Re: Dirt elimination by alternating current ?
- 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.
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
>Subject: [z_scale] Dirt elimination by alternating current ?
>Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 19:10:14 EDT
>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 ?