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Discussion Boards => Large => Topic started by: dzldan on January 06, 2015, 10:30:45 AM



Title: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: dzldan on January 06, 2015, 10:30:45 AM
I have nickel track and brass track. I can not get my G scale track to run around the track. Runs pauses, runs again pauses, then just stops. I put the loco on my bench and hook it up with a piece of track and loco runs fine. So you would think it is the front truck pickup causing this. I have cleaned cleaned and cleaned, still does the same thing. I went and bought some brass shim stock that drags on the track, guess what, does the same exact thing. The loco can not pickup power off of this track. I am wits end as to what to do. Train used to work just fine. Its like there is a magic coating that I can see on the rail. I went and lightly used Emory cloth to run around the track with.

Has anyone had this problem, does it with the brass rail also. I had a second loco that I tripped over and broke it and it did the same thing when it worked. Seems to be all track related. I am stumped. Please help


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: rogertra on January 06, 2015, 10:39:05 AM
Get rid of the brass rail is your first step.

Cheers

Roger T.



Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: jward on January 06, 2015, 11:06:45 AM
is it losing contact on straight or curved track? how far away from your track feeders does t lose contact? is your track fastened down tightly or does it "pump" under the weight of the train?


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: dzldan on January 06, 2015, 11:15:00 AM
The brass rail is a separate track, only have nickel track it is running on..


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: rogertra on January 06, 2015, 11:30:56 AM
The brass rail is a separate track, only have nickel track it is running on..

In that case, follow what jward wrote below.  Check your track connections.

BTW, don't be surprised if this thread gets moved to "Large" forum as it is about G gauge trackage.


Cheers

Roger T.



Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: choochoomusic on January 06, 2015, 12:24:03 PM
Have you cleaned all your inner wheel contacts and all the wheels?
Use a track cleaner and Q-tips to do the wheels and a toner cleaner to do the contacts.
Should it be needed a little DW40 on the Q-tip works great to break stubborn grim...BUT... clean it dry as so their is no residue left.
On the other hand, Brass track is very common and most affordable solid rail on the market. However it does attract a hidden film that can cause intermittent power loss. That is, if the power is put to the track instead of the engine via battery. YES! Brass track requires constant care as do the rail joiners between sections. If applicable, solder all you joints!
Hope this helps.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: dzldan on January 06, 2015, 12:27:37 PM
Yep, done everything. Even hooked up a power pack, spare one about 3 foot from the loco. Barely runs. Hooked up the brass slides I put on off the track, runs like a top. The brasss slides bypass the front truck mech. Must be Chinese made track from crud.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: choochoomusic on January 06, 2015, 12:37:16 PM
you've puzzled me with the power pack extra hook up. If I understand you, do you have more than the primary pack connected? I mean, are you using additional Power-packs?


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: dzldan on January 06, 2015, 12:42:47 PM
No disconnected one that was there just to isolate it.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: choochoomusic on January 06, 2015, 12:58:34 PM
When you use your isolated power pack, does the train run on the isolated track?


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: mabloodhound on January 06, 2015, 01:06:21 PM
Try this.  But first, do NOT ever clean track with emery cloth or an abrasive.  It leaves micro scratches that WILL collect dirt and debris.
Just go over the track with a cleaner like alcohol to remove residue and then rub a graphite carpenters pencil (the wide type) over the rail tops.  The graphite is a good electrical conductor and lasts a long time.  You don't have to do every last inch of track as the wheels will spread it around.
If this doesn't solve your problem then you can bet it is in your wiring/track connections.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: ScottyB on January 06, 2015, 01:12:00 PM
For G scale track, I polish the rail tops with a very small amount of Mother's Mag Polish.

http://www.mothers.com/02_products/05100-05101.html#&slider1=18

Scott


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: armorsmith on January 06, 2015, 03:16:29 PM
Don,
After skimming this thread I would be interested in a bit more information on what locomotives you are running as well as the track.
I agree with making sure everything is clean and conductive. However I do not agree with there being anything wrong with brass track for large scale.
You stated that the engine 'runs fine' when hooded directly to 'skates' you have added. Is this upside down in a cradle with no load on the drivers? What is the poser supply you are using? For that matter, what scale/gauge are you modeling in?  If you are attempting to run a large scale train on a small scale transformer, that may explain a lot.  Large scale trains run on 19-24 volts DC where as small scale trains are usually 12 volts DC. A large scale engine can use up to 1.2-2 amps of power, far more than an HO power pack will provide. You may be bumping on the transformer overload.
Depending on which locomotive you are working with, there are inherent issues with almost every manufacturer's product that may be causing your issue.
It is difficult for us to provide a useful answer with the limited information provided.
Bob C.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Chuck N on January 06, 2015, 03:28:48 PM
I use a green Scotchbrite pad to clean my brass track.  I've been using this for over 30 years.  It is much safer than Emory paper.  It polishes rather than scrape and scratch.  Polishing still scratches the surface, but the scratches are too small to be seen.

I put the pad on a drywall sanding pole and just walk around the track.  These pads are usually found at a hardware store.  They are larger than the ones you usually find in a supermarket.

Chuck

This is what I use.

(http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/chuckn/track%20cleaning%20a.JPG)

(http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/chuckn/track%20cleaning%20b.JPG)

(http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/chuckn/track%20cleaning%20c.JPG)

(http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/chuckn/track%20cleaning%20d.JPG)

(http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/chuckn/track%20cleaning%20e.JPG)

My loop is about 90' around and it takes about a minute or so.

Also check your rail joiners.  If you have assembled and disassembled you track several times it is possible that the rail joiners aren't tight.  I occasionally have had to pinch them a little with a pair of pliers.  A little conducting grease in each joiner wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Lastly, do you have a version of the Annie or another ten wheeler?  Check to see if the pilot truck is oriented correctly.  That can get turned around and cause problems.  I think, I don't have one, that there is an arrow on the bottom and it should be pointing forward.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: fhenn on January 06, 2015, 08:37:47 PM
If this is an out door set up make certain that the track is level side to side. When I did mine I had the same problem. Went back with a good level a shored up the track where it is even.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: NarrowMinded on January 07, 2015, 02:05:38 AM
So when your running the loco on the bench are you just letting the wheels spin on the track while holding the locomotive in place?

With all you have done and writen here I tend to think its something shorting in the loco as it vibrates.

I would place it on the track in qeustion and simulate what you do on the bench all the way around the track.

If it stops at the same places on the track every time its likely the track, if its stopping at random places every time its likely the loco or the power pack or a combo of both.

Nm-Jeff


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Tony Walsham on January 07, 2015, 04:59:25 AM
dzldan
Nowhere have I seen anyone ask what sort of loco it is we are we discussing.
Please let us know. It could be the loco.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: jbrock27 on January 07, 2015, 07:28:15 AM
Good point TW.  Also, Mother's Metal Polish is also great for cleaning/polishing metal wheels.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Joe Zullo on January 07, 2015, 09:13:22 AM
As was stated by Chuck N, my money is on a reversed pilot truck ( assuming this is a Big Hauler 10 wheeler). It has happened to me in my early days in LS and can be very hard to realize. If you keep trying to run it that way long enough, the problem will appear to go away because the really light wires used to hook up the pilot truck will melt and loose contact altogether (don't ask me how I know this  ;D )


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Loco Bill Canelos on January 07, 2015, 11:36:22 AM
Need to know what loco you have, but it is time to take a deep breath and start over focusing on the problem rather than cleaning track.   
Runs pauses, runs again pauses, then just stops. I put the loco on my bench and hook it up with a piece of track and loco runs fine. So you would think it is the front truck pickup causing this.

When the loco is doing this the  loco is tripping the breaker in the power supply,  when the breaker cools down the loco runs again then trips the breaker again and so on and on.  This means the problem is with a short on the loco, and something on the loco is causing the short.

 If the bench test was done without the front truck on the track and the loco runs fine, then the problem is definitely with the front truck, and Not the track.

1. To confirm this bench test the loco with the front truck on the track, if the breaker trips again you will know the problem is with the front truck.

2.  Try reversing the front truck 180 degrees and bench test the loco again, if it runs fine then great.

If not, the most likely cause is the wires connecting the front truck  to the rest of the loco are shorted  somewhere.  The most likely cause is wires have rubbed the insulation off and are touching.

3. You could try removing the wires to the front truck and see if the loco runs fine; if it does you can rewire the front truck keeping the polarity right, or just live without the wiring to the front truck. 

Repeated shorting of the power supply breaker will eventually weaken and damage the breaker causing the power supply to fail.

Try doing the exact steps above and tell us if it works out, if not report the results telling us exactly which loco you have.

Bill


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: dzldan on January 08, 2015, 09:31:01 PM
Well, I fixed it. I soldered a wire connecting all the track. The track connections sucked. Train runs fine now.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Chuck N on January 08, 2015, 10:53:23 PM
Congratulations!  Rail connections can suck.  That is why many of us use rail clamps, or screws to secure them.

Chuck


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Loco Bill Canelos on January 09, 2015, 12:39:50 AM
Way to go!!


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: dzldan on January 11, 2015, 01:22:00 PM
Well, the track connections were an issue for sure. That is fixed, runs much better. But now that it runs, there is black carbon that accumulates from arcing on the track picking up power. Turn the lights off and you can see it. Runs around 20 times, and it will stop because the carbon is resistive. I put my track cleaner on, and has run around about 2 hours now. But the track cleaner is starting to cake up

Anyone else have this issue with their trains. Is something wrong with the locomotive that causing the arcing.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Chuck N on January 11, 2015, 02:12:38 PM
The black is bits of brass from the wheels grinding down the inside of the rail head.  A few years ago I analyzed the powder.  It is zinc, copper and lead.  If your cars have plastic wheels some of the powder could be plastic that the railhead is grinding off the flanges.  What ever is harder will grind away the softer material.

A friend of mine has a loop of track where the curves are LGB R1.  That is 4' diameter.  He has to replace his track every couple of years because he has ground away the inside of his railhead on the outside rail in his curves.  This is an extreme case because when he is home he runs the train all day every day.  He has also ground away the flanges on some of his plastic wheels.

In addition to cleaning the track clean and polish all the power pickup wheels on your engine.  The arcing is from poor contact between the wheels and the rails.

Going to a larger diameter curves for your layout will also help.  What diameter are you using?

Chuck


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: dzldan on January 11, 2015, 03:11:19 PM
Can't be that. This shows up just one run around the track without the track cleaner. This is very fine carbon.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Chuck N on January 11, 2015, 03:33:31 PM
Why do you think that it is carbon?

The very fine brass will show up very quickly.  Many metals when very finely ground, powdered, look black.

Your engine wheels are harder than the rail, unless you have stainless steel rails.

I think that the arc that you see is hot enough to oxidize any carbon on the rail or wheels to carbon dioxide.

Movie theaters used to use carbon electrodes in their projectors to get enough light to project the pictures to the screen.  They had to frequently replace them because they burned in the arc.

Chuck


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: dzldan on January 11, 2015, 03:36:33 PM
I am an engineer, and I know what carbon looks like. Brass is conductive anyway. No way can you get brass wear in 25 foot of run.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Chuck N on January 11, 2015, 03:42:16 PM
I guess our micro probe analyses were wrong.

I made the test wipe after cleaning the track and wheels.  I then ran the engine around my loop (87') twice and wiped the track again.  It was the second wipe that was analyzed.

What is the conductivity of lead, copper and zinc oxides?  Just asking, cause I don't know.

Chuck


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: dzldan on January 11, 2015, 03:45:15 PM
Don't know what you meant by that one.


Title: Re: Track is driving me crazy
Post by: Chuck N on January 11, 2015, 04:11:44 PM
Are you asking about the micro probe, or the metal oxides.  I think that the heat of the arc is sufficient to oxidize the metals in the dust.  Many metal oxides are insulators.  I just am not sure of the three I mentioned.  As more residue builds up on the track and wheels, the more arcing we get.  My LGB mallets do not have any sliders for additional power pickup.  I have to clean their wheels much more frequently than any other engines.  

We use the micro probe in the laboratory to analyze very small geologic material, down to dust size, tens of microns in size.

After I posted this, I reviewed a long thread on the subject of the origin of black dust on My Large Scale.  I did not wipe the rail after two loops.  I ran some engines, Mallets, for 2.5 hours.

Here is a link to the thread.

http://forums.mylargescale.com/11-public-forum/26400-origin-black-dust.html

Chuck