Basic Lionel / O gauge Questions

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by koconno2, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. koconno2

    koconno2 New Member

    I purchased a log dump car this year to add to the Christmas Layout and I must be doing something wrong because it does not seem to work correctly. It's a Lionel log dump set and it said to use a Fast Track de-coupler accessory to activate the dump car. The de-coupler only comes with an activation button and no other wire connections.

    - How do you activate the de-coupler if you kill the power to stop the car in the unload area?

    - Is this why the O gauge power sources have a neutral position so you can max the power out put to get the de-coupler to work?

    I purchased a little diesel switcher from K-Line (O27) last year that works great on everything but the Fast Track switches.

    - Does anyone know if there is a compatibility issue with this little switcher and Fast Track switches?

    - Is there a way to improve this condition?

    I like the Fast Track product other then two small issues.

    - Is there a way to isolate the center rail in a connection of two track sections with out adding a separate break section?

    - Is there a way to add remote switch track controls to manual switch tracks?

    Thanx, KO.
  2. koconno2

    koconno2 New Member

    I need to add another question to this list.

    - Is it common for engines to slow down on turns and speed up on straights?

    - Is this a power distribution problem? If so, would running another power connection over to the turn that slows down help this issue?

    Thanx, KO.
  3. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Well, hopefully I can help you with the slowdown question at least... A little bit of slowdown on curves is to be expected due to increased friction. But if one curve slows down more than the others, it sounds like a voltage drop problem. Adding feeder wires or a wired track section to the area where you're experiencing the slowdown should help. I think it's possible to add your own feeder wires to Fastrack but since I don't have mine handy I can't give specific instructions.

    The general rule is that you want to run feeder wires every three track joints. Lots of people have gotten away with less, but I noticed slowdown on my oval of Fastrack, which would have been what, six curves plus two straights, so just eight track sections.

    Also you might want to compare the contact points on that curve to another one just to make sure they aren't loose. That can also cause a voltage drop.
  4. koconno2

    koconno2 New Member

    Thanx for the reply. I thought it might be a voltage drop issues combined with normal friction but did know how typical it was. I should just use my volt/ohm meter and take some readings around the track.

    So the rule of thumb is to add a power connection (lock-on) to every 3-4 track sections. First I'll try running a jumper down to the slow turn and see if that makes an improvement.

    Thanx, KO.
  5. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    I also do not use Fastrack, but I would guess that you need to have the engine in netural with power to the track for you to use the log unloader. It is that way on the old tube track.
  6. koconno2

    koconno2 New Member

    Well that makes sense now. Although this really cranks up the smoke element on the engine when I apply full power at idle. Can this damage or burn out a smoke element?
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    An alternative is to rewire the uncoupling/unloading tracks to use fixed accessory voltage. I don't have Fasttrack, but I have done it on several occasions with O27 uncoupling/unloading tracks. The O UCS has the option for fixed voltage operation built in.

    When operating accessories/operating cars off track voltage (train in neutral) I use only the minimum voltage necessary for good, consistent operation. No need to put extra current through the magnet, increasing the potential for overheating. Also, the magnet elements should not be left on - just a push of the button will do it.

    yours in operating cars
  8. koconno2

    koconno2 New Member

    I will read the instructions closer because that seems to be a better way if you can run the de-coupler off the accessory voltage.

    Thanx, KO.

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