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Discussion Starter #1
A recent aquisition left me with approx. 200' of SVRR aluminum flex track. I'll be running track power outdoors. I'm fully aware of the problems associated with running track power with aluminum rail. That's why I know I need rail clamps. My question is what material should my rail clamps be made out of to work with aluminum rail? I've heard that brass and aluminum don't mix well. Also, if possible, I'd like a clamp that would work with both aluminum rail and SS rail. As money allows in the future, I'd ultimately like to replace the alum. with SS rail. Thanks for your input.
 

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Super Modulator
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I would recommend split jaw stainless steel clamps.... stainless basically does not react to anything else... brass might be ok, but still corrodes... if you are eventually going SS, I think the choice is clear...

I tried the hillman nickel plated ones, the plating eventually gave out...


Regards, Greg
 

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I agree, SplitJaw stainless steel are likely going to be your best option.

We used to use Splitjaw brass joiners (all that was available a few years ago) and they did not hold up well in our layout environment. Since switching to their stainless joiners, we've had no problems.

One thing you should be aware of is the rail code (height). I'm not sure but I believe Sunset Valley uses code 250 rail. This is not like the more common code 332 you'll find on LGB, Aristo, USA, etc... So when ordering your joiners be sure of your rail code.

We have Llagas Creek which is somewhat similar to Sunset. Our Llagas nickel silver rail is code 250.

I went to SplitJaw's website and was slightly overwhelmed by the multitude of joiners they now offer. They have two code 250 standard stainless steel joiners. One is 6 mm and the other is 5 mm. Not sure what the size difference is for?

Here's a link to SplitJaw
 

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Super Modulator
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If you dink around on the site, and pick different code 250 rails, you see certain mfg of rail gets a 5.0 mm, and others the 6.0 mm... I suspect it has to do with different profiles of the base of the rail.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys, I was hoping I could pick a material that worked for both alum. and SS. I read a post by an SVRR rep who said they offered nickel plated brass clamps for use with aluminum... but after your experience, Greg, I'd just as soon stay away.

Now, any advice on what supplier to use? Ebay? Straight from Splitjaw's website?
 

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Their plating might be fine, my experience is with powered track that was left on 24/7 with 20v on it. It really helped accelerate the demise of wires. I don't leave it on all the time, but I have the plating corroding through on the Hillman plated wheel stops... i.e. no electricity is flowing through them.

So, I have caution here... the SVRR stuff might be bulletproof, but I just like the situation where it's all solid metal of the same type.

I'd stick with the Split Jaw SS ones, and go 250 aluminum now, and later to 250 stainless...

Regards, Greg
 
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