Date   
Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Carl
 

Hi Gang:

I have a friend who put so much graphite on his turnouts, he shorted them out!

Carl.

On 4/12/2019 5:11 PM, PennsyNut wrote:
Whoops! More of my opinion. And to all. Take it with a grain of salt. I never would put anything on the rails that is a lubricant, especially petroleum based. I've heard about graphite, but have never tried it. The CRC sounds great, but it is a lubricant, so I would be very shy of it. I have no grades, so it don't worry me there. But any engine must pull a good train, not 2-3 cars and start slipping. How about some one of you that has a 4% grade, say a lumber layout, that has tried any sort of lubricant on the rails that still allows a train of 6 cars or so. And I personally feel this all applies to any scale. Most of us with HO or N, seem to predominate the forums. So, comments from S and O, maybe G LOL are welcome. Finally, I try to be nice. I'm not here to antagonize anyone at anytime. We are all here to help each other.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

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Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Carl
 

Hello Alex:

I made my own cleaning car for "O" gauge track, but I think you could build something similar for any gauge.

I took a gondola, put a block of wood in it. Drilled two vertical holes for two bolts. Then put Scotch brite disks on the bolts with some light springs. A few times around the layout and all is well.

Carl.

On 4/12/2019 4:34 PM, Alex Hempel wrote:
Morgan, I would love to comment on the RadioShack cleaners, but I can’t get them where I live, and importing is expensive. I am new to DCC as you are, and have limited funds, so I am not only looking for effective methods, but affordable ones, too. 

Jay, the same applies here, I haven’t been able to find an explicitly ‘plastic-safe’ CRC 2-26 type product here, and I’m not going to risk it. 

I live in an area with clean air, but very hot and humid summers. My main problem not, at this stage, pollution, but corrosion. My track has been sitting for about half a year without anything running on it, and now that I finally have some of the locos I wanted, they’ve been struggling to run, especially the smaller ones. I was getting pretty desperate.

All the fancy cleaning tools cost a lot of money (the brass cleaning cars are equivalent to a decent loco here), and I’ve already bought two contraptions that, so far, haven’t brought much return on investment, even though people recommended them.

I figured that I needed to do a proper deep clean, and from all the research I’ve done across many forums and groups in two languages - and everyone has their own ways and preferences - I found one that not only sounded like it would solve my key problem, but was also easily available to me. That’s the silver polish method. I am hoping that with a proper deep clean using that, and subsequent regular running of my trains, I can save myself grief in the future. Clean track is especially important to me because I have a fair amount of track that’s covered, and I can’t really afford for trains to get stuck there. 

I will probably invest in a track vacuum car further down the line. But what I’ve found is that in the cleaning debate, there’s pretty much only one thing that more than two people will agree on at any given time, and that’s the fact that clean track is essential, especially for DCC. Anything else seems to be up to individual experiences and preferences (and availability), and it’s really hard to find any single thing that gets widespread support. Many people don’t use any abrasive methods, many others won’t let isopropyl alcohol anywhere near their layout. 

I am grateful to anyone who can talk about their experiences with a specific cleaning method. It’s just unfortunate when those successful methods aren’t easily available to me. 

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

John Bishop
 

As an O scaler butting in,  I use a Bright Boy, or occasionally alcohol.  I have Code 100 steel rail. The layout's been around quite a while, and this works fine. I probably don't actually clean the track more than 2, 3 times a year.  

My layout has a powered overhead wire over most of the track, as an interurban, although I can also run 2-rail by flipping a switch.  I can run both DCC and DC, again by flipping a switch. 

 I apply Lock Ease to the wire occasionally, which keeps the wire (phosphor bronze) clean enough for good operation, even if not run for a month or so.

Hope this is useful to someone!

John Bishop  

On Friday, April 12, 2019, 2:11:11 PM PDT, PennsyNut <pennsynut@...> wrote:


Whoops! More of my opinion. And to all. Take it with a grain of salt. I never would put anything on the rails that is a lubricant, especially petroleum based. I've heard about graphite, but have never tried it. The CRC sounds great, but it is a lubricant, so I would be very shy of it. I have no grades, so it don't worry me there. But any engine must pull a good train, not 2-3 cars and start slipping. How about some one of you that has a 4% grade, say a lumber layout, that has tried any sort of lubricant on the rails that still allows a train of 6 cars or so. And I personally feel this all applies to any scale. Most of us with HO or N, seem to predominate the forums. So, comments from S and O, maybe G LOL are welcome. Finally, I try to be nice. I'm not here to antagonize anyone at anytime. We are all here to help each other.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

PennsyNut
 

Whoops! More of my opinion. And to all. Take it with a grain of salt. I never would put anything on the rails that is a lubricant, especially petroleum based. I've heard about graphite, but have never tried it. The CRC sounds great, but it is a lubricant, so I would be very shy of it. I have no grades, so it don't worry me there. But any engine must pull a good train, not 2-3 cars and start slipping. How about some one of you that has a 4% grade, say a lumber layout, that has tried any sort of lubricant on the rails that still allows a train of 6 cars or so. And I personally feel this all applies to any scale. Most of us with HO or N, seem to predominate the forums. So, comments from S and O, maybe G LOL are welcome. Finally, I try to be nice. I'm not here to antagonize anyone at anytime. We are all here to help each other.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

PennsyNut
 

I will add. Alcohol is usually pretty common. Available in most places on this planet. So is putting a pad on the end of a stick/yardstick comes to mind. So, that's the first and most important method I can think of that is cheap, readily available and doable. Especially in tunnels. A good old yardstick with a good pad on the end with alcohol should do a large part of cleaning. And if you need more, that's where the silver polish might be best. Although I still like my acetone, it does have drawbacks, namely smell and/or damage to plastic. And Alex: it's not just a lack of funds, or availability, but I am frugal. That means I want the best bang for the buck I can afford and locate, etc. Being frugal means there's no way on earth I'd purchase an $80 track cleaning car. Now if I had a layout that was all tunnels, it might be worth looking into some sort of track cleaning car. But $80? No way! So, like you have said. You do what you can do with what you have available.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Alex Hempel
 
Edited

Morgan, I would love to comment on the RadioShack cleaners, but I can’t get them where I live, and importing is expensive. I am new to DCC as you are, and have limited funds, so I am not only looking for effective methods, but affordable ones, too. 

Jay, the same applies here, I haven’t been able to find an explicitly ‘plastic-safe’ CRC 2-26 type product here, and I’m not going to risk it. 

I live in an area with clean air, but very hot and humid summers. My main problem is not, at this stage, pollution, but corrosion. My track has been sitting for about half a year without anything running on it, and now that I finally have some of the locos I wanted, they’ve been struggling to run, especially the smaller ones. I was getting pretty desperate.

All the fancy cleaning tools cost a lot of money (the brass cleaning cars are equivalent to a decent loco here), and I’ve already bought two contraptions that, so far, haven’t brought much return on investment, even though people recommended them.

I figured that I needed to do a proper deep clean, and from all the research I’ve done across many forums and groups in two languages - and everyone has their own ways and preferences - I found one that not only sounded like it would solve my key problem, but was also easily available to me. That’s the silver polish method. I am hoping that with a proper deep clean using that, and subsequent regular running of my trains, I can save myself grief in the future. Clean track is especially important to me because I have a fair amount of track that’s covered, and I can’t really afford for trains to get stuck there. 

I will probably invest in a track vacuum car further down the line. But what I’ve found is that in the cleaning debate, there’s pretty much only one thing that more than two people will agree on at any given time, and that’s the fact that clean track is essential, especially for DCC. Anything else seems to be up to individual experiences and preferences (and availability), and it’s really hard to find any single thing that gets widespread support. Many people don’t use any abrasive methods, many others won’t let isopropyl alcohol anywhere near their layout. 

I am grateful to anyone who can talk about their experiences with a specific cleaning method. It’s just unfortunate when those successful methods aren’t easily available to me.

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Mark Cartwright <marcdecapri@...>
 

Jay, 
In the Central Valley of California...We have Peat Dust, Valley Fever and now Ashe from the many Northern California Fires.
===?
And abrupt temperature changes which create a very strange phenomenon up into the Sierra's known as Exploding Rocks.
This is were the core temperature of a rock is still near like freezing point and then near suddenly - the Sun Rises on a clear day.
Anyone who has cooked a semi-frozen Turkey has witnessed this phenomenon on a smaller scale. At least a 10 degree change in weather from Night to Day is needed.
This means....Your track will bend...even under less extreme conditions, if not in a stable environment.
My basement proved to be such a NON-Stable Environment. Even the Pepsi's in the normal small refrigerator without an ice box in it Froze and exploded.
So I upped and moved and found a Family/Train Room above ground for my Hobby. But I am still experimenting.
I considered running an outside trackage of Kato Unitrack to create the Port of Stockton's Channel...with the aspect of picking up the track every day...but knowing me? Just one over-night lazy excuse and I would probably need to replace all the track.
====
With all of the above said....
The best method of keeping my track clean...with all the helpers I can get such as CRC 2-26 and a whole house vacuum system...plus a portable one as well...
Is not to allow the track to get overly dirty in the first place and attempt at best never to allow it to freeze. 
Very difficult to do...but my (new to me) main Train Room will hopefully be re-created into a sort of Clean Room with a specialized HVAC System for pollutants.
====
DCC especially with sound requires bright shiny rails along the top quarter inside. The best I have come up with is to create my own wand to run between the rails with various cleaners. Mostly I use a heavy duty paper towel attached to the wand, but at times I find myself using Q-tips. 
What is more....
All my track (for now) is removable, as it is Kato Unitrack.
I have experimented with Atlas, Peco, Shinohara and Hand Laid....and for now in some locations, I am recreating Kato #6 Turnouts into #9's and #12's.
Since this procedure takes me upwards of 12 hours to complete with the skill of a Jewelry...I have so far only recreated 2. Yet I have several hundred turnouts in my inventory...one day expecting to use them as is?
Good Luck with that ! > N Scale does not really have a Great Turnout. I am working on that too.
Sorry for not conveying a quick fix or even better news.
Mark

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Jay
 

Hi, I will say it one more time.
Here in the Midwest US, it is very dusty.
A lot of farming is done around here & it is windy most of the time.
I and 2 others locally, started using CRC 2-26 (Plastic Compatible) 2 1/2 years ago.
All 3 of us have cut our track cleaning to zero, and we all run DCC.
See my posts earlier in this thread on how to apply it, also the warnings on what not to do.

Jay

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

PennsyNut
 

Hmm! I started this with questions about using Radio Shack cleaners/lubricants. But I see no one comment on them. That's OK. I have tried alcohol. It does a fair job if you do it often. (How often is often? Once a week?) Then I tried acetone. Not MEK, but the cheap stuff in the nail polish section, but with no additives, 100% acetone. That seems to do a good job and keeps the track clean enough to suit me. Apply with a cloth and wipe only the tops of the rails. Obviously, this is for a small layout. But I have heard of someone using acetone in a brass rail cleaner car. Finally, I don't use any abrasive unless it's really glunky! As in dried glue or such. The masonite pad sounds good for a large layout. And this is all dependent on what type of air you have. And yes, do all this with good ventilation. I like a small fan blowing over the track as I work.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: K.I.S.S.

PennsyNut
 

Mike: Exactly what I found out. I'd like to think it was my own "figuring out". But in truth, it was a little of group info and thinking. I did power the one rail from the frog/actually, the feeder is on the track connected to the turnout. That way, the main is powered, but the siding is not. I can live with this. It is pretty much what we had in DC. And in fact, when viewing the bottom of the turnout, there's provision made by PECO to wire the point to the closure. If I want to do that. Soldering is a lot easier for me now that I've had some practice with feeders. In fact, I can solder to the bottom of the rail and that way, the wire is virtually invisible. But for me, this is a done deal. And thanks to all who contributed to this forum. K.I.S.S. is what we should all strive for. Soldering each and every rail is a waste of time - for me. Keeping feeders about every 3 feet is good. That may mean every piece of flex, but the turnouts need no wire and that's one of my thoughts - to keep it simple.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: K.I.S.S.

Mike Hoggard
 

I tried before to answer your question but think that it was rejected by the Maildeamon. Here goes again. You are using dead frog turnouts as many do and they are useful as a switch cutting of the power to the track that it is not switched to. You do not have to wire the turnout. Some modellers alter the wiring under the turnout to make both legs alive. An easy solution is to fit a small sprung connector made by Hornby part no.. R8232. They come in 20 per pack and don,t cost much. These work with peco insulfrogs as well as hornby turnouts. The other way is to wire the track with power on the exit side of the turnout. The power will feed into the turnout from the other end ,so to speak. Both legs fed with power. On a small oval of track this happens any way and only the siding would be dead. With DCC this switching ability of insulfrog points is not needed as each loco is individually addressed. It isommon practise to fed power to many places on a DCC layout and for some users run a buss all around the layout under the table, connecting to every separate section of track. I hope this helps. mike Hoggard
--------------------------------------------

On Fri, 5/4/19, PennsyNut <pennsynut@...> wrote:

Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] K.I.S.S.
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Date: Friday, 5 April, 2019, 19:50

What am I saying that is
not clear. My turnouts are NOT wired. The turnout itself
does not need wiring. I have reviewed a lot of drawings and
diagrams - all about wiring a turnout. I choose not to wire
the turnout. So is there a way to power the flex track at
the frog end? Point feed works for me. Just that when the
turnout is thrown one way that the other leg of track after
the frog is powered. Or does it even have to be powered? As
in sidings. You throw the turnout for the main and the
siding is dead. Is this what it's supposed to be? And if
the siding is to be powered, is there a short section of
jumper wire connecting that rail to somewhere else so the
power is there? Is this clear? NO WIRES ON TURNOUT. The
turnout works fine as it is. There is continuity and no loss
of voltage or amperage through the turnout.
From what I see on the bottom of an Insulfrog,
there are jumpers from the point rail past the frog to the
subsequent rail beyond the turnout.
I sure
wish there was a way to do a diagram of what I mean. I
can't seem to get jpg, pdf, odf, etc. I was able to draw
a track plan on AnyRail6. But how do I get it to where I can
add lines, arrows, using color, etc. I converted .any to jpg
and jpg to pdf, but they lose part of the drawing.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Tom G.
 

Thanks for the tip, Alex. 

Thanks.
Tom

On Apr 10, 2019, at 6:21 AM, Alex Hempel <rainynight65@...> wrote:

After the isopropyl cleaning did not bring the desired long term effect, I looked around for other options, and on one forum (I don't remember where) someone recommended jewelry polish. I gave that a try today with liquid silver polish from the supermarket. Apply, let dry for a moment, wipe off. My trains have never run this well, all of them, even the light two-axle rail tractor which has been struggling everywhere.

The caveat is that you have to make sure you only apply it to the head of the rails. You don't want it dripping down the side, and certainly not on the ballast or sleepers, it's a bitch to get off again once it's dry. I'm using the Proses cleaning car with a felt pad that's soaked in the polish, run it along the tracks manually, then wipe off with a clean cloth, lightly wetted with isopropyl, and finish off with a make-up sponge. Will see how long this lasts.

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Alex Hempel
 

After the isopropyl cleaning did not bring the desired long term effect, I looked around for other options, and on one forum (I don't remember where) someone recommended jewelry polish. I gave that a try today with liquid silver polish from the supermarket. Apply, let dry for a moment, wipe off. My trains have never run this well, all of them, even the light two-axle rail tractor which has been struggling everywhere.

The caveat is that you have to make sure you only apply it to the head of the rails. You don't want it dripping down the side, and certainly not on the ballast or sleepers, it's a bitch to get off again once it's dry. I'm using the Proses cleaning car with a felt pad that's soaked in the polish, run it along the tracks manually, then wipe off with a clean cloth, lightly wetted with isopropyl, and finish off with a make-up sponge. Will see how long this lasts.

Re: K.I.S.S.

Don Vollrath
 

If supplied as shown, the frog of the PECO insul-frog is dead and isolated but the frog exit rails are on/off power routed, but do not change in polarity, via connections at the points. This means that on/off power to tracks exiting out the frog end will depend on the position of the throwbar. However, the way it is designed also accommodates external power being supplied to tracks on the frog end (with the right polarity) without causing any problems or short circuits. In fact doing so will help cure eventual poor electrical connections at the points.

DonV  

Re: K.I.S.S.

PennsyNut
 

Don. Thank you. The problem I had was all the "options". Insulate rails? Not insulate rails? So what I did was run a feeder to the "frog rail" for the main. Now the main is powered no matter what way the turnout was thrown. But the siding is only powered when the turnout is thrown for it. And that's all. That's what I wanted to know. Now, if I want the main to be dead with the turnout thrown for the siding, I can disconnect that feeder and whichever way the turnout is thrown against, is dead. So I solved this myself. But it was what you said "So... simply connect constant DCC power of the proper polarity to both of your flextracks leading away from the turnout... without using any insulated joiners." that did the trick. I had been hesitant to connect another feeder without insulating, not knowing if it would cause a short.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: K.I.S.S.

Don Vollrath
 

Morgan, use an Ohmeter to verify that the frog exit rails are indeed connected to the respective point and frog closure rails as Allan shows in his diagram of #2-12a at 
http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_peco.htm#a1 regardless of the position of the throwbar. If this is the case there is no connection from the stock rail to power one of the frog exit rails through an 'open' point. So... simply connect constant DCC power of the proper polarity to both of your flextracks leading away from the turnout... without using any insulated joiners.
DonV 

Re: K.I.S.S.

Don Vollrath
 

Morgan,

The turnout as provided by PECO looks great and will not cause any shorts by itself. There is no instant need to butcher it up or provide additional electrical connections. However there ARE issues to take care of if you want rails beyond the turnout to always be correctly powered with DCC.

To do only that... The KISS principal says that you will need to 1) Isolate both of the frog exit rails beyond the turnout by providing insulated rail joiners at the frog end of the turnout, and 2) Provide electrical connections of your choice to power the connecting mainline and spur tracks beyond the turnout. Power to the turnout itself will come from your mainline connections at the point end of the turnout. If you do 1) and 2) power to internal PECO turnout rails and frog will take care of themselves with positioning of the throwbar. Power beyond the turnout will always be provided by your connections to those tracks. Will it work? ... Yes.

BUT... you will eventually learn that the selective electrical polarity connections to the turnout frog and frog rails via the movable points may become intermittent over time due to dirt and other contamination. Hence all the chit-chat on how to reconnect the turnout rails to prevent that. This is in part what making the turnout more "DCC Friendly" is all about. 

DonV

Re: K.I.S.S.

 

Did you sign up on the AnyRail Forum. They are great about helping you understand AnyRail.

 

I use it.

 

www.anyrail.com and click on “Forum”

 

Dennis

 

 

 

Re: Power/wiring

Richard Gagnon <richg_1998@...>
 

After Cv8 I cycle track power off then on. Lights flash sixteen times and loco then runs on address 3 if reset took.
But always use program track option.

Rich




On Friday, April 5, 2019, 2:54 PM, Michael Snyder <comichael57@...> wrote:

Hi Richard,
Perhaps you can assist me.  I also have an NCE Power Cab.  I just purchased a new DCC Bachmann locomotive and of course...can not get it to run.  I have 13.77vac at track.  A call to Bachmann yielded that they feel the decoder is not recognized by NCE, but the CV is 8.  I went through the rack programming and entered this #8 under CV with no luck.  Any suggestions?

Michael

On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 7:09 PM Richard Gagnon via Groups.Io <richg_1998=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I have the NCE Power Cab and have programmed different decoders.
Is the display on? I think it must be. The red LED also.
You said you are getting shorts so the display must go out and the cab resets and the display comes back on.
I normally use the program track option for programing.
I have done Digitrax, LokSound, SoundTraxx and QSI decoders. No problem.
Probably not important but I measure 13.6 vac across the rails on by Power Cab with my meter. Not all meters will show the same as it is RMS AC. Not pure sine wave. I have looked at it with a Scope.

Rich


Re: K.I.S.S.

Mike Hoggard
 

The simplest way is to buy a packet of tiny sprung connections that fit between the track . Hornby sell them for a small amount of money and they work fine. Have a look at a hornby catalogue and all will be explained Mike
--------------------------------------------

On Thu, 4/4/19, PennsyNut <pennsynut@...> wrote:

Subject: [w4dccqa] K.I.S.S.
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Date: Thursday, 4 April, 2019, 22:06

This may be the dumbest question
I've ever had.
The PECO Insulfrog. I have them not wired, not in any way.
They are connected to flex track only by joiners. (I may
solder them in the future, but for now, they are removable.)
All flex track adjoining them is caulked down nice. All
joiners conduct electricity. Now: When one throws the
turnout, the points conduct the electricity. Right? The two
tracks off the frog end. One is dead when the other is live.
Or vice versa. Is there a simple way to make them both live?
Jumpers from ? to ?
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC