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My First HO Routed Copper Tape Track

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  • My First HO Routed Copper Tape Track

    Hi All,

    I plan on laying down the second lane today. But i wanted to test out the one lane to see if I was wasting my own time.
    My initial findings were no so good. I only had one T-Jet car that would run but it still stalled a lot.
    Sanding the tape with 220 sandpaper helped only a little.
    Removing the shoes and springs and going with soft silicone 24 AWG wire made a huge improvement.
    They are a lot faster, smoother and can go very slow without stalling. I am very impressed.

    I thank the member in HOland for the inspiration that got this whole project started.


    Last edited by TXCurbster; 12-07-2015, 07:32 AM. Reason: add pics

  • #2
    Looks great!


    • #3
      What about laying a fine wire, either copper or steel depending on your downforce wants, underneath the copper tape? It would probably allow stock shoes to work. ..TOM


      • #4

        I am so impressed with the wire pickups on my T-Jets. I am never going back. :-)
        the tape is pretty flat allowing nice slide action off the corners. Never was a big fan of Magna-Traction. Gravity is enough for this old guy.
        Next is to try the slide guide. I did hear back from Ed.
        And a couple Parma Econo controllers. Used is all I can find. I already ordered the 90 ohm resistors.

        I also see an IR lap timer in the future.
        It is a slippery slope like the O scale trains and restoring classic cars & boats. It's all about fun though.


        • #5
          Very nice. I tested copper tape on a small oval. I was able to build a really simple tool for applying the tape. It was simply a small piece of plywood/plastic with a nail/pin which ran in the slot. There was a hole in the plywood/plastic which the tape ran through from above. Just before going through the hole the backing is removed, the tape passes through the hole and the plywood/plastic piece presses it down as you move along.



          • #6
            you have a great looking track!! I'm glad you figured out the trouble with your car. I routed a three lane track with great success. Running a car wide open is never an option with a routed copper tape track.
            keep posting.


            • #7

              I like your idea of using the train transformer. I'm using three transformers plugged in to an outlet with a dimmer switch to lower the voltage to the track.
              Included is a picture of the track that I built a few years back. what I like best is the low maintenance to the track. I can ignore it for three months, turn it on and the cars run 100% of the time.


              • #8
                Zoom Zoom,

                Your track is amazing! I like how you integrated a train track. Very cool.

                I will add some more pics and videos on photobucket.
                Last edited by TXCurbster; 12-11-2015, 12:06 PM.


                • #9
                  if you find that your cars ride high in the slots, it might be the wire you are using for the contact shoes. I ended up ordering NSR 4824 motor wire to use as my contact shoes.
                  and yes keep posting those pictures! we all love seeing what others are doing in this hobby.



                  • #10
                    I made a similar mod with my Tjets for copper tape. Scroll about halfway down this page:


                    • #11
                      Pretty slick bdsharp. I will try it. I have some 2mm copper solder wick.

                      My cars a nice and flat on the track with the Turnigy wire. It is very floppy. i just use what I have laying around. Like the train transformers. I kinda MacGyver'd this setup together. Lots of fun to experiment to see what works best.


                      • #12
                        Layed down the second lane.

                        Painted the infield green. I will put down some proper scenery turf eventually.

                        My really old Marx O scale locomotive. Still works fine. I need to engineer a beer delivery system with it.


                        • #13
                          Added a parking lot with chalk board paint and a pigment paint marker pen.. Need to add one more. Some light towers are on the way. Also two DC volt meters so each lane can be dialed in as desired.


                          • #14
                            Awesome project. That looks great to me.


                            • #15
                              H.O. Race Pro Slide Guide

                              Just wondering why your not using the "Slide Guide " ! They are inexpensive, relatively easy to install and function beautifully. I have built 100's of tracks all using braid and used with the Slide Guide. I now am building a 6 lane three table portable track for rentals as well as home use! It is an non de-slotting track which I will explain when the track is finished with photo,s to follow !

                              Keep up the good: work ! Pal-Al