I need help.

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by tetters, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    "This is where it gets funny. I've managed to get two of the turnouts working...If I attach a third turnout and then try to test the DCC, it senses a short and doesn't "boot" up. Get this. Off the layout the third turnout works fine. No shorts, and if I clip it to my Power Cab it boots up no problem. However, place it back in the yard ladder I get the same issues."

    OK, so you have two turnouts on the layout, wired to the busses, and you can apply track power and throw the turnouts with no short, right?

    "Its when I get to the third turnout out or anything beyond that circled in red do I have problems...Off the layout, and hooked up to the DCC or tested with a Voltmeter, no issues. Even if I only hook it up to only the two green turnouts it also stops working."

    So, if you place the 3rd turnout on the layout using railjoiners to connect to one of the other, working turnouts, and do not attach any feeders, you get a short?

    If that is what you are saying, then my first test would be to put the turnout in place against the working one with no rail joiners. Use wires with alligator clips to jump power as the rail joiners would. See which rail, or both, causes a short.

    Then connect the 3rd turnout to the buss and power up while still in place with no rail joiners. Obviously, make sure you have the correct polarity buss wires attached to the rails. Use a 16 volt bulb to check polarity in the various pieces of rail.

    Given that you get a short when connecting the 3rd turnout with rail joiners and no attachment to feeders, if you can connect feeders and do not get a short while in place without joiners, use the lamp to test polarity of the adjacent turnout rails. If the bulb lights when leads are on the opposite rails of adjacent turnouts, the rail joiners cannot cause a short.

    You'll need to start eliminating possible causes and see whats left I'm afraid.
  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Do you use the same turn out for the third one for every test or have you tryed to use a differant turn out for the third one
  3. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Wow guys. Thanks for the continued replies.

    You'll be happy to know that I've traced the short back to a long single curved rail on one of my curved turnouts. I'm trying to figure out where the problem is with it. But finally I feel like I'm getting somewhere. It's not pretty either. However, someone else here said that despite the effort handlaying takes, "its their layout, warts and all".**

    So in a few short moments I went from two turnouts to four with a problem diagnosed.

    Here's how...

    I took Loren's advice and started dropping in feeders clamping to the appropriate rails and slowly worked backward until I ran into the problem. I even wired up the frog points to the manual throws as I went. What I may do is wire up what I have and tackle the short tomorrow.

    **I'm pretty sure it was "pgandw" in my own thread actually.
  4. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    aussieI will drink to thataussie
  5. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!


    I GOT IT!!!

    CP 8416 rolls through the entire yard ladder set up like a champ! At all speeds and no stalling. Whooo hooo!!! I'm so gosh darn happy I could just kiss my NCE Power Cab! I narrowed down from the rail to the frog and then just triple checked all the gaps as it would only work when the turnout was thrown one way. I used a small piece of wire as a jumper. So when a short no longer occured, I knew I had properly isolated the frog and got it!

    Thanks for talking me through this and listening. :thumb:

    The only downside to all of this...

    I need to lay more track! I wanna switch some cars now! sign1
  6. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    OK im buying the next round, Way to go tetters
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Congrats Tetters, you deserve a cold one.

  8. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Fixing these kinds of frustrating problems sure is satisfying, eh? :) Glad to hear you solved it!

  9. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Thanks Roger! I'll have a double rye and a little bit of coke just to give it some colour! :lol:

    David, Charlie, Kevin, Gary, Jeff, Andrew and of course Loren. Thanks again to all.

    I updated my Layout thread in the HO Forum with some pics of CP 8416 rolling through the ladder. Have a gander.

    Next round is on me!

Share This Page