14433Re: [z_scale] Very poor running.
- May 15, 2003Hi Terry,
I had a similar situation last year when I went the first time after the
rebuild of my Red Rock Railroad to the local train show. As I am now about 20
years in Z I had expirienced several contact issues, but had never seen a
desaster like that just at that public show. The show was Saturday and Sunday
and I finished the build up of the layout at about midnight from Friday to
The layout is wired for DCC and I wanted to show DCC on Z scale that show -
BUT I was not able to run a single loco on the layout. I used SR24 or Trix
fluid (a thin cleaning oil, probably similar to the Wahle oil, SR24 is sold
as cleaning fluid for ultrasonic cleaners too) as usual with no big success.
I used Jörger cleaner - no big success. Running DCC was impossible.
Absolutely depressed I went to sleep for a few hours - I coul not solve that
The next morning I went to the drug store and asked for something mild
(aggressive) stuff to clean my rails. I first thought tooth paste for smokers
could be a solution, but they recommended a fluid used to polish brass. The
strain show started just when I came back from the drug store and I had to
start the show - I used 3 (three) MTL F7 coupled together and ran analog to
bring my train through! But something was running.
Then I started polishing the rails with the brass cleaner and the rag
wasbecoming REALLY DIRTY. It turned to a dark green to black colour and the
train ran perfectly on the already cleaned tracks even with a single engine!
After the brass cleaner I used my standard cleaning method and I was able to
run DCC later at the show.
What happend? On ballasting and scenery making I used a lot of white glue
which remained as a hard layer on the track which could not be removed with
normal cleaning procedure. Probably something similar happend to your layout.
I would recommend to try this one. Of course the general electric feeders
should be installed correctly, but that shouldn't be the issue for an
expirienced N scaler I believe.
Don't use any grinding paper on your tracks, this will make the surface of
the rails rough and again more difficult to clean.
If Z scales is properly cleaned it runs very well, similar to N and nearly
similar to H0. I have seen N and H0 layouts which were running really poor.
So it is not a question of scale.
The locomotive itself should be inspected either. Cleaning the engine with
SR24 and relubing (very carefully) should provide you an excellent engine.
Try your engine with two wires to the wheels - if it is easyly running the
engine will be ok. If you see dirt at the wheels remove it.
Hope you will get back to Z track and enjoy!
The Redrock Railroad - Home of the Desert Hog
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