Date   

Re: Wiring Peco Electrofrogs

John Cahill
 

There should be a very fine wire coming out from under the point to the left or right (depending on hand if point) to which you can solder a feed from one of the Tortoise auxiliary switches which are fed by the same busses as feed your track. The bit you may have missed is the two links beneath the point across the insulating plastic you can see from the top. These should have been cut or removed before fitting. 
So my first suggestion is to lift the points and address both these issues. If this is totally impractical (!) then with a very fine disc in a Dremel, you could cut down through the point VERY CAREFULLY which will isolate the frog. Then with careful soldering a wire can be attached to the inside of the frog V and then fed back to the Tortoise switch as above. I have done it with old Electrofrogs made before DCC was common. If possible also wire the fixed blades of the points to their respective buses as this eliminates another DCC weakness in Pecorino points. I have always used Peco EF points on my own DC, DCC and several exhibition layouts and find them very reliable when installed correctly with particular attention to the wiring. Hope this helps!

John

On 22 Feb 2019, at 19:24, Jim Keating via Groups.Io <jim.keating@...> wrote:

All,
I have an issue with my Peco Electrofrog turnout with DCC.  It seems that I have may have failed to modify the turnout, and also have definitely failed to connect the frog to my tortoise switch machine for power routing prior to installation on the layout!  OUCH.  Modifying in place will be a pain but I can ultimately manage that :( 
My question is, can I solder a wire to the frog and connect to the tortoise WITHOUT having to completely pull up the turnout and use the provided wire underneath?  Has anyone done this?
Currently, as the turnout is being thrown, I get a short.  Then, once the turnout has completed it's diversion, I can reset the short and visa versa. 
Please advise. 
Thanks, Jim


Re: Wiring Peco Electrofrogs

wirefordcc
 

Jim,

If you haven't already seen the diagram I have of the Peco Electrofrog on my website, check it out at:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_peco.htm#a2

I've never soldered to a Peco Electrofrog frog because of the wire they provide, but I have successfully soldered to many frogs of other manufacturers turnouts.  While I think you can solder to the Peco, I suggest perhaps a better course of action for the Peco.  The rails leaving the frog (see my diagram on my website) are part of the frog on a Peco.  Solder to one of the rails shown in green away from the frog.  This is preferred so that you are less likely to melt any ties around the frog and risk messing up the critical alignment of the frog.

To power route the frog, you need to cut the two jumpers I show in my website that say "cut jumpers".  This isolates the frog so that you can power route it.  You can try using a standard old-fashion razor blade to do this from the top of the turnout.  It might be thin enough to get through the gap that Peco provided in the turnout.

Everyone else:

If you install Peco Electrofrog turnouts but initially want to try to use them without power routing the frog, still drop the wire Peco provides that is attached to their frog through your table top.  Attach about 10" of wire to Peco's wire to make it long enough to use later without trying to solder a wire to it later under your benchwork in the future.

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC


Re: Wiring Peco Electrofrogs

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

It sounds like you failed to use insulated joiners on the two inside rails at the point end of the frog.  There is no substitute for doing that.  Once you install the insulated joiners, you may be able to get away without power-routing the frog until the electrical connection through the point rails becomes unreliable and locomotives start losing power as they go through the turnout.

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Keating via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 2:24 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Wiring Peco Electrofrogs

 

All,
I have an issue with my Peco Electrofrog turnout with DCC.  It seems that I have may have failed to modify the turnout, and also have definitely failed to connect the frog to my tortoise switch machine for power routing prior to installation on the layout!  OUCH.  Modifying in place will be a pain but I can ultimately manage that :( 
My question is, can I solder a wire to the frog and connect to the tortoise WITHOUT having to completely pull up the turnout and use the provided wire underneath?  Has anyone done this?
Currently, as the turnout is being thrown, I get a short.  Then, once the turnout has completed it's diversion, I can reset the short and visa versa. 
Please advise. 
Thanks, Jim


Re: Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Charles,

 

My answer may or may not be applicable, depending on the brand in question.  I use PECO code 55 electrofrog turnouts, which strangely enough ALL have #6 frogs.  Small, Medium and Large turnouts have different diverging track curves and lengths.  I have found that all of my locos including 2-8-4s run smoothly through both small and medium turnouts (diverging curves 12” and 18” radius respectively.)

 

That’s the simple version.  The answer may vary with grade, as well as train length.  With the obvious exception of the 12” curve in the turnout itself, my minimum radius is 13 inches.  My passing sidings limit most trains to 22 cars but my 2-8-4 Kanawhas will pull about 30 cars up a 2.7% grade.  Going up a steep grade with more than 20 cars would cause the lead driver would hop the rail on only one curve, causing trouble at the next turnout. Going down, it ran through just fine. It WASN’T the turnout.  Closer examination showed that I had inadvertently laid the curve at 11 inches instead of 13.  Fixing the curve fixed the problem, but it may indicate that a small turnout could be pushing the envelope for a 2-8-4 pulling a heavy load.

 

The C&O didn’t normally run 2-10-4s on the James River line, so I don’t plan to allow for them.  USRA 2-8-8-2s seem to work just fine.

 

If you are using Atlas turnouts, or Peco code 80, the answers may be different.

 

Cheers,

John

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Charles Brumbelow via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 10:33 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

 

Mark - Do your steam locomotives with 8 connected drivers need #8 or gentler turnouts/switches?

Thanks. Charles



On Friday, February 22, 2019, 2:20 AM, Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io <marcdecapri@...> wrote:

Ah?

You might want to consider...Getting that 2-6-6-4 right away and begin to use it as one of your primary track testers....

With SOUND

Not a GP-7 which is one of the easiest locomotives to accommodate to any layout....Well almost.

====

If you are so inclined to longer steam locomotives one day.....

Actually I suggest something with a 10 in it..such as a 2-10-4 and then learn to run it not only on straights or gentle curves as a single unit but pulling an ever increasing length of train; upwards of what ever you and your layout feel comfortable with.

OVER every single Turnout on your layout.

For me that is 60 cars; not 158 which was my prototypical goal.

====

Except...when visiting someone else's layout.

Then ? Yes, it's time to find your best runner over any type of track or grade.

Several of my Kato/Atlas Diesels come to mind.

====

That is with one (fairly affordable) exception....in Steam at $150.

 

Kato (Japan) JNR C55 4-6-2 Pacific

Kato (Japan) JNR C55 4-6-2 Pacific

 

Especially their latest version. This model taught me many things about the general design and engineering of N Scale Locomotives; such as the use of Bearing Blocks on every single driver and the overall balance of a longitudinal array of motor, driving gears and flywheels. Along with simply the way a Tender should be electrified to the wheels.These work well with #6 or #8 Turnouts, with a 6 in the driver array. However, my 2-10-4's seem to prefer #10 or larger turnouts.

:)) Mark


Re: Wiring Peco Electrofrogs

Jim Keating <jim.keating@...>
 

All,
I have an issue with my Peco Electrofrog turnout with DCC.  It seems that I have may have failed to modify the turnout, and also have definitely failed to connect the frog to my tortoise switch machine for power routing prior to installation on the layout!  OUCH.  Modifying in place will be a pain but I can ultimately manage that :( 
My question is, can I solder a wire to the frog and connect to the tortoise WITHOUT having to completely pull up the turnout and use the provided wire underneath?  Has anyone done this?
Currently, as the turnout is being thrown, I get a short.  Then, once the turnout has completed it's diversion, I can reset the short and visa versa. 
Please advise. 
Thanks, Jim


Re: Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

Charles Brumbelow
 

Mark - Do your steam locomotives with 8 connected drivers need #8 or gentler turnouts/switches?

Thanks. Charles



On Friday, February 22, 2019, 2:20 AM, Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io <marcdecapri@...> wrote:

Ah?
You might want to consider...Getting that 2-6-6-4 right away and begin to use it as one of your primary track testers....
With SOUND
Not a GP-7 which is one of the easiest locomotives to accommodate to any layout....Well almost.
====
If you are so inclined to longer steam locomotives one day.....
Actually I suggest something with a 10 in it..such as a 2-10-4 and then learn to run it not only on straights or gentle curves as a single unit but pulling an ever increasing length of train; upwards of what ever you and your layout feel comfortable with.
OVER every single Turnout on your layout.
For me that is 60 cars; not 158 which was my prototypical goal.
====
Except...when visiting someone else's layout.
Then ? Yes, it's time to find your best runner over any type of track or grade.
Several of my Kato/Atlas Diesels come to mind.
====
That is with one (fairly affordable) exception....in Steam at $150.


Especially their latest version. This model taught me many things about the general design and engineering of N Scale Locomotives; such as the use of Bearing Blocks on every single driver and the overall balance of a longitudinal array of motor, driving gears and flywheels. Along with simply the way a Tender should be electrified to the wheels.These work well with #6 or #8 Turnouts, with a 6 in the driver array. However, my 2-10-4's seem to prefer #10 or larger turnouts.
:)) Mark


Re: Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

Mark Cartwright <marcdecapri@...>
 

Ah?
You might want to consider...Getting that 2-6-6-4 right away and begin to use it as one of your primary track testers....
With SOUND
Not a GP-7 which is one of the easiest locomotives to accommodate to any layout....Well almost.
====
If you are so inclined to longer steam locomotives one day.....
Actually I suggest something with a 10 in it..such as a 2-10-4 and then learn to run it not only on straights or gentle curves as a single unit but pulling an ever increasing length of train; upwards of what ever you and your layout feel comfortable with.
OVER every single Turnout on your layout.
For me that is 60 cars; not 158 which was my prototypical goal.
====
Except...when visiting someone else's layout.
Then ? Yes, it's time to find your best runner over any type of track or grade.
Several of my Kato/Atlas Diesels come to mind.
====
That is with one (fairly affordable) exception....in Steam at $150.


Especially their latest version. This model taught me many things about the general design and engineering of N Scale Locomotives; such as the use of Bearing Blocks on every single driver and the overall balance of a longitudinal array of motor, driving gears and flywheels. Along with simply the way a Tender should be electrified to the wheels.These work well with #6 or #8 Turnouts, with a 6 in the driver array. However, my 2-10-4's seem to prefer #10 or larger turnouts.
:)) Mark


Re: Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Mark, et al.,

 

I am also in N Scale, new to DCC, and coming at it from the other end.  I am building a roughly 8’ x 18’ irregular shaped mountain layout Code 55 Peco track and Electrofrog turnouts, multiple reverse loops, wyes and hidden staging.  Besides giving me LOTS of opportunities to learn from my mistakes, the track has consumed most of my budget, so I have been something of a cheapskate on everything else.

 

I have a single Digitrax DCS 100 Command module with no other boosters.  Set on N-Scale, it delivers 11.5 – 11.7 volts anywhere on the layout.  I have a couple of Bachman Berkshires and a Consolidation with sound, a Ten-wheeler with no sound, and an old analog GP7 that I use primarily for testing.  I can run them all at once without any power limitations (just frantic throttle control to keep the GP7 from crashing into things on the reverse loops.)

 

I have a lot of yard switches that prove everyone tells us to start with – don’t rely on the point rails to transmit power to the frogs.  Blue Points have built in switches, but ground throws need something else.  I like Frog Juicers, which work great but cost a lot.  So I drop a single wire from the jumper on each frog, and leave it dangling until I get annoyed enough to do something more.

 

I’ll probably keep putting most of my money into track for a while, unless I find an N-Scale Allegheney 2-6-6-6…

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2019 11:15 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

 

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

 

No-ox-id A type grease continues to work very well for me.  After
application I remove all that I can with a Masonite type board.  What is
left does not attract dust and largely prevents the black crud from
forming.  I only do touch up cleaning on occasion.  s

This is done in combination with scrubbing all the contacting surfaces
of my locomotives with a fiberglass contact cleaner which in this case
was sold by Badger.  I then treat the surfaces in the same way I treat
the track. 

I clean my wheels by chucking them into my DeWalt (lightly) and running
at high speed while gently applying the aforementioned  Badger contact
cleaner.  I also clean the needle point on the wheels in this way.  The
brass axle holders in the trucks have the axle sockets cleaned with a
toothpick in a drill at high speed and a little polishing compound.  The
polishing compound is then cleaned with solvent.

As a result I can do switching operations with at most a couple of
stalls and this is in N Scale with engines as small as the Kato NW2. 
BTW I use a single engine on the switch job.

Best Regards,

Ken Harstine


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

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