiny bright silver is nickel silver which should solder pretty well.

 

 

I'm not planning on taking it apart again. It works so it must be conducting. 

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chadbag

Of course, putting the Hikari RailStar back together, I lost a spring in the rear bogie that attaches to the rear coupler -- noot the two pickup springs.  I am not sure it is absolutely necessary but I will keep looking.  I did find a grab handle or something that I had lost from one of my Euro models a few weeks ago.

 

Update:  After searching the desk twice, and the floor for a good amount of time I gave up and put the Hikar RailStari back together without the spring.  Then I decided to clean off the various detritus off the desk, organize tools, salvage wires etc (cut off from long leads on decoders) and low and behold I found the spring.  So besides the grab iron, and the spring, I also found another little piece that came off some loco body (looks like an antenna or something), and some other piece that I think came out of a coupler or something.  So found a bunch of stuff I want to keep.

Edited by chadbag

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Martijn Meerts

Just gave the 500 Evangelion a quick test with regards to soldering to the metal strips. Didn't seem to work at all, I can get the metal hot enough for the solder to melt even without touching it directly with the soldering iron, but even so it doesn't want to stick. I have not yet tried with any flux, since I have no idea where my bottle of flux is, as I never really use it...

 

It does make me wonder what kind of metal they use for those strips though. I wonder if it's stainless steel, which is definitely more difficult to solder, but conductivity is also quite a bit lower than for example copper.

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gavino200
25 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:

Just gave the 500 Evangelion a quick test with regards to soldering to the metal strips. Didn't seem to work at all, I can get the metal hot enough for the solder to melt even without touching it directly with the soldering iron, but even so it doesn't want to stick. I have not yet tried with any flux, since I have no idea where my bottle of flux is, as I never really use it...

 

It does make me wonder what kind of metal they use for those strips though. I wonder if it's stainless steel, which is definitely more difficult to solder, but conductivity is also quite a bit lower than for example copper.

 

Super weird, right.  It does look and feel like stainless. I guess an advantage would be that it should never need to be serviced or cleaned. Or maybe cheaper. Who knows.

 

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cteno4

Betcha it’s chrome plated. Chrome plating has decent contact conduction but hates solder. Also why so shiny as even bright stainless is not as shiney as a chrome plating. My guess is it’s steel that has a chrome plating over it to have a thin but stiff strip. Thin nickel silver and brass are more pliable than steel. I can’t see any reason to use chrome plate except to prevent oxidation of steel as brass and nickel silver work fine in these situations for buss strips and wipes.

 

jeff

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

 My guess is it’s steel that has a chrome plating over it to have a thin but stiff strip. Thin nickel silver and brass are more pliable than steel. 

 

That makes sense. These things don’t bend at all.

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cteno4

Ok that’s probably it. Is there a reason in the design it needs to be that stiff? Isn’t it the usual buss strip also the chassis in the fairly generic Kato mech design (been a couple of years since I have opened a 500).

 

jeff

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gavino200
8 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

. Is there a reason in the design it needs to be that stiff?

 

Nope. None at all.

 

Quote

 

Isn’t it the usual buss strip also the chassis in the fairly generic Kato mech design (been a couple of years since I have opened a 500).

 

Tomix, but yes. It's just a conduction strip. It's not part of the actual chassis. 

Edited by gavino200

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Martijn Meerts

I think it's partially to simplify things a bit. With the thin brass strips you usually had some tabs and slots molded into the plastic where the strips would slide in, so the contact between the strip and the springs coming from the bogies remains good. With those stiffer strips, they don't have to do that at all.

 

If they are chrome plated steel though, it should be possible to remove the chrome plating and solder to the steel. That's still going to be nowhere near as easy as soldering to brass or copper of course. The only other option is flux, but you need stuff that works with stainless steel and/or chrome.

 

I have had trains that had similar looking strips, but I had no issue soldering those, so I guess they actually are different after all. Maybe the stuff in the World Kougei kit I haven't been able to solder is the same material as well.

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gavino200
3 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:

I think it's partially to simplify things a bit. With the thin brass strips you usually had some tabs and slots molded into the plastic where the strips would slide in, so the contact between the strip and the springs coming from the bogies remains good. With those stiffer strips, they don't have to do that at all.

 

I agree. These strips are easier to work with than thin bendy brass strips. And they can't lose function by getting bent out of shape.

 

3 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:

 

That's still going to be nowhere near as easy as soldering to brass or copper of course. The only other option is flux, but you need stuff that works with stainless steel and/or chrome.

 

Even with the liquid flux they're still harder to solder to than copper or brass. However, it is doable. And it creates a very good bond. I applied some solder in the wrong place and it was really quite difficult to remove. 

 

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cteno4

Chrome is a real tough to solder to. Most folks just usually remove a bit of the chrome plate with an abrasive. I’ve had to sand down to copper on chromed slip drain pipes when I had to solder it in place (stupid exposed plumbing vanity sink, learned a number of lessons on that project!)

 

Here a dremel and a wire wheel or grinder tip should make a little slot in the chrome plate (its usually really thin electroplated). Acid will also strip the chrome, so a dot of it then wash it off well. 

 

I think to solder to chrome plate you may need a silver solder, the appropriate flux for it, and higher heat.

 

jeff

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gavino200

What I used on this was 60% Tin 40% Lead Rosin Core. btw. I had to give it quite a lot of heat. 

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chadbag

When I ordered my HN liquid flux, I also ordered an ounce of each of their solders they sell including 

 

96% tin 4% silver

60% tin 40% lead

91% tin 9% zinc

 

Combined with their flux I want to try it on various material.    These are all solid core and you are expected to flux separately.   I'll probably continue using my Kester for normal small work where I have no issues.

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