Power to the tracks

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    I have an MRC Tech 220 controller with the momentom feature. First of all, what is the reason for this feature? Is it for more realistic start ups and stops or what? Secondly, when my IHC 4-6-4 hits the short straight sections of either oval, the 18 radius or the 22" radius, if going slowly, only pulling four cars, it will hesitate for a moment and sometimes stop. If I increase power, it will not move until nudged slightly. If speed is up, it will make it through with quick, snappy hesitations at those same points. My 2-10-2 and 2-10-0 and switcher diesel show a very slight hesitation if at all, through the same areas of track. I saw, in one of the threads recently, that sometimes , other sections of the track may need to be connected to the controller along with the original connection. Would direct connections to these straight sections possibly solve this problem? Tracks are clean, how do you clean the pick-up wheels on a tender or an engine? Also, what is the best or proper way to pick up say a 2-10-2 when removing from track? Thanks in advance for your patience and advice----John R
  2. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    your 4-6-4 probably needs to be cleaned. also clean your track. you may need to clean other eletrical contacts within your locomotive as well to get it running again.
  3. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Yep. Real trains don't start and stop on a dime like model trains. So the momentum feature basically gradually increases or decreses power to the train when you move your throttle so the train would realistically start up or slow down.

    Yup, feeder wires every few feet of track is better for electrical reliability. To clean the pickup wheels on the tender, you can buy a cleaning solution called Rail Zip and put a drop on the tender wheels and run the engine.. This will clean the wheels and the rails at the same time.

    Hope this helps!
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The reason that your locomotives are stopping, or hesitating is because the railjoiners are not tight on the rail. As long as some of the loco's pickup wheels are on the straight track, it will continue running. With the shorter wheelbase locos, the pickup wheels all manage to make it onto the curve, but there's not enough weight to depress the rail far enough to allow the curved rail to make contact inside of the rail joiner. The longer locos, however, have a long wheelbase picking up current, so a greater portion of the loco can make it into the (temporarily) unpowered curve. When sufficient weight is on the curved rails, the rail inside the railjoiner is moved just enough to re-establish electrical contact. As Tom notes, feeder wires will correct this problem. For a temporary solution, you could try lightly squeezing the rail joiners with a pair of pliers, or, if you're able to disassemble the track, take the rail joiners right off the rails and, using pliers, flatten them very slightly.
    I don't use feeder wires except to power sections of track that I wish to control with an electrical switch. However, to avoid the problem that you're experiencing, I do solder all rail joints.

  5. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Yes I use a number of feeder wires. Clean every thing and add power to several more points on the track and you will be a happy engineer.
  6. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    You have one of the basic problems with sectional track plus the possibility of dirty track, dirty wheels etc. If you assemble and disassemble sectional track, the connectors get loose and are a constant pain in the butt. As suggested above, cleaning and adding extra power feeder wires wil make a big difference.
  7. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Good suggestions

    Thanks to all of you----your suggestions make sense. I have these two ovals set up temporarily in my work room and I'm learning what to look for and proper maintenance prior to permanently mounting track on the future layout. I'm going to try tightening all of the section connectors and running extra wire at least to front, back, and ends of the ovals. How do you clean the track inside tunnels on permanent layouts? John R
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Generally even inside tunnels you want to include some provision to reach inside of tunnels for track cleaning. There are several options: track cleaning cars, a Bright Boy on a stick, or removable tunnel tops that can be reached from inside the mountain.

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