CS3 Problems

duncan1_9_8_4

Real Ale, Camping It Up, Traveling and the likes.
25 Oct 2009
2,972
456
37
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Country flag
Right, 2 hours continuous running from 7am today. The two street lamps disconnected from the main line (rails). With them disconnected, I cannot for the life of me get the points to be unresponsive, or lose control of a locomotive. At 8am, I reconnected the two street lamps to the rails. Within 5 minutes the points became unresponsive while a loco was moving. Stop the locomotive, the points work again, as if somehow reseting the system. Anyway, on it went for half hour. Until I disconnected the street lights again, and guess what, all is perfect. I will of course keep an eye on it, but for now I am happy. All these problems seemingly caused by 2 little bulbs. I will find a new power source for my 2 bulbs/street lights.

And to finish off, I have put the USA trains caboose on, lights off, all good. Lights on, the same problems. Its seemingly the b@#&+y bulbs.
 
Last edited:

jimmielx

45mm gauge track - approx 16mm scale (1:19)
24 Oct 2009
765
33
Hastings, UK
Country
United-Kingdom
Country flag
I deed would certainly be worth testing to see if they made a difference, for what it is worth such things should be fed via a DCC lighting unit. Or even an old out of date Loco Chip.
This has been a very interesting thread!
Glad it seems that Duncan has got his problems resolved.
Jon, do you know why you shouldn’t have incandescent lamps connected to the DCC track power? I do, in some rolling stock, without problems, but it’s always interesting to understand the theory behind all this stuff. May be helpful in the future.
 

duncan1_9_8_4

Real Ale, Camping It Up, Traveling and the likes.
25 Oct 2009
2,972
456
37
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Country flag
This has been a very interesting thread!
Glad it seems that Duncan has got his problems resolved.
Jon, do you know why you shouldn’t have incandescent lamps connected to the DCC track power? I do, in some rolling stock, without problems, but it’s always interesting to understand the theory behind all this stuff. May be helpful in the future.
Interesting is one way of putting it. The CS3 nearly got launched across the living room! I asked my supplier, Mr Lamming at PS, and he wrote, 'Hi Paul I have heard of this before what you should do if you have lights connected on DCc circuit is incorporate a filter but by the time you have f#&*+d about with that I always use a separate transformer for lighting .A bulb will work ac or DC but as you are using ac I suspect the low frequency of a bulb always intefers with the high frequency of the DCc circuit'
 

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
Country flag
The two street lamps disconnected from the main line (rails). With them disconnected, I cannot for the life of me get the points to be unresponsive, or lose control of a locomotive. At 8am, I reconnected the two street lamps to the rails. Within 5 minutes the points became unresponsive while a loco was moving. Stop the locomotive, the points work again, as if somehow reseting the system.

You are powering the lights, incandescent I assume, directly from the track with no control between the track and the lamps. Have you tried a small bridge rectifier to smooth the lamp power out!
 

duncan1_9_8_4

Real Ale, Camping It Up, Traveling and the likes.
25 Oct 2009
2,972
456
37
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Country flag
You are powering the lights, incandescent I assume, directly from the track with no control between the track and the lamps. Have you tried a small bridge rectifier to smooth the lamp power out!
I could try it but I have an old transformer I will use only for lights.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
20,580
4,041
73
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
This has been a very interesting thread!
Glad it seems that Duncan has got his problems resolved.
Jon, do you know why you shouldn’t have incandescent lamps connected to the DCC track power? I do, in some rolling stock, without problems, but it’s always interesting to understand the theory behind all this stuff. May be helpful in the future.
No but probably DC as apposed to AC and it blows them?
 

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
5,624
746
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Country flag
I think it's an issue of poor power supply (resistance in joints), noise on the system from poor connections, and that there are other sources of noise to the DCC system.

Incandescent bulbs do no make noise on their own, but could distort the DCC waveform.

I don't think the problem(s) are all solved. Notice the light in the caboose still causes the issue too.

I have never had a lighted caboose cause issues, USAT or Aristo.

Greg
 

Neil Robinson

Registered
24 Oct 2009
9,556
555
N W Leicestershire
Country flag
I asked my supplier, Mr Lamming at PS, and he wrote, 'Hi Paul I have heard of this before what you should do if you have lights connected on DCc circuit is incorporate a filter but by the time you have f#&*+d about with that I always use a separate transformer for lighting.
Interesting, especially as Paul has the opportunity to gain much more practical experience than most.

I suspect many members use DCC and incandescents without problems but this is useful to know if a problem arises.

Of choice I would now use rechargeable battery powered LED lighting, but I don't bother to replace existing installations. The upper train's loco is now DCC fitted but still has incandescent bulbs in the coaches. It runs fine on my Piko 5A set up



2nite1 (640 x 572).jpg
 
Last edited:

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
5,624
746
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Country flag
I have 20 or 30 lighted cars (mostly incandescent), no issues. (not lit through decoders, bulbs directly across the rails)

Incandescent bulbs are often used in series with the DCC track power feed as a cheap "current limiter" for shorts.

Other components cause issues, notably noise capacitors which can "short out" the DCC signal.

Greg
 
Last edited:

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
1,006
375
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Country
United-States
Country flag
The CS3 nearly got launched across the living room!
That was my feeling too. But my problem only happened if I had more than 1 loco running. Still very frustrating! Since dividing my RR into two zones with separate boosters my issue which was almost identical to yours has pretty much resolved itself. I do have all my track powered incandescent lighting, primarily passenger wagons, powered through decoders now. I've also replaced many of the old LGB bulbs with these: Schönwitz 01-03-13-01 Gauge Neutral LED Leuchtmittel 600100 E5.5 Fassung warmweiß 12V bis 22V modellbahnshop-lippe.com
 

duncan1_9_8_4

Real Ale, Camping It Up, Traveling and the likes.
25 Oct 2009
2,972
456
37
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Country flag
I have just replaced 2 joins with clamps after I found 2 more. The results are brilliant on what has changed the main circuit circuit current. Now 0.283/0.292.
Incidentally, its the join where once the train had passed over, I was losing control of points, also since cured for disconnection of the bulbs. So if anything, at least the main circuit current has come down by approx half since this thread started (with no loco on circuit)
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
20,580
4,041
73
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
So your problem was certainly tarnished fishplates, a lesson to those that think either bonding or track clamps are unnecessary. Tarnished joints will get you in the end.
 

duncan1_9_8_4

Real Ale, Camping It Up, Traveling and the likes.
25 Oct 2009
2,972
456
37
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Country flag
So your problem was certainly tarnished fishplates, a lesson to those that think either bonding or track clamps are unnecessary. Tarnished joints will get you in the end.
That was the worst fish plates I have done so far. To look at them they were perfect. Taking them off they were absolutely grey/black tarnished as was the rail inside. Particularly bad I believe, because they were at the bottom of an incline, and obviously the rain water runs into the gaps over time. IMG_20210823_130750.jpg
 

duncan1_9_8_4

Real Ale, Camping It Up, Traveling and the likes.
25 Oct 2009
2,972
456
37
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Country flag
How about a picture of the fishplates you are using? Would be nice to see an example, tarnished if possible.

I use ones that cannot tarnish.
Here is one of the fish plates, I believe it is a Piko one that comes as standard on their track. Can't be more thab 3 years old. IMG_20210824_072402.jpg IMG_20210824_072355.jpg
 

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
5,624
746
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Country flag
You have a lot of oxidation there....

So you did not put any grease in those joiners at all?

I'm guessing you rail gets wet a lot.

Clearly that joiner will not be re-used.

May I recommend rail clamps as opposed to doing this every 3 years?

Greg
 

duncan1_9_8_4

Real Ale, Camping It Up, Traveling and the likes.
25 Oct 2009
2,972
456
37
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Country flag
You have a lot of oxidation there....

So you did not put any grease in those joiners at all?

I'm guessing you rail gets wet a lot.

Clearly that joiner will not be re-used.

May I recommend rail clamps as opposed to doing this every 3 years?

Greg
Yes Greg, I have an ongoing program of replacing them. I never put grease on them when i laid the track. Just bought another 20 clamps, and will be working my way through some more, until they are all done. Im very impressed with how it has started to lower the current in the track, which a few pointed out to me at the start of this thread, but I had no idea what it should have been, believing it was just normal.
 

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
1,006
375
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Country
United-States
Country flag
I've got a couple of stretches of track that do not have the benefit of my "belt & suspenders" multiple feeders and clamps. Many of the clamps on these sections are of the Split-Jaw over-joiner type . I think, given your experience, I'll be removing the joiners (fishplates) and replacing them with direct on the rail Massoth or Split-Jaw clamps. (I've got a stash of both.) The over-joiner clamps seem to work pretty well but I like the idea of eliminating hidden spots where corrosion could be lurking even though I also used Massoth MM1 graphite lubricant in the joiners. I was reluctant to desecrate my LGB sectional track by removing the joiners in the past. But, I'd much rather have reliable running so off with their heads...err...joiners!;)
 
Last edited:

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
20,580
4,041
73
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
I've got a couple of stretches of track that do not have the benefit of my "belt & suspenders" multiple feeders and clamps. Many of the clamps on these sections are of the Split-Jaw over-joiner type . I think, given your experience, I'll be removing the joiners (fishplates) and replacing them with direct on the rail Massoth or Split-Jaw clamps. (I've got a stash of both.) The over-joiner clamps seem to work pretty well but I like the idea of eliminating hidden spots where corrosion could be lurking even though I also used Massoth MM1 graphite lubricant in the joiners. I was reluctant to desecrate my LGB sectional track by removing the joiners in the past. But, I'd much rather have reliable running so off with their heads...err...joiners!;)
There are many who worry about ‘desecrating’ LGB or even Piko track by removing the fishplates, there are many ways to do it some more destructive than others. Certainly Duncan has found one of the destructive methods. I found that the destructive methods not only trashed the fishplates but also the track. This is one of the better ones.


Post 44 is another that I prefer as it is so seamless and works with points and long lengths if track with a middle fishplate.
 

duncan1_9_8_4

Real Ale, Camping It Up, Traveling and the likes.
25 Oct 2009
2,972
456
37
Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Country flag
To remove a fish plate where one end of the plate is hooked into the sleeper, I get a flat head screwdriver and tease open the sides so that they are wider than the rail bottom, then force it down into the ballast so it pops out of the sleeper, leaving the rail in the chair of the sleeper. Not bothered about destructing the fish plate as they are useless in that state anyway, and i can use that method because my track is floating in ballast, meaning I can force the fish plate down. This way I have to lift no track what so ever, and fit the clamp, with the track, and ballast in situ, and undisturbed.

I once tried over fishplate clamps, they make the situation better, but it ultimately the problem comes back.