Gate buzz

Hello, I just bought a railKing 2 6 2 crossing gate number 30 - 1073. Hooked it up as instructed, and when the Tad  trips the gate  it buzzes as it goes down but then the whole time it's down it still continuously buzzes which is very annoying. Is it supposed to do this? Or is it supposed to have a limit switch in there that stops that? Thanks.

Original Post

Well after buzzing constantly every time it's cycled for probably 80 Cycles yesterday evening it's suddenly stopped. It does the initial buzz but then is quiet while it is down. Probably about a hundred time's the train has gone through it today and no issue. Odd. I do have another question related to this. I trigger it via an insulated track section I made at the Crossing , common on the insulated outside Rail and gate power coming from the Transformer. My question is ,when switching ,myself or the kids often Park train cars on that section and then the gate will constantly be down and lights constantly on, is that any sort of problem? 

Yes, I guess I was wondering what other people who have this particular gate have had as an experience when parking cars on the track activating it. Is it not really that big a deal and it can remain on for a couple hours with really no issue, or do people just avoid putting cars there or possibly have a separate switch to disable it when doing such a thing. I have noticed it get warm when leaving it on for a while. I didn't know if its setup inside where once it's going down if it's just using and much load lower "hold" voltage. Because it all of a sudden gets quiet when it's down I was thinking this may be the case, but that's my only basis for thinking that, I don't know.

It is based on technology from over a century ago...it is just an electromagnet around a ferrous rod that pushes up on the gate. Voltage on- gate down, voltage off- gate up (via gravity). There are no switches, relays or fancy circuitry inside.
At typical 14V track voltage, I would limit its activation to no more than 2min every 5min (continuous)/ 25sec per minute (intermittent) to allow for the solenoid to cool off.

Johnny B posted:

Yes, I guess I was wondering what other people who have this particular gate have had as an experience when parking cars on the track activating it. Is it not really that big a deal and it can remain on for a couple hours with really no issue, or do people just avoid putting cars there or possibly have a separate switch to disable it when doing such a thing. I have noticed it get warm when leaving it on for a while. I didn't know if its setup inside where once it's going down if it's just using and much load lower "hold" voltage. Because it all of a sudden gets quiet when it's down I was thinking this may be the case, but that's my only basis for thinking that, I don't know.

I have to agree with Überstationmeister, and others above.  I can't imagine leaving it on for "a couple of hours" would be a good idea at all!

If you want to retain the way it operates when you don't have trains parked, maybe put a single pole single throw switch in line with the activation line that runs to your insulated section?  Open the switch if you want to park cars so it won't be activated for hours on end.  Close the switch for normal use.

-Dave

Looks like I may have to switch it back to track voltage to give it some sympathy haha although even in that case if the kids keep running around a different track could still be on if car is parked there. Does anyone know if there's any sort of simple timeout switch that I could attach to it so that for example if it's continuously putting voltage through it for example say 3 minutes and then it will automatically open a relay or something and can only be reactivated by manual push of a button.? I don't want to get too crazy but I trust myself to turn it off but I never know when the kids might Park something on there and walk away for the afternoon. Who am I kidding I probably shouldn't trust myself either.!

I agree with everyone else. If you leave that gate powered in the down position, the problem will fix itself - when the solenoid burns out. Either activate it with a switch, or put a switch inline with the track activation so you can turn it off when a train is parked there.

Hard to imagine that it has not burned out already.

RoyBoy

While some type of on/off switch is the easiest way to cut off the action, here's one way to implement a time delay.

time limit relay modules

For less than $5 on eBay  you could pair a 1) voltage converter from AC to 12V DC, and 2) a Delay-OFF relay module.  The Delay-OFF module will apply the AC voltage to the accessory for some settable duration (like 3 minutes) and then cuts power.

Separately, I'm not clear on why the AC 60 Hz buzzing stops after the coil is continuously powered for 30 seconds or whatever, but if you want to drive the coil with DC some variation of the AC-to-DC voltage converter module could be used.  

And if the mechanism maintains its position with a reduce coil voltage once it goes down, note that a time-delay relay module could be used to switch in full voltage for the first 5 seconds (or whatever) when initially triggered...and then switch in a reduced voltage thereafter.

There are all manners of low cost electronic modules on eBay that are just a few dollars each where you can cobble together some interesting functionality Lego-like without soldering.

Another approach is a thermal cutoff switch. These are about $1 and you choose the cutoff temperature like 70C, 80C, 90C, whatever.  Place next to the coil and wire it in-line with the coil.  When switch trips, it cuts power to coil until the temperature drops and the switch resets; not to be confused with a thermal fuse which trips and game-over until you replace it. 

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Hi guys been away for a little while. What stan posted sounds like a perfect solution 4 idiot proofing it. I did decide to trust myself and the kids to switch it off if cars are parked on it, with a simple toggle switch off the insulated section... after all it happens to be right in front of my control panel and if you parked cars on there and forget about it you're kind of constantly being warned because the lights are flashing right in front of you. So far toggle switch implentation is working great. I saw Roy Boy mentioned that he was surprised it hadn't burned out yet already and I just wanted to clarify that I don't think I've ever had it on continuously for more than maybe for four or five minutes. All the rest was just hypothetical what iffing.  Thanks for all the help guys.

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