Conductive Rail

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Dritech, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. Dritech

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2011
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    Hi all,

    I have a linear mover which I am using to mount a camera. Now I need to supply 12V to the moving part without using a cable carrier.
    Is there a kind of conductive rail similar to Scalextric tracks which I can buy?
     
  2. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Something like that is sometimes used for low voltage halogen lighting, the lamp holders clamp onto a parallel pair of chromed rails which both support the installation and feed it power.

    Its intended for trendy looking room lighting - whether its suitable for what you want, you'll have to decide.
     
  3. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    Model railway track? Copper pipe?
     
  4. Dritech

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2011
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    Thanks for the replies.

    @ian field , I think was you mentioned are for permanent fixtures.

    @Alec_t , will copper pipes/flat bars wear or get corroded easily?
     
  5. Dritech

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2011
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  6. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Copper pipe is conductive for sure...
    But depending on the environment it may corrode to the point where contact is flaky but wiping action (force/friction from contacts sliding on it) "should" keep it clean in that area. No guarantees though..

    Whats wrong with a cable carrier? They work fantastic..
    What material is your "linear mover" constructed of?
    Any needs to meet safety regulations of any sort for this product?
     
  7. Dritech

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2011
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    This project is still on the drawing board, so nothing is constructed yet :)

    I don't want to use cable carriers because I need the camera rail to be of different lengths for different applications. For this reason I am going to make the rail modular, with a single module being approx 1m in length.
    So if for one application I need a rail of one meter, all I do is just use one module. For other applications I would be requiring a 3m rail, so in such case I would connect three modules together.

    Are there any type a flat bars which are good conductors and which does not get corroded easily?

    Hope this explains my idea, and sorry for my poor English.
     
  8. blocco a spirale

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 18, 2008
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    Have you considered using linear bearings running on stainless steel bars? I don't know how effective these bearings are at passing current but it's worth investigating.
     
    Dritech likes this.
  9. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
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    there is a product called "cool amp" that is a dry silver plating powder. it goes on easily and will make the connection much more conductive. they do send samples.
     
  10. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    There are plenty of platings that could be applied.

    Copper is typically tin or silver plated to increase is resistance to corrosion..
    Nickel or silver plated brass,etc...
    Zinc plating/etc...

    Plating choices are dictated by material and the expected environment.. Moisture/salt exposure/chemicals,etc...

    Most electrical outlets/power strips,etc.. use brass and many just leave it raw.. some plate it..
    However the 12VDC isn't as "capable" as 120/240V of piercing any oxidation on it..
     
    Dritech likes this.
  11. Dritech

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2011
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    Thanks for the replies.

    @blocco a spirale , I just tested a linear bearing which I had in my garage. The resistance between the steels balls and the bearing housing is approx 1.1ohms and the resistance for a 1m long rail is approx 0.2ohms. I think your idea should work :) Thanks.
     
  12. Sensacell

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
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    Be careful passing current through any type of mechanical bearing- you will find that they are rapidly destroyed by spark erosion.
    It's like an EDM machine on a micro scale, eats the bearings for breakfast.
     
    shortbus likes this.
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