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Re: Poor performance (again ;-)

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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      • 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 3 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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