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Discussion Starter #1
Well, guess I could try to get an electronic answer however I like dialogue and the latest comments.


I am having a great discussion with another individual re Split Jaw and the need for conductivity paste:

For me.... my stuff is Brass, new and fresh.... I am thinking of making the joint using split jaw joiners and then smearing conductive grease over the joint to minimize water ingression into the joint. Then apply a fresh layer every spring.

For my electronic partner, he has an existing track layout where he plans to upgrade to split jaw. In his case he plans to wire brush the joint prior to upgrade. He too has the question. Surface smear or grease the living daylights out of everything then hex the screws into place.

I know there are real people out there with real and recent experience on this.

Any advice?

gg
 

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I just use a small amount (BB size) under the rails where they join. To much and it collects dirt. I use regular slip on joiners and splitjaw. Brass Aristo and LGB track. Haven't had any problems. Clean the track twice a year and of course sweep before any run.
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry Greg, my apologies.. missed that one.

Yes Brass....

thx

gg
 

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My experience has been that loading brass joiners/clamps with grease, any grease, is a good idea, because brass oxidizes and can corrode...

On stainless, I put a little lube on the threads, but they seem to do better without the "mess".

I tried putting some spray on lube on the SS ones, and they were just messier when changing them.

On the wire brush, I would recommend a very fine one on a dremel, not a coarse one which can put dirt-catching grooves in the rails themselves, due to the softer brass.

Regards, Greg
 

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In my designs I specify ordinary Petroleum Jelly -rather than Conductive Carbon grease. The primary reason is to exclude oxygen from the joint rather than to aid conductivity. I, amoungst others, have found that the conductive greases tend to alter their conductivity with time. The increasing resistance heats the coupling and further degrades the grease....

So, my advise is to stick to air exclusion and have a good mechanical connection.

regards

ralph
 

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I ran track power for 4 years before I switched to battery power. I don't remember ever having a connection problem with just clamps no conductive grease.
 

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I ran for 18 years with LGB and Aristo joiners and conductive grease. Then I moved over to the darkside. (BATTERY)
 

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I bought a bottle of permatex "copper" anti-sieze compound and have been using that, but I'm pretty much flying blind--I don't have the knowledge or experience of others here. I had a bunch of joints with just LGB slip joints or Aristo screw joints and LGB pate, and they lasted well over a year with no conductvity poiblems. I would put a little bit of the LGB paste--in the joiner.

With the copper stuf I've really been slathering it on there, with the assumption that if it keeps water and air out that's good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks guys,

I think the message is : Keep oxidation from happening,

nonconductive grease : layer the exterior

conductive grease: Layer inside the joint.

I would be reluctant to put nonconductive grease inside the joint for that very reason yes?

Petroleum Jelly or Vaseline sounds simple and good.

thanks

gg
 

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No such thing as (electrically) conductive grease (except very expensive stuff that is normally silver bearing). You would KNOW if you bought some of it, believe me.

LGB sort of started this thing by calling it conductive... it's not electrically conductive.... it helps conductivity because it keeps moisture and corrosion and oxidation at bay.

Search conductive, long thread on it.

Any good grease will do, and I use wheel bearing grease, cheap, easily available, and high quality because it has to handle high temps.

My only concern with petroleum jelly would be exposure to sun and the elements, it's not made for extreme temps... don't know if it would break down sooner.

Regards, Greg
 

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GG. et al

Don't know if the following specific brand is available in Canada, but if not something similar should be. I've used it on my battery terminals and electrical connections and never had any failures (e.g. personal automotive, dune-buggies, swamp-buggies & halftracks etc.). Since being introduced to it as a young man working as an electrical utility lineman. Ha! didn't know it was there but look at the bottom of the page.


NO-OX-ID A-Special
 

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I know this will probably create more discussion, but if you read carefully, this stuff is "conductive" like LGB grease is "conductive"... it's not actually electrically conductive (otherwise it would create shorts when "gooped on" the socket of a microprocessor... in the text)

It keeps oxidation away. I use a very similar product called De-ox-it manufactured here in San Diego, which used to be called Cramoline for you stereo buffs.

An excellent inhibitor of corrosion and can remove oxide layers.... I use the stuff all the time, expecially on connectors.

The only real conductive greases I have found are gold or silver bearing, and they are WAY expensive.

But the stuff you are talking about Steve is great stuff, has been around for a long time... I heard about it when they tried using aluminum wiring in houses... it worked great if you used this stuff... most people did not and they had problems.

http://www.deoxit.com/

Regards, Greg
 

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Here in the EU I have come across "true" electrically conductive greases. Or rather, fine particulate suspensions of conductors -such as carbon, copper and silver. The idea is that they widen the connection area of the joint while excluding oxygen. As the joint is "grunted up tight" the particles touch and conduct. All that happens in my experience is that the fine particles oxydise themselves...

regards

ralph
 

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I did some research on this, and certain ones, especially silver bearing, will actually melt the small particles together to make a conductive path. How much did you have to pay for what volume of grease Ralph? I found 2-4 grams of material for around $100 here.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How would clear nail polish work?

gg
 

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I'm not sure if you are pulling my leg or I just do not understand.

If you are thinking about using it to protect the outside of a completed joint... it's not a good idea because it's not formulated for UV resistance, and since it would dry hard, if it worked it's way down into the joint, you would have insulation.

If I misunderstood, let me know.

On this forum there was a heated debate that ANY oil or grease in a joint made it insulating... the actual areas of ACTUAL contact are pretty small, so you do not need 100% metal to metal everywhere.

If you could not get by with a small patch of "clean" metal, then the tiny contact patch of the wheel to rail would never work at all, and obviously it does.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Greg good points. Not really for this thread however my Aristo #6's came in. Instructions say non conductive grease under the belly on all electricals and get this:

Coat of clear nail polish on exposed contacts if using the Aristo electric switch !

Thus my question...


gg





Also off topic however I am freaked... my frogs are metal !
 

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I'd use something more flexible, like clear silicon caulking from a tube, easier to be sure you got it all over, and you can see through it in case some corrosion occurs.

Even though nail polish is acrylic paint, so to speak, and somewhat flexible, it could have gaps in coverage that would be hard to see.

Also, with the #6, you really want to EMBED the wired in silicon, and getting the side of the wire that is next to the tie would be tough with nail polish.

I think the clear polish on the exposed contacts is AFTER you screw wires to the terminals.... yep Aristo documentation can be a bit insane at some times.

Regards, Greg
 
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