Date   

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Mark Cartwright <marcdecapri@...>
 

Ah Duh Me?
I have done and used all of the above...and yes have two or three of those Altas/Tomix Vacuum Cars as well as the Brass Oil Tank car and then some more as in AZTEC Box Cars.
I have used CRC, No Nox, Bright Boys, Woodland Scenic pads on a stick and even a small industrial type canister vacuum cleaner.
I have even gone as far as to buy Q-tips by the three box on sale at Costco, then wondered over the shelf the sells Iso-Alcohol on the cheap.
======
Warded off the further introduction of grit to my layout by not purposely adding Ballast directly under the path of the locomotives. 
Then further, by completely dismantling several locomotives down to their various components for Accurizng ...Meaning, I took a metal file or modern finger nail sanding rubber strip (99 Cent Store) and gone over every surface of a chassis to a locomotive removing all high spots or blems. Further running toothpaste through the truck gearing further smoothing the operations.
In the end, using the lightest of oils as I move all moving parts with my fingers.
And yes, I have experimented with nearly every oil imaginable or available from Model Railroading sources.
=======
Lowered grades to 1.5% as well as replaced plastic wheels with metal, going as far as to use Body Mounted MTL Couplers at least on Passenger Trains. Traction Tires are banned from my layout.
=========
Did all this help in my Hot Attic or Cold Basement ?
No...plus there is some sort of ASH/Peat Dust which seems to flow down the Central Valley of California....a combination of Forest Fires and Agricultural Dust which can get into near anything.
Except ?
A Family Room in the center of my House. Windows are not allowed to be opened and the chimney is blocked off as well..with a big sheet of metal over the opening.
So ? Yes, I even moved in order to not allow my layout to become dirty in the first place. I gave up fighting the humidity, temperature changes, dust and tiny critters in my other house basement/attic.
=========
To surmise.....
Do I know what I am dong ?
No
Do I have clues to what I am doing....?
Maybe not.
Are my trains running better and better the more effort I put into them ?
I like to think so...
But then 
Why did that locomotive just derail ?
Or the Decoder Glitch and go for a reset ?
What happened to the sound ?
Why did that train begin to uncouple itself ?
Yours in the struggle....
:)) Mark

But yes, I have seen a general over all improvement to my began again layouts over the past 7 years.
I am about to begin again with perhaps fewer basic design flaws.


Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

Mark Cartwright <marcdecapri@...>
 

Hello all, 

Not sure I am gong to ask this question in the most appropriate way...
However....
After I purchased my first DCC Controller, an MRC PA -2, I was soon advised to purchase some sort of booster.
As my very first DCC Controlled Locomotive was the Walther's Heritage Y6b (2-8-8-2) with SOUND.
(The previous owner had all sorts of issues and sent his model back three times to Walther's.)
So there went another $100 for the matching MRC Booster.
And ?
Yes, all my DCC locomotives seem to run better, especially with Sound.
=====
>>> I began a Chase towards long steam N Scale Locomotives with Sound.
Especially, after the purchase of a Hallmark (Brass) ATSF Texas Steam Locomotive, equipped with a LokSound Sound Decoder....
Yes, I was smitten and fell in love with Model Railroading all over again. 
Meaning....?
What a man will do for love....
All sorts of my parameters began to change such as soldering, size of turnouts and even the width of radius/curves and further even into which type (90 Degree vs Parabolic).
I eventually began to standardize with LokSound Sound Decoders.
(Though, I probably own at least one of every other type and brand.)
======
As night follows the day.....
Eventually, I Forrest Gumped my way into the ownership of an ESU ECoS....
And this too was like a full tier movement upwards in the overall performance of my layout.
Top Drawer so to speak.
>>> Power supply output voltage adjustable from 15V to 21V / 7A (150VA) <<<
http://www.esu.eu/en/products/digital-control/ecos-50210-dcc-system/ecos-technical-data/
Somehow I got around to measuring it once and it showed 15.4 volts to the track.
=======
No, I did not mess with it...that was what it was set up as out of the box.
=======
Though I can speak and read some German....I basically leave the ECoS alone and let it do it's thing.
I tend to simply down load a sound program to the decoder and for the most part ....
Let the ECoS recognize the locomotive and stay away from manipulating CV's.
=======
So here is my un-question...
I am fairly happy with my choice of LokSound Sound Decoders as a standard as well as my ECoS as my standard DCC Controller 

All at 15.4 Volts to the track.

How's the lesser voltages of 13-14.5 volts working out for you?
====
I have not yet purchased the ESU ECoS booster...but I plan to do so; as my layout is stretched out over the space of 25 x 30 feet between two rooms.
No, I am not even sure it will be needed....
:)) Mark


Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

emrldsky
 

How about more details about the vacuum car?


Peace,

Mike G.


On 2/20/2019 2:21 PM, Scott Kremer wrote:
i have found that the main problem is dust, even in a basement with finished floors and ceiling.  I was lucky enough to get one of the Korean Brass vacuum cars.  It is amazing.  Absolutely incredible how much dust it picks up even in one day.  I now use it and pull a CMX cleaner with mineral spirits in it.  I changed from isopropyl alcohol to mineral spirits after reading about polar and non polar materials and the experience of the La Mesa Club. The two cars seem to remove everything and leave the track clean and dry.  It takes about 25 minutes for me to clean the majority of the track this way and it seems to stay clean for a good period of time.  if I need a quick turn around I just run the vacuum.  When done I have absolutely no problems with track pick up.  The layout scenery is done and I run metal wheels on everything.  After years of trying various fluids for cleaning and coating track I now have a method that seems to work perfectly.

Scott Kremer




.


Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Good points. Something else I should have mentioned. FLAMMABILITY.
Regular isopropyl alcohol that you buy at the drug store is 91% alcohol, 9%
water (both of which are highly polar.) The water is there because it is
expensive to remove, but a side benefit is that it reduces flammability.
Denatured ethyl alcohol, and higher purity isopropyl alcohol, are more
flammable (and still polar), as are MEK and many other ketones & esters.
Lacquer thinner is usually a mix of non-polar hydrocarbon solvents and polar
solvents like MEK.

Mineral spirits come in several grades, depending on flash point
(flammability) and composition. Some contain aromatics (mostly toluene and
xylene), which raise the flash point (higher = less flammable) and increase
solvency (good up to a point), but also increase odor and toxicity.
Odorless Mineral Spirits are normally composed of branched aliphatics
instead of ring compounds. They have lower odor, lower toxicity, reasonably
high flashpoints, and good solvency. One small downside is that they take a
little longer to evaporate. You don't want to park a CMX car and let it
drip, especially in a confined space.

ALL of these solvents will burn under the right conditions. Flashpoint
tests are essentially a puddle in a closed space with a spark. Not a test
you want to conduct under your layout. No need to be afraid of them, but
use safe practices including GOOD VENTILATION AND DRIP/SPILL CONTROL.

John J

-----Original Message-----
From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Scott Kremer
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 4:22 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Cleaners & Lubricants


i have found that the main problem is dust, even in a basement with finished
floors and ceiling. I was lucky enough to get one of the Korean Brass
vacuum cars. It is amazing. Absolutely incredible how much dust it picks
up even in one day. I now use it and pull a CMX cleaner with mineral
spirits in it. I changed from isopropyl alcohol to mineral spirits after
reading about polar and non polar materials and the experience of the La
Mesa Club. The two cars seem to remove everything and leave the track clean
and dry. It takes about 25 minutes for me to clean the majority of the
track this way and it seems to stay clean for a good period of time. if I
need a quick turn around I just run the vacuum. When done I have absolutely
no problems with track pick up. The layout scenery is done and I run metal
wheels on everything. After years of trying various fluids for cleaning and
coating track I now have a method that seems to work perfectly.

Scott Kremer


Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Scott Kremer
 

i have found that the main problem is dust, even in a basement with finished floors and ceiling. I was lucky enough to get one of the Korean Brass vacuum cars. It is amazing. Absolutely incredible how much dust it picks up even in one day. I now use it and pull a CMX cleaner with mineral spirits in it. I changed from isopropyl alcohol to mineral spirits after reading about polar and non polar materials and the experience of the La Mesa Club. The two cars seem to remove everything and leave the track clean and dry. It takes about 25 minutes for me to clean the majority of the track this way and it seems to stay clean for a good period of time. if I need a quick turn around I just run the vacuum. When done I have absolutely no problems with track pick up. The layout scenery is done and I run metal wheels on everything. After years of trying various fluids for cleaning and coating track I now have a method that seems to work perfectly.

Scott Kremer


Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

My two cents comes with a caveat – choice of cleaning solutions may vary with the kind of dirt.  I am still actively building in N code 55, so I end up with a lot of rosin flux and sawdust on my tracks.  I also have a lot of plastic wheels that wear and deposit residue on the rails.  Plaster, scenery and ballast may change my thinking.  I also run long coal drags up heavy grades, so traction is critical.

 

To date, I have found that Bright Boy type abrasives are rough on the track, clog up, and tend to transfer the problem along the track.  Masonite pads under a box car are ok for keeping dust off of track that is already clean.  But they don’t do much for flux or plastic goo.  My current answer is a brass CMX cleaner car with isopropyl alcohol, which does a great job of removing flux, glue, plastic residue and oxides.  The downside is that alcohols (and other active solvents like ketones) may leave the track susceptible to faster oxidation after cleaning.  It hasn’t been a problem to me, because I’m otherwise so messy that I have to clean frequently.  I hope eventually to do less soldering, and replace my plastic car wheels with metal.  That should let me settle into a longer maintenance cycle using the same CMX cleaner, but with odorless mineral spirits (branched aliphatics) with low odor, low toxicity, and no lubricating effects.

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of John White
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 5:52 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Cleaners & Lubricants

 

I have a couple of the old AHM track cleaning cars that I use. I have been using Goo-Gone with these for several years. It has worked well for me, How often do I run my cleaner cars, no specific time frame, only when I notice sketchy performance or just feel the need to clean my track. It also cleans the wheel pretty well too. As for the engines specifically, I use the paper towel laid on the rail with Goo-Gone and run my engine on it to clean the wheels. All of this works pretty well. Now, if I feel a certain spot is acting up, I will take a small piece of Styrofoam and slightly wet it with G-G and rub it on the track and it cleans very well, as the Styrofoam comes out very very nasty. None of this leaves any slick spots to interfere with traction.  My two cents.


Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Mark Gurries
 

NCE booster allow adjustment of the track voltage.  How depends on what version of the booster you have.

Older NCE boosters that ran on AC or DC input power had a track voltage potentiometer adjustment inside the booster with an access hole for a flat blade screw driver.  You can dial in what ever voltage you wanted.  The pot control the output voltage of the internal switching power supply.

Newer NCE boosters that include a DC power supply vary the track voltage by a switch on the power supply itself.  The booster itself simply passes that same voltage along but in the form of a DCC voltage.

On Feb 19, 2019, at 5:03 AM, Al Silverstein <alsilverstein@...> wrote:

A little history here might help clear up the DCC voltage to the rails issues on several different levels.
 
At one point in time many years ago the NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices did include voltage to the rail ratings for the scales of N, HO, O/S, and G. Over the last 10-15 years the NMRA has modified and/or deleted many Standards and Recommended Practices. The DCC Standards and Recommended Practices are a perfect example. Several of the DCC Standards have been modified and most of the Recommended Practices have been deleted. Unless you know where to look finding the older Standards and Recommended Practices are very difficult. I have since DCC was first introduced back in 1994 tried to keep up with any and all information dealing with DCC. It has not always been an easy task. I have a complete set of the DCC Standards and Recommended Practices as they were back in 2002.
 
In the latest Electrical Standard S-9.1 (Version 2006), on page 3, there are four charts which indicated the various voltages of the different scales for DCC. If you are curious about the voltages please follow this link:
 
 
Now lets take a minute to look at the DCC Decoders. If one were take a close look one would find that any DCC decoder is supposed to accept an input range anywhere from about 12 volts to 22 volts. This holds true for most non sound mobile decoders. Sound decoders in general cannot handle voltages above, I believe, about 18 volts. This is a component issue dealing with sound chips. But all things being equal it is the motor in the scale that determines what voltage is needed on the rails.
 
Now as for the voltage output to the rails the issue deals with the market place. HO has been the most popular scale for at least 30-40 years and HO layouts have a history of using 0-12 volts DC for operation. With HO being by far the most popular scale the manufacturers lean in the direction of HO for most of their support. Just look at Walthers. Walthers today only produces two general catalogs: O and HO-N-Z. It was only a couple of years ago that Walthers produced three catalogs: O, HO, and N/Z. The number of products in HO in their HO-N-Z catalog is much larger than their N scale products which is much larger than their Z scale products.
 
DCC manufacturers are in the business of making a profit and thus they place their major support to the market with the greatest potential for profit which is the HO market. Thus most of the DCC command systems are HO scale based when it comes to voltage to the rails. There is a general drop of about 1.4-1.8 volts through a decoder thus in order to get the 12 volts to the motor the voltage on the rails must be at least 13.8 volts.
 
It is easily understandable why most of the DCC command system manufacturers have only one voltage to the rails output and that is most of the purchasers of their command stations are HO scale modelers. Besides N and Z being much smaller markets when it comes to model railroading note that N and Z scale decoders are more expensive because the parts need to be smaller and also note that it is much more difficult to install a decoder in a N and Z scale model railroad engine. I have a HO 0-4-0 yard switcher that is over 35 years old and it was easy to install a N scale decoder in it once I isolated the motor from the frame. It appears to me that over the last several years there has been a general drop in the number of model railroaders in the scales of O/S and above.
 
The only DCC manufacturer that I am acquainted with that provides easy to adjust voltage to the rails is Digitrax. All of their command stations with the exception of the Zephyr have an external voltage to the rails adjustment switch for N-HO-O/G with the output voltage dependent upon the command station power source. The current PS615 is great for HO and below while the PS2012e can easily handle all scales to include the scales above HO. Digitrax a couple of years ago added to their product line the UP6Z which can easily adjust the voltage to the rails for Z scale operation to about 8 volts.
 
The above paragraph is not intended to indicate that Digitrax is any better than any other DCC command system but only that the Digitrax hardware is geared to handle a wider variety of model railroading scales. Each DCC command system manufacturer has chosen which market it wants to support. When choosing a DCC command station or any other DCC related product one must make the decision that best fits his, or her, situation. I operate on several different layouts from time to time and I enjoy every moment no matter what the scale or which command system is being used.
 
The one aspect of DCC that I appreciate the most is the ability to move with my engine without the need of having to keep track of the rail power routing switches.
 
Al Silverstein

Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com




Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Mark Cartwright <marcdecapri@...>
 

Al - EXCELLENT !

I am by nature a Historian, having traced out my own American History back to the 1600's.
So it simply makes sense to me to be sitting right next to a Bound Book of The Model Railroader 1934
Yes, Vol 1 No. 1
It's nearly amazing to me; to begin to understand how very well informed and sophisticated this hobby was in 1934.
How old is our hobby ?
There was soon to be an article on a Layout which had already been in operation since 1913.
Imagine if you will standing in a basement of a 1908 house with such an understanding....Cause I have.
=====
Imagine further....
The very beginnings of the NMRA ....What did these merry band of original Model Railroaders propose, even upon their very first meetings ?
> Standards
And yes one of the first standards put forth?
> Voltage
Each to it's own Scale and NOT all the same.

Was it easy to agree...Well not right off...but eventually groups of like minded model railroaders began to set standards.
======
However ?
When I learn that into the 21st Century, standards were being dropped?
I refer back to an open letter from John Allen which informs us of the same phenomenon circa 1967.
Two years before I began N Scale and Model Railroading once again.
=======
I do a lot of Begin Agains....
So without the use of the NMRA or the Walthers/Kalmbach Cartel...I have recreated my own standards.
Many of which are based on Modern BNSF Specifications and those found in the annals of the The Model Railroader between 1934 and 1941.
NMRA ? Well not lately.
For the most part I used NMRA Standards to 1952 and before....
Such as the use of Parabolic Curves....
https://www.nmra.org/sites/default/files/d3b3.pdf
1952?
The year before I was even born.
=======
So what about Electronics and DCC....?
Euclid's First Common Notion.....
Those things which are equal to the same things are then equal to each other.
Well Duh Me ?
Z scale is NOT equal to O scale anymore than it is to HO or N.
Anymore than a 20 amp circuit in a house should be wired with 14 gauge wire; and excuse me for saying....
A 50 amp circuit breaker should not be supplied with 10 Gauge Aluminum Wire and the main panel only grounded to the Gas Meter.
A thing like that could ruin your whole day.
So...
BEFORE you plug in that expensive $895 ESU ECoS DCC Controller...You better damn well be assured it is of the proper voltage/amps is grounded and IN Phase.
And then as night follows the day...
I am Not Hooking up my $125 LokSound Sound Decoders to just any old DCC Controller.
==============================================================================
But I digress......
If you can possibly take GREED out of the equation.....and for the most part get thrown out of the Train Store....
Becoming Bonafide with your own standards....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqtz7B-Og6A
The best thing I ever did was get hit by a Train.
Well over 90% of my Layouts Needs have been purchased second hand via previously constructed but mostly LNIB supplies from defunct layouts. At a percentage to MSRP, between 10 and 23%.
Yes 75+% off.
Meaning.....
For the most part I stay out of Train Stores.
=====
So to some it all up....
With over a dozen different DCC Controllers....?
Oops!
None of them are particularly suited to Z Scale.
=====
My Coffee Table Layout, will mostly be a short steam N Scale layout with 4-4-0's and 2-6-0's with the Motor decoder in the California Dispatch car behind the tender, then the sound decoder in the next box car with the speaker in the third boxcar.  Ii will employ either my Bachmann  Dynamis or ESU Navigator to such a task.
Thank you all in helping me to make this determination.
:)) Mark

At age 65 and in need of new glasses....
That is unless I find a Zimo MX-10  Z Scale DCC Controller at 10% to the MSRP $.


Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

John White
 

I have a couple of the old AHM track cleaning cars that I use. I have been using Goo-Gone with these for several years. It has worked well for me, How often do I run my cleaner cars, no specific time frame, only when I notice sketchy performance or just feel the need to clean my track. It also cleans the wheel pretty well too. As for the engines specifically, I use the paper towel laid on the rail with Goo-Gone and run my engine on it to clean the wheels. All of this works pretty well. Now, if I feel a certain spot is acting up, I will take a small piece of Styrofoam and slightly wet it with G-G and rub it on the track and it cleans very well, as the Styrofoam comes out very very nasty. None of this leaves any slick spots to interfere with traction.  My two cents.


Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

John White
 

Sorry guys for got to put my name on my Goo-Gone post
John White


Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

scott toro
 

Are use the truck cleaning cart does a pretty good job I’m happy with it so far but I need to come up with another option on cleaning the truck as a second option but the first one works pretty well




On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 10:34 AM, Don Vollrath <donevol43@...> wrote:

Any body want to comment on using Aero-Car ACT-6006 Track & Rail Cleaner? Good or Bad?

DonV


Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Greg Elmassian
 

I have a zimo and adjust mine for the scale I'm using, and my NCE booster had an adjustment, never experimented with the lower voltage since I used it on G scale, and needed the high end which was normally 21.3 volts, but they came from the factory usually at 16v and the trim pot looked like it was at about mid position.

Greg


Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Jay
 

Hi!
If you can get a Digitrax DCS100 or DB150, they also have a voltage adjustment potentiometer.
I was able to drive my DSC100 down to 10v track voltage in N Scale setting.

Jay


Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Al Silverstein
 

Dave,
 
It is nice to know there is at least one other DCC command system manufacturer that offers a command station with adjustable voltage to the track that covers a wide range of scales. Your comment about about not inexpensive is a bit under stated. After a very quick search of the internet I found only one retailer in North America (Streamlined Backshop www.sbs4dcc.com) and discounted the price tag is still $1280.
 
Al
 
 

From: David Heine
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 1:29 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Power for Z-Scale Decoders
 
The Zimo MX10 system has an adjustable track voltage of 10 - 24 V, in 0.2 V increments. The overcurrent setpoint of the main output is also adjustable from 1 - 12 A, in 0.1 A increments. But it is not inexpensive, and if you want the full output you need a big power supply. Factory defaults are typical for HO, 16 V and 5 A. But it can be adjusted from Z to G.
 
Dave Heine
Easton, PA
 
On Tue, Feb 19, 2019 at 8:03 AM Al Silverstein <alsilverstein@...> wrote:
A little history here might help clear up the DCC voltage to the rails issues on several different levels.
 
At one point in time many years ago the NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices did include voltage to the rail ratings for the scales of N, HO, O/S, and G. Over the last 10-15 years the NMRA has modified and/or deleted many Standards and Recommended Practices. The DCC Standards and Recommended Practices are a perfect example. Several of the DCC Standards have been modified and most of the Recommended Practices have been deleted. Unless you know where to look finding the older Standards and Recommended Practices are very difficult. I have since DCC was first introduced back in 1994 tried to keep up with any and all information dealing with DCC. It has not always been an easy task. I have a complete set of the DCC Standards and Recommended Practices as they were back in 2002.
 
In the latest Electrical Standard S-9.1 (Version 2006), on page 3, there are four charts which indicated the various voltages of the different scales for DCC. If you are curious about the voltages please follow this link:
 
 
Now lets take a minute to look at the DCC Decoders. If one were take a close look one would find that any DCC decoder is supposed to accept an input range anywhere from about 12 volts to 22 volts. This holds true for most non sound mobile decoders. Sound decoders in general cannot handle voltages above, I believe, about 18 volts. This is a component issue dealing with sound chips. But all things being equal it is the motor in the scale that determines what voltage is needed on the rails.
 
Now as for the voltage output to the rails the issue deals with the market place. HO has been the most popular scale for at least 30-40 years and HO layouts have a history of using 0-12 volts DC for operation. With HO being by far the most popular scale the manufacturers lean in the direction of HO for most of their support. Just look at Walthers. Walthers today only produces two general catalogs: O and HO-N-Z. It was only a couple of years ago that Walthers produced three catalogs: O, HO, and N/Z. The number of products in HO in their HO-N-Z catalog is much larger than their N scale products which is much larger than their Z scale products.
 
DCC manufacturers are in the business of making a profit and thus they place their major support to the market with the greatest potential for profit which is the HO market. Thus most of the DCC command systems are HO scale based when it comes to voltage to the rails. There is a general drop of about 1.4-1.8 volts through a decoder thus in order to get the 12 volts to the motor the voltage on the rails must be at least 13.8 volts.
 
It is easily understandable why most of the DCC command system manufacturers have only one voltage to the rails output and that is most of the purchasers of their command stations are HO scale modelers. Besides N and Z being much smaller markets when it comes to model railroading note that N and Z scale decoders are more expensive because the parts need to be smaller and also note that it is much more difficult to install a decoder in a N and Z scale model railroad engine. I have a HO 0-4-0 yard switcher that is over 35 years old and it was easy to install a N scale decoder in it once I isolated the motor from the frame. It appears to me that over the last several years there has been a general drop in the number of model railroaders in the scales of O/S and above.
 
The only DCC manufacturer that I am acquainted with that provides easy to adjust voltage to the rails is Digitrax. All of their command stations with the exception of the Zephyr have an external voltage to the rails adjustment switch for N-HO-O/G with the output voltage dependent upon the command station power source. The current PS615 is great for HO and below while the PS2012e can easily handle all scales to include the scales above HO. Digitrax a couple of years ago added to their product line the UP6Z which can easily adjust the voltage to the rails for Z scale operation to about 8 volts.
 
The above paragraph is not intended to indicate that Digitrax is any better than any other DCC command system but only that the Digitrax hardware is geared to handle a wider variety of model railroading scales. Each DCC command system manufacturer has chosen which market it wants to support. When choosing a DCC command station or any other DCC related product one must make the decision that best fits his, or her, situation. I operate on several different layouts from time to time and I enjoy every moment no matter what the scale or which command system is being used.
 
The one aspect of DCC that I appreciate the most is the ability to move with my engine without the need of having to keep track of the rail power routing switches.
 
Al Silverstein


Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Don Vollrath
 

Any body want to comment on using Aero-Car ACT-6006 Track & Rail Cleaner? Good or Bad?

DonV


Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

David Heine
 

The Zimo MX10 system has an adjustable track voltage of 10 - 24 V, in 0.2 V increments. The overcurrent setpoint of the main output is also adjustable from 1 - 12 A, in 0.1 A increments. But it is not inexpensive, and if you want the full output you need a big power supply. Factory defaults are typical for HO, 16 V and 5 A. But it can be adjusted from Z to G.

Dave Heine
Easton, PA 

On Tue, Feb 19, 2019 at 8:03 AM Al Silverstein <alsilverstein@...> wrote:
A little history here might help clear up the DCC voltage to the rails issues on several different levels.
 
At one point in time many years ago the NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices did include voltage to the rail ratings for the scales of N, HO, O/S, and G. Over the last 10-15 years the NMRA has modified and/or deleted many Standards and Recommended Practices. The DCC Standards and Recommended Practices are a perfect example. Several of the DCC Standards have been modified and most of the Recommended Practices have been deleted. Unless you know where to look finding the older Standards and Recommended Practices are very difficult. I have since DCC was first introduced back in 1994 tried to keep up with any and all information dealing with DCC. It has not always been an easy task. I have a complete set of the DCC Standards and Recommended Practices as they were back in 2002.
 
In the latest Electrical Standard S-9.1 (Version 2006), on page 3, there are four charts which indicated the various voltages of the different scales for DCC. If you are curious about the voltages please follow this link:
 
 
Now lets take a minute to look at the DCC Decoders. If one were take a close look one would find that any DCC decoder is supposed to accept an input range anywhere from about 12 volts to 22 volts. This holds true for most non sound mobile decoders. Sound decoders in general cannot handle voltages above, I believe, about 18 volts. This is a component issue dealing with sound chips. But all things being equal it is the motor in the scale that determines what voltage is needed on the rails.
 
Now as for the voltage output to the rails the issue deals with the market place. HO has been the most popular scale for at least 30-40 years and HO layouts have a history of using 0-12 volts DC for operation. With HO being by far the most popular scale the manufacturers lean in the direction of HO for most of their support. Just look at Walthers. Walthers today only produces two general catalogs: O and HO-N-Z. It was only a couple of years ago that Walthers produced three catalogs: O, HO, and N/Z. The number of products in HO in their HO-N-Z catalog is much larger than their N scale products which is much larger than their Z scale products.
 
DCC manufacturers are in the business of making a profit and thus they place their major support to the market with the greatest potential for profit which is the HO market. Thus most of the DCC command systems are HO scale based when it comes to voltage to the rails. There is a general drop of about 1.4-1.8 volts through a decoder thus in order to get the 12 volts to the motor the voltage on the rails must be at least 13.8 volts.
 
It is easily understandable why most of the DCC command system manufacturers have only one voltage to the rails output and that is most of the purchasers of their command stations are HO scale modelers. Besides N and Z being much smaller markets when it comes to model railroading note that N and Z scale decoders are more expensive because the parts need to be smaller and also note that it is much more difficult to install a decoder in a N and Z scale model railroad engine. I have a HO 0-4-0 yard switcher that is over 35 years old and it was easy to install a N scale decoder in it once I isolated the motor from the frame. It appears to me that over the last several years there has been a general drop in the number of model railroaders in the scales of O/S and above.
 
The only DCC manufacturer that I am acquainted with that provides easy to adjust voltage to the rails is Digitrax. All of their command stations with the exception of the Zephyr have an external voltage to the rails adjustment switch for N-HO-O/G with the output voltage dependent upon the command station power source. The current PS615 is great for HO and below while the PS2012e can easily handle all scales to include the scales above HO. Digitrax a couple of years ago added to their product line the UP6Z which can easily adjust the voltage to the rails for Z scale operation to about 8 volts.
 
The above paragraph is not intended to indicate that Digitrax is any better than any other DCC command system but only that the Digitrax hardware is geared to handle a wider variety of model railroading scales. Each DCC command system manufacturer has chosen which market it wants to support. When choosing a DCC command station or any other DCC related product one must make the decision that best fits his, or her, situation. I operate on several different layouts from time to time and I enjoy every moment no matter what the scale or which command system is being used.
 
The one aspect of DCC that I appreciate the most is the ability to move with my engine without the need of having to keep track of the rail power routing switches.
 
Al Silverstein


Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Al Silverstein
 

A little history here might help clear up the DCC voltage to the rails issues on several different levels.
 
At one point in time many years ago the NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices did include voltage to the rail ratings for the scales of N, HO, O/S, and G. Over the last 10-15 years the NMRA has modified and/or deleted many Standards and Recommended Practices. The DCC Standards and Recommended Practices are a perfect example. Several of the DCC Standards have been modified and most of the Recommended Practices have been deleted. Unless you know where to look finding the older Standards and Recommended Practices are very difficult. I have since DCC was first introduced back in 1994 tried to keep up with any and all information dealing with DCC. It has not always been an easy task. I have a complete set of the DCC Standards and Recommended Practices as they were back in 2002.
 
In the latest Electrical Standard S-9.1 (Version 2006), on page 3, there are four charts which indicated the various voltages of the different scales for DCC. If you are curious about the voltages please follow this link:
 
 
Now lets take a minute to look at the DCC Decoders. If one were take a close look one would find that any DCC decoder is supposed to accept an input range anywhere from about 12 volts to 22 volts. This holds true for most non sound mobile decoders. Sound decoders in general cannot handle voltages above, I believe, about 18 volts. This is a component issue dealing with sound chips. But all things being equal it is the motor in the scale that determines what voltage is needed on the rails.
 
Now as for the voltage output to the rails the issue deals with the market place. HO has been the most popular scale for at least 30-40 years and HO layouts have a history of using 0-12 volts DC for operation. With HO being by far the most popular scale the manufacturers lean in the direction of HO for most of their support. Just look at Walthers. Walthers today only produces two general catalogs: O and HO-N-Z. It was only a couple of years ago that Walthers produced three catalogs: O, HO, and N/Z. The number of products in HO in their HO-N-Z catalog is much larger than their N scale products which is much larger than their Z scale products.
 
DCC manufacturers are in the business of making a profit and thus they place their major support to the market with the greatest potential for profit which is the HO market. Thus most of the DCC command systems are HO scale based when it comes to voltage to the rails. There is a general drop of about 1.4-1.8 volts through a decoder thus in order to get the 12 volts to the motor the voltage on the rails must be at least 13.8 volts.
 
It is easily understandable why most of the DCC command system manufacturers have only one voltage to the rails output and that is most of the purchasers of their command stations are HO scale modelers. Besides N and Z being much smaller markets when it comes to model railroading note that N and Z scale decoders are more expensive because the parts need to be smaller and also note that it is much more difficult to install a decoder in a N and Z scale model railroad engine. I have a HO 0-4-0 yard switcher that is over 35 years old and it was easy to install a N scale decoder in it once I isolated the motor from the frame. It appears to me that over the last several years there has been a general drop in the number of model railroaders in the scales of O/S and above.
 
The only DCC manufacturer that I am acquainted with that provides easy to adjust voltage to the rails is Digitrax. All of their command stations with the exception of the Zephyr have an external voltage to the rails adjustment switch for N-HO-O/G with the output voltage dependent upon the command station power source. The current PS615 is great for HO and below while the PS2012e can easily handle all scales to include the scales above HO. Digitrax a couple of years ago added to their product line the UP6Z which can easily adjust the voltage to the rails for Z scale operation to about 8 volts.
 
The above paragraph is not intended to indicate that Digitrax is any better than any other DCC command system but only that the Digitrax hardware is geared to handle a wider variety of model railroading scales. Each DCC command system manufacturer has chosen which market it wants to support. When choosing a DCC command station or any other DCC related product one must make the decision that best fits his, or her, situation. I operate on several different layouts from time to time and I enjoy every moment no matter what the scale or which command system is being used.
 
The one aspect of DCC that I appreciate the most is the ability to move with my engine without the need of having to keep track of the rail power routing switches.
 
Al Silverstein


Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Jay
 

Hi!
Spraying the CRC directly onto the track is not a recommended practice.
It is best applied in a thin layer on the track.
Then let it dry.
There are 3% grades on my layout & I have no slippage issues when I run 25 unit trains.

Jay


Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

whmvd
 

Mark,

Try G-Scale at 12V. That's virtually a non-starter!

Wouter


On Mon, 18 Feb 2019 at 18:18, Mark Gurries <gurriesm@...> wrote:
With respect to the USA

Z scale track voltage and Z scale decoder voltage ratings are not directly related.  The voltage rating of the DCC electronics are typically the same as N and HO.  30V is common standard of electronic parts used.  The voltage rating of the power devices used to drive the motor does not define the physical size of the parts.  

The NMRA does not define specific voltage for specific scales.  They have one standard for all scales: 12V.  Does not change with DCC.

The purpose of having a specific track voltage as a standard is for reliability purposes for both the motor and lamps.

DCC track voltage typically is a bit higher than the DC track voltage because of voltage losses inside the DCC decoder.  The goal is to get 12V at the motor terminals, the same motor operating condition under DC without a decoder.



On Feb 12, 2019, at 8:25 PM, Jay <jayfmn@q.com> wrote:

Hi!
Z Scale recommended voltage should be 9V.
12V is pushing the upper limit of the true Z Scale decoders in Z Scale engines.
The UP6Z is recommended by Digitrax for operating Z scale.

Jay

Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com




Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Glenn
 

It also makes a good glue.

I have a friend with a 30-year old layout. 90% of his switches are Atlas Custom Line with the attached switch machine.

I like to call him quick draw. It seems he always a can of CRC in his hand and uses it liberally.

On one visit he asked me about a stuck switch.He admits to spraying CRC into the slot on top of the switch machine.

"It worked three times. Now it will not move, even by hand."

I gave him a tube of lock graphite.

Glenn

-----Original Message-----
From: Don Vollrath
Sent: Feb 18, 2019 12:25 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Cleaners & Lubricants

I agree. CRC 2-26 is listed first as a lubricant tnen as a cleaner. Putting on the track will help remove unwanted residue, But... it will also act as a lubricant which will reduce the friction and therefore the pulling power of locos. Works great for other sliding type electrical connections.  
DonV

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