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Guys,

My O gauge layout is complete, but I have a 90 degree crossroad, and a diagonal crossroad, in the center of the layout, fairly close together.

So far, I have only been running Postwar Engines, and they run very well until they hit these crossroads.  Unless I am really breezing through these at relatively high speeds, the engines have a really annoying "hickup" when they cross those dead pieces of plastic in the center of the crossroads.  With these engines, the hickup is pretty bad, because the engines themselves are loud when running, and the hickup includes a momentary "stall" with the lights going out, as well as the engine noise going from loud, to zero, to loud again, with a "lurch" of the engines when they restart after crossing the center.

I know that lots of folks are using modern engines, with TMCC, Legacy, Lionchief, and other modern control systems.

My question is, when running the modern engines with the modern control systems, are the "hickups" from traveling across these crossings better?  Worse? About the same?  Compared to postwar engines.

With all of the great Lionel accessories out there, I would have thought that someone would have designed a metal "spider" to mount in the center of the crossroads, on top of the plastic piece, to provide almost continuous center rail power to the engine rollers. 


Thanks

Mannyrock

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I have had the same issue with a few modern engines. Your center rail "dead zone" is just a little larger than the distance between where the collector rollers ride on the track. The faster you run across the dead zone, the less operation interruption, the slower you run, the larger the operation interruption.

This is why Lionel has the capability to install 9v batteries to at least eliminate interruption in the sound system. I have one Lionel modern 0-6-0 steam switcher that has a single wire tether from tender to engine, with a single collector on the tender, to allow the switcher to operate without interruption, as the engine is short, thus collector roller spacing is short. This technique of a tether from tender (or some other car) to an engine to prevent operation interruption is nothing new.

I acquired a used 3rd rail K4 steam engine that does the dead zone hiccup on only one switch I have. If I could only increase the collector roller spacing by 1/4", all would be well. I emailed Scott at 3rd rail, and he said that the existing tether between tender and engine contains track power, but that I could add a collector to the tender, attaching into the power in the tether, to eliminate the interruption. Scott said 3rd now often has added the tender collector into their new designs.

Thanks for all info.

If I can find a piece of scrap copper flashing,  I think I am going to try to make a small, shallow, copper box to fit over the center plastic square dead spot, run a hot insulated wire up through the rivet hole in the center of the crossing, strip a small bit of insulation off of the top of the wire, solder it to the underside of the box, and then epoxy the box down.    I see no reason why this wouldn't supply center rail power to the rollers as the engine passes over the center of the crossing.

If I am able to do this, I will report back on the results.  If it doesn't work, I guess I will try to build tethers.

Thanks

Mannyrock



   

There is a Michaels in town.  Maybe they sell a thin square piece of copper, for hobby or jewelry making purposes.   (In the old days, I would just walk over to any construction site, carrying a pair of tin snips, and cut a piece off of a throw away scrap in the scrap pile.  If I tried this today, I would probably be shot. )

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330-757-3020

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