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Unfinished_Projects

[How to:] Fix frayed wire on Lego 9v track connector

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How to: Fix frayed wire on Lego 9v track connector

 

1

Materials:

Frayed wire

New wire

Heat shrink crimp connectors

Heat shrink tubing

Wire strippers

Razor blade

Lighter or heat gun

 

Step 1: 

Cut wire between track connector and ferrite core (black cylinder), cutting as close to the ferrite core as possible.

2

Step 2: 

Cut wire at similar length on the controller end.

Step 3: 

Strip back rubber insulation from controller end, track connector, and new wire.

3

 

4

Step 4: 

Crimp wires together, sliding the heat shrink crimps as close to the connector as possible. DO NOT FORGET TO SLIDE HEAT SHRINK TUBING ON, IF YOU ARE USING IT. (I forgot for one half)

5

Step 5: 

Use lighter or heat gun to melt shrink tubing, again sliding the heat shrink as close to the connector as possible.

6

 

7

 

8

 

Step 6:

Repeat for wire between track connectors if needed

Step 7:

Test

910

*Disclaimer*  There may be a better way to do this.  I simply used what I had to fix the problem.  No guarantees that this will work for you. 

Thanks for reading and hope this helps someone,

Unfinished_Projects

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Thanks for posting this! I just unpacked my old 9v gear, and it's starting to get frayed, so I'll have to do this eventually.

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Nice fixes! Another solution would be to use 'Sugru' or some other kind of 'putty'.

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I'm actually not enamored by this solution.  First, you have the problem where the second connector is also suffering from dry-rot and losing it's insulation.  This solution makes the wires going into the second connector really stiff, maybe not even flexible enough to connect.

Secondly, the stiffness itself is bothersome to me, although I would prefer it over non-working trains at all, of course.

I also feel like the dry rot may have gotten far enough inside to still cause a short.

I admit I'm only halfway towards making them work (I need more wire), but my biggest problem was getting the 9V connector to open up.  Now here's where flexibility doesn't really matter, so using this solution to fix the wires going to the 9V connector is great (and I wish I'd known before absolutely destroying both of mine trying to open them).  But separating the track connectors was not that bad using a set of jewelers screwdrivers (which you can find on clearance tables at places like Ace Hardware for a couple of bucks for the whole set).

I also saved the noise suppressor, although I don't know that it really matters.  It's just a plastic housing for a magnet loop.  No big deal to put back on.

So my solution is short PF cables (like these) that have the old 9V connector on one side, and splice in new wire (I'm thinking 18 or 20 AWG) using the technique described in the OP, running it through the noise suppressor (why not?) and then having ONE wire go to each of the track connectors.  I may run both through, like the original connector, but I don't know why bother (just remember to flip the polarity in between).

In any event, no matter how you do it, you can at least now choose wires insulated in the color of your choosing - I will definitely make one white set for Christmas trains.

 

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2 hours ago, fred67 said:

I'm actually not enamored by this solution.  First, you have the problem where the second connector is also suffering from dry-rot and losing it's insulation.  This solution makes the wires going into the second connector really stiff, maybe not even flexible enough to connect.

Secondly, the stiffness itself is bothersome to me, although I would prefer it over non-working trains at all, of course.

I also feel like the dry rot may have gotten far enough inside to still cause a short.

I admit I'm only halfway towards making them work (I need more wire), but my biggest problem was getting the 9V connector to open up.  Now here's where flexibility doesn't really matter, so using this solution to fix the wires going to the 9V connector is great (and I wish I'd known before absolutely destroying both of mine trying to open them).  But separating the track connectors was not that bad using a set of jewelers screwdrivers (which you can find on clearance tables at places like Ace Hardware for a couple of bucks for the whole set).

I also saved the noise suppressor, although I don't know that it really matters.  It's just a plastic housing for a magnet loop.  No big deal to put back on.

So my solution is short PF cables (like these) that have the old 9V connector on one side, and splice in new wire (I'm thinking 18 or 20 AWG) using the technique described in the OP, running it through the noise suppressor (why not?) and then having ONE wire go to each of the track connectors.  I may run both through, like the original connector, but I don't know why bother (just remember to flip the polarity in between).

In any event, no matter how you do it, you can at least now choose wires insulated in the color of your choosing - I will definitely make one white set for Christmas trains.

 

Thanks for the input, that would definitely be more ideal! Like I said in the disclaimer, I simply used what I had to fix it up. Ideally I'd get out the soldering iron, used correct guage wire, and all that. But, this works for now. Thanks again for the input, I'm sure it will help someone looking to do a cleaner, longer lasting repair.

Unfinished_Projects

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