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Hey Guys,

I have bought several used 022 switches in the past month.  Most were in pretty good shape, but a little slow.  I followed the board advice on Services 022 switches, and now they work really well, except of one annoying thing.

None of these switches came with a constant voltage plug.  No problem, I bought a half dozen new ones.

Yet, for about half of my switches, when I connect the constant voltage wire to the plug, and put the plug in, making sure that it is going over the interior pin and not on its side, the connection is terrible.  It is spotty.  I have to jiggle, bend, play with, etc. the plug, until suddenly the switch light comes on, and then back away and pray it stays that way.   Some do for a good while, but then the vibration of trains passes over causes whatever connection there is to jiggle loose or shift, and then I have lost the connection again.

On some of these connections, I have to push the plug in all of the way, and then very very gently back the plug out a hair of an inch, to get the light to come on.

Has anybody had these problems?   Is there any cure?  Or, did I just get a bad run of the replacement plugs?


Thanks,

Mannyrock

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P.S.-  When I take a flashlight, and look straight down into the constant voltage hole, I can see at the bottom a small splotch of solder, with the end strands of a copper wire in it.    All of the switches have this.   Is it possible that the loose strands of this wire are touching the round pole connection in the center of the hole, when they are not suppose to?

Thanks

  I would certainly take the cover off the motor & poke around a bit, checking all the solder connections.  Also cleaning the constant voltage plug itself with QD electronics cleaner or alcohol, and brightening them up with fine sandpaper or a scotchbrite pad helps.  Lastly, if you look closely you'll notice the switch's constant voltage plug is actually 4 separate pieces that form the circular male plug.  You can ever so gently insert a razor or knife blade into the male plug, and slightly open it up to create a tighter fit inside the plug-in that's delivering the constant voltage.



Tom

If FPPTs suggestions don't work, the replacement plugs you have may be a poor remake of the original.  Another item for you consideration is TinMan3Rail's switch power connectors.  https://www.tinman3rail.com/?p...old-style-bootstraps

These plugs not only provide fixed power to switch mechanism, but it also provides track power via the little spring contact that pushes to the side and off the pin.  I have used these with great success on our layout.   

@Mannyrock posted:
Is there any cure?  Or, did I just get a bad run of the replacement plugs?

The fixed voltage pin is not solid, it is split down the middle length-wise. Over the years, the two halves get mashed together resulting in their inability to provide the necessary spring tension outwards into the plugs to provide positive electrical contact, and holding power for the plug.

So the cure is to judiciously split the two pin halves apart carefully to a point where their original shape is restored. Clamp the base of the pin where the two halves meet so they don't break there, and to assist in making the "re-bend" take place along the entire pin.

Last edited by ADCX Rob

  Just as an aside, in 2018 I originally used the supplied fixed voltage plugs that came with the four O22's I bought from Tinman.  At the time I was using a KW transformer for track, and a 1033 transformer for fixed 16 volts to operate the switch. The two transformers were phased properly, and their commons connected.  

  Long story short, the KW really was unhappy about it.  It would put out faint wisps of white smoke that smelled like beef jerky.  The breaker never tripped, but something wasn't right.  Through the help of Rob & several other forumites, it was determined that for whatever reason, the part of the fixed voltage plug supplied by Tinman that powers the center rail, was shorting out the KW.

As soon as I disconnected the power for the switch's center rail (black wire) on the fixed voltage plug (bootstrap in Tinman lexicon) all was well again.  Now I use only the red wire that powers the switch motor.

  Your results may vary, and certainly nothing against Tinman-great guy...just wanted to let you know about my possibly unique situation.

Tom

@ADCX Rob posted:

The 2.5mm x 5.5mm plugs(and pigtails - plugs w/ wires) are ubiquitous and inexpensive to make connectors on your own.


Thanks Rob.  So you save $1.63 per switch to solder your own.  Depending on the number of switches, it could make a difference... which equals more train funds

  ... it was determined that for whatever reason, the part of the fixed voltage plug supplied by Tinman that powers the center rail, was shorting out the KW.



Interesting...I have not had that issue with 10 of these I have in play.  I wonder if it was a sloppy soldering job inside the plug, where it jumped the fixed voltage and the variable track voltage.  If these voltages were at different levels, the voltages are additive, rather than balancing each other out.  So you were shorting the two "hot" terminals.  That's my layman's guess and understanding of how it works.  Rob probably remembers and can set me straight if needed.

@JD2035RR posted:

...So you save $1.63 per switch to solder your own...

A lot of people have these just laying around waiting to used, as well.

@JD2035RR posted:

...If these voltages were at different levels, the voltages are additive, rather than balancing each other out...

Actually, that scenario would result in "fault" short circuits which bypass any transformer circuit breaker. The wider the difference in voltage settings, the higher the fault current is.  It can be very damaging.

@ADCX Rob posted:

Actually, that scenario would result in "fault" short circuits which bypass any transformer circuit breaker. The wider the difference in voltage settings, the higher the fault current is.  It can be very damaging.

    Once again, I think you hit the nail on the head Rob...

Back then I was running a Williams Sharknose set conventionally.  With its tall gearing, and once it got going,         6 volts to the track had the speed up to alarming rates for O36 curves and O22 switches.

I can see how a full 10 volt differential made the KW protest.

Tom



 

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