Short Dockside Switcher switches directions over switches and cross

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Short Dockside Switcher switches directions over switches and cross
Posted by richardm47 on Sunday, December 1, 2019 11:27 PM
I recently found a nice "0-4-0 Steam Dockside Switcher".   I have an ancient O27 oval with 4 ancient switches to form an oval with a cross ...  I used to run an old 2-4-2 scout.  It  looked out of place pulling only 3 cars to my 3 operating sites....but it was pretty cool to change directions and get the cars to where I needed them. This little 0-4-0 looks great.  The problem is that it cannot always go over the switches or the cross without switching directions.    I resurrected an old dump car that has feet and solenoid rather than the modern single magnet.  Now that I have it running,  it too, either uncouples or causes problems over the switches and cross.  Hmmm. Outside of upgrading to better track and switches, is there a way to prevent this....  I never had the problem with the 2-4-2, but then it is a longer engine.  Thanks for a great forum..... I spent almost two hours reading cool solutions and suggestions, before I got around to posting this.
Hope you all enjoy this special season... It's always fun to change the layout to reflect Christmas.....  Always in TRAINing.  Richard.
PS.... Can whooever moniters this 4um, PLEASE get "SPEL CJECK" on it!!?
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Posted by TrainLarry on Monday, December 2, 2019 10:33 AM

The problem with your switcher changing directions is usually caused by the momentary loss of power to the pickup roller(s) as the switcher traverses the gaps in the switches and crossover. There are a couple of ways to alleviate this problem.

One is to add a pick up to a car behind the switcher and hard-wire it to the switcher so there is always power to it when traversing the gaps in the track.

The second solution is to lock the 'E' unit on the switcher into forward, eliminating the problem.

*Spell check is proofreading before you post.

 

Larry

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Posted by sir james I on Monday, December 2, 2019 11:36 AM

You didn't give us a maker or number for your 0-4-0. Clean the rollers and drivers also switch rails if necessary. As for the cars, slide shoes have always caused problems on switches. They can derail or uncouple. 

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

  Charter Member- Tardis Train Crew (TTC) - TCA  - Detroit3railers-  Detroit Historical society Glancy Modular trains- Charter member BTTS

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Posted by richardm47 on Monday, December 2, 2019 11:05 PM

The dockside is a "Lionel 0-4-0  and the rollers are clean.... Great suggestion about hard wiring another car with pickup... only problem is the second car is the guilty dump car with mag uncouplers to boot.  Can I still use it?  and somehow add a pickiup roller, without interfereing with uncoupling or dump?  Or I might have to add a different 2nd car in front of the dump car.  But then would the dump car still cause problems?  I could easily go back to the "modern" single mag dump car.   But I like the fact the the old style returns to upright.

Always in TRAINing and tinkering.  Richrd.

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Posted by TrainLarry on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 10:31 AM

Please give us the number of the locomotive and dump car. Are these postwar or modern trains? Depending on the exact dump car, it may be able to add a pickup roller to it.

We need this information to help you. A picture of the underside of the truck of the dump car would be of great help.

 

Larry

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Posted by richardm47 on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 10:42 PM

The dockside is a modern 027 numbered 3459 and Lionel 8240-45.  The dump car is an older 1946-1948? #3459.   I'm wondering if I can add the 3rd pick up to the front of the engine.  There is already a bar there on the bottom, and it would make the distance between the farthest rollers about the same as my 2-6-2.   Not much I can do about the dump car.... the contacts keep opening the knuckle couplers...   I might put it on my shelf next to the other 4 cars of that vintage.... '47 is my year.    and just use the newer single button dump.  At least the engine will stop reversing...  Of course I can just switch off the directional control,,, but what's the fun in that"   Or I can upgrade to O track and switches or at least the newer 027 switches. However "she who allows me to live with her" doesn't think I should spend more money on my "toys'.   Thanks for hte suggestions.... I love to tinker... Always in TRAINing.  Richard. I loaded the images to our o-gauge club facebook page, and copied them here.  I hope they work. 

Liionle dockside 8240-45    bottom front "bar" of the dockside bottom of the 3459 dump car

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Posted by TrainLarry on Thursday, December 5, 2019 6:23 AM

I cannot find any references to the numbers of the Dockside Switcher you reference.

From your Facebook post, it seems you have a Lionel #6-8209 Dockside Switcher.

As to adding another pickup to the Switcher, unless you are very handy and can modify the loco, there is only one thing you can do - run the loco faster, so that it does not stall on the switches and reverse direction.

For your dump car problem, sliding shoe pickups have always been a problem on switches, with the couplers opening. The solution is to slowly push the dump car over the switch until the sliding shoe touches the switch and the coupler opens. Remove the car, and put a small piece of electrical tape on that spot. A more permanent solution would be to paint the affected spot, as the paint would be an electrical insulator.

 

Larry

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Posted by richardm47 on Thursday, December 5, 2019 11:50 AM

Thanks, Larry.  Paint is a great idea... and I think I can find some "conducting" paint to "shorten" the gap on the cross...  and that's a lot less work than fabricating a new pickup roller...  Although, not to brag, but I'm pretty good at kit bashing and fabrication... We spent over 30 years in Alaska... (relocated for family in 2004)  When things broke, there was no quick trip to Home Despot.  The nearest all purpose hardware store -- remember those? -- was a 40 mile round trip.

Thanks for the "obvious" simple solution.   

tinkering is part of the hobby.  Always in TRAINing.  Richard.

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