switch track maintenance

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by leon, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. leon

    leon Member

    I have a couple of N-scale switch tracks which I haven't used for few years and they switch in one direction but not the other. Is there something I might do to remedy this? I was thinking of trying to clean the gunk which may have formed in the mechanism. If this is possible--what would be the best way to do this?
  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    First we need to know what type of turnouts you have Manual or remote? Next we need to know what brand they are, since different manufacturers use different ways of moving the points.

    If they're remote turnouts, it may be if they only move in one direction and not the other that one of the coils in the switch machine has burned out.

    Or, if they are manual, it may be as you say - they're gunked up.
  3. leon

    leon Member

    Hi Squidbait;

    the remote switches are made by Bachmann and they show no signs of a burnout--over heating.

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Twin coil switch machines will burn out if the power is applied to them for longer than the momentary contact needed to make them switch. I model in ho, so I don't know much about n-scale, but I suspect Bachmann uses the same design in both scales. I think you should have 3 terminals on each switch machine. One terminal will be common, and the other two will be for moving the points right & left. You can check the coils with a volt-ohm meter on the ohm scale. Connect or touch one lead to the common terminal. Touch the other lead to each of the other terminals. You should get continuity with a slight resistance between the common and each of the other terminals. If either of the other terminals is open or infinity to the common terminal that coil is burned out. The common terminal is usually in the middle, but they should be marked. Common is usually marked with a "c" the other terminals may be marked with an R for right and an L for left. You want ot check your continuity before you waste time looking for other problems. One other thing, a wire may have broken and not burned out, in which case you won't see any external evidence of the failure.
  5. leon

    leon Member

    Hi Russ;

    I did the continuity ck and found a wire broke on two switches. Opened them up and I see where I have a very delicate job for my nervous hands. Thank God for the challenge.

    Thanks, Leon

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