Insulated Rail Relay Chatter

I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of contact "chatter" of the AC relay that I used as one of the control relays for a pair or Banjo signals. It seems to be from the ground signal being noisey from the wheels actually rolling on the rails. Has anyone else had the same experiences and if so what can I do to correct the problem?


I also have a situation with some crossing gates when running a pair of RMT Beeps. The Gates start down, raise back up a bit and then drop all the way down. If I run a Dockside Switcher through the same area this problem does not occurr. It does not matter if I run a single Beep or a pair...the issue is repeaable, each and every time.


I have a video showing this but have never attempted to embed a video so I will attempt that later this evening.


Thanks in advance.


Original Post

Like the main said, DC is way better than AC for signaling, because it offers so many different trouble-free solutions. 


The next step after one relay, is to use a "start" relay to set the gates in the down position, and a "release" relay to raise them up.  A single pulse from the first axle operates each relay, so train length and intermittent (and or plastic) wheels/axle combinations are immaterial.


After that, you can graduate to "start, hold, and release" relay circuits, and then to circuits that don't care if the traffic is westbound or eastbound.

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

Dale...Thanks for your advice. I will switch over to DC as soon as I can round up the parts. Sure wish I had not bought all the AC relays!


Anyway, can you please provide part numbers or specs for the bridge rectifier and the cap?


Thanks again Dale and thanks to you as well Arthur. I am looking forward to taking "DC Relays 101"!



Anything 1 amp or more,35 volt or more




For a capacitor 470 uf 35 volt is fine and usually is sufficient to eliminate chatter


If a separate transformer is used one of the DC poles (+ or -) can share a common and only one bridge is needed regardless of the number of relays used as long as the bridge rectifier and transformer can handle the amperage of all the relays. I use hundreds of relays on my layout.


You can run your AC relays on DC. Cut the input voltage down until it just works and then add a few volts. The AC coil will have less resistance on DC and need less voltage. Too much can damage the coil.


Dale H

Another fine product of the Cleveland Public School system.

A nice site to visit is J&C Studios.

You mention Banjo signals.  I have one - not controlled by a relay but merely by a button.  I tried a DC transformer last year and, I can't remember which, but either the light didn't come on or the banjo didn't swing.  Sorry that I don't remember but the point is that I had to run it on AC to get it to work. 


I tried DC after reading so much about how accessories perform better with it.  I've used AC for 30 years and it's always been OK, albeit noisy.


- walt

I believe that the idea is that the DC is being used to control the relay coil istelf and I am still running the AC through the contacts. The Banjo signals that I am using are the Lionel Scale models and the motor is a small DC motor such as what one would find in a cell phone vibrater(size wise).

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