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Hard shoes on copper braid versus copper tape

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  • #31
    Hi Ed, sent you a PM so I can order some slide guides for old TYCOPRO cars. (By the way, your tables are gorgeous and the cats meow.)


    As for my testing and experimentation:
    Here is the current iteration. The tape is wide and flat and supports HO cars with stock silver colored shoes. I lay the tape in a shingled fashion so the car cannot peel the tape going around the track. Tape with conductive adhesive is a must for this set up, imho. Easy to lay down. Only trim after making a bunch of laps. The cars tell you where to slice with an xacto.


    Whatcha think? Btw, the wires will be attached via a counter sunk brass screw to the underside via a routed channel to the edge and not via wings.

    I found that there cars with plated hard shoes go very well. Pure copper shoes go better on the aluminum tape track. So there is something to the dissimilar metal theory.

    I did have to go over the copper tape with very fine 1000 sandpaper (a little bit). Unfortunately this tape is only 0.7 mil (amazon ad lied, said it was 2.5 mil), so if the scouring is needed frequently then the tape may wear out?


    But I need to do more exhausting testing. Hard shoes require the wide tape so they don't get beached on the wood.

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    • #32
      CBWho, I have responded to your PM.

      I am really concerned about the wear life of your tape if you are going to be sanding it. Seven tenths is awfully thin.

      And I have my doubts about relying on shingled tape joints to hold up long term.

      Your willingness to experiment and test is admirable, but you are working on a problem that got investigated pretty comprehensively in the last century. You might want to spend more time learning about the proven solutions. Not to say they are perfect either, but it does pay to research what has been done already.

      Given the trouble you are willing to take to get tape to work for you, I am going to suggest you look into braid more thoroughly. Tooling up will take some work, but once you're past that I think you'll find it is pretty easy to do, and results in a better product. I think you have the skill and work ethic to make it a success. You just need to try it.

      Ed Bianchi
      Last edited by HO RacePro; 02-04-2022, 04:21 AM.

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      • #33
        I looked into the costs of braid, it was several hundred dollars for the smallest roll. For that cost, I could simply buy a small viper table rather than doing this by myself. So braid makes this whole scenario moot.

        I am big into "why". I always want to understand the mechanics of something.

        The size of my completed table will only be 2 by 4 feet. That's the only size permitted. The bigger track will be at my brother's and that's sectional.

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        • #34
          I just searched on eBay under 'copper wire braid 1/8"' and the fourth listing that came up was for 100 feet for US$48. I found another listing selling 100 feet for US$37.

          I used to buy braid in 1000 foot quantities for 15 cents per foot. But it has been a number of years since I last purchased braid, and it may just be more expensive now. Or maybe I just got a much better deal for buying in quantity.

          How much you are willing to pay for your track is a very personal thing. But you can buy a ton of braid for what a Viper track would cost you.

          Ed Bianchi

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          • #35
            Well lookee what I found on my desk...

            Two photos of an experimental track I built sometime in the late '80's or early '90's. What they were doing on my desk something like 30 years later -- well shoot. I suppose its time I cleaned up my office a bit.

            Track.jpg Cars on Track.jpg

            I guess that establishes my credentials as far as taped tracks are concerned. Unless you want to go really far back, like to the 1960's...

            Paddock, 1.4MB.jpg Turn 5, 1.4MB.jpg

            As the ancient Chinese saying goes, "Been there, done that."

            Ed Bianchi

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            • #36
              Originally posted by CBWho View Post
              I looked into the costs of braid, it was several hundred dollars for the smallest roll. For that cost, I could simply buy a small viper table rather than doing this by myself. So braid makes this whole scenario moot.

              I am big into "why". I always want to understand the mechanics of something.

              The size of my completed table will only be 2 by 4 feet. That's the only size permitted. The bigger track will be at my brother's and that's sectional.
              I just bought 75' of braid for $32 on eBay. 2 rolls would be more than enough for a 2'X4' track I would think.

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              • #37
                75 feet of braid would be enough for 18.75 feet of two-lane track. That should be more than enough for a 2 x 4 foot layout.
                Ed Bianchi

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                • #38
                  After all my experiments, I do conclude that you all are right, hard shoes don't really work that well on copper tape.

                  I built a small 2x4 tape track. With Scalextric cars with braids simply go without a hitch. But hard shoed HO cars stutter. Not sure why. A mystery.

                  P.S. indeed braid on eBay is much more affordable!

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                  • #39
                    I was testing the laminated tape via the conductive adhesive... I cranked the volts to full (22v) and run a ho car around and a section went powerless. So I don't recommend this approach with contact adhesive tape. Ed is right. Use the tried and true approaches.

                    A positive, using acrylic paints for the asphalt makes a nice surface for the tires. Also I was able to add a bit white, so the surface looked more like realistic asphalt.
                    Last edited by CBWho; 02-27-2022, 11:38 AM.

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