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I'm evaluating the feasibility of an EZ street vehicle back and forth automation on Ross track.  It should work fine expect there is a Gargraves 108 uncoupler/unloader track in the middle of the run.  I'm testing to determine if the vehicle will transverse the 108.  It failed the test.  First, the vehicle repeatedly hangs up in either direction on the 108.  Secondly, internal vehicle wiring fried during one hang up.

The hang ups are a clearance issue.  Transmissions,, etc are molded into the underside of the vehicle which significantly reduce clearance.  These molded items are trapped in the 108 magnet groove.  The 108 has a plastic insulating ramp to ease the rollers over the magnet which is exposed in the center of the ramp.  Eliminating the molded items should solve the hang up problem.

The fried wires are not so obvious.  The only wires fried are from both the front and rear pickup rollers which are interconnected.  Both the rollers were hot. It's maybe 26 gauge wire, insulation melted, conductors just about melted, 10 fuse not blown. No evidence of internal shorts.  No power phasing issues.  Here's my assessment:  The chassis grounded molded items contact the insulated 108 magnet at the same time one roller touches the magnet while the other roller is contacting the center rail.  Current flows from the center rail roller through the internal wiring to the roller touching the now grounded magnet ?    Anyone else have this problem or other ideas on the fried wiring ?

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Clearly, the cooked wiring got between the outside rails and the center rail, so your analysis is probably as good as any.  Without examining the unit personally, no way of really determining if the analysis is correct.

FWIW, I've seen this many times with passenger cars that have derailed and one pickup roller landed on an outside rail.  I've seen it in a couple of diesels that have done the same thing.  K-Line was notorious for running power through the motherboard PCB traces for the front and rear trucks, frequently that trace would be smoked by a derailment.  Not that hard to fix, just annoying.

Clearly, the cooked wiring got between the outside rails and the center rail, so your analysis is probably as good as any.  Without examining the unit personally, no way of really determining if the analysis is correct.

FWIW, I've seen this many times with passenger cars that have derailed and one pickup roller landed on an outside rail.  I've seen it in a couple of diesels that have done the same thing.  K-Line was notorious for running power through the motherboard PCB traces for the front and rear trucks, frequently that trace would be smoked by a derailment.  Not that hard to fix, just annoying.

Thanks for your reply.   Nothing was derailed so I ruled that out.   There's vehicle slop between the rails but that would have the wheel flanges touching the 108 accessory shoe rails, ground to ground.  No short there.  The rollers can't reach the accessory shoe rails unless derailed.    I sent my findings to Gargrave's for their thoughts.  My 108 is older and has a two button controller.  The current model is 3 buttons.  The added middle button connects the ground.  You have to push  the middle button and one other to operate.  My two button version has all 4 accessory rails connected to ground with no buttons pushed.  There must be some reason a third button was added ?

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