what happend?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by ehancock, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. ehancock

    ehancock New Member

    My first posting - and when I pressed space bar all h..l broke loose and my unfinished message posted - hummmm, oh well here we go again.

    Ahhh!! I see, it's the tab key - press it and off you go to never, nerver land, at least on my Mac portable it does.
    My name is Earle and I'm a newbi.
    I have installed track layout O-18(from Atlas book) and all works well except arcing (big sparks) as the engine and some cars pass over the 22.5 degree crossing. Because I am using MTH DCS I have not isolated power blocks (except in the yard). Additionally, I have wired ground to both rails so as to avoid future problems with TMMC engines.
    Ideas are welcome.

  2. Mike R

    Mike R Member

    Welcome, Earle. Always glad to see new members on board, and posting right away.Hope you get some good feedback from the HiRailers here.
    regards / Mike:)
  3. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Welcome to the Gauge Earle.
    What scale are you in?:confused:
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome aboard...it sounds like some of your equipment is gauged a little wide or the equipment's wheel profiles are a little thicker than NMRA practice, making for brief shorts as it goes thru the crossing. It doesn't sound like there is a hidden return loop in there or nothing would run. An NMRA standards guage in the scale you're in would make for a good investment. Again, welcome to the Big Blue Board...
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I suspect you are in O gauge 3-rail from the equipment you listed. That isn't my specialty, but I'll ask some questions.
    Does anything short out when it sparks? (do lighted cars in the rest of the train go dark?) Are the arcs from the wheels or the 3rd rail shoes?
    It could be the heavy circuit being broken -- subway trains make a very big spark when they come to breaks in the 3rd rail.
    Are the rails on the crossing metal or plastic? You may be getting a short when the shoe meets the running rail.
    If it's 2-rail, compare the rails on the crossing to the wheels on a car to see if it's shorting from the rails you're running on to the intersecting rail -- in this case, you would get one spark on each side from a set of wheels as it meets the opposite pole of the circuit.
  6. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hi Earle and welcome to the Gauge,
    There aren't that many of us 3 railers on board here or larger scales at all for that matter. But there are alot of great ideas and people. Next time you have a ? like this you might put it in the S/O and G thread, might catch someone who only looks there. Now as to your problem. try pushing the problem cars over the crossover by hand and see if the coupler tab (thumbtack that sticks down) is hitting the center rail. If the problem cars have die cast trucks that could be the problem. Another thing to try is if you have the darkened center rail, polish the center rail on the crossover. Apparently some of the track with the darkened center rail was chemically darkened with something that also made electrical connections weak and thus causes sparking. Clean the railhead with a scotch brite pad and the problem is solved. Try these solutions out and let me know if works, if not I may have some more ideas to try. Steve
  7. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hi Earl:
    Welcome aboard. In addition to what Steve said,... You don't say whether your equipment is new or old, if old check and clean your wheels. Just like dirty rails, dirty wheels will cause sparking. Some "S" guagers use various treatments on the rails, contacts, etc. to increase electrical flow and decrease sparking.

    If you have multiple transformers, make sure they are phased.

    Is it always the same cars? The same trucks?

    Check the cross over, loose rails will move and cause a gap, which promotes sparking.

    Let us know how it goes.


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