022 switch problem

This one particular switch has some type of electrical problem that causes it to reverse from its intended route for any engine that I use, causing a derailment.  As soon as the engine enters the switch that is routed to the curve portion, it derails when the switch automatically goes back to the straight route.  This had happened in the past, and I disconnected the constant voltage plug and just stopped the train to use track voltage and then restarted the train.  Afterwards, I reconnected the constant voltage plug, and for several months there was no problem until today when it reverted back to the same phenomenon.  Of course, I can change the switch; but my question goes to the cause of this problem, especially if it is remedial and I can save the switch.  Thanks.

Original Post

GG-1,

I have 25 of these on my table layout.  It seems that something is shorting the switch circuit.  First, I would check the insulating pins.

Next, I would remove the switch and open the motor box.  You never know what's in there.  It's not hard, just a couple of screws.  Check for any metal debris, or broken wires.  It's also easy to disassemble the switch itself and put it back together after cleaning.

If you find nothing wrong, I would set it up with a test track.  Power it with the voltage plug, make sure you're insulating pins are correctly positioned.  Roll a car through the switch in all directions.  This should give you an idea of where the problem is coming from. 

If none of this works, you may have a short somewhere in your lines leading to or away from the switch.

Jerry 

GG-1 Fan,

   I know you guys get attached to the old 022 switches, however they are inexpensive at most every train show.  Pick up one in perfect shape, remove the 0ld 022 switch you have from your layout and replace it.  If that particular Switch has great meaning to you for family reasons, completely over haul it, and then reinstall it into the layout.  IMO do not waste your time on the old 022 switches, millions of them were made and still available at very reasonable prices.

I have more than a few myself.

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

Getting another switch is the easy solution but doesn't really address the situation, especially if there is another short somewhere that is causing the intermittent failure.  I am thinking of replacing all my tubular track with Gargraves track and compatible switches.  Even my old engines seem to go into the shop for repairs twice a year which is prompting me to go with more modern (but not digital) conventional engines just so I don't have to run around dealing with derailments while guests view my layout.  After all, who needs the frustration?

 

OK.  I did some tinkering around with the voltage lever on my ZW that controls the constant voltage for the switches.  I have found that when the voltage is boosted nearly to the max, there is no oscillation of the switch mechanism as the engine enters the switch.  If the voltage is dropped down, the problem reoccurs.  Is that a problem with the transformer (that the voltage lever has to be up that high) or the connections?

GG-1,

   It's probably not your Transformer, the old worn switch is probably the problem, pick up another 022 in better shape.  If all your other 022 switches are function at the original voltage, it's definitely the 022 switch.

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

If the problem is with the switch itself and not the track, you should read all the postings at this LINK.  Once you perform all or most of those operations you will have an O22 switch that is better than new.  I continue to be amazed at the ruggedness and reliability of that design.

If the problem is with the track I would be checking for damaged third rail insulators.

Pete

Texas Pete posted:

If the problem is with the switch itself and not the track, you should read all the postings at this LINK.  Once you perform all or most of those operations you will have an O22 switch that is better than new.  I continue to be amazed at the ruggedness and reliability of that design.

If the problem is with the track I would be checking for damaged third rail insulators.

Pete

I totally agree with Pete. Although I did not repair my used 022 switches myself, I hired a very good repairman to fix them for a modest fee and they now have worked great for over 10 years! 

I think the 022 switches for O Gauge are much better than the 1122 switches for 027 Gauge.

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Gentlemen,

   Texas Pete makes a darn good point here, the old 022 and 711 Tin Plate switches were made super high grade, it is amazing how most of them have lasted thru the generations.

The only negative fall back to them, is their massive power drain when operated.  Using the LED's in both the switch and controllers helps, however one must remember they will never be low voltage switches.  Mechanically however they are almost bullet proof, if some company would make a new modern low voltage exact copy of these old Lionel switches, that ran via remote control, like the FTCC Switch do, they would be great for our old Tin Plate Trains.  K-Line's original low voltage Super Snap Switches were as close to this Engineering as any O Gauge Switch has ever come, minus the remote control of course.

I transitioned in and out of them on my FasTrack layouts for years until Lionel developed the FTCC Switches.  Mechanically however IMO the Lionel 022's and 711/072 switches are still top dog, especially for Tin Plate Trains.

PCRR/Dave

 

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

Is there a supplier for LED bulbs to fit O22 switches ?  I have both the screw base and bayonet base sockets in the switches I own.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Thanks Dave !

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Dan Padova posted:

Thanks Dave !

Dan, you may know what I am about to say. If you stick with normal O22 bulbs, make sure you use 18 volt bulbs and set the fixed independent voltage at 14 to 16 volts. That way, you won't melt the plastic lanterns/lenses ("lanterns").

It took me 20 years to learn the above.  I used to use 14 volts bulbs and set the fixed voltage at 20 plus volts.  I melted a lot of lanterns. LOL

Even if you set the fixed voltage at 14 volts, you will still melt the lanterns if you use 14 volt bulbs.

LEDs may be great, but I have never used them for my 022 switches 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

GG-1fan posted:

This one particular switch has some type of electrical problem that causes it to reverse from its intended route for any engine that I use, causing a derailment.  As soon as the engine enters the switch that is routed to the curve portion, it derails when the switch automatically goes back to the straight route.  This had happened in the past, and I disconnected the constant voltage plug and just stopped the train to use track voltage and then restarted the train.  Afterwards, I reconnected the constant voltage plug, and for several months there was no problem until today when it reverted back to the same phenomenon.  Of course, I can change the switch; but my question goes to the cause of this problem, especially if it is remedial and I can save the switch.  Thanks.

Remove the bottom of the switch... Sometimes one of the solder joints is broken...

genecm

Arnold D. Cribari posted:
Dan Padova posted:

Thanks Dave !

Dan, you may know what I am about to say. If you stick with normal O22 bulbs, make sure you use 18 volt bulbs and set the fixed independent voltage at 14 to 16 volts. That way, you won't melt the plastic lanterns/lenses ("lanterns").

It took me 20 years to learn the above.  I used to use 14 volts bulbs and set the fixed voltage at 20 plus volts.  I melted a lot of lanterns. LOL

Even if you set the fixed voltage at 14 volts, you will still melt the lanterns if you use 14 volt bulbs.

LEDs may be great, but I have never used them for my 022 switches 

I used to drill a small, 1/8" diameter, hole in the top of O22 lanterns.  Now that I am starting up again, I will do the same, unless I decide to buy the LED bulbs.

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Dan Padova posted:
Arnold D. Cribari posted:
Dan Padova posted:

Thanks Dave !

Dan, you may know what I am about to say. If you stick with normal O22 bulbs, make sure you use 18 volt bulbs and set the fixed independent voltage at 14 to 16 volts. That way, you won't melt the plastic lanterns/lenses ("lanterns").

It took me 20 years to learn the above.  I used to use 14 volts bulbs and set the fixed voltage at 20 plus volts.  I melted a lot of lanterns. LOL

Even if you set the fixed voltage at 14 volts, you will still melt the lanterns if you use 14 volt bulbs.

LEDs may be great, but I have never used them for my 022 switches 

I used to drill a small, 1/8" diameter, hole in the top of O22 lanterns.  Now that I am starting up again, I will do the same, unless I decide to buy the LED bulbs.

The repro 022 lanterns have a little hole on top.

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

I know this may not directly address your issue, but I think part of TinMan3Rail's page on repairing 022 switches is worth a read. I particularly appreciated the tip about soldering a piece of copper braid to the original solder joint. I had a pair of old 022 switches and both joints were broken at this place. This tip got them going again.

http://www.tinman3rail.com/switches.html

Pine Creek Railroad posted:

Gentlemen,

   Texas Pete makes a darn good point here, the old 022 and 711 Tin Plate switches were made super high grade, it is amazing how most of them have lasted thru the generations.

The only negative fall back to them, is their massive power drain when operated.  Using the LED's in both the switch and controllers helps, however one must remember they will never be low voltage switches.  Mechanically however they are almost bullet proof, if some company would make a new modern low voltage exact copy of these old Lionel switches, that ran via remote control, like the FTCC Switch do, they would be great for our old Tin Plate Trains.  K-Line's original low voltage Super Snap Switches were as close to this Engineering as any O Gauge Switch has ever come, minus the remote control of course.

I transitioned in and out of them on my FasTrack layouts for years until Lionel developed the FTCC Switches.  Mechanically however IMO the Lionel 022's and 711/072 switches are still top dog, especially for Tin Plate Trains.

PCRR/Dave

 

 

There’s no power drain if you do what I did: I have one ZW that does nothing but provide 15 to 16 volts of power to my approx. 15    022 switches.

My Z4000 powers my independently blocked 2 main lines.

And I have another ZW that powers my independently blocked 10 or so sidings, my numerous accessories and my remote control tracks.

Now this is very important. To make this all work, you must do your wiring like mine:

79902547-6051-4B41-ABD5-8F0FB921FCEDThis is also very important. Like me, you need to have in reserve the gigantic 300 watt American Flyer transformer. I will send you a picture of it when I get home tonight, but I’m sure most of you know about it. It’s the one with the Dead Man’s Throttle. It has enough power to wake up the Frankenstein monster!

LMAO,

Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Attachments

Photos (1)

Now, for maximum power:

4FE9C62E-0D3E-4291-AD33-A31611078D8784AE29F9-27B4-4CBA-940C-9E8D52ED6B0E2CC2BA94-8A6A-4C91-9F71-4B0A2D239A14This is the 300 watt American Flyer transformer with Dead Man’s Throttle that is powerful enough to resurrect Frankenstein as well as run your O22 switches and trains. 

I use it as a back up transformer or for track I might set up on the floor around the Christmas tree. 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Attachments

Photos (3)
Arnold D. Cribari posted:

Now, for maximum power:

4FE9C62E-0D3E-4291-AD33-A31611078D8784AE29F9-27B4-4CBA-940C-9E8D52ED6B0E2CC2BA94-8A6A-4C91-9F71-4B0A2D239A14This is the 300 watt American Flyer transformer with Dead Man’s Throttle that is powerful enough to resurrect Frankenstein as well as run your O22 switches and trains. 

I use it as a back up transformer or for track I might set up on the floor around the Christmas tree. 

This transformer looks to me like it might have a similar appearance to a Diesel engine throttle. Do you Forum members agreeor not? Maybe someone who knows what real diesel locomotives are, or were, like?

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

   I associate them more with a trolley throttle. Not exact, but they have a somewhat prototypical look, like some desk and pillar throttles.

   That's one of the things I like about the KW It seems the vertical shaft, rotating crank throttle was nearly all I've seen.

  I'd question the advertised 300w. I have an 18b the 30b's little bro. It has a 170w rating, the KW 190w. A guess... or perception vs a test, but I don't see a 20w difference,  is see a 30-40w spread. I also see Marx transformers as being overrated. I.e. they are either under rated or Lionel's are overrated.

 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I think the American Flyer 30B is a nice transformer. It has a couple of features that Lionel transformers lack:
dead man's handles
A.C. meters
Separate circuit breakers for each handle
Power switch.

The one drawback for Lionel operators is the lack of whistle controls.

For those not familiar with the 30B and other transformers with that style handle:
The handle can be used in dead man mode, where the operator has to hold the handle down to get power. Or the handle can be locked in place so the operator does not have to hold it. 
So long as the handle is engaged, there is some voltage going to the track. One has to release the handle to completely turn off the power.

 I am not certain how much more power it has than a ZW though. There is a lot of air space in that 30B case.

The American Flyer 22090 claims 350 watts. It has two physical transformers in one case. But unlike Lionel's TW, it is a two train transformer, on physical transformer per train. It is a totally different style, no dead man's handles or meters.

Just a word of caution: It can be tricky to remove the cover without damaging the wires that go to the meters.
If I recall correctly, the wires are just pigtails from the meter. I had one break off as I removed a cover carelessly, killing the meter.

CharlieS posted:

I think the American Flyer 30B is a nice transformer. It has a couple of features that Lionel transformers lack:
dead man's handles
A.C. meters
Separate circuit breakers for each handle
Power switch.

The one drawback for Lionel operators is the lack of whistle controls.

For those not familiar with the 30B and other transformers with that style handle:
The handle can be used in dead man mode, where the operator has to hold the handle down to get power. Or the handle can be locked in place so the operator does not have to hold it. 
So long as the handle is engaged, there is some voltage going to the track. One has to release the handle to completely turn off the power.

 I am not certain how much more power it has than a ZW though. There is a lot of air space in that 30B case.

The American Flyer 22090 claims 350 watts. It has two physical transformers in one case. But unlike Lionel's TW, it is a two train transformer, on physical transformer per train. It is a totally different style, no dead man's handles or meters.

Just a word of caution: It can be tricky to remove the cover without damaging the wires that go to the meters.
If I recall correctly, the wires are just pigtails from the meter. I had one break off as I removed a cover carelessly, killing the meter.

You are a very brave man, Charlie, to ever remove the cover of the awesome 30B with Dead Man’s Throttle!

I will donate mine to Sing Sing Prison if NY State ever resumes capital punishment.

LOL

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

You are a very brave man, Charlie, to ever remove the cover of the awesome 30B with Dead Man’s Throttle!

The newest 30B out there is at least sixty years old. I would not recommend using one that hasn't been carefully gone over by someone who is familiar with the model. It's highly likely the cord should be replaced, and the carbon rollers need to be checked.
Plus the control hubs do need some light lubrication. I think I used Labelle 106 on the last Flyer dead man's handle transformer, which was an 18B. (I always completely disassemble the hubs and clean off the old grease first.)

Here is an article on transformer testing from our friends at Port Lines. (My go to place for Flyer parts).

Transformer Testing

   I associate them more with a trolley throttle. Not exact, but they have a somewhat prototypical look, like some desk and pillar throttles.

   That's one of the things I like about the KW It seems the vertical shaft, rotating crank throttle was nearly all I've seen.

  I'd question the advertised 300w. I have an 18b the 30b's little bro. It has a 170w rating and no meters. The KW is 190w.

      A guess...a perception vs a test, but I don't see a 20w difference;  is see a 30-40w spread easy. I also see Marx transformers as being overrated. I.e. those are either over rated or Lionel's are under rated imo.

    I am curious about how that one may perform. My 18b has an occasional DC pulse that tmcc and railsounds pick up. A whistle/horn/bell activation (or dectivation) happens intermediately. Sometimes it is a non-stop blast, sometimes it might go an hour without a sound, but the bottom line is it is not sound board friendly. Sometimes PW whistles even manage a weak toot.

I think it's the use of multiple metals or the contacts on the deadman portion that does it.

  It is the "funnest" transformer to use though. The handle is sprung to rise and disconnect from it's wedge clips. You depress the raised handle slightly to cycle the E-unit, all the way down when cycleing is complete. The throttle is adjustable whether the handle is down and on, or up and off.

 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I don't recall rollers in the 18b. I think it used a sliding contact arm. I has been a few years and it is the only AF of that style I've uncapped.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I don't recall rollers in the 18b. I think it used a sliding contact arm. I has been a few years and it is the only AF of that style I've uncapped.

I did an 18B a few months ago. They are in there. The Flyer 18B transformer does not use sliding contact arms.
You can see the roller in the Gilbert factory Service manual here  .

  Your word is good , no biggie except I can't recall what it is that surprised me by having a slide vs rollers I expected. I don't  want to real soon, but I have not checked on my transformer rollers and winding wear in a few years. It is about time to "kinda soon".

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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