Power Strip Usage

I'm already halfway in bed with Mianne as I have a lot of their stuff, so it's less painful to go that way.   I've seen the Mianne stuff and I like it and so does everyone I know that has used it.  I don't know about Sievers Benchwork, it could be great stuff, but I have never seen it, or even heard it mentioned before now.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Still waiting on the Mianne benchwork, I've been led to believe it takes several months.  Tim has my money, I just have to wait until he ships it.

I ordered my on June 7, and it shipped on Aug. 7. Credit card not charged until shipped. Worth the wait.

Steve

It's been about a week since any more info has been added to my original inquiry about power strips. A lot of suggestions have been added, and while maybe on the same subject, this thread has gone a bit off track.

The ironic thing about the different approaches I have tried for reliability, at least through one section of track, finding a solution difficult, because of the mixed results. 2 engines stop, almost always, in the same spot at an Atlas turnout. Since replacing this turnout in a permanent section was problematic, I tried less drastic approaches. Finally replaced the turnout with a straight section of track. One engine has run non-stop, forward & reverse, slow & fast dozens of times now. So, what turnout should I replace the Atlas turnout with? I've had no problems with Ross turnouts up to now. Tomorrow I'll test the other engine.

The other 2 problem areas are where parallel tracks at slightly different levels also show signal issues & erratic running. 

Switches, by design, have dead spots, where power, to a locomotive, is applied through one, not both contacts, with the third rail.  On occasion, roller/contact pick-up, can find two dead spots at one time, and the engine stops.  There are power routing solutions to this problem, both Atlas and Ross have work-arounds  (previously mentioned in this thread, page 2). 

One of the big improvements was  Atlas providing (4) roller pick-ups on new models 

 

cjack posted:

Why not try Gunrunnerjohn’s (Dale M) signal buffer for the general signal problems?

The switch issues are probably different than your general signal issues.

I believe he is on the list for one of the kit versions.

Marty Eibeck

 

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Mike CT posted:

Switches, by design, have dead spots, where power, to a locomotive, is applied through one, not both contacts, with the third rail.  On occasion, roller/contact pick-up, can find two dead spots at one time, and the engine stops.  There are power routing solutions to this problem, both Atlas and Ross have work-arounds  (previously mentioned in this thread, page 2). 

One of the big improvements was  Atlas providing (4) roller pick-ups on new models  

As Mike suggests here and others have said earlier, I would try checking this first. It's a pretty common problem that can turn up with any given switch and engine at some time or another. Replacing the switch may (or may not) solve your problem. 

I will defer the TMCC signals to the others here more knowledgeable, I have not yet had problems with those (fingers crossed).

I have to admit, the switch issue is a puzzle to me. I understand that with shorter engines the rollers may not be spaced in a way to overcome the dead spot. What I find hard to comprehend is that I only have 2 engines that have the problem at that switch, both Lionel, one Legacy the other TMCC both large engines N&W J (4-8-4), the other PE Berkshire (2-8-4). I even replaced the switch with an extra Atlas switch that matched. Only when I removed the switch & added a straight section did I attain perfect operation. 

Is there a preferred way to wire a switch that solves this problem?

As Mike CT suggests above it could be contact with the outer rails as well as the center rail and pickups. It is not surprising that replacing the switch with a straight section of track fixed the problem. That could be another indication of something going on between the switch and those specific engines?

If you can specifically define the problem and describe it here, someone may be able to provide a solution. There are an assortment of folks here that between them have at one time or another experienced most every problem you can imagine. Lots of knowledgeable folks here!

Also, as someone suggested earlier, try holding your hand over the engine when it stops. I have seen this mentioned several times around here and I believe it indicates a poor signal or antenna problem? If something (or nothing) happens, I will again defer to the more knowledgeable here. I have not experienced this problem myself. Although I have a legacy system and a couple of Lionel engines, I am not too well versed on the TMCC/Legacy stuff or their problems. 

I think we may be narrowing it down to a power problem. If it is just these two engines having trouble going over the switch, and you have other engines that travel through the switch with no problems, then it is most likely the two engines that have problems. Sounds like the engines need to be carefully examined, replacing the switch may not solve the problem. 

ironman1 posted:

What I find hard to comprehend is that I only have 2 engines that have the problem at that switch, both Lionel, one Legacy the other TMCC both large engines N&W J (4-8-4), the other PE Berkshire (2-8-4). I even replaced the switch with an extra Atlas switch that matched.

It's not the size of the locomotive, but rather the placement of the center rail rollers.  Some large engines don't have optimum placement of the rollers, nature of the beast.

How about a picture of the bottom of each problem engine and also the measurement between the rollers?

Sounds like a good idea. I'll do that this evening after work.

If I'm not mistaken, I have read here on the forum that early Atlas switches were problematic. I purchased these switches 15+ years ago when I started building my layout.Switches

I attached image above is of the switch in question, it's a #7.5 HIGH SPEED SWITCH-RIGHT.

I haven't even attempted to cross over with the engines experiencing problems.

Attachments

Photos (1)

I already sold an engine a year ago that had the same problem, same locations, a Lionel TMCC Y6B. My 2 Legacy Y6B's have no issues in these locations.

I believe it's the high speed switches. I have 2 Ross switches I purchased 2 years ago for this location. I think my intention was was to match the space as close as possible. I think they are the 11 degree turnouts. I don't believe they will drop right in without a little fuss.

Do you have the same problem with these 2 engines in the same location on the other (top) switch? I have Atlas track and switches, but I have no numbered switches so nothing here to look at. I believe there were some problems with the very early Atlas switches, but I was not in the hobby at that time so I am not sure exactly what the problems were?

Have you checked the traction tires on the problem engines. since the problem seems to be power, perhaps the traction tires and spacing of the trucks is causing the issue. perhaps the trucks are loosing contact with the switch which will cause a power loss.

The problem with older Atlas switches is they used a very fine wire to connect the different center rails, and one overcurrent episode would burn out the wire and leave that rail unpowered.  The fix was to run a more robust jumper.  We had to do a lot of those on our club layout.

The TMCC N&W J stalled & blinking lights, at the spot just passed where I replaced the Atlas switch with a straight. Sounds like there is a signal issue in that spot that does not affect the PE Berkshire. I think I'm going to try to jumper wire the switch I removed as per Johns suggestion, and place it back where it was. But jump from where to where?

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Still waiting on the Mianne benchwork, I've been led to believe it takes several months.  Tim has my money, I just have to wait until he ships it.

I ordered my Mianne benchwork at an October York Meet ... it was delivered 2.5 months later.  The time did cross the Holiday Season which, I'm sure, made a difference.

In any case, it was worth the wait.  

 

 

RT   

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