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    • October 3, 2019 12:57 PM EDT
    • Something to keep in mind as to sufficient metal to metal contact is the type of rail joiners used.  For example, Split Jaws have Allen head screws that can make for a good & tight connection, but some joiners like Aristo's slide on types are very loose unless the 2mm screws are used to tighten them at both ends, including at the mating track that some folks may neglect to use any screws.  Yet other slide on type joiners have no screws and rely on just the spring action to make contact.  That's why some folks solder a jumper wire at the base of the mating tracks' rails for track power users.

      -Ted

    • October 2, 2019 7:05 PM EDT
    • Right that is the key, no matter what you think, there is enough metal to metal contact to conduct, even if you have smeared all the contact surfaces with a dielectric grease (non conducting). 

       

      So, in most cases a conducting grease is not needed. LGB "conductive grease" is not conductive, in the least, and has worked well in rail joiners for decades. It's the oxygen in the air that creates oxidation, and some other liquids or chemicals can cause corrosion.

       

      Greg

       

    • October 1, 2019 3:35 PM EDT
    • Ted yes, but once the clamp is tight, the thickness of the lube isn't much, so even if its not a great conductor, its shouldn't introduce too much resistance into the circuit. And I would think that much of the contact surface between clamp and rail is metal on metal, because the lube was squeezed out.

       

      In the copier world, we used a dialectic grease on the rotating contacts for the drum blanket (heater). That stuff wasn't a great conductor neither, but its real job was to prevent corrosion on the contacts to maintain conductivity. I suspect the same can be said about the Aristo crap, ah, grease.

    • October 1, 2019 1:31 PM EDT
    • David Marconi,FOGCH said:

      So after reading through three times and still not coming up with a direct answer. I need to ask if Aristo-Electralube  is conductive or not and will  it work if used in rail joints where track power is the norm ? Do you have a definitive answer on this or do I use the Silver conductive grease mentioned on your vignette Ted. Thank you for an answer

      Sorry for the late reply,

      From what I measured, Electralube does conduct, and work on rail joints beneficial for track power users, but it won't conduct as good as a gold or silver based lubricant that cost notably more money.

      -Ted

    • September 30, 2019 11:08 PM EDT
    • Yep, that's the one safe application I can think of ;-)

       

      I've found though that just keeping moisture and oxygen out of the joint will do just as well... 10 year test with nothing, moly grease, anti-sieze, lgb "conductive grease", and about 5 years with Ideal No-alox...

      No significant differences, the anti sieze was better on stainless steel screws in stainless clamps though, with the Ideal No-alox a good second.

       

      Greg

    • September 30, 2019 9:13 PM EDT
    • Greg, I would use it for the use that I stated, to put in rail clamps to keep water and gunk out of them to preserve conduction through the clamps.

       

    • September 30, 2019 8:48 PM EDT
    • So after reading through three times and still not coming up with a direct answer. I need to ask if Aristo-Electralube  is conductive or not and will  it work if used in rail joints where track power is the norm ? Do you have a definitive answer on this or do I use the Silver conductive grease mentioned on your vignette Ted. Thank you for an answer

    • September 30, 2019 8:40 PM EDT
    • Ummmmmm...nahhhh.  

    • September 30, 2019 7:51 PM EDT
    • None, why do you need a conductive lubricant? Please be specific, and we are talking electrically conductive.

       

      (I do know of some possible uses, but I don't think it's worth the downside)

       

      Just to evoke some thinking and discussion... this can be fun...

       

      Greg

    • September 30, 2019 5:55 PM EDT
    • Ok Guys. What "conductive" lube do you recommend that is plastic compatible?

    • September 30, 2019 4:28 PM EDT
    • Forrest Scott Wood said:

      Oh my, what a mess. Fortunately I don't have any of the lubes mentioned here.
      Mine are all Bachmann and LaBelle.
      And my G scale so rarely has a chance to run any more that it can be multiple years between lubrications.

      I will add a caviar about Labell. Don't use the Fine grade lube, I have had three drive axles on three different models have their gear slip on the axle from the Fine grade oil getting in-between the axle and the gear breaking the friction adherence. So yes Labell but Medium grade lube not Fine grade.

    • September 30, 2019 4:27 PM EDT
    • Forrest Scott Wood said:

      Oh my, what a mess. Fortunately I don't have any of the lubes mentioned here.
      Mine are all Bachmann and LaBelle.
      And my G scale so rarely has a chance to run any more that it can be multiple years between lubrications.

      I will add a caviat about Labell. Don't use the Fine grade lube, I have had three drive axles on three different models have their gear slip on the axle from the Fine grade oil getting in-between the axle and the gear breaking the friction adherence. So yes Labell but Medium grade lube not Fine grade.

    • September 30, 2019 4:18 PM EDT
    • Ted, when the gentleman I spoke with at St Aubins suggested that I buy some, He said it was for putting into the rail joiners to maintain conductivity. That is what I used it for, and only for that. I have to admit that I don't remember reading the label. I still use it for rail clamps, and it works at keeping water and gunk out of the joints so they keep conducting like they should.

    • September 30, 2019 2:53 PM EDT
    • David,

      Lubricating rail clamps can be a use for Electralube, but it's intended purpose is stated on the bottle label as "Aristo-Electralube Plastic-compatible electrically conductive lubricant for locomotives, rolling stock and accessories". I suppose rail clamps, though not specifically stated, could be considered as an accessory.

      -Ted

    • September 30, 2019 2:28 PM EDT
    • I have a bottle of the Aristo stuff, in my track maintenance tool box. I use it on the rail clamps when I reinstall or replace them. So far it hasn't dissolved the bottle it came in, but maybe I should see about putting whats left into a glass jar. I have only, and now will only, use it on the rail clamps, its intended purpose. 

    • September 30, 2019 8:58 AM EDT
    • Oh my, what a mess. Fortunately I don't have any of the lubes mentioned here.
      Mine are all Bachmann and LaBelle.
      And my G scale so rarely has a chance to run any more that it can be multiple years between lubrications.

    • September 30, 2019 8:08 AM EDT
    • In the UK a well known railway model company called Peco market a product called "Power Lube" for a similar purpose as Aristocraft's. It says it can be used with most plastics. Well, I've had a little bottle, bought 10 + years ago, stashed upright on a glass shelf for very occasional use with my Bachmann Galloping Goose #1. I hadn't used it for a little while, guess what ? Yep, the fluid seems to have eaten through the bottom of its own plastic container and all leaked out and evaporated without trace. Bottle not cracked, just a bit has seemingly dissolved causing the leak. 

    • September 30, 2019 2:37 AM EDT
    • Yes Steve, I researched this before and all the mobile 1 synthetic greases are plastic compatible.

       

       

    • September 30, 2019 12:47 AM EDT
    • I learned a long time ago, probably in these hallowed halls of learning, to avoid Aristo Electrolube.  For the last forever, I've been using Mobile One gear lube for my journals.  Mobile One makes a synthetic grease, that I think is plastic compatible.  I'll have to look that up, when I run out of Hobby-lube grease.

    • September 29, 2019 11:38 PM EDT
    • It's the only thing I ever got from Lewis (free), and not only did it hurt plastic, but it somehow interacted with it's jar and ate the bottom of the jar off.... was not long term plastic compatible with it's own container.

       

      Too bad, as it was one of the few affordable conductive lubricants, but it would have caused issues on wheelsets anyway, because you don't want anything conductive near the insulator that insulates the wheel from the axle (unless you are battery power and don't ever put your cars on track power).

       

      Greg