top of page

Contact Enhancer

MR Product Reviews is intended to help you evaluate products in terms of usefulness and conformance to standards. We specify points of excellence and of caution but we still believe that a realistic description is the most helpful of all. Naturally we cannot guarantee that the merchandise you purchase will be identical to those samples we have tested.



Stabilant 22A in 15-ml. plastic bottle, D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd. - 97 Newkirk Road North, Richmond Hill, Ont. Can. L4C 3G4

MAINTAINING good electrical contact is critical to obtain optimum locomotive performance on any layout. Depending upon the control system used, the electrical path may run through all sorts of contact points. Stabilant 22A is made to enhance the performance of any electrical transfer point.

The manufacturer describes Stabilant 22A as a rather unusual liquid block polymer. When used in a thin film, this product becomes conductive under the effect of an electric field. This conductivity is limited to the small contact area; as a result, it won't allow any electrical leakage between adjacent contact points. In effect "It provides the connection reliability of a soldered joint without bonding the contact points together."

The basic application kit comes with a 15-ml. flexible bottle of Stabilant 22A, five cotton swabs, and a sheet of instructions. Application involves touching the bottle spout to the contact points and then pushing the connections together. Very little Stabilant 22A is required, as the material penetrates even tiny openings with ease.

I set up a small loop of HO scale track, wiped off the dust with a rag, and applied a tiny dab on the rail and letting the wheels of the locomotive carry it around. I also applied it to the contact points within the locomotive. No further cleaning of the track was done, yet the contact enhancer did make a noticeable improvement in the amount of arcing between the wheels and the rails. In addition, the Athearn locomotive's low speed characteristics dropped to about 75 percent of the previous slowest speed.

The manufacturer points out that Stabilant 22A works best if the track is cleaned beforehand. Then the material will stay in place after its isopropyl alcohol carrier evaporates. Stabilant 22 doesn't evaporate, so it will remain in place for a long time (nine years in some electronic applications). Once installed, the enhancer prevents oxidization of the contacts and repels dirt.

In most cases, it's still functioning when the equipment is retired as obsolete.

While the contact enhancer works well for almost any physical connections, it isn't recommended for use on motor commutators. The sparking involved between the armature and brushes can cause thermal breakdown of Stabilant 22, with a resulting loss of its conductive properties.

Overall, Stabilant 22A is a unique product, originally developed to solve audio electronic problems and stabilize electronic navigation aids, and a variety of instruments. Ten Industries (the original distributor) made it available to modelers as a means of enhancing layout operation.

Even though it's relatively expensive, the product goes a long way and will help solve a number of electrical contact problems.

AVAILABLE FROM...Hobby shops and model RR shops in the US and Canada

Used courtesy of © 1991 Klambach Publishing Co.,

21027 Crossroads Circle, P.O. Box 1612,

Waukeshaw, WI 53187, USA

We made one correction in this review, inserting Stabilant 22A where the reviewer had used the designation Stabilant 22. It was the isopropyl-alcohol-diluted form, Stabilant 22A, that had been used, rather than Stabilant 22. - D.W.E.


bottom of page