Electrical Connections

TTaannggss

retired for 2 years after 40 years at a hospital
29 Jan 2022
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I got the train running on my track outside. Did not take long for electrical issues to start. What can I use to better my electrical connections. Graphite grease? Thanks for your help.
 

Greg Elmassian

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Need to know:

  1. manufacturer and metal of track
  2. type/brand of rail joiners
  3. was the track used? if so did you clean the base of the rails first? how?
  4. power connection type - how did you connect the wire to the rail
  5. power connection places (placement and number)
  6. gauge of wire to supply the track, length
  7. type of power supply (volts and amps best, otherwise model)
  8. what kind of problems?
  9. what locos?

Greg
 

TTaannggss

retired for 2 years after 40 years at a hospital
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Ok. I will start to get that info. It was running fine then ran into problems at the joints. The track is just laying on the ground and not secured to anything. So bound to have some problems to work out.
 

Paul M

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As it's obviously laid temporarily at the moment, a quick squeeze of the fish plates might help.
 

Greg Elmassian

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When you get get me some of the information, then I can help make recommendations on what you should have done, and now how to correct it, and how to go forwards.

Without knowing specifics (like joiner type) it's just wasting keystrokes.

Greg
 

Rhinochugger

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When you get get me some of the information, then I can help make recommendations on what you should have done, and now how to correct it, and how to go forwards.

Without knowing specifics (like joiner type) it's just wasting keystrokes.

Greg
:nod::nod: and it's a well trodden path :p
 

TTaannggss

retired for 2 years after 40 years at a hospital
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Ok sounds good. You can see it on utube. Garden Railway first run in Canada.
 

phils2um

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I have a whole bunch of used Split-Jaw over-joiner rail clamps available that I will let go at a reasonable price. Send me a PM if you are interested.
 

Greg Elmassian

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I have a whole writeup on wiring and joiners and clamps


Greg
 

TTaannggss

retired for 2 years after 40 years at a hospital
29 Jan 2022
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Ok thanks. With my ho scale I just sodder the main line. Garden tracks are too pricy to wreck them like that. I do like the look of having the tracks directly on the clay earth. Today I started putting small nails into the track holes. This will give the tracks a bit more stability.
 

Paul M

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I do like the look of having the tracks directly on the clay earth.
I agree it does look good, but it will come at a great cost of cleaning. Clay and grit stuck in your engines will in no way improve it's running abilities, and dirt has a way of getting into every little crevice going, especially after rain. That's why a decent firm base is desirable
 

dunnyrail

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Ok. I will start to get that info. It was running fine then ran into problems at the joints. The track is just laying on the ground and not secured to anything. So bound to have some problems to work out.
As Paul says no matter the type of track as you are into testing trying to find out what you want squeezing the fishplates in just by the rail will keep you going for some time. Once the track has tarnished putting graphite paste in would have little effect. However if your track is LGB, Piko, Trainline 45, Aristo (or other code 332) then using Massoth Clamps may be a worthwhile though, as these are screw fitted (remove the old fishplates) alterations are quite simple and they will keep your track nicely connected over rough terrain. You do not need to clean the track either when fitting them as the screw will score its own clean bit as you tighten them up. Of course you will still need to clean the top surface for good wheel electrical contact.

As for your YT vid, I could not find it. I tend to copy the link then paste it into a thread like I have on my signature line below.
 

JimmyB

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Ok thanks. With my ho scale I just sodder the main line. Garden tracks are too pricy to wreck them like that. I do like the look of having the tracks directly on the clay earth. Today I started putting small nails into the track holes. This will give the tracks a bit more stability.
Be cautious about pinning the track and using clamps, the track need to expand and with clamps the whole section of track moves, but if pinning can cause issues.
 

dunnyrail

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Be cautious about pinning the track and using clamps, the track need to expand and with clamps the whole section of track moves, but if pinning can cause issues.
Jimmy he is just putting nails through track into the ground, I cant see that being too much of a problem using clamps as well.
 

TTaannggss

retired for 2 years after 40 years at a hospital
29 Jan 2022
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Yes just pinning the track into the earth. Tomorrow I will get 10 gage wiring for the transformer not frayed is the plan. I will look around for the screw connectors. Yesterday I got more nails and dielectrical grease.
 

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TTaannggss

retired for 2 years after 40 years at a hospital
29 Jan 2022
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That was my first run 2 days ago. The engine ran rather smooth. My back yard looks much better than that already.
 

Paul M

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I know by experience that having track under a tree like that will cause no end of the old Leaves on the Line scenario. Mind you most of us do it!
 

Greg Elmassian

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Looks really nice... I would suggest you eliminate the extra curves you see in the beginning of the video, the first S curves.

By watching the coupler on the front end of the loco, you see it swinging out past the rails, in an S curve you have 2 cars trying to swing past the rails in OPPOSITE directions.

Also, you need to check your loco out, sounds like one of the axles has a worn gear or a cracked axle (wheels slip in the gear casting)

Greg
 

TTaannggss

retired for 2 years after 40 years at a hospital
29 Jan 2022
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Ya it looks neat. I am very happy with my layout. I will probably get more track but in no rush to do so. I could not get my battery steam engine to work. I got it in the late 90s and has been sitting in my damp basement since. I was hoping to use it as a track cleaner/snow plow but maybe I will not need one. The layout goes under ever greens but I get lots of leaves in the fall. It is all good I just have to get my connections to work better.