resistance soldering : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I just picked up a resistance soldering station for a great price and o'course there are no directions....This set up only has a probe tip and I am wondering how to solder feeder wires and track (HO 83). Does it make a difference how close the ground connection is to the joint I am soldering? and any other hep you might think of....Thank You Rich

-- richard (, March 22, 2001


No directions??? Who needs the manufacturer's opinion anyway! :) Don't worry, mine came with instructions, but they weren't much.

See my web page. Go to the section on soldering. I love resistance soldering, especially for feeders to rail. Be SURE to clean the rail with Dremel if preweathered and be absolutely sure to use the liquid flux I mention in my web page. Then get yourself some solid core solder.

DO NOT use rosin core solder with the liquid flux! You will defeat the purpose of the liquid flux. Besides the liquid flux working great, you are not applying heat to turn a solid paste (rosin core)into a liquid and eventually boiling it away. That extra heat helps melt ties. The liquid gets you one notch closer to boiling away the flux after it is done doing it's fluxing (cleaning) job.

You didn't mention how many watts your station was. Use up to about 150-180 watts of heat to solder to HO track. I use my station on full, 250 watts, to solder the feeders to the buses.

Use foreceps to hold the feeder to the track. Do everything right, and it will take less than 3 seconds, usually only about 2, to solder the feeder to the rail. You will love it!

Your ground, for the type you have, should be fairly close to the spot you intend to heat. A couple of inches or so should be good. More importantly, a resistance iron works by passing a high current through the work and the tip. So be sure you are not going through a joiner or other poor electrical connection or things may not work right if at all.

Get an old finger nail file. You will find if you get crud on the tip, it will not work at all. Good electrical connection of the tip is essential. Try to make sure your tip is in contact BEFORE pressing the pedal. Otherwise you get sparks and that produces crud that will keep it from working. So keep the finger nail file handy at all times!

If you get a good connection, the tip will start sizzling almost the instant you step on the pedal. If it doesn't, make sure it is clean and that a wire didn't pull out of your resistance station.

The tip is copper clad stainless steel. The stainless steel is what does the work. The tips doe eventually where out. If you tip doesn't get red on full power, maybe your stainless tip is gone.

The last important tip is solder won't stick to stainless steel. So let your foot off the pedal and hold the tip in place if you didn't use foreceps. After the solder cools, remove the tip. That's another beauty of a resistance soldering station - it can hold your work while it is cooling.

-- Allan Gartner (, March 22, 2001.

Allan, You have put more useful information about resistance soldering, and how to do it, on one page than anything else I've ever seen. Thanks from Many!


-- Don Vollrath (, March 29, 2001.

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