Date   
Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Annette and Dante Fuligni
 

When I laid my track several years ago, I researched the issue of cleaning and eventually decided to apply the No-Ox system which was thoroughly discussed online at the time. It works like a charm! I have never cleaned my track, and it works fine even after extended periods of inactivity. The layout is in a controlled environment, but it is not completely dust-free. Also, there has been some research indicating a lot of the crud that forms on rails/wheels is due to the minute electrical sparking that occurs between those basic elements and not just on the amount of dirt in the air that settles on the track. Check online for the discussions about No-Ox and try it-you’ll like it!

Dante

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Michael Snyder
 

Did you use the No OX ID A or just the straight No OX?

On Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 9:23 AM Annette and Dante Fuligni <dfuligni2144@...> wrote:
When I laid my track several years ago, I researched the issue of cleaning and eventually decided to apply the No-Ox system which was thoroughly discussed online at the time. It works like a charm! I have never cleaned my track, and it works fine even after extended periods of inactivity. The layout is in a controlled environment, but it is not completely dust-free. Also, there has been some research indicating a lot of the crud that forms on rails/wheels is due to the minute electrical sparking that occurs between those basic elements and not just on the amount of dirt in the air that settles on the track. Check online for the discussions about No-Ox and try it-you’ll like it!

Dante


The one thing we tend to all agree on.....

Mark Cartwright
 

>>> DCC especially Sound DCC requires Clean and perhaps bright and shiny to that upper quadrant between the rails where the flanges glide over.
====
So....
Here is what you may not agree with...but is My Experience.
>  I find myself vacuuming often.
>  Clean with 70% Alcohol and though I test lubricants...tend to wipe them off.
>  Creating a Sort of Wand (more than one of them) which fit not jut to the op of the rails but between them as well.
>  I tend to be very skimpy  with Ballast and then hard paint it on.
>  Note differences in the type and depth of so called Nickel Silver...especially at times when it has become expensive to the manufacture of Code 55 Track.
>  My hats off to those N Scalers who can hand lay Code 40 but that is not me....I struggle with hand laying or re-creating Code 55.
>  My N Scale voltage is a bit higher at 15.4 volts and if I ever standardize my decoder collection to only ESU...I may up them again to near 18 volts.
>  I use a soldered drop down lead every 18-24 inches ...a work still in progress.
>  I solder even Kato Unitrack with a snap connection for expansion every 18-24 inches.
>  I limit my grades to 1.5% and do not use Traction Tires. No Bull frog snout nor the need for it.
>  For now...I am not Weathering. The chemicals may slow down the transfer of electrical ions through the rails.
>  I use metal/wood templates (then solder) so the line between sections is stable and not kinked. 
>  I use a variety of files and rifflers while checking every mm of my trackage with an NMRA Gauge..but do more.
>  I test my trackage not just with a single locomotive but with entire trains of at least 10 matched cars.
>  As I can...I replace all plastic wheels with metal.
>  I seem to own every sort of commercially available N Scale Track Cleaning Car in twos or better. Aztec, CMX and Tomix as well as some created by me.
>  My radius tends to be wider than most N Scalers use at 28 inches. So it seems easier to clean as well.
>  I gave up on my ever dirty and somewhat damp/cold basement (below ground) for a Family Room above ground which may one day have a near constant temperature, once I further upgrade the HVAC System to nearly that of a Clean Room.
>  I reweigh and reset all of my rolling stock and then also check the measurements of the wheels on my locomotives.
>  I prefer body mounted couplers, especially with Passenger Cars. Less drag on the entire train and less reliance on BEMF.
>  I am recreating turnouts and their lengths to better match the conductivity of my longer steam locomotives with DCC and Sound.
>  The top of my mountains are removable. 
>  For now...My track is removable...Even hand laid on platforms borrowed from Tru Scale HO wooden re-shaped blocks. I hope to clean or replace as needed.
>  I prepare/sand the area under my tracks then line it with 5 mm CCR-705 underlayment. I use long straight edges to check the flat of my track and long sanders used in Automotive Body Work.
===========
===========
With all of the above experiences and now said.
Do I know what I am doing at 100% ?
Absolutely not.
Cause I am not being 100% successful.
If your experience is different from mine...
Please Speak up...
I have much more to learn
:)) Mark

I am for now in a totally separate project of running N Scale Kato Unitrack along a crown molding around the perimeter of my Home.
This project is proving to be quite substantial on it's own.

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

PennsyNut
 

Let me understand graphite: From what I can tell from the few comments above is: Use it sparingly on the tops of the rails. Wipe it off immediately, which leaves a very light coating. Keep any rails of opposite polarity from touching. (How do you do turnouts?) If you wipe all rails except the turnouts, won't the graphite spread via wheels? And that gets to the concern I have with turnout points. Example: if a wheel is a little wider and touches both the point and the rail of opposite polarity, you've got a short, but also it will be worse because of any graphite? What I was thinking and considering is to use a fine paint brush and pencil graphite/where there was no wood, but just pencil lead. (I know, not pure graphite, but certainly cheap.) and carefully touch the tops of the rails. Do about a foot or so and wipe immediately. All this is done after the cleaning - usually with alcohol. And finally, run the trains over this freshly done rails. I also get the impression that you don't have to do the entire layout. Perhaps just a few "foot long" sections, let's say, every 6 feet. Does this sound logical to y'all. Anyone ever try it this way? As I've stated previously, being frugal means using the best method I can at the best price. Drafting pencils use solid lead/graphite and I have a jar full from back when drafting was done on a board, not on the PC.
--
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Tim Johnson
 

Model Railroader had an article which talked about using Automatic Transmission Fluid on the rails. I've used it myself and am pleased with the results. Only a small amount is needed. I don't have that issue anymore, but I did find this video where the modeller talks briefly about his experience (good): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC4aLuGhw34

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Jerry Michels
 

Is there any liquid or semi-solid substance that model railroaders have not used to keep rails clean or increase conductivity?

😂

Jerry Michels

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

esimard
 

I too use transmission fluid. Use sparingly and after a day or so wiper the rails. Rails get this treatment once a year nothing else. The layout is in a dusty garage. I have one portion of the layout (about 10 feet long) which was treated six years ago, very difficult to reach and trains run over it without any problems. Note that the oxide from nickel silver is conducive while the oxide from brass is not. I have several locos with brass wheels, they need to be cleaned frequently. Note that all my cars have metal wheels also. No gunk on them ever.

Subject to fat thumbs and strange spell check changes. _Ernie

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

whmvd
 

Treacle?

On Mon, 15 Apr 2019 at 07:16, Jerry Michels <gjmichels53@...> wrote:
Is there any liquid or semi-solid substance that model railroaders have not used to keep rails clean or increase conductivity?

😂

Jerry Michels

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

John White
 

Morgan, your being to afraid of this stuff. I've used it by buying sticks of graphite and just rubbing it on all my rail, including the turnouts. Doing nothing special and everything is fine and engines runs well. So, just rub it on your rails and go for it. I got a set of four at Hobby Lobby. They last a long time. Also get them on Amazon or Ebay if you don't have a Hobby Lobby in your area. And run your trains.

____________________________________________________________
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http://thirdpartyoffers.juno.com/TGL3141/5cb468ec1e55568eb6838st01vuc

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

 

Use a graphite stick from an artist supply shop instead of powdered
graphite on the rails.  I only used powder on locomotives where access
to the contacting surfaces is limited. 

I had good success with graphite and still use it on occasion but I now
much prefer No-Ox-Id A.  Thoroughly clean the rails before application
and then clean off the rails with Masonite type boards.  This seems to
work very well and requires only limited cleaning after (1.5 years into
this experiment).

For locomotives I disassemble the trucks and clean all contacting
surfaces until shiny.  I then apply the No-Ox-Id and again clean off
excess. 

To clean the wheel pockets I chuck a round wood toothpick  into a hobby
drill.  I dip the end of the toothpick into polishing rouge to help the
process.  I use electronics cleaner to remove the rouge when complete.

To clean wiping surfaces I use a fiberglass contact cleaner such as sold
by Badger.

For the wheels themselves I chuck them lightly into my Dewalt drill and
turn them at high speed with a light application of the fiberglass
contact cleaner until shiny.  I also use the fiberglass contact cleaner
on the axle ends.

The combination of both track and engine cleaning leads to nearly
completely stall free switching operations in N Scale.  HO should only
be much better.

Best Regards,

Ken Harstine
Holyoke, MA

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Carl
 

Hi Gang:

My problem isn't keeping the track clean, it is the wheels on my K-Line locomotives. K-Line's MP-15 has trucks with zinc wheels, four plain and four with traction tires. Every three hours of running I have to take these locomotives off the track and clean the black gunk off the wheels. I do not have this problem with my ETS locomotives ( plated wheels ) or my MTH locomotives with knurled steel wheels. I don't put anything on my Gargraves track.

Is the black gunk from the traction tires? Could I tin plate the wheels? Any other ideas?

Thanks, Carl.



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Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Flash Gordon
 

I am thinking mouse droppings...... it is free and the mice deliver!

Ed S

On 4/15/2019 2:16 AM, Jerry Michels wrote:
Is there any liquid or semi-solid substance that model railroaders have not used to keep rails clean or increase conductivity?

😂

Jerry Michels

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Jerry Michels
 

I am thinking mouse droppings...... it is free and the mice deliver!

Ed S


Hmmm, maybe so.  This winter I went to the museum early one morning, flipped on the lights in the back, and a mouse did run down the staging yard tracks.  You are right, it would be free.  Now training the little critters might be a bit difficult.


Jerry Michels

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

PennsyNut
 

Jerry: I know there are others who do use a lubricant. But I will not. Never any petroleum product. But I must admit, I have never used much of anything in actual practice. I just have my brain and thinking ability. Use of lubricant just sounds wrong. The subject of graphite is a little different and sounds feasible only because it's something a few of the messages refer to. So, when I get to the point of: after cleaning track, I may wish to try the graphite. And now that y'all have brought up wheels. That's my dilemma. Diesels are easy, just put a paper towel on the track with alcohol and run the diesel. Similar with cars. Saturate a little more of the paper towel and roll the cars over it. But steam. Taking it apart? To clean. I don't think so. The last time I took a steamer apart for the wheels was about 20 yrs ago. I'm now 80, and the eyes and steady hands just don't cooperate. I did try cleaning steamers with toothpicks, Q-tips with the cotton removed, and other things. But it still is a job and a half. Isn't it strange; that diesels took over on the proto and are easier to maintain on the model.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

PennsyNut
 

John White: I'm not afraid. per se. Just cautious. Reluctant to try anything that costs money and might be a waste of my precious income. My income is very low, fixed, and I'm 80 yrs old. That's why when you see my comments, I always refer to being frugal. Like I said: I have a jar full of pencil lead shavings from when I used drafting tools. There's no wood or other in with this graphite. And I can easily check with a magnet. It's free to me now. So, I will try that. This only explains why I will wait to buy any graphite. Pretty much the same with other stuff. All these other ideas that cost more than a buck, just don't tempt me. LOL Alcohol and acetone are cheap. CRC 2-26 is not.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

 

If these are truly zinc wheels then the gunk is zinc oxide.  The rails
are nickel silver.  The combination of the two will cause oxidation.  I
is possible that No-Ox-Id will prevent this, but any exposed surfaces
will still oxidize.  Dissimilar metals oxidize when coming into contact
with each other.  Even alloys that are different in their percentage
will oxidize but much less so then the above.  Zinc is not as bad as
Aluminum or copper would be in this case but it still has a pretty high
potential to oxidize.   Brass wheels would be a significant improvement
over zinc.

Best Regards,

Ken Harstine

Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

Mark Cartwright
 

Jerry,
Besides mouse droppings and their pee (which has it's own acid) ....
Has anyone mentioned Never Dull, Brasso, WD-40, Tarn X, Borax, Pine Sol, Pine Oil (Hexol ), Easy Off, Sheila Shine Low, Bar Keeper's Friend, Glycolic or Salicylic Acid, Vinegar *white of course, and Brandy...Maybe Vodka ? ...  and the ever favorite pumice or ground sea-shells into s sort of toothpaste...
Oh and  yes Tooth Paste Too.
======
With all of the above said...I am still a believer in basically vacuuming and leaving it alone; by not letting it get dirty in the first place (HVAC Clean Filters).
I also tend to under lubricate my locomotives so that additional grease/oil does not make it's way down to the track.
======
However...
Between the non soldered joints, and snap connections, I am about to try this stuff.
https://www.sanchem.com/electrical-contact-lubricant.html

but I am not convinced yet to put anything on my tracks.
> Some No Ox Id...may slip up between the joints and be carried along throughout my N Scale Trackage.
I will give it a try.
A toothpick size dab between the rails every 30-36 inches.... Cause Ken suggested it.
:)) Mark

I am stalling...
> I am about to don Cover Alls once again and crawl under my house. (very dirty - near claustrophobic experience)
I have been installing, while allowing the Sun to warm up the Day.
What I thought was to be a simple installation of a Walk In Tub has gone on for the past 3 months.....as I keep telling myself.
I am almost finished ...Just one more day.
When I come up from there...I am gonna need a Cleaner and a Lubricant.

DCC Meters

Mike Smeltzer
 

Good afternoon,

I was wondering if there was a way to adapt or modify this type of meter to use with DCC?  I know there is the DCC Specialties  RRamp Meter out there, but wondering if there was a way to use something like this instead?  This photo was taken off a listing on Amazon.

Thank you...

MIke Smeltzer


Re: DCC Meters

Paul O
 

Mike, you sure didn’t give us much to go on!

Amazon link; product name, model # …etc.

 

Paul O

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io [mailto:w4dccqa@groups.io] On Behalf Of Mike Smeltzer via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 1:10 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] DCC Meters

 

Good afternoon,

I was wondering if there was a way to adapt or modify this type of meter to use with DCC?  I know there is the DCC Specialties  RRamp Meter out there, but wondering if there was a way to use something like this instead?  This photo was taken off a listing on Amazon.

Thank you...

Mike Smeltzer



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Re: DCC Meters

Mike Smeltzer
 

Paul,

Sorry about no link.  I wasn't sure if posting commercial listings was acceptable.  Especially this being my first post.

With that said.   The link is 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075V2WTT8/?coliid=I13ITLCIZIBO9O&colid=27J4DG3BRM1CM&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Mike Smeltzer