Here is a "how to" on soldering braid to your pick up shoes. A great way to make those Thunder Jets run much faster. The first time I tried it with my T jet, I picked up 3 tenths on the strip . This method will also work on any pick up shoe.
Tools and supplies needed.
- Soldering Iron - Solder, 60/40 Rosin - core from Radio Shack. - Flux, Lucky Bob's part # 1200 Acid - Flux, (Great stuff) - Pick up shoes - Radio Shack Desoldering Braid
These are the supplies that I used and they do not not have to be the exact same. Experiment and see what works best for you.
Take your Desoldering braid and a pair of needle nose pliers. Place your braid on the smooth section of pliers. With a firm clamp, pull the braid through and repeat as neccesary. This will make them flatter.
2.) I like to bend the ends up a little to conform to the pick up shoe at the front. I'm using tweezers here.
After bending the braid on the tip
3.) Pick up shoe is placed in a pair of pliers to hold it in place. I then put a small drop of flux towards the front of the shoe. After your Iron is hot, melt a small amount of solder to the head of your iron. Place iron on the drop of flux and the solder will transfer to the shoe. ( solder shown on shoe ).
Pick Up Shoe held in place with pliers.
Drop of Flux
4.) Add a drop of little flux on the underside of your braid. Place braid on the shoe and hold your iron against the braid above the solder and hold until the braid and shoe are fused together.
5.) After sodering I take a pair of needle nose and squeeze the braid against the shoe. This will make them flat.
A question and a tip: First the question: Is there a reason why you only solder the braids to the front of the pickups and not the back too?
Now the tip: It is probably not necessary to add flux on the solder braid. Solder braid is already impregnated with flux. That is an important feature of solder braid that helps it to wick up the solder from connections. (the actual purpose for the stuff!)
I put braids on one this morning, and I didn't flux the pickups either. It worked just fine. (As an electronics technician of 28 years experience, I know a lot about soldering.)
I've always liked to have the back of my pick up shoe braids floating. I haven't tried running a car with them solder onto the back. Not sure what is better. Has anybody tried the both? If so. What did you think?
I tried soldering the braid to the pickup than continuing it back to the rear contacts, almost like a braid, shunt combo. The chassis I did this to were faster, but not as fast as the braid being loose in the rear with seprate shunts. I just think it contacts the rails better that way. Dog
I think I will try tack soldering both the front and back just to see how it works. (I don't think continuously soldering front to back would be as good. Solder makes the braid stiffen considerably.) I guess we'll see when my cars run at Fall Nationals. I enjoy experimenting. Unfortunately, I don't have a timed test track, just a 4' straightaway that I run and watch what looks faster. Not very precise, obviously, but one must work with what he has available!