Friday, 21 November 2008

Pick-ups (still!)

Does anyone know where I can get hold of the right sort of material to make decent pickups?

The phosphor bronze strip I was intending to use proved to be too stiff and not springy enough, and ended up breaking after only a couple of adjustments!

The Bachmann pickups are obviously made of a decent material (copper I presume) and they're pretty springy and allow for quite a bit of adjustment without breaking. But where can I find a source copper strip of the right thickness etc? Can anyone help?


  1. Matt,

    Can you use plunger pick-ups in your loco? If so it might be worth looking at the Keen Maygibb micro plungers.

    If you are stuck with wipers because of space or inaccessability phosphor bronze is usually best - copper is generally not springy enough and wears quickly. If the PB strips you tried were too stiff they were just too thick (or perhaps too short.

    John Tapley, Finland.

  2. I don't think plunger pick-ups would work as its the original Bachmann chassis block beneath all the bits I've added, which means there's really nowhere for plungers to go! Otherwise they'd be my first choice!

    Hmmmm, maybe I should try and find some thinner PB strip then and see how that is.

  3. Matt,

    Yes, I guessed plungers wouldn't fit.

    I've used phosphor bronze strip from Slaters which worked well for me - admitedly on 7mm:ft scale but they were nice and lightly springy over a 2 - 3 cm length.

    John T.

  4. Matt,

    Mainly Trains sells both pb strip and pb wire for pickups. I've used the 3/32in strip with good results.

    I've also had very good results using gold beads soldered to the end of the pickups - gold doesn't tarnish and has excellent conductivity: