Checking the track with your tongue?

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Checking the track with your tongue?
Posted by dbaker48 on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 1:00 PM

Good Afternoon,

I did the unthinkable!  I have acquired a new (to me) engine, and actually read the User Manual.  The engine is a Norfolk Southern, and maybe this version of the manual was intended for the Southern states, not sure.

On page 42, the DCS section, the following information is provided:

Start-up (Problem)
"When I apply power to the track my engine doesn't do anything.  No lights, no sound, no nothing."

Solution
- "This is normal.  You have to hit the Start-Up button."
- "Check to see if that section of track has power.  Use a voltmeter or a lit passenger car, not your tongue."

I am curious, is this a common practice?  Placing your tongue on the track, with or without power on the track.  I've never tried this it might be a tingling experience.  

Don

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Posted by lionelsoni on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 5:38 PM

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 6:37 PM

Sure!  Why not?  Get it up to about 20 volts and REALLY get your tongue waggin'!  Laugh

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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Posted by lionelsoni on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 9:50 PM

I was in an HO model-railroad club in college.  We used a 24-volt-DC occupancy detection method.  You wouldn't notice it if you just touched the track accidentally, but you learned not to lean on it when reaching for something in the interior of the layout.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 10:39 PM

All these years...

Lugging around that voltmeter.

Never realized there's a simpler way.

Here's something: 

a coupler spring fell out of a Marx car, and landed on the track. That LW melted it !

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Posted by EIS2 on Friday, September 14, 2018 10:34 AM

I almost always test 9v batteries with my tongue.  Afterall, I always have my tongue with me, but rarely have a voltmeter with me.  I can quite accurately tell the state of a 9v battery from dead, partially charged to fully charged with my tongue.  

My tongue is much more handy than a DVM.

 

Earl

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Posted by ChiefEagles on Friday, September 14, 2018 6:07 PM

Had sweaty arms and reached across one track to lift somethng off another one.  The one I leaned across had 19 V AC.  Left arm went across all three rails.  Tingled me some.  Doesn't bother me.  First time I've felt it in years.  Sweaty arm is why. 

 God bless TCA 05-58541   Benefactor Member of the NRA,  Member of the American Legion,   Boss Hog of Roseyville Laugh,   KC&D QualifiedCowboy       

              

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Posted by lionelsoni on Friday, September 14, 2018 8:15 PM

I had never thought that much about this before, but I think that 3-rail track may have significantly less shocking capability than 2-rail track.  I imagine that the outside rails would take most of the force when a (deformable) body part is pressed down on the track, with very little force on the center rail.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, September 15, 2018 8:50 AM

Like EIS2, I've checked 9 volt batteries with my tongue, but it never entered my mind to check track voltage in the same manner!

On the other hand, years back when I put a layout under the Christmas tree our two Basset Hounds at the time, Tristan and Siegfried, checked the voltage for me by sniffing the track and bridging the center and outer rails with their cold wet noses.

Their hysterical infuriated barking at the layout afterward sure let me know those lines were hot!

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Posted by mersenne6 on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 6:50 PM

Of course, everyone is assuming you are running trains that have an actual transformer - I wouldn't try using your tongue or any other part of your anatomy to check to see if there was voltage for any of the pre-war starkstrombahnen electric trains - 220 volts straight from the wall to the track.  

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 11:32 PM

There was a story in one of the mags years ago. A man had modeled a trolley line. He was using Hamilton Beach blender motors in the trolleys, and straight 110 in the overhead wire.

Shocking... absolutely shocking....

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Posted by fifedog on Thursday, September 20, 2018 6:35 AM

Stick out tongue Oh-tae, can thumbody path me an ithekoob...

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