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Re: Dirt elimination by alternating current ?

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  • Jeffrey MacHan
    Wolfgang et al, I have been using Relco High Frequency generators on my layout since 1993. I have one installed in each section of the Val Ease Central. I
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 7, 1999
      Wolfgang et al,

      I have been using Relco High Frequency generators on my layout since 1993.
      I have one installed in each section of the Val Ease Central. I have
      noticed significant improvement of train operation in that runing time
      between locomotive driver cleaning is greatly increased.

      I must point out that the Relco units are not sold as track cleaners but are
      identified on the packaging as follows:

      "Relco makes your train go...eliminates the frustration of dirt on tracks."

      The label is correct, it does not clean the tracks but improves locomotive
      running on track that has some oxidation buildup and oil and dirt deposits.
      It works by generating a high frequency, low voltage AC current when DC flow
      is interupted by dirt etc. As long as there is DC current flow the unit is
      not generating HF. That means that if you have installed a constant low
      voltage light circuit in your locos the Relco unit will not switch on even
      if the motor commutator is fouled. If you are running multi-unit lashups,
      as I do, the Relco unit will not switch on even if one of the locos stalls.

      It is important to note that the unit will not work where other HF systems
      are in place such as HF lighting systems and sound through the rail

      My layout is equiped with sound through the rail of sorts. I use the MRC
      7000 sound generator which is connected in parallel to the track DC. Since
      I use a common return I was able to instal the Relco system on one rail and
      get at least half the advantage of a HF ionization system. How do I know it
      works? When there is no DC load, I can feel the HF tingle in my finger tips
      as I run them lightly over the track.

      Relco states that the unit is safe for use with Z scale, AC and DC motors.
      It generates power output of 1/8 watt. Although the frequency is not
      stated, I have read elsewhere that such systems operate in the 20 khz range.

      Relco is a UK company. Contact them at

      Relco UK Ltd.
      Shakespeare Street
      Watefor, Herts, WD2 5HD, England

      I paid $27 Canadian for my units (4 in all) since I am planning on expanding
      the layout as you know.

      As for radio frequency interference, the Relco units come with a ceramic
      capacitor which must be installed across the ouput leads of the DC
      transformer otherwise you will will probable get noise on your cordless
      phone and TV!

      I personaly recommend the unit in most circumstances. It does work but it
      does not clean the track or burn off the dirt. It only creates a ionized
      field which restores current flow. The dirt is still there and you'll have
      to get out the rubbing alcohol and your cleaning tool.

      More on my cleaning techniques in a future diatribe.

      Later, fellow ZZZzzz's

      >From: WBolt1809@...
      >Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
      >To: zlist@...
      >CC: Z_Scale@onelist.com
      >Subject: [z_scale] Dirt elimination by alternating current ?
      >Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 19:10:14 EDT
      >From: WBolt1809@...
      >Hello all Zers !
      >Keeping tracks clean, is a task we face every day.....
      >Besides cleaning mecanically, there seems to be a way of doing this with
      >"current". I was told so by Glenn & Sandy Styska from Largo/Florida. The
      >system is called "RELCO".
      >Does anybody know, whether there is a system available in Europe - any
      >personal experiences ?
      >Mr. Harald Freudenreich pointed out that there could be interferences and
      >disturbances to cordless/cellular telephones and TV, due to the high
      >alternating current frequencies used by RELCO.... - Can you find out from
      >technical data sheet of the Welco-system, what frequency/ies and other data
      >are used to have this amazing effect ?
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