Shorting out?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by chessie4155, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. chessie4155

    chessie4155 Active Member

    Well folks after all these years of fighting the Gremlins, they have finaly won a battle. For some strange reason I am now having trouble with one of my ele. blocks. When I check the other blocks, the meter shows full power, but in #9 block, the needle moves maybe at best half way then starts bleeding off. Nothing will run in that block at all. I have cleaned the track, checked all the rail joiners, even soldered a new power lead to it and still have the same problem. Has onyone ever had this kind of trouble? What did you do to fix it? Thanks for any help on this.
  2. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    check to see if some how you crossed the tracks with something metal that is causing the short, see if the block control is faulty? replace the block control with another one to see if the problem, last check to see if the lead was wired to the correct rail and not crossed . i have done that myself
  3. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Mark, sorry to hear that:frowns: . have you took 2 wires, one power, one neg, and toched them to a WORKING block, and put them on the dead block? if not, try that:winki: .
    :deano: -Deano
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    You didn't say what kind of switch your using for block control, but it sounds like it shorted out internally.
    Like Deano said, try connecting your power supply directly to the bad block. If the block works ok then, replace the switch.

  5. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    notice everyone keeps mentioning the "power" wire, i had similar problems back before i got into DCC(sheew, i shudder just thinking about life before DCC:eeki: :119: ), ANYWAYS, don't forget to check the NEG RAIL WITH THE GROUND WIRE:winki: , that gave me similar problems too:winki: . like i said, take TWO LOOSE WIRES, connect them to BOTH RAILS of the "working" blocked tracks, now touch them to your "dead" blocked tracks...that should help determine where the problem lies:winki: .
    :deano: -Deano
  6. chessie4155

    chessie4155 Active Member

    Deano: tried the wire trick and still's like that whole block is just dead....I'm gong to run all new wire to a different section of that block and see what happens..I was going to rewire the entire layout anyways..If I can't get it working, then I figure I might as well just tear out all the old wire and just rewire the whole layout. While I'm at it, I'll wire up the structure lights too..and hopefully one of these days I'll be wireing up signal lights.
    Thanks for all your help everyone:thumb:
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    It sounds to me like an internal problem with the switch that controls that block. Disconnect the troublesome block from the system (if your wiring is common rail, just the power feed, otherwise, disconnect both feeders), then use a set of jumpers, connected directly to the rail of an adjacent block, to power the problem area.

  8. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    One possibility is that something has created an indirect current path between the two rails of that block. It wouldn't necessarily be something metal which would cause a direct short and no voltage drop (potential) between the two rails, but something that is acting like a capacitor, which causes a varying and partial degree of voltage potential. Look for things like hidden moisture, mould or mildew that could cause an indirect voltage path between the two rails. A piece of cork roadbed that had something spilled on it and is allowing voltage to leak through would be one example.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Isolate that block from the rest of the layout, make sure there are no locomotives or roling stock on the section and take an ohm reading across the rails. With nothing on the tracks the ohm reading should be infinity. If you get a reading, you have a short circuit between the rails or through the block selector switch.
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Chessie: when you turn that block on, does it short out all the other blocks? Or does it just lose its own power?

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