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Poor performance (again ;-)

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  • leon_hurst2001
    Hi all, I know we all wage a never ending battle against poor loco running on our small Zscale layouts. I have just completed my first ever layout (a station)
    Message 1 of 24 , Sep 29, 2003
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      Hi all,

      I know we all wage a never ending battle against poor loco running
      on our small Zscale layouts. I have just completed my first ever
      layout (a station) and am struggling with the *medium and slow speed*
      performance of my 3 pole 2-6-0 (0-4-0 electrically).

      Symptoms: a) Stalls at turnouts and b) sometimes stalls or slows
      while travelling on straight track (even though lamp on installed
      guagemaster is off indicating good contact!).

      Actions taken so far:
      a) stripped and clean the loco including cleaning the brushes and
      wheels with a chemical metal cleaner, and oiling the cogs.
      b) cleaned all track and points very carefully with a chemical metal
      cleaner. I now have the most beautiful gleaming tracks in all the
      world :-)
      c) installed Guagemaster track cleaner.

      The only thing I can think of now is that the 3 pole motor in the
      0-4-0 loco is causing this poor running, also the fact that the
      wheels are mounted on a fix frame (and lifting sometimes). Can anyone
      confirm that there is a big difference in slow speed performance
      between this 3 pole loco (8803) got with a starter pack and a new
      loco like a 88690/8820/8878? I am thinking to buy such a loco just to
      get the performance I seek.

      Many thanks to all :-)
      Leon.
    • Glen Chenier
      ... some general suggestions and guesses: Lift the stalled loco off the rails to verify the Gaugemaster is working properly and/or there is no other
      Message 2 of 24 , Sep 29, 2003
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        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "leon_hurst2001"
        <leon_hurst2001@y...> wrote:
        >
        > Symptoms: a) Stalls at turnouts and b) sometimes stalls or slows
        > while travelling on straight track (even though lamp on installed
        > guagemaster is off indicating good contact!).

        some general suggestions and guesses:

        Lift the stalled loco off the rails to verify the Gaugemaster is
        working properly and/or there is no other intermittant current
        leakage across the rails that would fool the Gaugemaster and shunt
        current from the locomotive. If the Gaugemaster activates then the
        problem is definitely in the loco.

        An intermittant increase in electrical resistance at wheel rubbing
        contacts (did you clean these too?) or any other contact in the
        current path to the motor could reduce motor torque to the stall
        point yet still not activate the Gaugemaster.

        Short or leakage within the locomotive that shunts current away from
        the motor. Metal filings or loose piece of small metal attracted by
        the motor magnet can cause intermittant shorts.

        Intermittant short between wire turns in the motor winding.
      • Steven Delibert
        Is there a lighted car, another engine, or anything else that would be drawing power across the rails? That fools Gaugemaster because something is making
        Message 3 of 24 , Sep 29, 2003
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          Is there a lighted car, another engine, or anything else that would be
          drawing power across the rails?
          That fools Gaugemaster because "something" is making good contact.
          Steve Delibert
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Glen Chenier" <chenierfam@...>
          To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, September 29, 2003 1:53 PM
          Subject: [z_scale] Re: Poor performance (again ;-)


          > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "leon_hurst2001"
          > <leon_hurst2001@y...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Symptoms: a) Stalls at turnouts and b) sometimes stalls or slows
          > > while travelling on straight track (even though lamp on installed
          > > guagemaster is off indicating good contact!).
          >
        • leon_hurst2001
          No lighted cars, only the loco. No dirt on track (cleaned several times). I am pretty sure track is clean and guagemaster is working perfectly. Thus I think it
          Message 4 of 24 , Sep 29, 2003
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            No lighted cars, only the loco. No dirt on track (cleaned several
            times). I am pretty sure track is clean and guagemaster is working
            perfectly. Thus I think it is the loco. Still happy to hear if someone
            can compare experiences of a 3pole 2-6-0 steam loco against a new
            5pole 4-4 diesel loco for slow performance. Thanks all,
            Leon.

            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Steven Delibert" <STEVDEL@p...>
            wrote:
            > Is there a lighted car, another engine, or anything else that would
            be
            > drawing power across the rails?
            > That fools Gaugemaster because "something" is making good contact.
            > Steve Delibert
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: "Glen Chenier" <chenierfam@c...>
            > To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Monday, September 29, 2003 1:53 PM
            > Subject: [z_scale] Re: Poor performance (again ;-)
            >
            >
            > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "leon_hurst2001"
            > > <leon_hurst2001@y...> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Symptoms: a) Stalls at turnouts and b) sometimes stalls or slows
            > > > while travelling on straight track (even though lamp on
            installed
            > > > guagemaster is off indicating good contact!).
            > >
          • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
            ... steam loco against a new ... My five pole 4-6-0 [Pacific] runs well at all speeds. It likes to warm up for a few laps first, but then seems pretty stable.
            Message 5 of 24 , Sep 29, 2003
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              >Still happy to hear if someone can compare experiences of a 3pole 2-6-0
              steam loco against a new
              >5pole 4-4 diesel loco for slow performance.


              My five pole 4-6-0 [Pacific] runs well at all speeds. It likes to warm up
              for a few laps first, but then seems pretty stable. It has very low hours
              still. I am still without a Guagemaster, too.

              This is on a circuit without turnouts. {Test Oval 2x4 feet}

              T
            • Ralph Scott
              Hi Leon I had this very same trouble but with 0-6-0 diesel switcher 3 pole version 8864. so blaming the poor characteristics of 3 pole motors I purchased
              Message 6 of 24 , Sep 29, 2003
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                Hi Leon
                I had this very same trouble but with 0-6-0 diesel switcher 3 pole version 8864. so blaming the poor characteristics of 3 pole motors I purchased 88641 - 5 pole version. 88641 has pickup on all 3 axles . Slow speed operation was much improved but stalling still occurred on turnouts some times.. I then noticed somebody in this group mentioned the tiniest smear of Whal oil on the track improved things dramatically. I tried this and have no more problems!
                I found I could not by Whal oil in New Zealand anymore but found Bernina sewing machine oil was the same thing.
                Brush tension also makes a big difference.
                the type of controller you use also makes a big difference.
                It is nice to be able to perform remote controlled shunting at very low speeds!
                regards Ralph
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: leon_hurst2001
                To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 4:28 AM
                Subject: [z_scale] Poor performance (again ;-)


                Hi all,

                I know we all wage a never ending battle against poor loco running
                on our small Zscale layouts. I have just completed my first ever
                layout (a station) and am struggling with the *medium and slow speed*
                performance of my 3 pole 2-6-0 (0-4-0 electrically).

                Symptoms: a) Stalls at turnouts and b) sometimes stalls or slows
                while travelling on straight track (even though lamp on installed
                guagemaster is off indicating good contact!).

                Actions taken so far:
                a) stripped and clean the loco including cleaning the brushes and
                wheels with a chemical metal cleaner, and oiling the cogs.
                b) cleaned all track and points very carefully with a chemical metal
                cleaner. I now have the most beautiful gleaming tracks in all the
                world :-)
                c) installed Guagemaster track cleaner.

                The only thing I can think of now is that the 3 pole motor in the
                0-4-0 loco is causing this poor running, also the fact that the
                wheels are mounted on a fix frame (and lifting sometimes). Can anyone
                confirm that there is a big difference in slow speed performance
                between this 3 pole loco (8803) got with a starter pack and a new
                loco like a 88690/8820/8878? I am thinking to buy such a loco just to
                get the performance I seek.

                Many thanks to all :-)
                Leon.


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              • zbendtrack@aol.com
                ... Glad you liked the solution of Wahl oil. The use of Wahl oil goes back more than 45 years in the model magazines. I wasn t sure if it would work upside
                Message 7 of 24 , Sep 29, 2003
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                  Ralph:

                  > I then noticed somebody in this group mentioned the tiniest smear of Whal
                  > oil on the track improved things dramatically. I tried this and have no more
                  > problems!
                  >

                  Glad you liked the solution of Wahl oil. The use of Wahl oil goes back more
                  than 45 years in the model magazines. I wasn't sure if it would work upside
                  down in NZ, but I guess it does. <smile>

                  Gaugemaster devices work when the train wheels are *not* in contact with the
                  track. Wahl oil works when the wheels *are* in contact with the track by
                  helping to prevent oxides from forming on the tops of the rail.

                  If you missed the original post, only put one drop on your index finger and
                  then touch the track every meter. Then run trains. Its good for about 90 days
                  or more.

                  Many model shops carry it in stock. All barber supply outlets always have
                  it. A $2usd bottle contains about a 200 year supply for trains.

                  Hope this helps,
                  Bill K.
                  Houston


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • bill.foote
                  Leon There is no question that the current 5-pole motors have visibly superior characteristics compared with the earlier 3-pole motors I have both 3 & 5 pole
                  Message 8 of 24 , Sep 29, 2003
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                    Leon

                    There is no question that the current 5-pole motors have visibly superior
                    characteristics compared with the earlier 3-pole motors

                    I have both 3 & 5 pole versions of the class 74 2-6-0 Tank and the
                    difference is considerable

                    I also have a 5-pole Bo-Bo diesel class 218 (88781) which outperforms
                    comparable 3-pole models - it ran (slowly) for 7.5 hours unattended at a
                    show I "did" about 3 months ago

                    In both cases, slow running is excellent

                    HTH

                    Bill

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "leon_hurst2001" <leon_hurst2001@...>
                    To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Monday, September 29, 2003 7:37 PM
                    Subject: [z_scale] Re: Poor performance (again ;-)


                    > Still happy to hear if someone
                    > can compare experiences of a 3pole 2-6-0 steam loco against a new
                    > 5pole 4-4 diesel loco for slow performance. Thanks all,
                  • bill.foote
                    Leon There is no question that the current 5-pole motors have visibly superior characteristics compared with the earlier 3-pole motors I have both 3 & 5 pole
                    Message 9 of 24 , Sep 29, 2003
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                      Leon

                      There is no question that the current 5-pole motors have visibly superior
                      characteristics compared with the earlier 3-pole motors

                      I have both 3 & 5 pole versions of the class 74 2-6-0 Tank and the
                      difference is considerable

                      I also have a 5-pole Bo-Bo diesel class 218 (88781) which outperforms
                      comparable 3-pole models - it ran (slowly) for 7.5 hours unattended at a
                      show I "did" about 3 months ago

                      In both cases, slow running is excellent

                      HTH

                      Bill

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "leon_hurst2001" <leon_hurst2001@...>
                      To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Monday, September 29, 2003 7:37 PM
                      Subject: [z_scale] Re: Poor performance (again ;-)


                      > Still happy to hear if someone
                      > can compare experiences of a 3pole 2-6-0 steam loco against a new
                      > 5pole 4-4 diesel loco for slow performance. Thanks all,
                    • kianholstead
                      Leon, I just recieved a 88432 loc with the five pole motor and found it an incredible difference in running. I also have found that the blue Marklin
                      Message 10 of 24 , Sep 30, 2003
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                        Leon,

                        I just recieved a 88432 loc with the five pole motor and found it an
                        incredible difference in running. I also have found that the "blue"
                        Marklin transformer should not be used as they have very little
                        voltage control.

                        The five pole motors have made Z scale a whole new experience for me.

                        Kian
                      • leon_hurst2001
                        Thank you too all who responded. Looks like I need to buy a new loco :-) One question about this Whal Oil. How and why does it work? Oil is normally an
                        Message 11 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                          Thank you too all who responded. Looks like I need to
                          buy a new loco :-)

                          One question about this Whal Oil. How and why does it work?
                          Oil is normally an insulator so is there something special
                          with Whal oil that it is a conductor of electricity?

                          Many thanks and appreciation for your help,
                          Leon.


                          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "kianholstead" <kianholstead@y...>
                          wrote:
                          > Leon,
                          >
                          > I just recieved a 88432 loc with the five pole motor and found it
                          an
                          > incredible difference in running. I also have found that the "blue"
                          > Marklin transformer should not be used as they have very little
                          > voltage control.
                          >
                          > The five pole motors have made Z scale a whole new experience for
                          me.
                          >
                          > Kian
                        • Jeremy Brandon
                          ... The problem with the 3-pole motors (I don t think this has been mentioned) is called cogging . The three poles of the armature are strongly attracted to
                          Message 12 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                            --- "bill.foote" <bill.foote@v...> wrote:
                            > There is no question that the current 5-pole motors have visibly
                            > superior characteristics compared with the earlier 3-pole motors

                            The problem with the 3-pole motors (I don't think this has been
                            mentioned) is called "cogging". The three poles of the armature are
                            strongly attracted to the two poles of the magnet, giving six stable
                            positions per revolution. At slow speeds a relatively large torque is
                            needed to turn the armature between these positions. (You can see and
                            feel the cogging if you turn the motor with a toothpick!) Most
                            controllers are not able to give just the right amount of "oomph" to
                            kick the motor smoothly between the "cogs".

                            5-pole motors have 10 "cogs" and need less torque to turn from one to
                            another (try it!), so controllers have an easier job driving the
                            motor slowly and smoothly.

                            Cogging is avoided in can (Faulhaber/coreless) motors and by using
                            skew windings. Cogging can also be overcome by a suitable controller.

                            I have made a controller that copes with cogging, even in 3-pole
                            motors, and drives nearly all locos smoothly at very slow speeds, and
                            gives smooth acceleration and braking. Unfortunately I do not yet
                            have a design ready for production. I am still working on it!

                            Jeremy.
                          • zbendtrack@aol.com
                            ... Wahl oil is an antirust, anticorrosion agent that is clear as water, and as runny as water. It has no smell, and it is definitely NOT a lubricating oil
                            Message 13 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                              Leon:

                              > One question about this Whal Oil. How and why does it work?
                              > Oil is normally an insulator so is there something special
                              > with Whal oil that it is a conductor of electricity?
                              >
                              Here's a repeat of message #14415 from the archives:

                              > What is wahl oil?

                              Wahl oil is an antirust, anticorrosion agent that is clear as water, and as
                              "runny" as water. It has no smell, and it is definitely NOT a lubricating
                              oil as we know it.

                              The manufacturer's website is at:

                              <A HREF="http://www.wahlpro.com/l3/accesswp.htm">http://www.wahlpro.com/l3/accesswp.htm</A>

                              Normal use: The high-carbon steel clipper blades in electric hair cutting
                              razors would rust in days if some form of rust protection is not provided to
                              the surface of the blades. At the same time, can you image the mess that
                              would result if oil (as we know it) was applied to the blades, then the
                              cutter put into thin human hair? It would become a cat's fur-ball in a
                              second.

                              About 40+ years ago, some long forgotten model railroader discovered if you
                              applied Walh Oil to the tracks, it would prevent oxidation and improve
                              electrical performance for a month or more. It is still used today by large
                              clubs with large layouts that are monsters to clean.

                              The technique is to put a single drop on your index finger, then touch both
                              rails with your finger every meter or so. Then immediately run trains
                              normally. The wheels pick it up and spread it around nicely. You cannot see
                              it or feel it after its applied.

                              No, the loco wheels do not spin when it hits the "oil" nor do you trains fail

                              to climb hills. No, it does not build up on the wheels of the locos or cars
                              or track over time. Nor does it get into the scratch-and-pray electrical
                              systems. It does not dissolve plastics or nylon. No, its is NOT good for
                              any lubrication functions in train gears, motor bearings or anything else we
                              use in Z scale.

                              Do I believe in it? Absolutely. In the late 1980's I was involved with a
                              large N scale layout (25 meters x 15 meters) and every couple of months, you
                              could see the trains start to stutter from poor electrical connection to the
                              track. A standard track cleaning (any method of your choice) followed by a
                              Wahl Oil treatment kept the trains running perfectly for another 90 days.
                              Without Wahl Oil, the track had to be recleaned every couple of weeks.

                              Do I use it in Z scale? Yes. It works in Z too. But remember, only one
                              drop on your finger (its not toxic) and touch the rails once a meter. That's
                              it. A $2usd bottle is enough for 100 lifetimes. It compliments the
                              functions of a Relco unit, too. Relco's kick in when you LOOSE the track
                              circuit. Wahl oil helps to KEEP the track circuit in the first place.

                              And finally, no, it does not resolve the classic problem of 0-4-0 steamers
                              and Marklin dead-frog turnouts. That's a different problem.

                              Hope this helps,
                              Bill K.
                              Houston






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                            • The Prez
                              ... I have tried to order it from US many weeks ago but the shipping costs were the same of an elephant with its baby. Any seller in Europe? Could anyone in US
                              Message 14 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                                >The manufacturer's website is at:

                                ><A HREF="http://www.wahlpro.com/l3/accesswp.htm">http://www.wahlpro.com/l3/accesswp.htm</A>


                                I have tried to order it from US many weeks ago but the shipping costs were the same of
                                an elephant with its baby.

                                Any seller in Europe?

                                Could anyone in US ship me one or 2 pieces without using Fedex, DHL or similar?

                                I will refund through Paypal,

                                Alex

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Arjen
                                ... HREF= http://www.wahlpro.com/l3/accesswp.htm http://www.wahlpro.com/ l3/accesswp.htm ... costs were the same of ... I bought a bottle off my local
                                Message 15 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "The Prez" <alextrov@e...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >The manufacturer's website is at:
                                  >
                                  > ><A
                                  HREF="http://www.wahlpro.com/l3/accesswp.htm">http://www.wahlpro.com/
                                  l3/accesswp.htm</A>
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > I have tried to order it from US many weeks ago but the shipping
                                  costs were the same of
                                  > an elephant with its baby.
                                  >
                                  > Any seller in Europe?

                                  I bought a bottle off my local barber shop, here in Utrecht,
                                  Netherlands. Have you tried yours?

                                  Arjen Gerstel
                                  Utrecht
                                  The Netherlands
                                • The Prez
                                  ... I bought a bottle off my local barber shop, here in Utrecht, Netherlands. Have you tried yours? Uhm... is it the US one? I do not think barber shops sell
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    >
                                    >
                                    I bought a bottle off my local barber shop, here in Utrecht,
                                    Netherlands. Have you tried yours?

                                    Uhm... is it the US one? I do not think barber shops sell anything like that here
                                    and do not think there is that particular brand at all in Italy.
                                    maybe in some wholesale company for barber shops accessories.

                                    However I have found a Z friend in US that will ship 2 bottles to me.

                                    Thanks a lot,

                                    Alex



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                                  • Arjen
                                    ... like that here ... Yes, it is the US stuff, even says made in USA on the bottle. So, fellow Europeans, just ask your barber. Who knows. Arjen
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "The Prez" <alextrov@e...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > I bought a bottle off my local barber shop, here in Utrecht,
                                      > Netherlands. Have you tried yours?
                                      >
                                      > Uhm... is it the US one? I do not think barber shops sell anything
                                      like that here
                                      > and do not think there is that particular brand at all in Italy.
                                      > maybe in some wholesale company for barber shops accessories.
                                      >

                                      Yes, it is the US stuff, even says "made in USA" on the bottle. So,
                                      fellow Europeans, just ask your barber. Who knows.

                                      Arjen
                                    • bill.foote
                                      I very much doubt if _any_ barber shop will actually advertise Wahl Oil for sale - you need to talk nicely to your barber to see if he will either sell you his
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Oct 1, 2003
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                                        I very much doubt if _any_ barber shop will actually advertise Wahl Oil for
                                        sale - you need to talk nicely to your barber to see if he will either sell
                                        you his spare bottle or add one to his next barber-supplies order for you

                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "The Prez" <alextrov@...>
                                        To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 10:15 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [z_scale] Re: Poor performance (again ;-)


                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        >
                                        >
                                        I bought a bottle off my local barber shop, here in Utrecht,
                                        Netherlands. Have you tried yours?

                                        Uhm... is it the US one? I do not think barber shops sell anything like that
                                        here
                                        and do not think there is that particular brand at all in Italy.
                                        maybe in some wholesale company for barber shops accessories.
                                      • de Champeaux Dominique
                                        ... Uhh, unfortunately, here in France I don t know any barbershop selling any railroad model, so Z scale stuff in a barbershop, I let you imagine! It s sad,
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                                          > Yes, it is the US stuff, even says "made in USA" on
                                          > the bottle. So,
                                          > fellow Europeans, just ask your barber. Who knows.
                                          >
                                          > Arjen

                                          Uhh, unfortunately, here in France I don't know any
                                          barbershop selling any railroad model, so Z scale
                                          stuff in a barbershop, I let you imagine! It's sad, as
                                          I have 2 barbershops in a 100m radius around my home!
                                          Unfortunately it will be long before we have a
                                          barbershop beeing like the sample at Tehachapi, CA.
                                          Cheers
                                          Dominique

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                                        • zbendtrack@aol.com
                                          ... Suggestion: look for a barber supply outlet. Or a ladies beauty supply outlet. Anyone that sells hair clippers will probably sell Wahl oil to go with
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                                            All:

                                            > I very much doubt if _any_ barber shop will actually advertise Wahl Oil

                                            Suggestion: look for a barber supply outlet. Or a ladies beauty supply
                                            outlet. Anyone that sells hair clippers will probably sell Wahl oil to go with
                                            them.

                                            "Sally Beauty Supply" is a huge chain store operation in the USA that sells
                                            all manners of things ladies use to be "beautiful." Although I feel totally
                                            out place when in the store surrounded by ladies talking about things I know
                                            nothing about, I find many train things:

                                            - Wahl Oil
                                            - Funny little applicators (like ear swabs) that make great
                                            applicators for weathering and cleaning
                                            - Tiny brushes for painting, at a fraction of the price at "art" stores
                                            - Foam backed sandpaper files (cheap)
                                            - Makeup powders in earth tones for weathering
                                            - Tiny wood and metal "picks" to use in constructing things
                                            - Foam sponges for cleaning
                                            - Plastic bottles, both hard and squeeze types with long snouts
                                            - Strange looking clamps, excellent for use as a "3rd" hand
                                            - Plastic storage boxes with compartments

                                            I you take your wife with you, she will be pleased to explain what all these
                                            things are "supposed" to be used for.

                                            Hope this helps,
                                            Bill Kronenberger
                                            Houston




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                                          • tsa47
                                            Here in Canada I know Wal-Mart sell Wahl oil. ... Wahl Oil
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                                              Here in Canada I know Wal-Mart sell Wahl oil.




                                              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, zbendtrack@a... wrote:
                                              > All:
                                              >
                                              > > I very much doubt if _any_ barber shop will actually advertise
                                              Wahl Oil
                                              >
                                            • Bruce
                                              While trying various ways to clean the Marklin Z track on my first Z setup, he battery powered blue 0-6-0 and car and optional track set with 4 turnouts, I
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                                                While trying various ways to clean the Marklin Z track on my first Z
                                                setup, he battery powered blue 0-6-0 and car and optional track set
                                                with 4 turnouts, I tried rubbing a small scrap of the cork sheet I
                                                had cut and fit as roadbed under the track and found it wipes the
                                                rails quite well and doesn't snag switch points like cloth does. The
                                                cork picks up oxidation real well and can be cleaned somewhat with
                                                rubbing alchohol a time or two but that's more work then it's worth
                                                as a small piece of cork will last for several cleanings on the
                                                double loop I have set up.

                                                I've worked with HO and a little N since I was a kid and for some
                                                reason I have never heard of putting Whal hair clipper oil on track
                                                to improve smooth operating. I imagine the trick is to use just
                                                enough to dampen the rail surface without getting it noticably wet
                                                and would suspect any really thin oil, like sewing machine oil, would
                                                work.

                                                I also have found getting just the right spring pressure on the motor
                                                brushes in all scales I've worked with can make a very big difference
                                                in how a loco runs. New out of the box the Marklin 0-6-0 I have would
                                                not run at the lowest transformer settings (the white one that came
                                                with the optional track set) and would tend to suddenly take off as
                                                power was increased.

                                                I found after adjusting the tension on the motor brushes until I
                                                found the right pressure that allowed it to start and ran the best
                                                without sputtering from too little brush pressure the loco would
                                                start and run at the first contact of the transformer wiper so well
                                                that I ended up having to put a small resistance in line with one of
                                                the power supply wires to the track so the loco would start smoothly
                                                and not take off suddenly at the first voltage the power supply puts
                                                out.

                                                What I used to drop track starting voltage a bit was a two commonly
                                                available 1 amp power supply type diodes (the little black ones with
                                                a grey stripe at one end) connected in series with one of the power
                                                supply wires, and another pair facing the opposite way in parallel
                                                (must have one pair in each direction to allow power to flow both
                                                ways for forward and reverse).

                                                The voltage drop across many low power diodes like those often found
                                                in the power supplies of small electronic devices is typicaly .3
                                                to .5 volts, which makes them an ideal way to drop a little voltage
                                                when needed on low voltage circuits like model railroads and ham and
                                                cb radio panel lights that uses 12 vdc for the panel lights. It is
                                                also a good way to reduce the brilliance and add life span to
                                                lighting used in model railroad buildings powered by a fixed dc
                                                voltage source.

                                                Those 1 am power supply type diodes can often be found in bulk packs
                                                at Radio Shack or any electronic parts supplier and aren't expensive
                                                (if they are then go somewhere else). If you don't mind doing a
                                                little disassembly and unsoldering they can be got for free from
                                                cheap am-fm radios, tape recorders, and any smaller electronic device
                                                that has a built in power supply that is going to be thrown out as
                                                junk.

                                                Hope this is of some help to the group.

                                                Bruce

                                                >turnouts some times.. I then noticed somebody in this group
                                                >mentioned the tiniest smear of Whal oil on the track improved things
                                                >dramatically. I tried this and have no more problems!
                                                > I found I could not by Whal oil in New Zealand anymore but found
                                                >Bernina sewing machine oil was the same thing.


                                                > Brush tension also makes a big difference.
                                              • David George
                                                Bruce, Don t confuse Whal OIL with other lubricants. It is not a true OIL but is primarily an oxidation inhibitor and does not provide a lubricant effect.
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                                                  Bruce,
                                                  Don't confuse Whal "OIL" with other lubricants. It is not a true OIL but is primarily an oxidation inhibitor and does not provide a lubricant effect.
                                                  David G.
                                                  "G~B&CC RR"

                                                  Bruce <n1yn@...> wrote:
                                                  While trying various ways to clean the Marklin Z track on my first Z
                                                  setup, he battery powered blue 0-6-0 and car and optional track set
                                                  with 4 turnouts, I tried rubbing a small scrap of the cork sheet I
                                                  had cut and fit as roadbed under the track and found it wipes the
                                                  rails quite well and doesn't snag switch points like cloth does. The
                                                  cork picks up oxidation real well and can be cleaned somewhat with
                                                  rubbing alchohol a time or two but that's more work then it's worth
                                                  as a small piece of cork will last for several cleanings on the
                                                  double loop I have set up.

                                                  I've worked with HO and a little N since I was a kid and for some
                                                  reason I have never heard of putting Whal hair clipper oil on track
                                                  to improve smooth operating. I imagine the trick is to use just
                                                  enough to dampen the rail surface without getting it noticably wet
                                                  and would suspect any really thin oil, like sewing machine oil, would
                                                  work.

                                                  I also have found getting just the right spring pressure on the motor
                                                  brushes in all scales I've worked with can make a very big difference
                                                  in how a loco runs. New out of the box the Marklin 0-6-0 I have would
                                                  not run at the lowest transformer settings (the white one that came
                                                  with the optional track set) and would tend to suddenly take off as
                                                  power was increased.

                                                  I found after adjusting the tension on the motor brushes until I
                                                  found the right pressure that allowed it to start and ran the best
                                                  without sputtering from too little brush pressure the loco would
                                                  start and run at the first contact of the transformer wiper so well
                                                  that I ended up having to put a small resistance in line with one of
                                                  the power supply wires to the track so the loco would start smoothly
                                                  and not take off suddenly at the first voltage the power supply puts
                                                  out.

                                                  What I used to drop track starting voltage a bit was a two commonly
                                                  available 1 amp power supply type diodes (the little black ones with
                                                  a grey stripe at one end) connected in series with one of the power
                                                  supply wires, and another pair facing the opposite way in parallel
                                                  (must have one pair in each direction to allow power to flow both
                                                  ways for forward and reverse).

                                                  The voltage drop across many low power diodes like those often found
                                                  in the power supplies of small electronic devices is typicaly .3
                                                  to .5 volts, which makes them an ideal way to drop a little voltage
                                                  when needed on low voltage circuits like model railroads and ham and
                                                  cb radio panel lights that uses 12 vdc for the panel lights. It is
                                                  also a good way to reduce the brilliance and add life span to
                                                  lighting used in model railroad buildings powered by a fixed dc
                                                  voltage source.

                                                  Those 1 am power supply type diodes can often be found in bulk packs
                                                  at Radio Shack or any electronic parts supplier and aren't expensive
                                                  (if they are then go somewhere else). If you don't mind doing a
                                                  little disassembly and unsoldering they can be got for free from
                                                  cheap am-fm radios, tape recorders, and any smaller electronic device
                                                  that has a built in power supply that is going to be thrown out as
                                                  junk.

                                                  Hope this is of some help to the group.

                                                  Bruce

                                                  >turnouts some times.. I then noticed somebody in this group
                                                  >mentioned the tiniest smear of Whal oil on the track improved things
                                                  >dramatically. I tried this and have no more problems!
                                                  > I found I could not by Whal oil in New Zealand anymore but found
                                                  >Bernina sewing machine oil was the same thing.


                                                  > Brush tension also makes a big difference.



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                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • bill.foote
                                                  FWIIW the forward voltage drop in a Silicon Diode (the most usually found type these days) is 0.7 volt (the now almost completely obsolete Germanium Diode has
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Oct 2, 2003
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                                                    FWIIW the forward voltage drop in a Silicon Diode (the most usually found
                                                    type these days) is 0.7 volt (the now almost completely obsolete Germanium
                                                    Diode has a smaller forward voltage drop)

                                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                                    From: "Bruce" <n1yn@...>
                                                    To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2003 6:14 PM
                                                    Subject: [z_scale] Re: Poor performance (again ;-)
                                                    >
                                                    > What I used to drop track starting voltage a bit was a two commonly
                                                    > available 1 amp power supply type diodes (the little black ones with
                                                    > a grey stripe at one end) connected in series with one of the power
                                                    > supply wires, and another pair facing the opposite way in parallel
                                                    > (must have one pair in each direction to allow power to flow both
                                                    > ways for forward and reverse).
                                                    >
                                                    > The voltage drop across many low power diodes like those often found
                                                    > in the power supplies of small electronic devices is typicaly .3
                                                    > to .5 volts, which makes them an ideal way to drop a little voltage
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