Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

How do I connect wires to the metal prongs beneath a Caboose throw?

4787 views
56 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 753 posts
Posted by PC101 on Saturday, September 25, 2021 7:28 PM

tstage

I use the barrel of the soldering iron to melt heat shrink tubing.  Works great.

Yes, NEVER use a soldering iron tip for anything other than soldering.  You want the plating on the tip to always remain shiny.  Any pitted plating or any foreign material on the plating will not transfer the heat evenly between the iron and the object being soldered; resulting in a poor solder joint.

Tom

 

Tom, yes I agree, the barrel does work good.

I can not say NEVER. I had jobs that only the tip was the only part to fit the location to do the soldering and heat shrink work needed and had to be used.

I also use fully plated and non-plated tips. Good clean solder joints with both.

The pitted plating and foreign material on the tip and wrong heat is the failure of many a soldered joint, you can add movement of the joint before solder is ''set'' also.

Bob, PC101

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,076 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, September 26, 2021 5:49 AM

For those of you who don't think that a soldering iron applied directly to heat shrink tubing won't melt the tubing into a gooey mess, consider Randy Rinker's reply in that link that Ed provided.

rrinker

This is where a true variable temperature soldering station comes in handy - if I turn mine down, it will shrink the tube without melting it all over the tip in a gooey mess like happens with an ordinary soldering iron.

This is what happened to the OP.

crossthedog

I heated it up with the soldering iron after I slipped it over the joint. It didn't shrink a lot but it gummed up my iron tip and got very goopy. 

The same thing happened to me years ago, so don't tell me that heat shrink tubing cannot melt into a gooey mess. It can and it does.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,076 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, September 26, 2021 6:32 AM

gmpullman
  

I'm just curious as to why your experience with shrink tube is different from the results some of the other members are having. I, too, bought a "crafter's" heat gun and it is ideal for shrinking the tubing, however, if I need to get in close to, say wiring on an LED for a headlight on a delicate, plastic locomotive shell, the heat gun simply throws off too much heat where it isn't wanted and the risk of melting plastic details is very high.

Well, you gotta use common sense when using a heat gun on heat shrink tubing. I wouldn't let a heat gun get anywhere near a plastic locomotive shell.

I have used a heat gun on plenty of wiring projects, but all of my wiring projects have been performed on the workbench or on the chassis. Even then, I use a piece of styrene sheet to protect surrounding areas. I only want the heat coming out of the gun to reach the heat shrink tubing.

If I need to get in close to, say wiring on an LED for a headlight on a delicate, plastic locomotive shell, I would no sooner use a soldering iron than I would use a heat gun. In the rare instance where I have needed to do that, for example when replacing those godawful incandescents on an Athearn Genesis, I just use something like Aleene's Tacky Glue to protect bare wiring.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,076 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, September 26, 2021 6:55 AM

gmpullman

I've never had a piece of heat shrink melt. I have come across some types of "wire-loom" insulating material that might be confused as heat shrink but this is made of maybe nylon or a type of PVC. Heat shrink is made of polyolefin. Some heat shrink tubing is lined with a goopy sealant for wet locations. This is not a good choice for model RR electronics.

gregc

where did you get your heat shrink from?

i've brought stuff home from work as well as buying some at a hardware store and off ebay. 

I made my way down to the basement and checked all of my heat shrink tubing. I have purchased it from three sources: Litchfield Station, Miniatronics and Home Depot.

The Home Depot product is made by Gardner Bender, and the labelling states that the heat shrink tubing is 100% polyolefin.

I see nothing to indicate on any of these three products that the tubing is lined with a goopy sealant for wet locations.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: somerset, nj
  • 3,854 posts
Posted by gregc on Sunday, September 26, 2021 7:18 AM

it may not be obvious that ...

the iron only shrinks the part of the heat shrink in contact with the iron.   so the iron has to be moved around to shrink the entire length and circumference of the shrink wrap.    and it only shrinks so much.

it's not as easy as with a match or hot air gun

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 3,622 posts
Posted by York1 on Sunday, September 26, 2021 8:16 AM

I'm a little late to this, but I have found that in very tight places, this stuff works well.  I don't use the supplied brush, but a toothpick puts this stuff into very small places.

I use this a lot with some of the Arduino work, where ever some wires may move and make contact.

The OP's problem seems like this would be perfect for it.

I don't care what your religion or political beliefs are.  Just use your turn signal.

York1 John       

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 16,281 posts
Posted by tstage on Sunday, September 26, 2021 8:31 AM

gregc

it may not be obvious that ...

the iron only shrinks the part of the heat shrink in contact with the iron.   so the iron has to be moved around to shrink the entire length and circumference of the shrink wrap.

And the plus is that this allows you greater control over the heat shrink.  Sometimes I don't want uniform shrinkage over the entire length and want one end left "pre-shrunk" to provide strain-relief for wiring or allow something to be easily removed. 

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • 753 posts
Posted by PC101 on Sunday, September 26, 2021 9:25 AM

Went to see what would happen with my heat shrink tubeing on a tip of the 30w soldering pencil. It did not do anything but shrink, smoke, stink and get baked to a hard in some places tube that still has some softness to it in some places.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,964 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 26, 2021 1:26 PM

Very funny!

Heat-shrink tubing is just plastic that has been selectively irradiated while stretched.  This makes it 'relax' smaller when it is warmed.  But it will NOT do well if you then heat it to (let alone past) its melting point...

For those who don't appreciate the humor, the heat-shrink tubing is for wire insulation, and you heat it with a hair dryer, or gently with a heat gun, or with the reflow hot-air-blower on a soldering station on low setting, so it snugs up to the joint to insulate it electrically.

While you "can" heat it with the radiated heat from a soldering iron, you have to be careful to keep the iron at a distance and move it around to evenly 'shrink' the whole of the tubing evenly.  See Tom's point above about selective heating to fix the tubing in place while you work.  

You move the tubing 'up' on the wire, so it won't be prematurely affected by the heat as you solder the joint, then slide it back after the joint has cooled -- don't try to use residual heat in the joint to economically start shrinking the tubing too.

And no, you will never. ever insulate a soldering-iron tip with the stuff...

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 288 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Sunday, September 26, 2021 11:13 PM

richhotrain
For those of you who don't think that a soldering iron applied directly to heat shrink tubing won't melt the tubing into a gooey mess, consider Randy Rinker's reply in that link that Ed provided. rrinker This is where a true variable temperature soldering station comes in handy - if I turn mine down, it will shrink the tube without melting it all over the tip in a gooey mess like happens with an ordinary soldering iron. This is what happened to the OP. crossthedog I heated it up with the soldering iron after I slipped it over the joint. It didn't shrink a lot but it gummed up my iron tip and got very goopy.

@Rich, your research efforts on behalf of proving the possibility that I might be telling the truth when I said my tip got goopy with the tubing are nothing short of heroic. Thank you. It sort of speaks to an excess of time on people's hands that there was so much discussion of whether or not my stated experience could actually be something that could be experienced. Anyway, I don't have a heat gun (or a hair dryer). I can see the value of the soldering station but it will have to wait. For now, I might try moving the iron more quickly over the entire tube, or I might skip the tube and isolate the middle rod with some electrical tape.

I also noted the idea of liquid tape. Lots of options, as usual. Thanks all.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,526 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, September 27, 2021 12:35 AM

For over 20 years at work and on the layouts I have used this small Butane torch to shrink heat-shrink tubing.

On about 30% valve opening it produces the perfect amount of heat to make the tubing shrink quite nicely.

It is also great for lighting fireworks!

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: somerset, nj
  • 3,854 posts
Posted by gregc on Monday, September 27, 2021 4:24 AM

crossthedog
I also noted the idea of liquid tape. Lots of options, as usual.

if i'm splicing wires together, to lengthen them for example, i'll use a piece of insulation from a larger wire.   i might use insulation from 18g wire to slide over a splice of 22g wire

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,076 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, September 27, 2021 5:55 AM

crossthedog

@Rich, your research efforts on behalf of proving the possibility that I might be telling the truth when I said my tip got goopy with the tubing are nothing short of heroic. Thank you. It sort of speaks to an excess of time on people's hands that there was so much discussion of whether or not my stated experience could actually be something that could be experienced. 

LOL.  Thanks, Matt. At some point early on I began to realize that I was becoming the target of challenges for simply commenting that you should use a heat gun.  But, we did have the late and revered Randy Rinker on our side. If I had your home address, I would buy a heat gun and mail it to you.

The heat gun does an amazing job of securing wire joints together, and the results are a sight to behold. Of particular elegance is the joint with a resistor between wires. Once the heat gun is applied, you can see the outline of the center piece of the resistor inside the heat shrunk tubing.

Good luck with your project.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: somerset, nj
  • 3,854 posts
Posted by gregc on Monday, September 27, 2021 10:26 AM

richhotrain
At some point early on I began to realize that I was becoming the target of challenges for simply commenting that you should use a heat gun.

it's sad to hear you feel like a "target" or "challenged".   i believe the forum is about sharing ideas and experiences.  (i don't learn from hearing what i already know)

there is of course no one right way of doing things.   we may not all have the same tools, materials, skill levels or understanding.

i would prefer to use a heat gun if it's handy.  others i work with use a lighter.  i'm comfortable using a soldering iron if soldering.

my take-away is becoming aware that some heat-shrink may melt.

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 288 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Monday, September 27, 2021 11:16 AM

gregc
if i'm splicing wires together, to lengthen them for example, i'll use a piece of insulation from a larger wire. i might use insulation from 18g wire to slide over a splice of 22g wire

Greg, this is a good idea, thanks. If I get frustrated with the tubing I may fall back on this since I can clearly see that it would work well.

@Kevin, that joint is a work of art, but I wonder why you didn't use one of your Wagos there. It looks like one wire being spliced into the middle of another, so I wonder why you took the trouble to remove the insulation from the continuous wire. Anyhow, it looks clean and smart. Mine, as has hopefully been established, did not.

@Rich, you're very generous but there's no need to send me a heat gun. I could afford it if it became the next indicated thing. I've just bought a lot of tools and supplies this summer and I need to rein it back a bit. 

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,526 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 5:32 AM

crossthedog
Kevin, that joint is a work of art, but I wonder why you didn't use one of your Wagos there. It looks like one wire being spliced into the middle of another, so I wonder why you took the trouble to remove the insulation from the continuous wire. Anyhow, it looks clean and smart. Mine, as has hopefully been established, did not.

I am just simply nuts.

I never cut and splice my bus wires. They are single-piece heavy gauge stranded wire from the main on/off switch to the far end of the layout.

When I need to tap into the bus, I strip off a section of insulation, and then wrap and solder the tap wire to the unbroken bus wire. Then I seal it all with a piece of glue-lined double-wall heat shrink tubing. 

My next layout will have five bus wire pairs.

1) Local train control (red/black)

2) Inner loop (yellow/green)

3) Outer loop (blue/white)

4) Tortoise supply (orange/brown)

5) A/C Accessories (purple/gray)

All of the train controls will leave the transformer, go to a polarity selector switch, then to a guage tap, then an on/off switch, then the main bus. Once the main bus is started, it will be unbroken.

Having an unbroken bus wire is not necessary, and there are advantages to breaking the wire at distribution points. No one method will ever be right for everyone.

I have yet to use a WAGO connector on a layout. My last layout was built about ten years ago, and I was not aware of these yet.

While they will not be used on the main bus wires, they will certainly be employed if additional connections are needed into a tap wire.

In preparation of the next layout, I have been buying ten-packs of colored wire as I find decent prices.

I also have a very good stash of various hook-up wire spools left over from previous layouts.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 288 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 10:05 AM

SeeYou190
In preparation of the next layout, I have been buying ten-packs of colored wire as I find decent prices.

You are a paragon of patience, the very soul of strategy. It will be nice when you go to lay track and you don't have to stop construction while you wait for Trainz to send you a double crossover, or go looking for decent prices on eggplant-colored wire. 

SeeYou190
All of the train controls will leave the transformer, go to a polarity selector switch, then to a guage tap, then an on/off switch, then the main bus.

I have this feeling that every man jack of you here on this forum is a retired electrician. Aren't there any other English majors or failed poets, bakers? It's a benefit to me, but I sure feel like a dodo among all you electrical smarties.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,076 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 10:17 AM

crossthedog

I have this feeling that every man jack of you here on this forum is a retired electrician. Aren't there any other English majors or failed poets, bakers? It's a benefit to me, but I sure feel like a dodo among all you electrical smarties.

Matt, there is no doubt that model railroading often raises the need for some amount of electrical knowledge, but not necessarily electrical expertise. I, for one, am not a retired electrician. After enough time is spent on the forum, most of us gain enough electrical knowledge to solve our problems. Don't despair. Over time, you will be answering questions as much or more as asking questions.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • From: Vermont
  • 77 posts
Posted by Ablebakercharlie on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 10:35 AM

crossthedog
Aren't there any other English majors or failed poets, bakers

This was amusing to read as I am two of the three things you mentioned - an English major who has owned and operated a bakery cafe for the last 20 years with my wife.  Never really tried my hand at poetry. Smile  

I am a newcomer back in the hobby such as yourself.  I have no previous electrical experience but I read books, follow youtube videos and read the posts here on the forum.  Then I give it a go and learn from my mistakes and give it another go until it works. 

It is also very helpful to have a sort of mentor to ask specific questions and get detailed explanations of their layout like Mel has graciously done to help me!

From reading your posts it looks like you are making progress and your layout is coming right along.  I think you are doing all the right things to make it happen as long as you are having fun while doing it!

Cheers!

charles

 

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 288 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 10:54 AM

Ablebakercharlie
I am two of the three things you mentioned - an English major who has owned and operated a bakery cafe for the last 20 years with my wife.

Charles, this warmed the cockles of my heart (whatever those are). I had a good chuckle. And what's funnier is, my wife is a baker of enormous skill and talent and experience, and one of the things we've dreamed about is opening a bakery together.

Ablebakercharlie
I am a newcomer back in the hobby such as yourself. I have no previous electrical experience but I read books, follow youtube videos and read the posts here on the forum. Then I give it a go and learn from my mistakes and give it another go until it works.

This is what I do, too, exactly. I haven't got a mentor here but a number of members have been especially helpful, and then there are the ones who comment less often but happen to offer just that timely bit of insight that pushes me into the next level of understanding or gives me the idea that fits the situation. I also am unshy about asking bonehead 101-level questions, which is I think why so many of my posts become conflagrations of argument. Anyway, glad to meet a fellow English major.

-Matt

 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 288 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 10:59 AM

richhotrain
Don't despair. Over time, you will be answering questions as much or more as asking questions.

Thanks Rich. It may have been you, or Sheldon, who told me early on that once I actually did it (some basic wiring thing) I would be surprised at how simple it all seemed afterward. And that has proved true. I was terrified to embark on frog-undeadening because I don't intuitively "see" in my mind how the electrons flow, but after playing with a few bits of wire and a loco that reliably halts at frogs, I figured out at least what happens when wires are connected here or there. And so I'm installing those connections, either with Tortoises or with CI throws. And yes!!! I'm having fun.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • From: Vermont
  • 77 posts
Posted by Ablebakercharlie on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 1:17 PM

 

crossthedog
one of the things we've dreamed about is opening a bakery together.
  If you ever need someone to talk you out of it just let me know.  Laugh   Seriously,  send me a PM and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about starting a bakery business based on my experience. 

 

crossthedog
this warmed the cockles of my heart (whatever those are)

 

Well wonder no more!  My library has a subscription to the OED and so I looked it up as I didn't know myself!  Here it is:

U.S. Hear pronunciation/ˈkɑk(ə)l/
Forms:  Middle English cokel, Middle English cokille, Middle English cokul... (Show More)
Frequency (in current use):  Show frequency band information
Origin: A borrowing from French. Etymon: French coquille.
Etymology: < Anglo-Norman cokilcokkill, Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French cokille... (Show More)

 

 1.

 a. Originally: a small edible marine bivalve mollusc native to coastal waters of the northern and eastern Atlantic, Cerastoderma edule (family Cardiidae), having a thick ribbed shell of a whitish yellow or brown colour. In later use (more widely): any of numerous similar molluscs of the family Cardiidae. Also with distinguishing word.dog cockleheart cocklestrawberry cockle, etc.: see the first element.

1311–12   in J. T. Fowler Extracts Acct. Rolls Abbey of Durham (1898) I. 9   In salmon, cokles, et pisc.
a1399   in W. G. Benham Oath Bk. Colchester (1907) 11 (MED)   A Farcost..charged wyth Oysters or Muskelys or Kokkelys.
c1481   in J. P. Collier Househ. Bks. John Duke of Norfolk & Thomas Earl of Surrey (1844) 21   Item, coakelles.
a1500  (?a1422)    J. Lydgate Life Our Lady (Soc. of Antiquaries) f. 3, in J. O. Halliwell Dict. Archaic & Provinc. Words (1852) 261/1   As the cockille with hevenly dew so clene Of kynde engendreth white perlis rounde.
1577   R. Holinshed Chron. II. 1812/2   French men came forth of Lieth to gather Cockles on the Sands.
1620   T. Venner Via Recta iv. 79   Cockles are not so noysome as Muskles.
1705   J. Petiver in Philos. Trans. 1704–05 (Royal Soc.) 24 1954   Carolina Egg-Cockle. From its shape, smoothness and colour.
1727   P. Longueville Hermit iii. 160   Going along, he finds several Oysters, Mussels, and Cochles in his way.
1803   Gazetteer Scotl. at *** and Moy   At one place is an extensive bed of the finest cockles.
1896   R. Lydekker Royal Nat. Hist. VI. xi. 414   The cockles (Cardiidæ) abound in shallow water in most parts of the world, where there are sheltered sandy bays.
1932   H. V. Morton In Search of Wales xi. 231   I remembered the similar cockle-women of Stiffkey in Norfolk who have been gathering cockles—‘Stewkey Blues’—for untold centuries.
1953   H. Mellanby Animal Life in Fresh Water (ed. 5) xi. 252   The ‘Orb-shell cockles’ are small bivalves belonging to the genus Sphaerium. They have whitish or pale brown shells with nine ‘hinge-teeth’.
2007   L. G. Boi Classic Asian Noodles 86   Garnish noodles with boiled pork, prawns and cockles, then ladle hot satay sauce over.

(Hide quotations)

 

 b. The (fossil) shell of such a mollusc, esp. a single valve of the shell; an artificial imitation of such a shell. Cf. cockleshell n. 1a.

1415   in J. Raine Testamenta Eboracensia (1836) I. 383 (MED)   Unum par cultellorum *** manubriis de cokyll.
1480   W. Caxton tr. Ovid Metamorphoses xv. iv   Men may fynde..in the montaynes the coquylles & shellys of fysshis that somtyme swame in the see.
?1507   C. Brandon et al. Iustes of Maye (de Worde) sig. A.iv   A cognysaunce..Of a verte cocle.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Taming of Shrew (1623) iv. iii. 66   Why 'tis a cockle or a walnut-shell. View more context for this quotation
1677   R. Plot Nat. Hist. Oxford-shire 78   The stone is stuck full of Cockles, Escallops, and Oysters.
1785   Archaeologia 7 127   Charles the Second covered the mall with cockles.
1807   G. Crabbe Parish Reg. iii, in Poems 107   Cockles blanch'd, and Pebbles neatly spread, Form'd shining Borders for the Larkspurs' Bed.
1902   Proc. Royal Irish Acad. 1900–02 6 348   In another pit we found..broken cockles, with whole cockles, periwinkles, and limpets all mixed up together.
1984   S. Heaney Station Island ii. iii. 67   A toy grotto with seedling mussel shells And cockles glued in patterns over it.

(Hide quotations)

 

 c. A scallop shell, or an imitation or representation of this, as the badge or emblem of a person, group, etc.; esp. this as the emblem of St James the Great, worn by pilgrims who have visited his shrine at Compostela in Spain or as a badge of pilgrimage more generally; = cockleshell n. 1b.With quot. 1517   cf. Order of the Cockle at Phrases 1a.

1517   in J. B. Paul Accts. Treasurer Scotl. (1903) V. 115   To warne all the lordis..to be in Edinburgh at the colar of cokkyllȝeis taking.
1610   P. Holland tr. W. Camden Brit. 290   Burgundie despiseth now his goodly Toison D'or, And France of colars gartrisht faire with cockles sets no store.
1840   R. H. Barham Lay St. Gengulphus in Ingoldsby Legends 1st Ser. 238   Cockle on hat, and staff in hand.
1962   L. A. Travers Romance of Shells in Nature & Art vi. 70   The Spanish pilgrims called them las conchas Santiago; the French, coquilles St. Jacques; we, in English, the shells or cockles of St. James.
1984   G. R. Dickson Final Encycl. iv. 46   Could Hawkwood at the time have been in Compostela? Or might the cockles in the arms mean something else?
2001   Times (Nexis) 15 May   You can even see the cockles on the latch to the great library door in the university.
 

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,391 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 7:14 PM

crossthedog
have this feeling that every man jack of you here on this forum is a retired electrician. Aren't there any other English majors or failed poets, bakers?

Hi Matt,

I had a bakery many years ago! It nearly killed me!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,964 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 3, 2021 6:29 AM

In case anyone is still following this:

Something came up in a different thread that looks as if it might be an applicable approach here.  

https://rt66supply.com/blogs/news/solder-seal-connector

One of these might be trimmed on the end to put the 'ring' of low-melting solder over the center leg of the throw.  With the wire held parallel to the leg slide the connector down just as earlier described for heat sink, and use the gun to shrink the tubing, activate the internal adhesive, and melt the solder.  Then use any convenient method for the 'outer' legs that now cannot short easily to each other... (of course you could repeat the process for the other legs)

I have not tried this yet, so I encourage those actually using the throws to at least test a SolderSeal connector for making the center connection.

 

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 22,076 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, October 3, 2021 7:34 AM

Overmod

In case anyone is still following this:

Something came up in a different thread that looks as if it might be an applicable approach here.  

https://rt66supply.com/blogs/news/solder-seal-connector

One of these might be trimmed on the end to put the 'ring' of low-melting solder over the center leg of the throw.  With the wire held parallel to the leg slide the connector down just as earlier described for heat sink, and use the gun to shrink the tubing, activate the internal adhesive, and melt the solder.  Then use any convenient method for the 'outer' legs that now cannot short easily to each other... (of course you could repeat the process for the other legs)

I have not tried this yet, so I encourage those actually using the throws to at least test a SolderSeal connector for making the center connection. 

If someone actually tries this, I hope he takes some photos or a video. That just seems like an expensive and awkward solution.

For one thing, those connectors are designed for joining wires together, not for mounting wires on conductor strips like a Caboose Industries ground throw. 

YouTube reviews for the Solder Seal Connector are not all that positive. If you want to connect wires together like that, why not just use a butt spice?

Would it even work? As you say, you would need to trim it to put the 'ring' of low-melting solder over the center leg of the throw. Ugh.

The one good thing about the instructions for the solder seal connector is to use a heat gun. The instructions suggest a Wagner which is exactly what I use to shrink tubing over a soldered joint (simple heat shrink tubing).

I went back and looked at the instructions for a CI 220S. The instructions recommend doing the assembly at the workbench which is exactly what I would do. Start out by soldering a wire to the center leg. Use a heat gun to apply heat shrink tubing for protection against shorts. Then solder wires to the two outer legs. Done.

Rich

 

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,964 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 3, 2021 8:40 AM

This awful excuse for a site is deleting posts every five minutes this morning, so I apologize in advance jf it keeps getting longer without notice.

The original 'intended use' is to secure an already-presumably-strong cigarette splice.  That is in part why the fabrication, with a formed ring of solder presumably dipped in flux being pressed on a mandrel inserting it into the heat-shrink tube, 'works' as a 360-degrees-of-rotation application: heat and pressure liquefy it and it runs into the cigarette joint and spreads longitudinally.

In my opinion there may be significant advantage to just running the connector up the wire, positioning the wire end parallel to the leg, sliding the connector down over the two and heat-gunning the encapsulated joint from the outside.  For that you would not need a ring if solder, just an oriented strip; the leg could easily be mechanically roughened or chemically etched for better adhesion; an adequate amount of suitable flux could easily be applied to wire or leg before sliding the joint, without compromising the adhesive on the outer end; wire or leg can easily be pretinned with comparable low-melt solder and flux.

What you then avoid is all the crap about holding the wire while the solder freezes, joints coming loose when subsequent connections are soldered, etc.  You have ONE tool, that doesn't pose a burn or scar hazard, that doesn't have to be carefully manipulated while holding parts aligned, and visual proof of good joint is easily seen through the connector.  If reheat softens the joint the heat-shrunk tube holds the arrangement; no solder can drip or wick where it shouldn't go.

Theoretically you could get the same effect by poking thin wire solder or cuts up inside a piece of clear heatshrink.  But that involves having the low-temperature material and its flux (see Tix) on hand, getting solder and flux in the right place, ensuring that sliding it up and down the wire doesn't dislodge or mess up anything... having the thing premade in a facility seems to have a number of advantages.

Certainly it's not for everyone.  But this thread was started and largely patronized by people who appear to be 'soldering iron challenged' in one way or another, whereas most everyone can hold something in one hand and play a hair dryer over it with the other...

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,526 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, October 16, 2021 12:16 AM

crossthedog
And yes!!! I'm having fun.

The you are doing it right!

Big Smile

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!