Today is a very sad day for all of the fans of the Coast Starlight. Today marks the final northbound run from Los Angeles to Seattle with Amtrak's ex-Santa Fe Hi-Level Lounges. All 5 remaining cars in service will likely be retired upon arrival from Seattle. The final Southbound run and final run ever departs Seattle on February 4th. I'm not sure what will happen to them, all we can hope is none meet the scrapper's torch or sit to rot in a yard. Supposedly, there are to be 2 Parlour Cars on...
Interesting as I never considered grades, in light of running my magna traction engines up and down those Lionel elevated piers with ease. Anyone know approximate grade? When I first saw this topic title, I was gonna reply (ala Christmas Story Miss Shields): A+A+A+A+A+A+A+ Sorry long Iowa winter nights....
The #110 sets are 22 pieces, yes? The A piece is 4 3/4". 11 to get there, one at each track joint. A straight run of O would be 11 x 10" or 110". Rise/run x 100% = 4.75/110 = .043 x 100% = 4.3% Curves are longer in length than a straight, (O31 is ~ 11.14"), therefore a curved approach to a shorter straight run would reduce it slightly. Larger diameter curves even more.
You can actually cheat a little bit. Don't think of one track going up or down. Where my train departs for an upper level, I have that track going up and the other track going down at the same time. That way the run to get the required height is not as great. One track goes up 4 inches and one track goes down 4 inches, now I have 8 inches of clearance for the train to go to a tunnel below the upper level. This run is 21 feet to go from level to an 8" clearance. But that is really only 4...
Of course, most/all those cars have motors under them, so every car is helping to push the train up the grade, or retarding on the down grade, unlike freights and passengers trains being pulled at one end and maybe shoved at other end.
Ron, I've tried this technique using my RR-Track software and it works well. However, this now has two tracks not level and I wind up losing some other feature I want more. Comes down to priorities. Still working on my final design as I complete phase 1, so I may still use this technique.
A 4.5 degree grade is actually a 7.59% grade, REALLY STEEP! For continuous running should be 1 1/2% to 2 1/2% grade (1 1/2 inch rise in 100 inches, etc.). For a line to a storage area up to 4% would work but with speed restrictions and good visibility. Also side to side track protection would also be in order! Russ
% grade is the rise divided by the run X 100%. On a small layout it is difficult to get 2%, or less grades. This is an 3.8% grade . A 7" rise requires 15 ft. (180") of run . Both grades pictured require the curves to also be part of the grade. There is very little of the outer loop that is not a grade/level.
It must be really nice to have a layout large enough to have 2% or less grades. I'm trying to limit mine to 3-3.5% since previous posts on this subject indicate engines with traction tires can handle that with a decent lenght train.
Wow, Chuck, that's quite a grade. How many cars are you able to pull up that grade and with what engines? I also try to limit grades to 3%, but have always felt I could go steeper since my engines will be post-2012 RailKing from MTH.
It’s a small layout about 12 by 14 so the train can’t be too long...say five cars? The other ramp is about 3 degrees. I just needed some more play, so I put in an upper level. An engine without traction and cruise has issues though.
The reason I ask is I'm planning a permanent Christmas display layout in a 4x10x11 L-shape and it might make quite a bit of difference if I could get away with a grade around 5% or so. I pan to run a RailKing 4-6-0 Christmas train with 3-5 passenger cars.
1/4" in 1 foot is a 2% grade (actually 2.08%). I'll need a 3% grade to achieve 4.5" vertical drop to my staging yard. I want a 9" vertical distance so the rising track will be rising 4.5" in that same distance. Don't forget that you'll need a gradual transition at the change in slope. Jan
A lot depends on what you intend to run, and how long your trains are. If you have track and trains already, I would encourage you to throw together a temporary set up and play trains a little... um, I mean, run some controlled tests in order to amass data.
The big issues with fast transitions to a grade are cowcatchers or drawbars shorting on the center rail, and couplers slipping apart or binding when there is a hard angle. If you have to, I've found a traction cheat that works well. Two sided tape from widow winter insulation kits on one outer rail. It is clear, like Scotch tape, so isn't easily seen. I detack the topside adhesive with my fingers till it can't lift off the rail, then run double what I can without it. It gives plain drivers a...
Is your wire heavy enough? What gauge are you using? What do you mean by losing power? Are they slowing down? PS-2 engines have cruise control that will maintain the set speed pretty much regardless of track voltage, as long as its not too low. Need more info. What's the tinfoil supposed to do? Rod
First silly question - copper is hot and silver is neutral or ground(black) clear -hot,red striped or marked-black - no crossed wires hopefully. it's easy enough to do with clear speaker wire. Second silly question - do you have voltage everywhere? Are the lock-ons equidistant from each other? Choose two points equidistant from the lock-ons and isolate the center rail. You can use electrical tape over the contact on each track or the 40-1029 5" piece and pull the wire on the center rail.
Why are you wiring all three tracks to a single TIU output? Seems it may help to isolate the rails between the connections points. Also, I would wire to multiple TIU channels. Someone with Z4000 knowledge could tell you more, but I have each track run with a seperate power source and seperate TIU channel.
You are running 3 layouts off of one throttle thru on TIU port correct? How many volts does the Z4000 read and what is the Amp load? I'd tend to agree with the guys above you just plum may be out of voltage if everything is wired correctly. That is MTH track we see? The outside rails are NOT connected to each other with that IIRC unless you can insert a lock on from the opposite side.
First you don't have enough power lockons, second try using 14 gauge wire or you may smell a burning effect as the 16 gauge wire is too small for a Z-4000. Most track sizes are equal to 16 gauge wire so 14 gauge from your transformer will work better as well, then add 16 gauge wire for the short section from the 14 gauge wire to the power lockon. Lee Fritz
At the risk of receiving dissent, I say that in a layout of that size, I would use, and always use, 14 gauge stranded wire, THHM type. I also would not use just one transformer output and one TIU channel. I do note that I often have 4 locos moving on a single channel, due to the way I run my railroad empire , and have no power problems
If they just up and quit, that speaks to poor continuity in the track. You are losing power or ground somewhere. As was said above, more track feeds are needed. Check out the wire run length spreadsheet below. If you refer to the 12 amp row (Z-4000's have 12 amp breakers), you will see that up to 21 feet runs of 16 AWG will keep you inside of a 2 volt loss, which should work just fine in DCS mode at 18 VAC. If your runs are longer you should go up to 14 AWG. You didn't say if you are running...
In addition to the good advice from others above, if you are going to be running a DCS system you should really consider getting the DCS Companion by ORG's own Barry Broskowitz. It explains wiring among other things to get the most out of your DCS system. It has helped me a lot since getting back into the hobby a few years ago and I still refer to is all the time, really a lot of good information. It's available from the OGR store in both digital or print copies.
Thanks to all, I've got excellent, reliable voltage on all levels of track! I added a 3rd lock on to each level and rewired with 14 ga. In addition, each level has its own transformer and terminal block using a star system for its separate TIU configuration! Anyway, it's off to turkey at parents for a week, but sure feel up lifted thanks to great advice! Happy Thanksgiving!
I either get one of the following two messages.... "No TIU Found. Make sure your device is connected to the same network your WIFI module is on" or " Request Times Out" All engines are suddenly in the "Inactive" mode" with no way to get them active. Also note the following: I can use my DCS Remote at Version 6.0 to run my trains. Sometimes if I turn off my Iphone 7 and restart it, the system works.But it works for a while...not consistant.
Are you running in "MTH" or "HOME" mode on the WIU? This could be being caused by your iphone especially when running in in MTH mode. Your phone quickly discovers that the Wi-Fi connection your phone is currently connected to does not have internet access and it starts scanning for other networks that can provide internet access. Meanwhile, you phone will intermittently drop the connection to your wireless your MTH wireless network and so begins the problem you described earlier. I...
Thanks for all you guys help....My problem was two fold.. 1.When I'm running my trains and leave the area with my I-phone, the MTHWIFI looses the signal and more important.. 2.The I=Phone maintains a MTH window (now not responding) and when I return to the layout and restart, the Iphone memory brings up the now not working window. Resolved by hitting the I-Phone Safari icon and Wing out the MTHWIFI.... H1000 your suggestion about the "Ask to Join Networks" was interesting...Thanks for your help!
Thanks for all you guys help....My problem was two fold.. 1.When I'm running my trains and leave the area with my I-phone, the MTHWIFI looses the signal and more important.. 2.The I=Phone maintains a MTH window (now not responding) and when I return to the layout and restart, the Iphone memory brings up the now not working window. Resolved by hitting the I-Phone Safari icon and Wing out the MTHWIFI.... Barry your suggestion were helpful but Bob DeGarde of our NJHirailers hit the nail on the ...
Installed the Wifi everything worked fine. Went back to run again and had to reinstall. Could not activate engines. Message to up grade to Premium app, and nothing works. Plus now I have keep reinstalling my internet.
What exactly are you "reinstall"ing? When did you get a message to upgrade to the premium app? I've never seen that pop up that I remember. You say nothing works, is that after upgrading? Now, How do you reinstall your internet? Is your phone the problem here? What is your controlling device exactly? Why didn't you start a new post of your own? If you power down the system and not the phone first, and go back, many times your phone or pad will revert to your houses router and not connect to...
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