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Hi Forum members,

My 6026 Whistle tender has always had this problem: when activated, the solenoid pulls the contacts together and the whistle blows. The solenoid does not release when the whistle control is released, causing continuous whistle sound. I have inserted a layer or two of plastic electrical tape to weaken the magnetic attraction from the solenoid but that hasn't worked reliably.

What can I use to demagnitize the plate the contacts are attached to? I used to have an old tape head demagnitizer but it's long gone. That's the only thing I can think of to work.

Anyone else run into this problem?

Thanks in advance!

Roger

Original Post

passing it between magnets too. Im not sure how to arrange the poles offhand.   Try a few ways and if it grows stronger, pass it the other way.

Padding the land/stop should help slow the build up. Repeated sharp striking of steel and dc fields are both know ways for creating (or killing) magnets. Think of how many cycles it may have seen already too. 

 

You can reverse the wires going to the track.  The relay will still work, but the reversed polarity of the magnet should demagnetized it.  Also you should check out the bypass resister to ensure that the relay is only getting pure DC for just a moment when the relay pick ups. Lionel usually uses a nichrome resistance wire in this application. The resistance wire is usually attached to a copper wire at both ends with a crimp butt splice. The resistance of this connection can go up with age, reducing the amount of AC power that can bypass the rectifier.    Check the resistance wire resistance on each end of the nichrome wire. Then do the same check on the copper lead wires. The difference in these measurements is the resistance of the butt splices. 

@bimmer050 posted:
..I have inserted a layer or two of plastic electrical tape to weaken the magnetic attraction from the solenoid but that hasn't worked reliably...

Try one square of making tape.

A reel to reel tape recorder head demagnetizer might work but who beside me would have one?

 I have two.  However, it should work as well or better just energizing the coil with AC whenever the whistle isn't being activated.

Last edited by ADCX Rob

A reel to reel tape recorder head demagnetizer might work but who beside me would have one?

Charlie

@Choo Choo Charlie I have one! Actually it was a Radio Shack "Bulk Demagnetizer" if I recall correctly. But samey-samey, no matter what you namey. I will try that next time I run into one of the relays that sticks, and I DO run into them from time to time. My go-to cure so far has been a small piece of masking tape between the relay armature and the"slug." That most often works.

Now that I think about it, I'm guessing the problem may not always be magnetism - since this coil normally runs on AC, it should be 100% demagnetized at all times, as Rob stated above! Perhaps it is just simply something in that hinge mechanism that is causing the armature to stick "up", they are pretty fragile and I oft times see them mangled. Or perhaps there is actually something sticky like old tape residue on the slug or the armature - fresh tape applied on top of the offending sticky part would certainly fix that (temporarily!).

There could even be a stray wire or piece of cat fuzz or even a balled-up piece of 1960's plastic Christmas tree tinsel causing a physical interference!

I never thought of the solution offered by @TrainLarry above. I think I will reserve the "extra weight added to the armature" solution for those times when nothing else works - it sounds viable, but would need some testing IMHO.

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