Re: resistance soldering

Jim Zarnick

I have an American Beauty 100 watt and set it to around 70 watts to solder feeders on my HO layout.  A quick hit of a flux pen, then squeeze the rail and the wire, and it’s done before you know it.   I suspect I have more than 500 feeders.  Simple and time saver, no melted ties.  No regrets. 


From: [] On Behalf Of wirefordcc
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2020 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] resistance soldering


Hi Steven,

I looked at the Microlux system you are interested in.  It is a lot cheaper than the American Beauty system.  (Interesting name, but this company has been around for several decades).

The first thing I noticed that it is only 63 watts.  That might be enough for N-scale.  If you have a piece of N-scale track that you can send to me, I'll dial my system down to 63 watts and try it.

Resistance soldering of track is best done with the soldering tweezers.  Then I noticed that the tweezers that Microlux sells is only for the system's low power setting - whatever that is.  That makes me nervous.

Maybe another one of this forum's readers have experience with this system.  I'm not too worried about it's quality.  I'm mainly worried that it will get hot enough for you.  If you were asking about HO or bigger, the Microlux system definitely doesn't have enough power.

You can buy the American Beauty tweezers, but by the time you buy their tweezers and the Microlux system, you could have bought the American Beauty system.

Micro Mark often has great sales during the summer saving you about 25%.  I plan to write a column on resistance soldering for Model Railroader that I plan to come out before the summer so that people can take advantage of the annual sale.

If you have seen my website, then you know I recommend the liquid (gel) flux from H&N Electronics.  Great stuff for resistance soldering.

You can try solder with silver in it, but it melts at a higher temp than solder with lead in it.  You might risk melting your ties.  Of course, lead is a serious health hazard, so:
- keep away from children.
- don't touch your face and wash your hands after handling it
- I don't know if there is lead in the fumes, but avoid breathing the fumes.  That goes without saying for anything that doesn't smell like a freshly baked chocolate-chip cookie!

While buying flux from H&N, get yourself a package of the 0.031" (about 1mm) solder for your track.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

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