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still working on gettin' my set up running; need 4 ltc lockons but finding them to be way too expensive; anyone know of an alternative way to accomplish the same?

thanks,
 

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will try that...…...….but was hoping for something easier since I've no real experience with a soldering gun....gonna have to get one that has enuff "power"...………...thks
 

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glad u sent the photo; I never thought of that approach; so any kind of metal will work?; you solder the metal strip to the rail?; and add a piece of installation material to the middle rail metal strip ?; if so, I think that method would better suit me;
thks
 

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The LTC lockon is Lionel's lighted lockon. Three available here.
The alternative is to use a regular CTC lockon and wire a 14-18 volt bulb across the terminals. You could get a bulb with pigtails, or get a screw or bayonet base bulb with an appropriate socket wired across the terminals.

Larry
 

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what about ebay.. they are on there and not expensive.. ive almost bought some then realized i had some in a box... but eventually when i move hopefully in a year, i will go more permanent layout and just solder wires to the bottom side...

fwiw - if you have not soldered.. you should.. definitely get one and learn... it isnt tough and something to always have handy...

also if you could find a hakko 936 soldering station.. they are like $100 used now...
there is a knockoff that works WONDERS...
and very cheap.
im in an rc car forum and that is how i learned about it..
i paid $29 to my door. including shipping. was shipped in US so didnt take long to get either... even if so.. this station new non knock off is like $150!!!!

with US plug..


and you can read all the stuff people said in here...




also i just soldered my h/o connectors and was done in seconds PER... hah... heats up very nice
 

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Is your layout permanent or semi permanent? If the layout is permanent just solder a wire directly to each rail of the track in an inconspicuous spot. Color coding the wires keeps thing simpler. Let said wire/s go directly thru previously position determined drilled holes in the table top. Under the table hidden from view there is a multitude of ways to hookup the wires. Busbar system, Star pattern, son so forth. If the layout is to be semi permanent just solder the color coded wires to the rails. Bend the wires 90 degrees and run across the table top. Sleeving the wires will help keep things more tidy as well as giving you more control over the wires. There is a poster here who has come up with a magnetic lock-on system. that seems to work in his videos.

MY $0.02 WORTH
 

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For those that do not want to invest in soldering equipment (though Riggzie's station is hard to beat) ...

My local dollar store has a 45 Watt iron for $2+. That's higher power than fixed wattage irons for electronics work. I'll be picking one up as my electronic irons are slightly under powered for track soldering. Add a roll of solder for a a buck. And to clean the tip (constant tip maintenance is a must) one of the copper scouring pads for another buck. You stick the tip into the copper mesh once or twice to clean off residue from the previous soldering operation.

All in for $4. Good way to start on the cheap.

And if your new to soldering or haven't done it in while I suggest watching a YouTube video. The key? Heat the wire/track, not the solder. Lastly, pre-tinning is the best way to go. Get solder to flow on the stripped wire. Then get solder to flow on the track rail. Then heat the pre-tinned parts together to make the final connection.
 

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glad u sent the photo; I never thought of that approach; so any kind of metal will work?; you solder the metal strip to the rail?; and add a piece of installation material to the middle rail metal strip ?; if so, I think that method would better suit me;
thks
Used, cleaned soup cans work good for making the metal tabs.
Soldering is not that hard, research and practice on doing it.
It will come in handy for working on trains that the wires have worked loose and fallen off.
 
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