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I have a three rail O scale layout.  On the Layout I have DC N scale trains running around a playground.  When I set it up it was working fine.  Last week the engines started running slower, then stopped.  I changed out the DC transformer to another one. Same result.  I have a voltage meter but honestly don't know how to set it the find out if the track is getting power.  Anyone have any ideas???

Thanks

Original Post

Consult the instructions that came with your voltmeter - if you do not you could fry your voltemeter, your transformer, your train or worse - there, I covered my read end.

Set the volt meter dial to an appropriate dc voltage setting (dcv)  - you probably have a choice of something around 20v.  With the transformer on and set to something you think should run the trains, touch the red lead to one track rail and the black lead to the other.  You should see the voltage displayed. If the number is negative, you can switch which rails the red and black are touching.  If you are getting nothing, you have no power to the track.  You can touch the posts on the transformer directly to see if you have power at the transformer and are losing it on it's way to the track.  

Since you say the trains start and slow down - seems like you are getting power to the track and something else is going on.  I'd test both with the engine on and off the track.

If you get a good reading with the engine off the track and the voltage drops or goes to 0 with the engine on the track, your engine has issues.

 

I tested the track.  Apparently it's one of the engines. Someone asked what kind of power pack I was using. At first I was using one of those small dc packs you get with ez streets. When the engines went dead, I switched over to a rail power 1300. I should say I have two separate loops connected to the same power pack.  When I tested the track with engine A, the track registered almost no power. When I took A off, the power shot up.  Engine B which hadn't worked suddenly came to life.

So apparently engine A is dead.  I don't really think I gave it too much power, not from that little ez streets pack.

  Guess my question is, what level of power should I be giving to two engines running around two 4x6 tracks using a 1300?

 

 

 

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