I have 3 loops, 2 are approx 40 feet around, the 3td loop is about 25 feet.

I am running a Vision line Hudson on the outer loop, an Atlas GP 15 (TMCC) on the 2nd loop. A Lionel Legacy GP 35 on the 3td (enter loop).

Problem: The Atlas GP 15 will slow almost stop (will stop sometimes if the speed is slow) on one section of the track, it runs great on the other 2/3 of the loop.

I have taken the Atlas off on put the Lionel GP 15 on the center loop , it and the Vision line run great. It is the Atlas that slows.

I have read if I run a length of insulated wire (any gauge) between the tracks and connect the wire to a ground plug, the problem may go away. Do I understand this correct?

 

Brent

Original Post

"I have read if I run a length of insulated wire (any gauge) between the tracks and connect the wire to a ground plug, the problem may go away. Do I understand this correct?"

 

Where did you read that?  The answer is that at no time should any part of the track circuit be connected to ground. That is unsafe and illegal. 

 

If you have trains that slow down and stop at locations that are furthest from your power connections, you need to run jumpers (both center- and outside-rail) using minimum 16 gauge copper wire from the existing power connections to points at the opposite side of the ovals, and several points in between.  Hot to hot, and return to return. (Visualize using jumper cables between two automobiles.)

Arthur P. Bloom TCA 86-23906 "I love the smell of smoke pellets in the morning!"

Actually, what he said was correct Arthur, read it again.  He's connecting the insulated wire to a outlet ground pin and just laying it between the tracks.

 

OK, if you say he's correct, then he's correct.

 

Now explain, please, how laying an insulated piece of wire between the tracks and connecting it to a ground lug will eliminate a voltage drop and make his trains maintain a steady speed at the distant ends of the layout.

Arthur P. Bloom TCA 86-23906 "I love the smell of smoke pellets in the morning!"

Arthur, I was just responding to this part of your reply, that was not what was being attempted.
 
Originally Posted by Arthur P. Bloom:

Where did you read that?  The answer is that at no time should any part of the track circuit be connected to ground. That is unsafe and illegal. 

 

Joe, I think you're correct here.

Guys. I may not have said exactly what I should have, let me give it another try.

There are Jumpers along the loops 3-4 feet apart.

The track is clean

Placed (laid) a piece of insulated wire (24 ga) between loops 1 and loop 2.

PROBLEM!

I connected the wire to a plug (bought a plug from Lowes like I was going to make an extension cord) and connected the wire to the ground post, (no other wires are connected), plugged it  into a surge protector, fired the engines and BAM everything shut down, unplugged the 24 ga wire from the surge protector and after resetting , the trains all ran but the TMCC engine stills slows at the far point of the loops.

What am I doing wrong? I think I am very lucky that I didn’t fry my engines. All comments are appreciated and I have thick skin so please comment, all are considered constructive

Thanks for the help

Brent

I'm more than confused!  Laying an insulated wire between the tracks and not connecting to anything has no electrical effect, so I have no idea what's going on here.  Connecting it to the ground lug of the plug (NOT the neutral or hot) and again no other connection might affect TMCC signal strength, but it sure can't shut everything down!  Something else is clearly going on here, we're not getting the whole picture.

 

"I have read if I run a length of insulated wire (any gauge) between the tracks and connect the wire to a ground plug, the problem may go away. Do I understand this correct?"

 

I say again:

 

Where did you read that?

 

"The problem" seems to be low voltage. I have been in the electrical business since 1959. I have no idea what you're trying to do with a piece of 24 gauge wire.

 

Are you using conventional track power, or some sort of command control? I know that certain radio signals used to control toy trains can be augmented by using ground planes. That does not seem to be what you have built with a piece of 24-gauge wire.

 

Additionally, you have introduced another factor into the porridge by using a surge protector. They are either useless or trouble-causing, in the real world of electrical contracting. I haven't the faintest idea why you would try using one of them in this instance. Did you read that somewhere?

 

 

 

 

Arthur P. Bloom TCA 86-23906 "I love the smell of smoke pellets in the morning!"

I looked at  Mike Reagan's video "TMCC & LEGACY Signal Basics 12/11" a couple of times. Also there are several posts on "ground plan" that I have read on this Forum. After reading Forum comments and looking at the video, I thought I could do a ground plan for my railroad. it looks like I don't understand completely, still don't. I do think one of my mistakes is plugging in my 24 ga. wire into a surge protector and not into a wall receptacle.

 

I am using a Legacy 990 to run a Vision Line Hudson, a Legacy GP 35 and a Atlas GP 15 (TMCC)

 

Again, thanks for the help

 

Brent

 

 

I don't have a lot of wall receptacles in my garage and have to use an extension cord plugged into the surge protector some something that will allow 4-6 items to be plugged in. 

 

 

 

 

 

Beware of extension cords in series with the power to the Base if you have any excess wire coiled up.  The coiled wire can form a "choke" that will lessen the (beneficial) TMCC/Legacy signal that gets into the house wiring.

 

I suggest the first thing that you try is to unplug the wallwart power supply for the Base and run the engine in conventional mode.  Is there any slowing at the troublesome points?  (This assumes that you can operate conventionally....)

 

Ricko. The Atlas Trainman GP 15, as far as I know doesn't have cruise. I am using 18 gauge wire and a Lionel 180 watt powerhouse. You are probably correct about the incline, my layout is close to level but not absolute, especially the duckunder. I may follow your lead and do something with the Atlas and buy another legacy.

 

I have checked the voltage and have a constant 14 watts on the loops

 

Brent

 

Just FYI, no atlas trainman locos have cruise. 

 

If your train is slowing down at a certain point on your layout, try adding an additional power drop at the location of the slow down. 

 

Also, all trains will slow down when going through a curve. The tighter the curve, the more the slow down. 

Locos with cruise will try to compensate for that slow down. 

The natural order of things is disorder.

I'd bump up the wire guage if you can,18 guage is still really small to get the power around your layout. A decent sized layout like yours needs larger wire to get the power out to the track, longer wire runs typically demand larger wire. 

 

Lionel recommends 14 ga, I use 14 ga buss and feeders on my 2 10'x16' loops powered by one 180 brick. Each loop has only 4 pairs of feeders, I have an 8' passing  siding and a few  6'yard tracks each of these has just one pair of feeders.

 

 

How are you checking the voltage? You should be checking it while  there is a load at the track i.e with a train running.

 

14 watts out of a Lionel brick is low. It should be around 17.5 or so, unless you going through a TPC which will likely grab a watt dropping it to roughly 16.5

 

Your atlas loco may still slow down after you upgrade the wire, but in the long run bigger wire will be worth it for better power delivery across the layout.

 

 

 

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

Sounds like you need one of these, drag it around behind your locomotive and you'll have a load and you can see the voltage all along the track.

 

 

Voltage Measuring Car N1

Attachments

Photos (1)

I could use a "tool' like this. I saw a thread on this (or similar) a while back. Am I correct that you (gunrunnerjohn) made this car?

I currently use a "centech" a digital clamp meter I bought from Harbor Freight Re-checking the track voltage; there is a 3 volt drop from where the power supply is connected to the track and the farthest point on the loop.

On one loop there are 6 lighted passenger cars (old ones) I assume this would use some volts.

 

I am going to replace the 18 gauge wire with 16 gauge,

 

Thanks for the advice ALL

 

Brent

Yep, I got the idea from a K-Line voltage monitoring car.  This one has displays on both sides so you can see if from either side.

 

A 3V drop is pretty significant, that does indicate you need additional power drops.

 

Originally Posted by gunrunnerjohn:

Yep, I got the idea from a K-Line voltage monitoring car.  This one has displays on both sides so you can see if from either side.

 

A 3V drop is pretty significant, that does indicate you need additional power drops.

 

Do you sale these cars? It seems to me it would be a great tool to have. I don't know if I could afford one but there is no doubt that I have electrical challenges,  currently I am  using  a hand held meter I bought from Harbor Freight. My jumpers are going to be changed to 14 gauge, I have the wire and ordered the connectors and disconnects today.

 

Thanks

Brent

 

I don't sell them, but I can tell you what you need to do to build one.  It's not that difficult, the mechanical issues and getting trucks with pickups are the most time consuming.  The only "trick" is a special isolated DC-DC converter I get from Digikey for around $10 that isolates the supply to the meters from the track voltage.  I got the meters on eBay, they were also in the $8-10 range each.

Likes (0)
Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×