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Author Topic: #4 turnouts producing shorts when paired  (Read 714 times)
GeneralPatton1000

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« on: February 18, 2020, 06:57:17 PM »

Greetings all. First post here for me. I tried to get an answer to this question over on r/modeltrains the last two days but haven't had any success. A few weeks ago I purchased both a left and a right #4 turnout to enlarge my yard and station area. However, when I plug them both into the layout as pictured, my EZ Command DCC controller does the 'I detect a short' routine. As a result, I've not been able to use them in any configuration with the rest of my track. Does anyone here have an idea as to why this is?

https://imgur.com/T8w7EfS
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Maletrain

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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2020, 09:44:51 AM »

Not sure what you mean by "as pictured".  When I click on your link, I see a picture of a layout with two left hand turnouts creating a crossover between what appears to be 2 ovals.  The turnouts appear to be Katos.

If that is the area that is causing the problem, my first guess would be that you have the ovals wired with opposing phase - that is, the inner rail on the inner oval is the opposite phase (wire color) from the inner rail on the outer oval.  So, when the two ovals are connected by the crossover, it creates a short circuit.

If that is not the problem, then yYou will have to give us more information before we can help you.
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GeneralPatton1000

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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2020, 08:17:42 PM »

No that's not it. There is a right hand #4 turnout in the middleground that leads away from the camera. In the background the parallel tracks connect to a #4 left hand turnout. These two switches are what is causing the problem when I try to include them in the layout. All my tracks except the ones in the roundhouse are Bachmann EZ track. That is why I am here.

When I have a pair of remote turnouts in those positions instead, they do not cause the short like the #4s do.
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Maletrain

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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2020, 10:42:45 AM »

Since they are Bachmann turnouts, I am not going to be any help on actual turnout issues, because I have never used them.

But, if it is not a bad turnout, I might be able to help with whatever wiring issues are causing the short.

My first question is: do you have a volt meter?

My second question is whether you have tried disconnecting the LH turnout from the track to see if there is still a short?  If so, then, can you take that RH turnout off and replace it with what looks like one of the RH turnouts I think I see down by the roundhouse?  Is there still a short when you substitute another for the RH turnout that comes off the oval, with the LH farther down still removed? 

But, if there is not still a short when the LH turnout is removed,  try connecting the two branches beyond that turnout (one at a time) with pieces of track, (a straight for the straight path and a curved piece for the branching path).  If there is still a short when one of those sections of track bridges one of the paths, then the short is somewhere in that path, not the turnout.
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kewatin

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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2020, 01:20:11 PM »

greetings.
 first off you have to remember that all kato switches are dc powered
 secondly that they are powered by the direction they are thrown in otherwards when in a straight through position the spur or siding track is dead.
as i use all kato track&switches  ,the kato power pack converts ac to dc for me for the switches only.
to control my trains i use an nce power cab.
i think your best solution would be to use a BACHMANN switch or get a converter from dc to ac for the kato switches, you will only need one for both switches.. hope this helps with your short problem.
  regards&later kewatin
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GeneralPatton1000

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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2020, 05:04:44 PM »

No, I said before that I have all Bachmann track on the layout except what is in the roundhouse, which is Atlas.

I do not have a meter, but I was advised to get one when I was asking about my problem on r/modeltrains. I plan to do so.

I will try some more testing, but last night I did try connecting a #4 with a remote and encountered a short then as well. I'm about at my wits end. Let me link my thread about this on reddit and if you want to you can read it for reference.

https://www.reddit.com/r/modeltrains/comments/f5gtqc/turnouts_creating_shorts_in_my_dcc_layout/
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Maletrain

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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2020, 09:06:10 PM »

I read the thread, and it really doesn't add anything to my understanding of your situation.

You really do need to get a meter and learn how to hunt for short circuits, because it is very hard for others to look at your words and figure out whether you have a bad component or simply have misunderstood how to properly connect a good component.

One possibility that you words suggested is that you may not know how to hook up a "remote" turnout properly. I see two wires coming from the turnouts in catalogs, and only the green wires in your pictures.  So, I am guessing that you have used the red wires to put track power on your turnouts, and not yet hooked up the "remote" control buttons?  I don't have the info on how to properly hook them up, but it occurs to me that you could get a short by (1) accidentally hooking the turnout track power plug up in reverse phase to the adjoining straight track, or (2) accidentally hooking the remote control power to the track connections, or (3) accidentally hooking the track power to the remote control connection.  Have you checked for those 3 errors?  One thing to do without the meter is to disconnect both the track power feeds and the remote control feeds from both turnouts and see if there is still a short circuit.
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GeneralPatton1000

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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2020, 09:24:59 PM »

I plan to pick up a tester when I go into town tomorrow.

I'm sorry if I've not been very clear. I may have been assuming too much about how much knowledge others might have.

The green wires are if you want to electrically trigger the switch via a small switch box. They have nothing to do with the conducting of power through the rails. I don't use them but Bachmann doesn't sell manual mechanism only-switches so the green wires are sitting there looking unloved. The only wire I use is the red one from my EZ Command controller that I plug into a 10 inch re-railer.
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Maletrain

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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2020, 10:12:12 PM »

Quote
The only wire I use is the red one from my EZ Command controller that I plug into a 10 inch re-railer.

So you are saying that there is only one feed to all of your track?  The red wires to the two Bachmann turnouts are not connected?
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GeneralPatton1000

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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2020, 01:10:20 AM »

The turnouts I have don't have red wires to plug into.
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Maletrain

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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2020, 10:16:56 AM »

If you want help, you need to start answering the actual questions that I am asking.  I could probably solve your problem in a couple of minutes if I were there, but I am not there.  So, I need you to be my eyes and hands to see and do the things that I would do if I were there and then clearly communicate the results to me.

So, at least tell me if you have only one track power feed wire going to all of your track.  If you have more than one, please tell me where they are connected.
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GeneralPatton1000

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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2020, 05:33:03 PM »

No need to get testy. I did say I only have the one power feed going into the layout via the 10 inch rerailer and that the turnouts do not have a power feed cable. I don't know of any that do.

I purchased a continuity tester today and narrowed the problem down to the right-hand switch. The left switch is fine. Now that I know this, I may tear apart the bad switch to see if there is something inside that's wrong. Hopefully I can fix it.

Thanks for putting up with this thread. I don't understand some things about this hobby yet and I appreciate your patience.
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Maletrain

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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2020, 12:34:42 PM »

Sorry that you took my last post as being "testy".  I was just stating the facts that apply to the type of help you were asking for.  I was trying to tell you how to isolate the problem without the voltmeter/continuity tester that you did not have when this started.  But, we were not getting anywhere because you were not taking any of the suggested steps, or maybe just not telling us what happened when you did.  Now that you have the continuity tester, those steps are not necessary, and you have isolated the problem to the RH turnout.  So, apparently the problem is a defective turnout.  While you could have figured that out with the steps I already suggested, it is obviously much easier with the proper test gadgets.

Anyway, you seem to have your answer.  No hard feelings.  Feel free to ask for help, again.

Also, others may be interested in what you find when/if you take that RH turnout apart, so posting the results here would be nice.  But, if you want to get a refund or replacement, it might not be a good idea to take it apart.



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