Conductive grease

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by ezdays, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I'm in the process of rebuilding a bunch of N scale Bachmann F7's that I bought last week at a train show. It's going along fine, but some of the copper pickups have lost the spring to them and are having trouble keeping in contact with the body. They bend when I assemble them, but they won't spring back.

    I'm wondering if anyone has used conductive grease for this? Is it practical or is there another solution? I've got a lot more trucks that I'm going to need so I can cherry pick if I need to, but just in case, it would be nice to know about using conductive grease for this application.

  2. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Don - I have no experience in what you are talking about. In the electrical industry wher ei work, we use a product called "copperkote", it is generally used for daubing on High current connections to cut back on any type of impedance the connector may have. If you need some, im sure i can get you a little jar of it, for nothing, in time.. This stuff is major league expensive and is prolly a lil bit overkill.. OK, A lot bit overkill - lol What type of conductive lube were you thinking of? WE also have Penetrox, a conductive lubricant for mixing Aluminum to Copper wiring. This product I have at home.:)

    BTW, this is my way of conversing with my buddy Don today -lol :wave: :wave: :wave: sign1

    Here's the link anyhow :

    Copper Anti-Seize withstands temperatures to 1,800F., Jet-Lube, Inc.
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    don antiseize either vel pro C5 or one called silver goop would work they are made from collide metal one copper the other silver in a synthetic oil.
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Thanks for the offer, I had to stop at Home Depot for something else so I picked up a tube of Noalox, the same thing you're talking about for aluminum wire and conduit. It costs under $3 a tube. I took one loco that I was having problems with, It wouldn't run good without a little shove or some added weight, and put a little dab of it between the frame and the truck contacts and that's all I did. It ran like a top after putting on the grease, no pushing, no weights. The trucks turn easier too.:thumb:

    I don't know how long it will be good for, but I'll try to run it for a while and see if it breaks down or causes other problems. The resistivity is high, but low enough to help complete the circuit and the greasy aspect of it tends to hold the contact tighter to the frame.:D

    It was just a shot in the dark, but handy if it works over the long haul. I might even try it on the two points where the motor contacts the frame.
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    I googled both products and found information on silver goop, but not where I could buy it. I would amost think that it has a higher conductivity rating because of it's silver content. I did find a product called, "silver conductive grease" sold right here at Circuit Specialist in Mesa. The same guys I buy my switches and other electronics from. I will stop by there the next time I'm near there.

    Thanks for the lead,
  6. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Don, the Kopr - kote in question is basically liquid copper - if i happen upon a sample, ( at the supply house) ill keep you in mind. Thats all you'd need as well is a sample..

    Not getting off the subject here, But ever come across a situation when you goto put a 120 volt lamp into a 120 volt socket, and the lamp wont go in all the way? Well, because of one of those samples at the supply house ( which was all I needed), helped save me many hours of aggravation. It was a lube designed just for sticking, binding lamps / sockets. One would not have thought it would work, but Viola, sure enuff.. No binding / sticking etc.. No ordinary lube would work dur to heat / conductivity values. Just helpful info to pass along.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Don, I'd be interested if you can keep us informed on a long term basis. I can see where a dielectric grease or conducting paste with copper, silver, or aluminum might help conductivity in the short term, but I wonder if the grease will attract dirt and cause other problems in the long term?
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yeah, you bet. My other concern is that the grease would work its way into someplace it shouldn't be.

    BTW, I tried measuring the conductivity of this grease and I can't get a reading with a DVM, even set to 20 meg full scale. It could be that the meter isn't putting out a high enough voltage to break down the grease. I have a feeling that it you need to use a very thin layer to break down electrically since there is no silver or other metal imbedded in it. All I know is that it made one heck of a difference taking an engine that needed nudging at most any speed and making it into one that runs now from a dead stop, even at very slow speeds. :thumb:

    Jim, Could you take a few reading, or see if you have any specs on the stuff you have? I can't find conductivity or resistive specs for what I'm using anywhere on the Net. I did find some stuff that has a resistivity of .02 ohms/cm which sounds really low and probably costs a fortune.:rolleyes: Thanks...:wave:
  9. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    Don the neither the C5 or the silver goop will show conductivity below 50 V. talked to a friend of mine that has his pilled higher and deeper in electrial engineering he said that the liquid surrounding the metal will stop and current flow till the voltage gets high enough to jump the gap but he said that once the material is put under pressure(re like in a axle and bearing or a wiper) then the metal will make contact and the resistance should be very low.
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Well, I'm used to reading specs, and I get upset if I can't find any. So I have to go with my empirical study. I had nothing but trouble getting these F7's to run smoothly and consistantly. Frequently giving them a shove and running them at higher speeds just to keep them going. I applied the grease to one unit, and it took off like a bat and didn't stop or slow down. I used it on all seven of the ones I restored and I can get them to run at a crawl.:thumb: I don't know if it's the conductive properties that I can't measure, or if it's the fact that the grease keeps the truck contact from separating from the housing. We'll see what long term affects it has. I don't know, but for now I'm going to keep this tube handy and maybe try it on a few other engines.:D
  11. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I may give some a try on Athearn axle bearings.
    I have been hardwiring the locos from the bearings directly to the motor and the only electrical gap from the wheels to the motor are the axle bearing surfaces.

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