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Dunk21 said:
do you have to adjust the pickups for a copper tape routed ho track????
Usually, the hot settup for this type of track is to solder braid to the pickups. I think you will be hard pressed to find an acceptable shoe adjustment for a tape track.

Tim Leppert
 

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Copper tape with standard pickups?

So guys,
does the height of the rails make the difference on how well the standard pickups work as compared to tape track? I'd REALLY rather route only one slot, not three per lane to provide for rail or rebar wire, what a pain...

One would think that a smooth pickup on smooth copper tape would be awesome due to more surface contact/patch area.

If I may ask for some feedback from anyone who has run Tjets, Magnatraction or GJets on copper taped track. I'm looking for your experiences like, too much arcing, intermittent stop and go, cornering troubles, etc. I remember reading somewhere that one of the biggest troubles is in the corners, for some reason.

I'd rather not change to slide guides as I have too many cars that I'd like to rotate from my Tomy track to a copper track, if one is built, determined by your feedback. I suppose I could build a small 4x8 two or three laner and give it a try, maybe even smaller so as not to spend too much and find it fails.

I like the thought of keeping with 1/16 inch slots rather than the prefered 1/8th inch suggested by slide guide, not to mention less friction with the standard guides.

Of the articles I've read concerning wooden tracks for HO, I have not read any further reviews/reports of how those tracks are after completion. It would be very beneficial to get a write-up of the finished product to help those like myself determine if it is worth the effort to pursue wood for the sake of design creativity.

So, if you've driven on a tape track with standard pickups, please let me know your thoughts and experiences.

Brian
 

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Hello Inside Track,

First excuse my bad english...i am out of use writing in english...

The only way a copper taped track will work is then you put a small wire (diameter around 0,25mm) under the copper tape. 1 inch is 25,4mm
I heard from other trackbuilders that then it will work.
Also i think it would be good to have a tarnish remover or contact spray(electrical Contact Spray..not the one used in cars) or in the USA there is Tarn x availble....it will remove tarnish...but i do not know what it does to the track surface...
copper tends to get tarnished....i would first try the electrical contact spray...

If you do not have this small wire under the copper tape you will always have trouble with the electrical connection...then you must solder braid under the pickup shoes..this will cause new problems...so you will not be really happy with this track...

If you decide do build a standard track then i would buy the track building guide from brad bowman...it costs something...but there is written how you can build a H0 track that works...also you have online support....

I see the following big problem at the moment with privat at home h0 trackbuilders...there is not much written about h0 trackbuilding...so they plan how to do..and try...spending alot of time to find a way that works...many of them give up after a while...
So there would be a really need for a website or a book that would give the information that at the moment only very view trackbuilders know...

Greetings,

Christoph
 

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I did some testing before attempting my big track. I used 1/2" MDF and routed a small layout. I tested both wire and tape. The copper tape is fast and easy to install, but my cars would not run on it. For Tjets, if I raised the back end, the motor would run, but as soon as I lowered it, the motor stopped. I believe that since the tape is relatively flat, there isn't enough pick up shoe pressure to make a good contact. Also, even though the shoe and tape are both solid flat, that is not the best connection. The wire did perform much better, but I had its height too high and magnet cars just got stuck. The Tjets ran fine. So, my suggestion would be to experiment with a small piece of MDF (2 x 4 foot is available from Home Depot in 1/2"; not from Lowe's). Currently, my plans are to use electrical fish tape or basically flat wire. I have all three lanes routed and next need to install the flat wire. But, because it is tempered, I am having issue with its side pressure wanting to break the top layer of the MDF between the guide and power slot. Still thinking about it.

RickP
 

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Discussion Starter #10
gotta solder over the rails i did it its a pretty rough surface but it works the t-jets are best if you solder tomy afx is the worst
 

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Thank you Joe, Christoph and Rick!

I am greatful to hear of your experiences and recommendations.

Joe, the stainless track thread was fascinating, but too rich for my blood, not to mention it lacks the flow and tricks that can be accomplished with wood. My desire is to recreate Katzspa or Championraceway in a wooden track with some of the cool lane merging that Luf incorporates in his 1/32 tracks. Not crazy lane merges that defy passing, but more realistic corners and drafting or preparing for corners in a line real cars would take.

Cristoph, thanks for the wire under the tape idea, in fact, I'll bet it doesn't even need to be wire/conductive, just enough to raise the center of the tape about .013". The disadvantage then is, what's the rest of the tape used for? At least I wouldn't have to route more slots :)

Rick, thanks for your reply in that you answered another of my questions posted, "what happens with flat pickups on flat tape". Wierd isn't it, that this combination doesn't work as one would think. I don't know what type of fish tape/flat wire your in reference to and whether or not it will be used on edge or laid flat, I suspect on edge. I think that if I were going to go through the trouble of routing slots for the wire that I'd use the rebar tie wire as it is maliable (easy to bend and work with) and easy to lay into the slots. Just nake sure you measure the depth properly when routing so as to leave .013" above the track evenly. And yes, I will go to Home Depot and do some testing with different methods, I'll hope to post results here.

Thanks again and keep the thoughts coming.

Brian
 

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I tried to explain my interpretation of shoes over flat surfaces vs. flat against flat but it became difficult. :(

I guess the most simple answer is that electricity is lazy; it always wants the shortest and easisets path to a ground. Flat shoes against a thin rail gives an easy path and good contact. Flat against flat; there is too much surface area and air getting between the two. The electrical flow scatters all over the place trying to find the ground, causing resistance. If you had very strong pick-up springs I'll bet that would help, but since you have no downforce you can't go that route. :)
 

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Hello Inside Track,

If you want to use wire...i know some types of wire that should work.
Bare copper wire works...better is brass wire...the best would be nickel silver wire..in the USA also called german silver wire...but it is hard to get nickel silver wire...

I know a source for brass wire...also many other wires are here avaiable...

http://www.wires.co.uk/acatalog/brass.html

The reason i would not want rebar tie wire is because it is much more magnetic than standard tomy rail...but this is only my personal view...

Greetings,

Christoph
 

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On the three H.O. routed tracks I helped build or built, I used Rebar tie wire. The reasons are simple, you can walk in a Home Depot and get it, it's very inexpensive, and it works great ( easy to put in, bends easily, very conductive). I don't get the too much magnetic, it seems fine to me!
 
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