Electrical continuity through pointwork

ebay mike

ebay mike

Registered
6 Dec 2011
2,045
445
Norfolk
#1
Having set myself a mammoth task of relaying all my trackwork I've started to tackle an intermittent problem with points. After about 12 months use I found some of my points were developing deadspots, usually the moving switchblade. I had been using a temporary fix by clamping short lengths of wire to existing good feed points, but the problem has spread further to the fixed rail between the moving blade and the frog. This second fault has until now been restricted to Piko and Aristo makes. Close examination reveals significant corrosion on the fixing points of the jumper wires. I've now spent a whole day soldering permanent connections to overcome the problem. Have others had the same experience with those brands in particular? I now have a another question. I am considering incorporating a couple of loco yards/sheds fed from my outer circuit. To maintain the extra large radius I propose to use some LGB R5 points as the initial take off from the main line. What connectivity problems might arise from these points? How will short wheelbase locos (such as Stainz) behave.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,511
3,131
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
#2
First the question of LGB Connectivity problems. I have for a while been putting in Soldered Jumper Wires to stop these happening. Even the pressed sort of rivitybines can be an issue in time so what you are doing is good practice. I even done the same to some new Train Lime points bought just recently.

As for LGB R5's we used them on the Ruschbahn. Biggest problem we found was that the Plastic Frog tended to lift at the very point. Andy put some small BA Screws in to stop this. May be worth doing when new or before you lay. Just be sure that the head is well below the Rail Level, I think Andy used a Countersink prior to placing his screws.

I also seam to remember a few jumper wires on some of them as with all LGB Points, those pesky feeds on LGB just do not last for ever.

Oh I also do the same thing with Peco Points as well.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,243
453
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
#3
It's been well documented on this site in the past the problems with Piko points and corrosion of the screws used to secure the "jumper" wires. I think on later issues they upped their quality control to minimise the risks of this problem. Never had any issues with my LGB R5's, they have been down laid directly to ballast on a prone to damp shaded line for some 12 years. I've always thought of them as bomb proof. But given what Jon is saying I might just keep a look out if I experience problems. Again I have no problems with my dinky Accucraft 0-4-0 Porter traversing my R5's.

The only problem I've ever had has been with my similarly radiused GRS built code 332 rail/wood sleepered points. They use brass wire busses between the rails and they had managed to de-solder themselves on two of 4 points feeding into my diamond crossing. Had me scratching my head for a while before I spotted it. Max

Dinky Porter

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ebay mike

ebay mike

Registered
6 Dec 2011
2,045
445
Norfolk
#4
Thanks Jon & Max. Points noted - pun not intended. I've just run a test meter over my R5s (which I bought s/h but never used) and there's no continuity on the moving blades. Time to get the soldering iron out again.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
13,511
3,131
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
#5
Thanks Jon & Max. Points noted - pun not intended. I've just run a test meter over my R5s (which I bought s/h but never used) and there's no continuity on the moving blades. Time to get the soldering iron out again.
Oh further to the R5's, forgot to mention that inside the frog check rails are Metal Inserts that are helpful for small locomotives pickup. The Wheel Flanges ride on them, we also found that these benefited from a regular clean with very fine Wet and Dry. We used Corpets for the Branch on the Ruschbahn and they were quite critical of less than perfectly clean track.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
22,954
3,092
North West Norfolk
#6
I think the answer is that even our code 332 track is a comparatively small section of metal and, when faced with 1:1 weather, electrical continuity and moving parts at this scale will always be things that require more active maintenance over the years In the building / service industry referred to as PPM - Planned Preventative Maintenance, although for most of us with our model railways, we don't plan it, we wait for failure, which is probably not an inappropriate strategy.

My USAT #6 turnout needed a bit of re-soldering on a jumper wire terminal having been outside for a few years :nod::nod:
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
1,994
514
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
#7
So, on switches that have jumpers underneath, often the fix is clean, reconnect and then put silicone rubber on the joint.

I use only Aristo switches now, and the puny wires underneath were subject to corrosion, steel screws, copper wire and stainless steel rail, all sitting in moist ballast.

I use split jaw clamps, and I use the small single "power" ones, to connect the two outer stock rails to the "frog rails" first.. this makes power flow past the switch in a reliable manner.

Then, I'm sure to keep the contacts under the moving rails clean with an occasional shot of anti-corrosion spray.

Also, underneath, the pivot points are kept lubed.

On the #6 switches, I supply power to the frog from an external microswitch inside the switch motor.

Greg