ZW problem

Hi all,

Good morning. I was running trains around both loops of my layout last night, pushing the ZW to near its limit with a long freight train going around a bend at the end of the layout (post A) and a GG1 and long passenger train going up a grade (on post D), and all lighted accessories running at 12 volts (post C). Things started acting funny, losing power, so I shut down.

When I plugged the ZW back in again, I found that C was putting power to the track through A and vice versa. A and C appear to be fused together. D remains unaffected. I switched the accessories wiring over to post B and tried it there, with the same result. Sending power to A also powers B, and vice versa.

When I test with digital multimeter without being connected to the track, I get phantom readings with everything off (4 volts on A and D, less on B and C). When connected to track, everything reads 0 when off. I understand from searching other posts that this is not unusual. But definitely there is no question that A B and C are now somehow fused together. Is this a familiar problem to anyone? Fixable?

Thanks for any suggestions and happy weekend.

Kevin

Original Post

I will let the real experts chime in here, but the first place to look is the wiring and/ or output studs on the buss bar located on the lower rear side ( the A,B,C,D, one...).

I opened the cover on mine, unplugged of course!, and discovered an internal wire had corroded off one of the studs. I suspect that's what happened to yours and perhaps it's touching on of the other output studs inside. You should be able to tell visually. Replacement stud parts are commonly available from our parts sponsors.

John

Did you remove everything from the track?  Maybe in your quick shut down, a car came off the track with the sudden stop? edit: I suspect you didn't remove stuff from the tracks, otherwise you would not get different "off" readings connected vs. not.  The lighted cars or engine can provide enough of a load to drop the very low voltage without actually moving or showing a lot of light.

Is it possibly you have something like an operating track included with your accessories, thereby creating an opportunity that a derailed car could be connecting the track hot to the accessory hot?

Did you measure B at the back of the transformer with the original condition?  You say you disconnected everything and got nothing more than low readings that could be normal when "off".  Did you try to raise the handles to see what measurements you got?  It seems to be something in the layout wiring, or what is on the track.  I can't see the problem "following you" from post C to post B if that short is not present with no wiring as well.  edit: I re-read and see you didn't say anything about raising the handles when the track was disconnected.  My stricken-out thoughts were assuming you had done it that way.

If you remove everything from the track, you should get those same phantom readings when the transformer is hooked up to the track, unless something in the layout wiring (between transformer and track) got fried.  edit: again, the phantom reading terminology seems to suggest you did this with handles off.  did you raise them to see what voltage behavior happened without being connected to the track?

If stuff is still on the track, removing it all is job 1 in figuring this out.

-Dave

bmoran4 posted:

First things first, remove the ZW from the layout wiring then test the ZW outputs.

I agree. Isolating the problem to the ZW itself or the wiring. It will make fixing the problem easier. If the problem persists with the layout wiring disconnected pop the cover off the ZW (with the transformer unplugged) and take a picture. We may be able to help you with fixing the issue.

Santa Fe, All the Way

Thank you everyone for your great suggestions. Ok, here is the new wrinkle. With the ZW totally disconnected from everything, I tested the track wiring and found what seems to be a problem. I am getting continuity between the track wiring (the loop controlled by A) and the lightning wiring (on C). I can’t figure it out because the accessories at this point are only lighted towers and buildings, nothing coming in contact with the track anywhere. 

In this picture, you see track wiring on left going to post A, red and white in middle is accessories going to C, and track wiring on right going to post D. How can I have continuity between the A wires and the C wires? It doesn’t make sense.  

9970DF6E-2479-40CF-8C6E-E4D6A07B480C

Attachments

Photos (1)

You are going to need to trace those wires throughout the layout. 

If it was a dead short to common (breaker trip), I would suspect the thin wires under the tie maybe got pinched and hit the ties. 

We all may be making an assumption here, but do you have hot to the center rail and common to the outer?  If not, then my previous thought could be something to pursue.  (If hot is the outer rails/ties, then it could easily be the hot wire for the accessories comes in contact with some insulation compromised, and shorts the 2 hot wires).

For track, is black common and white hot?  Which is common for the red/white pair? 

-Dave

Ok, I think I’m close to figuring it out, and I believe the problem is not with the ZW. The accessories wiring is led underneath the track near a point where the A loop wiring connects to the track. I think when I was running two trains hard, that section must have heated up enough to melt the insulation on the accessories wire and it came in contact with the track. 

I know this wiring looks crude but it is temporary while I finish the layout. This was the run and when I pulled it up, bingo, continuity gone. 

AC4E12C9-F5BB-4CB7-BBB2-502C61156B6D

So obviously I need new bigger wire for the main accessories run to the bus - any further thoughts on how to prevent this much heat from causing further problems? Is this a common issue that everyone contends with?

Thank you all so much for your help. This forum is awesome!

Attachments

Photos (1)

You're going to have to trace wires and figure out where something crossed/melted together.

After this I would recommend getting a second transformer to handle the accessories and lights, leaving the ZW to strictly power the trains. You'll put much less of a load on the ZW and free up power to run the trains.  

Santa Fe, All the Way

CoastsideKevin posted:

Ok, I think I’m close to figuring it out, and I believe the problem is not with the ZW. The accessories wiring is led underneath the track near a point where the A loop wiring connects to the track. I think when I was running two trains hard, that section must have heated up enough to melt the insulation on the accessories wire and it came in contact with the track. 

I know this wiring looks crude but it is temporary while I finish the layout. This was the run and when I pulled it up, bingo, continuity gone. 

AC4E12C9-F5BB-4CB7-BBB2-502C61156B6D

So obviously I need new bigger wire for the main accessories run to the bus - any further thoughts on how to prevent this much heat from causing further problems? Is this a common issue that everyone contends with?

Thank you all so much for your help. This forum is awesome!

Get a second transformer for the accessories/lights.

Minimum wiring size from the track to the transformer should be 14 gauge. I'd use 16 gauge minimum for accessory wiring with smaller feeders (20-22 gauge) to the individual accessories.

Edit: Also have multiple power feeds to the track. One feed per track loop is not enough.

Santa Fe, All the Way

Kevin, I think I was editing my previous post while you were typing yours with the new pic.  Sounds like we hit the same conclusion. (and I was apparently typing this one while Lou and Ted were typing theirs )

I'd review the hot/common connections.  I generally also try to stick to black being the common for everything, but that is not electrically required, obviously.

The earlier picture showed the wires going under the track only under a tie.  Were they under a tie where you found the problem, or just under rails where there is no tie?  If under a tie, it's still a mystery how it contacted the center rail, unless you do have hot to the outside rails.

Also, just a nit, but you have a switch machine in the last pic.  You didn't mention that before.  Even with everything off the track, the switch machine can be a source of issues as well, since it presents a load as well and the bulb and solenoid is still there even if you remove everything else.  Is the switch powered off of the accessories run via a constant voltage plug, or is it powered with track power?

Also, re: Lou's comment on multiple feeds, I noticed on your earlier pic you had 2 sets of ring terminals for D, but only one for A.  Did some previous situation cause you to do that, what is the background there?  Bigger loop (more track) for D?

-Dave

Lou1985 posted:

You're going to have to trace wires and figure out where something crossed/melted together.

After this I would recommend getting a second transformer to handle the accessories and lights, leaving the ZW to strictly power the trains. You'll put much less of a load on the ZW and free up power to run the trains.  

That is exactly what I was thinking. I have a 1033 to use for that purpose. In your experience, would a 1033 be enough to power a few lights and also the switches on my layout? I have 11 022s.

Lou1985 posted:
CoastsideKevin posted:

Ok, I think I’m close to figuring it out, and I believe the problem is not with the ZW. The accessories wiring is led underneath the track near a point where the A loop wiring connects to the track. I think when I was running two trains hard, that section must have heated up enough to melt the insulation on the accessories wire and it came in contact with the track. 

I know this wiring looks crude but it is temporary while I finish the layout. This was the run and when I pulled it up, bingo, continuity gone. 

AC4E12C9-F5BB-4CB7-BBB2-502C61156B6D

So obviously I need new bigger wire for the main accessories run to the bus - any further thoughts on how to prevent this much heat from causing further problems? Is this a common issue that everyone contends with?

Thank you all so much for your help. This forum is awesome!

Get a second transformer for the accessories/lights.

Minimum wiring size from the track to the transformer should be 14 gauge. I'd use 16 gauge minimum for accessory wiring with smaller feeders (20-22 gauge) to the individual accessories.

Edit: Also have multiple power feeds to the track. One feed per track loop is not enough.

Yep, will do that. I am using 14 ga for all track connections, several per loop (every 15 feet or so), but my accessory wiring is too small. Will change that out.

Dave45681 posted:

Kevin, I think I was editing my previous post while you were typing yours with the new pic.  Sounds like we hit the same conclusion. (and I was apparently typing this one while Lou was typing his )

I'd review the hot/common connections.  I generally also try to stick to black being the common for everything, but that is not electrically required, obviously.

The earlier picture showed the wires going under the track only under a tie.  Were they under a tie where you found the problem, or just under rails where there is no tie?  If under a tie, it's still a mystery how it contacted the center rail, unless you do have hot to the outside rails.

Also, just a nit, but you have a switch machine in the last pic.  You didn't mention that before.  Even with everything off the track, the switch machine can be a source of issues as well, since it presents a load as well and the bulb and solenoid is still there even if you remove everything else.  Is the switch powered off of the accessories run via a constant voltage plug, or is it powered with track power?

Also, re: Lou's comment on multiple feeds, I noticed on your earlier pic you had 2 sets of ring terminals for D, but only one for A.  Did some previous situation cause you to do that, what is the background there?  Bigger loop (more track) for D?

-Dave

Thanks, Dave. Much great info here. I had originally run the hot to center and common to outside, but read somewhere that it should be reversed so did that recently. Sounds like I need to go back to hot (white) to center rail and common (black) to outside.

The switches are currently running from track power until I get a couple more 022C s I need and rewire all of my old ones that have rotten wire on them. It's a work in progress. Once done, I'll go constant voltage and use a second transformer.

I would not be concerned with your wiring you show going under the track the black and white wire in yout picture is telfon coated and has a very good resisteance to NOT being pinched if you use the wire shown that's not your problem. I would suspect as someone said earlier in the forum you might have had an issue with the common wire inside your transformer coming loose or off and one side is trying to feed both sides which can causing strange voltage transients. open up the  zw and test with a VOM not powered up and check continuity between both common ground terminals you SHOULD  not see any resistance . should show dead short which would mean there is not problem but I suspect you will get a resistance which is most likely causing your issue. have you also checked your carbon rollers on the windings they do wear out and are not hard to change! the other thing might be your circuit breaker could be going bad with resistance causing a low voltage when under a load!! trains running on track!

good luck and let us know what you find out!

Alan Mancus posted:

I would not be concerned with your wiring you show going under the track the black and white wire in yout picture is telfon coated and has a very good resisteance to NOT being pinched if you use the wire shown that's not your problem. I would suspect as someone said earlier in the forum you might have had an issue with the common wire inside your transformer coming loose or off and one side is trying to feed both sides which can causing strange voltage transients. open up the  zw and test with a VOM not powered up and check continuity between both common ground terminals you SHOULD  not see any resistance . should show dead short which would mean there is not problem but I suspect you will get a resistance which is most likely causing your issue. have you also checked your carbon rollers on the windings they do wear out and are not hard to change! the other thing might be your circuit breaker could be going bad with resistance causing a low voltage when under a load!! trains running on track!

good luck and let us know what you find out!

Thanks for this, Alan. The wire running to the track is new and good, but the piece I used for the accessories is old and I think the insulation is bad. It melted just enough to make contact with the tie it was led under, possibly because I had incorrectly put the hot lead to the outer rail and the common to the center. I have since changed the leads (hot to center, common to outer) and run new wire from the ZW to the accessories bus. Problem solved.

However, the ZW is old and just came out of a 30 year slumber in my attic, so definitely needs a full servicing. I'm going to open it up again and look at the posts and check the common wire and at some point replace the rollers and do the other needed work. In the meanwhile, I have decided to use my 1033 for the accessories (just light towers, lighted buildings and streetlamps for now) and wondering if it will also be beefy enough to provide constant voltage for my 11 022 switches. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks again,
Kevin 

ADCX Rob posted:
CoastsideKevin posted:
...I had originally run the hot to center and common to outside, but read somewhere that it should be reversed so did that recently...

 I'd like to know the source of that faulty information. 

Can't exactly remember where I saw it, Rob, but it was on a forum somewhere. I may have gotten the idea because I'm combining Gargraves with tubular and the Gargraves on its own needs both outer rails to be powered independently. But in my case being connected to the 022s seems to connect the outer rails together despite my having connected only center and one of the outer Gargraves rails.

CoastsideKevin posted:
.................. In the meanwhile, I have decided to use my 1033 for the accessories (just light towers, lighted buildings and streetlamps for now) and wondering if it will also be beefy enough to provide constant voltage for my 11 022 switches. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks again,
Kevin 

Depends on how many lights are included in the "just light towers, lighted buildings, and streetlamps".   If it's enough lights for main street in a small town, it's less current draw than if you are lighting up Broadway in Manhattan.

The O22 switches themselves are not all going to be switched at the same time, most likely, so the key draw that is a continuous load is the light bulbs in the switch stands (and also controllers, assuming you have them hooked up, and it sounds like you would since you are operating conventionally).

Are any of your lights LEDs instead of incandescent? Or all PW style bulbs?  LEDs will draw less power.

There is a rule of thumb for estimating how much power a bulb uses, but I am forgetting for sure what it is right now (5 watts maybe? - might be a little high?).  Basically you need to add up all your bulbs, then also figure for how much you might need additional for toggling a turnout or 2 (unless you have something elaborate set up, you likely won't do more than 2 simultaneously, I'd assume).

-Dave

Dave45681 posted:
CoastsideKevin posted:
.................. In the meanwhile, I have decided to use my 1033 for the accessories (just light towers, lighted buildings and streetlamps for now) and wondering if it will also be beefy enough to provide constant voltage for my 11 022 switches. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks again,
Kevin 

Depends on how many lights are included in the "just light towers, lighted buildings, and streetlamps".   If it's enough lights for main street in a small town, it's less current draw than if you are lighting up Broadway in Manhattan.

The O22 switches themselves are not all going to be switched at the same time, most likely, so the key draw that is a continuous load is the light bulbs in the switch stands (and also controllers, assuming you have them hooked up, and it sounds like you would since you are operating conventionally).

Are any of your lights LEDs instead of incandescent? Or all PW style bulbs?  LEDs will draw less power.

There is a rule of thumb for estimating how much power a bulb uses, but I am forgetting for sure what it is right now (5 watts maybe? - might be a little high?).  Basically you need to add up all your bulbs, then also figure for how much you might need additional for toggling a turnout or 2 (unless you have something elaborate set up, you likely won't do more than 2 simultaneously, I'd assume).

-Dave

Thanks Dave. It isn’t many bulbs, not even Main Street of a small town, more like a side street. 

I currently have two 195 towers in the yard, a 394 beacon, four street lights and a 132 station. Hope to add a couple more things, but definitely not going for Broadway. 

I thought of LEDs but would like to keep the postwar feel if possible. Also it’s a matter of prioritizing my time and I have more critical things to work on, like laying road bed and permanently affixing track to the floor. 

I hooked up the 1033 and it works great so far for the lights. Will see how far I can take it. 

You have to phase a secong transformer (youtube: phasing two transformers to be used together, video by Lionel.  Careful, you just might learn something.)(its a good video IMO, Mike R isnt boring)

It could have been a derailment short that didn't surface till now.

  Every wire has a max load it can handle by wire gauge& length. If you fuse/breaker externally below that max of the smallest wire in a circuit, you wont have an issue with wires melting ever again. Thats what they are for. Otherwise wire for 15a min (but now you better fuse at each accessory)

Easy trick if you have a modern loco on hand..  You have the right orientation of hot and common if a new loco blows it's whistle vs ringing the bell. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic posted:

You have to phase a secong transformer (youtube: phasing two transformers to be used together, video by Lionel.  Careful, you just might learn something.)(its a good video IMO, Mike R isnt boring)

It could have been a derailment short that didn't surface till now.

  Every wire has a max load it can handle by wire gauge& length. If you fuse/breaker externally below that max of the smallest wire in a circuit, you wont have an issue with wires melting ever again. Thats what they are for. Otherwise wire for 15a min (but now you better fuse at each accessory)

Easy trick if you have a modern loco on hand..  You have the right orientation of hot and common if a new loco blows it's whistle vs ringing the bell. 

Hadn’t thought of the derailment short, but that’s a good possibility. 

On eBay I see people selling ZW circuit protection, little diodes that are attached between the posts. Is this a type of protection that you would recommend?

 Thanks!

The diode-like piece is likely a TVS, Trainsient Voltage Suppressor. "A spike sponge" like surge protection power strips. (you shoud use one w/breaker ideally) It helps protect electronics from wild voltage spikes from derailments, static, home ac spikes, etc.. more are better. (it takes a split second for voltage to stabilize when there is arching this catches excess. Most bulbs have numbers SOMEWHERE on the bulb or bulb base. A bulb number. voltage, watts &/or amps. Count all the watts or amps, do the conversion math to get one number in Amp. or Wtt. Now compare that to the power supply -5-10% for continuous adding, waiting, checking for tranformer heat.(1033 90w 5-6amp). If you only have a number, search it with "miniature bulb or lamp. The numbers fit a standard 99% of the time. GG doesn't have to keep the outside rails apart unless you need it for your design. Where the can be jumped together, they should be. Yes the switches will tie the outer rails. If you don't like it, skip the pin , aline/shim &fasten track & switch firmly to the layout. Or move the gap further the other end of the rail and that could extend anti derail length. If I repeat myself, it's because all the posts haven't been loading to review on. ...

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





The diode-like piece is likely a TVS, Trainsient Voltage Suppressor. "A spike sponge" like surge protection power strips. (you shoud use one w/breaker ideally) It helps protect electronics from wild voltage spikes from derailments, static, home ac spikes, etc.. more are better. (it takes a split second for voltage to stabilize when there is arching this catches excess. Most bulbs have numbers SOMEWHERE on the bulb or bulb base. A bulb number. voltage, watts &/or amps. Count all the watts or amps, do the conversion math to get one number in Amp. or Wtt. Now compare that to the power supply -5-10% for continuous adding, waiting, checking for tranformer heat.(1033 90w 5-6amp). If you only have a number, search it with "miniature bulb or lamp. The numbers fit a standard 99% of the time. GG doesn't have to keep the outside rails apart unless you need it for your design. Where the can be jumped together, they should be. Yes the switches will tie the outer rails. If you don't like it, skip the pin , aline/shim &fasten track & switch firmly to the layout. Or move the gap further the other end of the rail and that could extend anti derail length. If I repeat myself, it's because all the posts haven't been loading to review on. ...

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic posted:
The diode-like piece is likely a TVS, Trainsient Voltage Suppressor. "A spike sponge" like surge protection power strips. (you shoud use one w/breaker ideally) It helps protect electronics from wild voltage spikes from derailments, static, home ac spikes, etc.. more are better. (it takes a split second for voltage to stabilize when there is arching this catches excess. Most bulbs have numbers SOMEWHERE on the bulb or bulb base. A bulb number. voltage, watts &/or amps. Count all the watts or amps, do the conversion math to get one number in Amp. or Wtt. Now compare that to the power supply -5-10% for continuous adding, waiting, checking for tranformer heat.(1033 90w 5-6amp). If you only have a number, search it with "miniature bulb or lamp. The numbers fit a standard 99% of the time. GG doesn't have to keep the outside rails apart unless you need it for your design. Where the can be jumped together, they should be. Yes the switches will tie the outer rails. If you don't like it, skip the pin , aline/shim &fasten track & switch firmly to the layout. Or move the gap further the other end of the rail and that could extend anti derail length. If I repeat myself, it's because all the posts haven't been loading to review on. ...

Great information, thank you.

If I don't want the outer loop (main line) GG track outer rails jumped together by the switches, will I lose my anti-derail functionality of the 022s?

??? It's best to have both rails common for most of a layout if you ask the engine. Less chance of a lost common durring running. We break from this at switches, etc. .   ONLY THE SHORT TRIGGER RAIL(s) MUST BE ISOLATED 

  Why run a dead rail everywhere that rail can be used to deliver power more reliably?

  There are reasons, but they fit your plans? Nope. Not unless you are holding  back info, and if so, it could change anything mentioned so far

 While we're at it .... A switch really shouldn't be counted on to pass power. Lionel instructions told you to put a lock-on onto each switch direction's leg (3) of each, to supply power by wire around the switch, vs a pass thru the switch alone.   It works well without, just not as well. Even old traces carry less current than rails. Jumping around them at any chance is best.

  GG was made to cater to the most ideas, not to comform exactly to Lionel styles alone.  It comes pre isolated with wood ties, which actually makes it easier for customizing.. With tube, to use isolated rails you buy special pieces or take apart track and insulated rails like a center rail is by yourself during re assembly.  With GG you don't disassemble, you cut track and add wire where needed. (why a dead rail?)  It's easy, just different. Easier/better in my imo. 

    A "normal " anti derail derail sysem uses a short isolated trigger rail as a means to complete a circuit by introducing ground. (from the other rail thru weels to trigger)

   Pins are for isolation sure, but more for retaining alignment. The gap is the isolation for the trigger.

   The trigger can be extended/enlarged by moving the isolated pin further from the trigger rail, then linking the new isolated rail to the trigger rail with a metal pin where a plastic pin usually would go if using a switch normally, thereby extending the trigger rail.

  Extendning the rail by moving a pin/gapgap rea helps if you do have dirty/old wheels, short fast trains, low voltage, slow point throws "no snap", etc.. Aux. powered switches can even do better with a small extension at times. (too long wouldn't be good; heat..but extra 4-10" fine)..

The reason I mention it is you may wish to use the metal adaptor pins(that I think you have) for ease of alignment and just move the gap. (vs chasing other pins it seems you don't have.)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





CoastsideKevin posted:

...I'm combining Gargraves with tubular and the Gargraves on its own needs both outer rails to be powered independently...

 Which is not necessarily true either...

CoastsideKevin posted:

...But in my case being connected to the 022s seems to connect the outer rails together despite my having connected only center and one of the outer Gargraves rails.

 Which is completely expected, and will happen even without switches as soon as you put your first piece of rolling stock on the rails.

Rob

Another option for your lights and switches is to pick up a Lionel Type Z. It's 250W but leaves quite a bit of room for expansion. Mine powers all the lights on my layout (probably about 80 or so 12v incandescent bulbs) as well as a 494 rotary beacon, sawmill, coal loader, barrel loader, and ice depot. Doesn't even get warm after running for an hour or two. Type Zs can be had cheap. I paid $90 for this one at my local hobby shop. 

 

20181111_122722

Santa Fe, All the Way

Attachments

Photos (1)
Adriatic posted:

??? It's best to have both rails common for most of a layout if you ask the engine. Less chance of a lost common durring running. We break from this at switches, etc. .   ONLY THE SHORT TRIGGER RAIL(s) MUST BE ISOLATED 

  Why run a dead rail everywhere that rail can be used to deliver power more reliably?

  There are reasons, but they fit your plans? Nope. Not unless you are holding  back info, and if so, it could change anything mentioned so far

 While we're at it .... A switch really shouldn't be counted on to pass power. Lionel instructions told you to put a lock-on onto each switch direction's leg (3) of each, to supply power by wire around the switch, vs a pass thru the switch alone.   It works well without, just not as well. Even old traces carry less current than rails. Jumping around them at any chance is best.

  GG was made to cater to the most ideas, not to comform exactly to Lionel styles alone.  It comes pre isolated with wood ties, which actually makes it easier for customizing.. With tube, to use isolated rails you buy special pieces or take apart track and insulated rails like a center rail is by yourself during re assembly.  With GG you don't disassemble, you cut track and add wire where needed. (why a dead rail?)  It's easy, just different. Easier/better in my imo. 

    A "normal " anti derail derail sysem uses a short isolated trigger rail as a means to complete a circuit by introducing ground. (from the other rail thru weels to trigger)

   Pins are for isolation sure, but more for retaining alignment. The gap is the isolation for the trigger.

   The trigger can be extended/enlarged by moving the isolated pin further from the trigger rail, then linking the new isolated rail to the trigger rail with a metal pin where a plastic pin usually would go if using a switch normally, thereby extending the trigger rail.

  Extendning the rail by moving a pin/gapgap rea helps if you do have dirty/old wheels, short fast trains, low voltage, slow point throws "no snap", etc.. Aux. powered switches can even do better with a small extension at times. (too long wouldn't be good; heat..but extra 4-10" fine)..

The reason I mention it is you may wish to use the metal adaptor pins(that I think you have) for ease of alignment and just move the gap. (vs chasing other pins it seems you don't have.)

All great info, thanks! Biggest takeaway for me is to extend the anti-derail at a couple of key switches on my layout. I have run power to each of the sidings independently so hopefully the combination of that plus attaching power at several places on each loop will keep voltage fairly constant. Plus changing to constant voltage on the switches will make a big difference.

Although my gear is running pretty well at the moment with the GG track only powered at center and one outer rail, thinking it may be worthwhile to jump to other outer rail at each place where I have connected power to track.

All good stuff, thank you! Have a great Thanksgiving.

Lou1985 posted:

Another option for your lights and switches is to pick up a Lionel Type Z. It's 250W but leaves quite a bit of room for expansion. Mine powers all the lights on my layout (probably about 80 or so 12v incandescent bulbs) as well as a 494 rotary beacon, sawmill, coal loader, barrel loader, and ice depot. Doesn't even get warm after running for an hour or two. Type Zs can be had cheap. I paid $90 for this one at my local hobby shop. 

 

20181111_122722

Great idea. My 1033 is working for now but I imagine I'll need to upgrade at some point. Hoping to add some operating accessories. The ones I took out of storage are in various states of disrepair. Work in progress! But I had a great time with my kids playing with trains last night, and that's what it's all about for me. I taught them both how to fire the missile launching car and we use Nerf arrows, which work great and won't put an eye out when shot at each other, which is of course their preference..

Have a great holiday weekend,

Kevin

Add Reply

Likes (0)


OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×