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connecting track

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connecting track
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 30, 2003 10:59 AM
How do i connect the track between 2X4 modules? Some of my tracks are split right on a curve. when i built this layout i put all the modules together then layed flex track. then i cut the track where the modules go together to pull apart sections.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 30, 2003 4:39 PM
You have created a challenge! LOL Usually modules are built with track ending 4 1/2 inches from the end of a module. In this way, a 9 inch piece of sectional track completes the trackwork between modules. (In HO scale)

In addition, if the last couple ties are removed on the end of the track on each module, a rail joiner can be slid ALL the way onto each rail. The modules can then be clamped together with good alignment, the 9 inch secrional tracks dropped into place, and the rail joiners SLID onto the sectional track. Neat and tidy. A little ballast dribbled into place, a slim tie or sto slid into the gaps, and you are ready for running.

You may need to consider sawing a nine inch (or other length gap) in your trackwork, and making your own "sectional" track from that which is removed. Remove a couple ties from each end, mark the bottom of the track so you know where it goes, and keep the rail joiners slid onto this piece. You will need to remove ONE tie from the ends of the track remaining on the module. This gives clearance for the rail joiners. You may still have some curved areas that aren't quite in perfect form, but they should function well.

This is just my first thoughts, there are other solutions, I'm sure.

Good luck, and enjoy your challenge, don't let it take the fun out of railroading!

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 31, 2003 8:33 AM
If the modules are made only for your convenience, then you can make them to whatever standard you want. So cuts on a curve are ok.

What is the purpose of joining them? Rail joiners are not strong enough to keep the whole module in alignment, and are not reliable enough for conducting electricity from one module to the next. So...

If you get them lined up properly, you should clamp the modules together with C-clamps. You can also run a bus under the layout with feeders to the rails to provide power. Put a plug in the bus that will allow you to diconnect when you take the modules apart.

Sorry if this seems obvious. Hope it is helpful...

Andrew
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Posted by eastcoast on Friday, October 31, 2003 9:11 AM
Usually, modules are made 2 x 4 on a straight scene and 4 x 4 at the corner. To have split flextrack at a joint??? OUCH!! Flex track will bounce back to straight when disconnected. I can suggest to relay your track and not have flex at the module joint.
Flex can be cut to fit your needs, therefor, get more flex, tack it down on the module and
connect your tracks with a short piece of straight track.
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Posted by Jetrock on Friday, October 31, 2003 11:02 AM
I haven't built the second module yet, so I don't know how it will turn out, but I have a similar situation on my belt line layout--it's essentially a very wide "C" shape with 12" flextrack 90-degree curves on either end. I have them nailed down to an intense degree, with track cut off at the edge of the module, 1 or 2 inches past the edge of the easement curve. The track does hit the module at a right angle, so proper alignment isn't a huge problem.

My plan is to use guide pins in the module to align the modules, and a latching mechanism (I'm considering using latches found on rackmount musical gear, or just bolts with wingnuts through pre-set holes in the modules) to hold them together--although, with guide pins, C-clamps would work okay. Power will go from module to module via a bus feeder with a connector plug.

The track itself will use rail joiners to connect the track in proper alignment once the modules are joined. A little more tricky than the removable track section, but since it's a single-track mainline, not insurmountable. On one not-yet-built corner I may have to have a connecting section on a 9" curve--I'm planning on making a flextrack curve mounted on a bit of Masonite that can be dropped in place.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 31, 2003 2:30 PM
the flex track does bounce back....boy that makes it hard. i used door hinges to keep modules in line. i gonna use stereo speaker connection ports for wiring. my end module is made up of 3 2x4 modules put together. i gues i will be cutting back the flex or replacing it. but boy it was nice and smooth before i cut it all up. but i have one other probblem ....how do you find space in your home for your your benchwork? do i need to explan my new home to fit this giant train layout. lol

well thanks people!
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 31, 2003 3:44 PM
Hey, you can solder flex track to a circuit board ties that has had the cladding cut ( NO short circuit) and after you cut it it will not spring and will need no joiners. FRED
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 11:04 AM
Hey Fred,

Your saying cut ties off the track. Say about 1/2 inch on both sides of seem right where the two modules come together. Then cut a peice of circuit board to fit the hole where the ties used to be under the rails. Then nail or glue down the curcuit board under the track rails across both modules. Solder down the track rails to the curcuit board. Then cut through both (track and curcuit boad) right between the two modules. and if i make a clean enough cut and keep the gap tight between ends of the track, i will not need joiners as long as modules go together perfectly each time. O yeah also make sure cut away the copper coating right down the middle between the rails so theres no short curcuits.

is that right? it sound like it will work. Now thats an idea...Hooah! Good thinking fred! thanks alot.

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 11:24 AM
To hold the track in line use the PC board method or drive a brass flathead screw under the rails about 1/2 - 3/4 in from the rail end (before the track is in place), then lay the track over it and solder the bottom of the rail to the screw head.

Dave H.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 12:11 PM
I don't understand why you say the track is "bouncing back". You should clamp the modules together, and then lay the track. Nail it, caulk it or whatever (No More Nails or Liquid Nails works too) right across the joint. After it has dried and is fixed in place, then you can cut through it and take the modules apart.

Andrew
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 12:26 PM
Yes, you got it. It's not an original thought though. Masonjar's method works too, but I think my stolen method is stronger. The screw method should also work as well, but I suggest if you use screws use brass as the plated steel screws are difficult to get a good solder joint to. FRED
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 12:55 PM
Fred...

Yes I agree that the track should be fixed down (no matter how it is done) before being cut. This is especially critical on curves, where any misalignment will be very hard to overcome later.

I was just wondering where (or how?) the problem of the track "springing back" came from, since dfx-ivan said he made all the modules first, laid the track, and then cut through it... I think I must be missing something...

Andrew
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 2:04 PM
He didn't have it ballasted and when you cut flex track in a curve and it's unballasted it tends so go back straight between the used nail holes. The only reason I think soldering to circuit board is better is if the layout gets wet or is banged / dropped hard enough to break the ballast loose from the cork or the cork loose from the plywood. Some people don't even glue their cork down, but rely on the track nails to hold it too. FRED
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 2:15 PM
I understand... Yet another reason not to nail the track. If you glue or caulk it, every tie will be cemented in place, so the chances of "unflexing" are very small...

Thanks for the clarification [:)]

Andrew
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 7:03 PM
I don't nail mine either, I also don't glue it. I pin it with map pins and ballast between the tracks. When the glue is dry I pull the pins, done with one less step. It also makes it easier to superelevate the turns, just pin it tighter with more pins on the inside... FRED

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