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Hi folks,

I'm running up against a power issue with one of my O-72 RealTrax switches and I'm stumped, so I'm hoping you guys can help me figure out what I might be overlooking. A quick search of the site hasn't revealed this exact issue from what I've been able to search, but it's completely possible I missed an earlier post. I'll also be the first to admit that I'm a novice when it comes to electrical diagnostics, so I'm sure this is something pretty elementary for some of you.

The switch in question is being fed track power from the track connected to the switch's diverging (curved) lead. The switch itself exhibits the following behavior:

1). Track power continues onto the switch's diverging (curved) lead without issue, but the switch is not bridging that power over to either the straight lead track, or to the other side of the switch on the other side of the frog.

2). The switch motor does not illuminate off of track power (I have not [yet] wired this switch's motor off an external source, although that will happen). If I use an illuminated car and roll it onto the switch such that the car bridges electrical current on both sides of the frog, then the switch motor illuminates.

3). The switch's non-derailing functionality is non-existent. If I run a car such that the non-derailer functionality should kick in, nothing happens, and I can smell something...not good/burning. I haven't pushed it and left things to really stink, but I wonder if the damage has already been done somehow.

4). I've opened up the switch expecting to see some fried traces or burn marks, but everything looks clean to me.

5). I've tried two different motors--no changes.

6). I haven't independently wired the switch motor yet, but I can do that if it's a good diagnostic step.

Any thoughts? Anything in the picture of the inside of the switch that's tell-tale?

Thanks so much, guys.


P.S. Note that I've intentionally removed the switch motor and its linkage to get a better look at the traces and wiring in the second picture.



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Last edited by Rafi
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In one of those, "I'll only figure it out after I publicly declare my incompetence" moments, I figured it out.

I thought perhaps that even though I wasn't seeing any burn marks on the circuit board, that maybe there was some sort of a blown connection. So I tried hooking power up to the other two ends of the switch, and in the process, noticed that the copper connector from the diverging track's hot rail was jiggling loose. I pulled it up, and sure enough, it wasn't attached and appeared to be oxidized on the underside. Rather than mess around with it, I just decided to jump it (see picture). And voila, we're back in business.

So chalk that up as a new one for RealTrax switches that I haven't seen documented on the site before: oxidation on and loosening of copper connectors. Relatively easy fix as long as you don't mind a dab of solder.

Thanks all!




Images (1)
  • IMG_4333

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