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I have a layout with a mix of Ross and Atlas switches. It seems when my Legacy/TMCC engines are going at a slow rate of speed and come to an Atlas crossover ( either 4 way or 2 way) on one of the loops the engine  seem to stop dead and most of the time if I boost the speed they move forward and sometimes not.  My MTH PS2 and PS3 engines do not seem to be bother at these places.  Any idea how to fix the problem.

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maxmn_98 posted:

I have a layout with a mix of Ross and Atlas switches. It seems when my Legacy/TMCC engines are going at a slow rate of speed and come to an Atlas crossover ( either 4 way or 2 way) on one of the loops the engine  seem to stop dead and most of the time if I boost the speed they move forward and sometimes not.  My MTH PS2 and PS3 engines do not seem to be bother at these places.  Any idea how to fix the problem.

First, measure the distance between the pick-up rollers on your models that have the problem.

Second, measure the distance between the hot center rails of your Atlas turnouts.

If the distance between the hot center rails of the Atlas turnouts is GREATER that the distance between the two pick-up rollers of your locomotives, then your locomotives are NOT spanning the distance between the hot center rails of your Atlas turnouts. I have had one or two steam locomotives exhibit this problem, so I added an additional pick-up roller assembly on the tender.

Hello.   I am jumping to the conclusion that you are talking about an Atlas switch issue, as I know the Atlas switches have had various issues.  If it is not an Atlas switch issue that you are talking about, you might want to save the information for the future, in case this is a problem in the future!        

 I have about 20 Atlas switches on my layout, so I am familiar with this issue as it pertains to the switches.  The Atlas switches are great switches, however they need attention if you want them to work perfectly.   I did two things; and you won't need to remove the switch from your layout to do this.  First, I went to Michaels which is an arts and craft supply chain in many  cities.  I bought a piece of light weight copper and made an extension.  See the picture.  This will take a little "creativity" as you will have to shape the copper to fit, without getting too close to the ground rails.  On the underside of the copper extension you create, solder a wire lead from the "positive" track power.  I am assuming you have a layout on a table of some sort.  So you can hide the wire underneath, if you want.  You will have to "play around" with cutting this piece of copper so it fits, and is the right height, and stays in place.  (you can use a track screw to hold the copper in place on one end, as I did in this picture) This copper piece will bridge the large area that is without power on the switch.  See the photo......but...this is only part of the story.  I have found that on some of the Atlas switches, the black process on the center rail of the switch does not conduct electricity well.  (It appears to be ok when you check it with a volt meter, but some of the engines just don't like it)  This becomes another "dead spot".  I have sanded this down to bare metal.  To retain the "blackened" look, I use something I purchased from the local gun shop called "gun black".  I brush this on the bare metal, let it sit for just a moment, then wipe it off....Atlas Switchand it looks as good as the Atlas finish, but conducts electricity much better.  I have had to do both of these "tricks" on many of the Atlas switches to get "perfect" conductivity, especially when running an engine through the switch at slow speed.  (The switch in this picture was located above a beam under the table, consequently I couldn't go straight down with the wire to hide it......but I think you will get the idea).  Once you do these modifications, you will be able to run any and all engines through the switch even at slow speeds.....and if you are running passenger cars, the lights won't "blink"........conductivity will no longer be an issue.  The addition of another pick up as suggested in a prior post is also a good solution.  My solution is just another way of addressing this issue.  Hope this helps.

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AMF posted:

Hello.   I am jumping to the conclusion that you are talking about an Atlas switch issue, as I know the Atlas switches have had various issues.  If it is not an Atlas switch issue that you are talking about, you might want to save the information for the future, in case this is a problem in the future!        

 I have about 20 Atlas switches on my layout, so I am familiar with this issue as it pertains to the switches.  The Atlas switches are great switches, however they need attention if you want them to work perfectly.   I did two things; and you won't need to remove the switch from your layout to do this.  First, I went to Michaels which is an arts and craft supply chain in many  cities.  I bought a piece of light weight copper and made an extension.  See the picture.  This will take a little "creativity" as you will have to shape the copper to fit, without getting too close to the ground rails.  On the underside of the copper extension you create, solder a wire lead from the "positive" track power.  I am assuming you have a layout on a table of some sort.  So you can hide the wire underneath, if you want.  You will have to "play around" with cutting this piece of copper so it fits, and is the right height, and stays in place.  (you can use a track screw to hold the copper in place on one end, as I did in this picture) This copper piece will bridge the large area that is without power on the switch.  See the photo......but...this is only part of the story.  I have found that on some of the Atlas switches, the black process on the center rail of the switch does not conduct electricity well.  (It appears to be ok when you check it with a volt meter, but some of the engines just don't like it)  This becomes another "dead spot".  I have sanded this down to bare metal.  To retain the "blackened" look, I use something I purchased from the local gun shop called "gun black".  I brush this on the bare metal, let it sit for just a moment, then wipe it off....Atlas Switchand it looks as good as the Atlas finish, but conducts electricity much better.  I have had to do both of these "tricks" on many of the Atlas switches to get "perfect" conductivity, especially when running an engine through the switch at slow speed.  (The switch in this picture was located above a beam under the table, consequently I couldn't go straight down with the wire to hide it......but I think you will get the idea).  Once you do these modifications, you will be able to run any and all engines through the switch even at slow speeds.....and if you are running passenger cars, the lights won't "blink"........conductivity will no longer be an issue.  The addition of another pick up as suggested in a prior post is also a good solution.  My solution is just another way of addressing this issue.  Hope this helps.

This is an excellent fix.  Good job of engineering to fix the pick up roller issue. 

I have drilled through the rails on all sides of the turnout and soldered hot wires to them.  I have a yard with 18 switches and have no issues running through my Atlas turnouts at slow switching speeds.  

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