I have a postwar Lionel FM Train Master with the battery operated horn that started giving me problems about a year ago where the horn was activated and would continue operating for a number of seconds after I took my finger off the horn button. Now it has gotten worse as the horn blows and does not stop even with power off until I give the top of the engine a good smack. To me it sounds like the horn relay is partially magnetised? What do you think?
Gave the relay contact a good dose of CRC and there was a very slight improvement in sticking, but the problem is still there. On a positive note the horn tone seems a little clearer/stronger. I guess a little dirt/oxidation was removed with the CRC.
I once heard somebody mention that if you gave a sharp tap on the relay housing that could help get rid of magnetism by realigning the electrons in the metal. Is that possible?
Chuck, thank you for the suggestion and confirming my magnetization suspicions.
bmoran4, thank you for your input as well and I also wondered if a degausser might work to demagnetize the relay.
Well this morning I tried the horn again and this time I discovered that if the engine is in neutral, I got the horn to work correctly a good percentage of the time. I then tried the horn while the engine was in motion and it sticks again. Possibly this might be a mechanical and a magnetic issue together? I will try more CRC, let it dry and then maybe the tape on the bottom plate of the solenoid.
I tried a little more CRC and that did not work. Then I tried the tape...and SUCCESS! The tape is what did the trick, so a big thank you to all for your help in solving this horn issue of mine.
BTW, I love that postwar engine grease smell on my hands. They should make a mens cologne that smells like that!