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Walthers/Shinohara 83 Turnout Problem

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JXC
  • Member since
    January, 2016
  • From: Vancouver, BC
  • 27 posts
Walthers/Shinohara 83 Turnout Problem
Posted by JXC on Tuesday, August 01, 2017 10:48 PM

Has anyone experienced intermittent electrical connection across the pivot points in these DCC ready or all-live turnouts? The point rails have a cut in them where they pivot. The pivot itself looks like a small rail joiner and is solidly crimped (spot welded?) to the moving rail and fits more loosely to the fixed rail. I've had no problems with these until I painted ballasted the trackwork. I guess bridging the gap with a flex conductor soldered to the rail at each end is the best solution? Anything easier?

Jan

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  • From: Chi-Town
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Posted by zstripe on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 6:01 AM

What You more than likely did, is get ballast cement in the jumper straps that are about midway on the points and also the connections You speak of....you can try using some CRC 2-26 sprayed with the small nozzle supplied throughly soaking the area and see if that helps. You don't mention what ballast adhesive You used. That will determine how effective the CRC will be and how much it will take/time. Or You can add soldered feeders to those two rails at the points. Also check to see if You also have ballast cement, where the points touch the stock rail...there should be a liittle tab there. Take a look at the link provided to see what I am referring to:

http://www.central-hobbies.com/images/turnouts.jpg

CRC electrical cleaner/lube:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/CRC-Electrical-2-26-Multi-Purpose-Lubricant/21068182?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=1122&adid=22222222227016782965&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=52576465511&wl4=pla-60240488251

Good Luck! Big Smile

Frank

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  • 479 posts
Posted by HObbyguy on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 8:38 AM

I've not experienced any connection problems with my Shinohara turnouts even after ballasting and painting rails and those pivot connectors.  But that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

Be careful using CRC spray on Shinohara turnouts.  I used some CRC contact cleaner on one of mine and it partially melted the ties making the drawbar sticky.  That definitely is not a good thing.

Huntington Junction - Freelance based on the B&O and C&O in coal country before the merger...  doing it my way.  Now working on phase 3.      - Walt

For photos and more:  http://www.wkhobbies.com/model-railroad/

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Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 8:53 AM

zstripe
What You more than likely did, is get ballast cement in the jumper straps that are about midway on the points and also the connections

Frank, can you clarify the issue of ballast cement on the jumper straps, please.  I have all Walthers-Shinohara DCC friendly code 83.  I know there are various jumper straps, under the ties where they can be seen underneath, between many rail pieces.  Are they simply metals strips that are in physical contact with the rail bottom, but not soldered for solid connection? I never thought of that, and if so, are they long term relability problems? Mine are 5 years old, and I could have disconnects that do not make themselves obvious.

Asiide from that general issue, in the case of the OP's moving point rails, I can see how creating jumper discontinuity would affect the closure rails (not the moving point rails).  I'm not clear on whether the OP has problems with the closure rails, moving point rails, or both.   My recollection is the rail joiner pivot point is mainly a physical feature and not much reliable for power.  Thus, the points good contact with the stock rail is critical.  Of course, ballast cement there would be very bad as you include. 

Regarding point rail reliability, the wiringfordcc website point this issue out.  Mark Guirres there suggests a wire (from underneath as I recall??) to the moving point rail pieces.  I believe he used to list that as an last, optional part of making a non-DCC friendly turnout friendly.  And I recall there were pictures of doing this on a turnout, but I don't see that photo today (where I've looked).  I did not take this step, as many here suggested good experience without it IF paying enough attention to effective point/stock rail contact.  That usually includes both cleaning (e.g., with a Dremel wire brush) the contact area, plus good attention to the strength of the point to stock rail contact. With my Tortoises, I pay attention to equal pressure in both directions, such that the contact is not strong in one position but weak in the other.  I hope that the OPs problem lies there, with a simple solution.

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches.htm

EDIT: Here's the info I was remembering, about directly powering (with a wire) of the moving point rails on a W-S "DCC Compatible" turnout.  I note that the diagram shows this as an "option" but the writeup below more strongly suggest the points be wired, either with a sort jumper (can be above or below) or direct (flexible) bus feeders:

http://www.webring.org/l/rd?ring=modelrailroading;id=13;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ewiringfordcc%2Ecom%2Fswitches_walthers%2Ehtm

 

   

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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  • From: Michigan
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Posted by lifeontheranch on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:56 AM

WS C83 switches use a hollow rivet to attach the point rails to the throwbar. You can solder feeders in the rivets and then attach directly to the bus below avoiding any unsightly jumpers. This eliminates reliance on the rail joiner pivot point for electrical contact.

http://www.lkorailroad.com/laying-track-part-iv/

Soldered rivets:

Point rail feeders exiting from below:

  • Member since
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  • From: Chi-Town
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Posted by zstripe on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 3:03 PM

Paul,

The jumper straps are Not soldered to the stock rails or frog rails...the rails just sit on top of the rails when inserted in the mold...then liquid plastic is injected under high pressure into the mold. It is quite possible for liquid adhesive to get between the mating strap pick-up and rail...when dry it becomes an insulator. I don't have any new Walthers Shinohara turnouts, but I have many of the Shinohara turnouts for I run DC and they have all been modified.

As far as CRC 2-26 melting ties......I never experienced any of that and I use it all the time on all types of switches not only train related. It states that it is safe for plastic's..........I'll let that one slide.....It could have been one of the more agressive cleaners that CRC makes.

As far as the OP's experience....were it Me.....I would solder new feeders to the turnout. He may also be relying on rail joiners for power feed to the turnout and the ballast cement may be insulating them also, before it evens gets to the turnout problem area.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

JXC
  • Member since
    January, 2016
  • From: Vancouver, BC
  • 27 posts
Posted by JXC on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 4:12 PM

Thanks all. Very useful insights and suggrestions. As I need a fix that can be done from on top with the turnout in place, I will solder two small flex jumpers on the rail webs as suggested by Paul - i.e. the "optional" jumpers. However before doing that, I will see if I can tighten up the hold the rail joiner has on the fixed rail - the tradeoff is that it is a pivot so needs some slack. I'll report back on that.

A couple of clarifications for anybody else following this. Firstly, my problem was water based acrylic paint and not ballast glue as I have not yet ballasted. Secondly, this seems to be an uncommon problem as Hobbyguy says because 6 of my 7 turnouts are just fine and even on the troublesome turnout, it is only one of the two point rails, the other point rail is just fine.

It seems that out of the box, these turnouts rely on 3 things for powering the moving point rails: the rail joiners at the pivot point, small flexible tabs on the top of the throwbar which contact the underside of the closing rails, and point rails pressing against closing rails. Because this last one does not involve the two contacting surfaces rubbing against each other to clean off oxide and dirt films, it will be the least reliable. I also don't have much faith in the throwbar tabs as the throwbar has quite a lot of vertical play which could cause them to loose contact, especially if they got bent accidentally. So I'm assuming that the designer intended the rail joiner pivots to be the primary connection. On new ones in future, I will solder a flex jumper across these on the underside of the rails and before installing the turnout. Any rigidity in the flex connection will exert less leverage at this pivot point than it would at the moving end if the two throwbar rivets are used as a power feed as suggested by Alan.

Again, thanks to you all.

Jan

JXC
  • Member since
    January, 2016
  • From: Vancouver, BC
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Posted by JXC on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 4:34 PM

zstripe
As far as the OP's experience....were it Me.....I would solder new feeders to the turnout. He may also be relying on rail joiners for power feed to the turnout and the ballast cement may be insulating them also, before it evens gets to the turnout problem area.

The turnout has feeders soldered to the underside of each electrical section but I am relying on the manufacturer's jumpers to join various pieces of the turnout to make each electrical section. I don't rely on rail joiners for electrical connection anywhere on the layout. Resistance checks indicate the problem is between the fixed and moving parts of the point rail (and on only one of the point rails at that).

zstripe
The jumper straps are Not soldered to the stock rails or frog rails...the rails just sit on top of the rails when inserted in the mold...then liquid plastic is injected under high pressure into the mold.

I didn't realize that the jumpers and rails were joined just by laying them up in contact in the manufacturing mold. That explains why my local hobbyshop says they test each turnout bought wholesale. On occasion, they have returned turnoouts because they were missing jumpers. I believe these were on the more complex turnouts like crossovers and slips. They did indicate that the manufacturer seems to have tightened up on quality control over time.

Jan

 

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Posted by peahrens on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 5:31 PM

JXC
I didn't realize that the jumpers and rails were joined just by laying them up in contact in the manufacturing mold.

As Frank explained above, that reminds me that one of my 20+ W-S DCC friendly code 83s had a dead section.  I found that after installing, and just added a feeder to correct that.  But the best way would have been to test each turnout before installing, and returning any faulty ones.  I still wonder if a marginal jumper can disconnect its continuity later in time.  I'll add that to my list of things to worry about, though it's more likely I'll forget about it.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by SouthPenn on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 5:36 PM

CRC contact cleaner is not safe for plastic. CRC 5103 Quick Dry Electronic Cleaner is safe for plastic. Available at Walmart in the automotive section.

South Penn
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  • From: Huron, SD
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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 5:37 PM

Add another vote to the "add jumpers" brigade.

On my last layout, each DCC friendly Wathers turnout had SIX feeders; the two outer stock rails, the closure rails, and the points.

Yes, it was kind of a pain in the noogies, but on the other hand I never ever ever ever ever EVER had a locomotive stall on a turnout.

 

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

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Posted by zstripe on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 6:08 PM

SouthPenn

CRC contact cleaner is not safe for plastic. CRC 5103 Quick Dry Electronic Cleaner is safe for plastic. Available at Walmart in the automotive section.

 

As I said in My post...CRC 2-26 is plastic safe:

CRC 2-26 is a versatile, plastic safe, multi-purpose precision lubricant, penetrant and corrosion inhibitor. Its unique viscosity allows it to cover more surface area and penetrate deep into the surface of all metals, including steel, copper, brass and aluminum alloys. 2-26 displaces moisture and leaves a thin, long lasting film to protect against corrosion. Recommended for use on electrical connectors, relays, circuit breakers, transformers, switchgear, motors, generators, controls, instruments, communication assemblies, electronics, alarm systems, starters, tubing, castings, gears, weld rod, wire, fixtures, dies, jigs, shim stock, chucks, drill rod, heat treated parts, machined surfaces, finished welds, aluminum extrusions, air actuated tools, conveyors, frozen joints, locks, hoists, etc. Excellent for use around modern plastics and insulators. Recommended for restoring electrical properties to water or flood damaged equipment.

Been using it for yrs.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

JXC
  • Member since
    January, 2016
  • From: Vancouver, BC
  • 27 posts
Posted by JXC on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 8:59 PM

Further to the jumpers and feeders debate, I took a close look at a new WS Code83 turnout (#5 Left). There are 6 jumpers (A-F in the photo) and as many as 9 feeder points are required if you don't want to rely on the manufactured jumpers and also want a powered frog (feeder 9). I used 3 feeders (1, 4 & 9). The problem I had is with jumper F.

jumpers and feeders

Looking closely at the pivot point jumpers (E & F) it is clear that they have been impact welded to the moving point rail and have a crimp at the end attached to the fixed point rail such as to create two sharp, spring loaded edges which between them is actually the pivot point but also would result in a good electrical contact, supplemented by the other rubbing contact areas with the rail inside the moving jumper. 

pivot jumper

Finally, looking closely at the other jumpers, they are all welded to the their rails. So maybe an earlier assembly process just laid them in the mold but the current one provides a welded connection which would provide very reliable electrical continuity.

jumper weld

So I conclude that 3 feeders (2 if you don't want a powered frog) plus additional flex jumpers across manufacturer's jumpers E and F will give a lifetime of reliable electrical connectivity.

Jan

  • Member since
    December, 2009
  • From: Michigan
  • 285 posts
Posted by lifeontheranch on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 10:01 PM

Don't rely too heavily on Shinohara quality control. After installing 70+ of their switches on my layout I can tell you not every factory jumper is reliably installed. A feeder to every rail makes the jumper issue moot. My entire layout is constructed with a feeder to every piece of rail regardless of its length. The resulting joy of operating a layout that has zero track electrical issues is well worth the trivial one-time work of soldering on a few more feeders IMHO.

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  • From: Chi-Town
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Posted by zstripe on Thursday, August 03, 2017 4:27 AM

lifeontheranch

Don't rely too heavily on Shinohara quality control. After installing 70+ of their switches on my layout I can tell you not every factory jumper is reliably installed. A feeder to every rail makes the jumper issue moot. My entire layout is constructed with a feeder to every piece of rail regardless of its length. The resulting joy of operating a layout that has zero track electrical issues is well worth the trivial one-time work of soldering on a few more feeders IMHO.

 

Alan,

I agree 100%.....My whole layout consists of Shinohara/Atlas and have not had any problems with turnouts or for that matter any type of electrical problems since 1980 when layout was started......just takes minimal time to do it right the first time.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 4,709 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, August 03, 2017 9:02 AM

Speaking of jumpers, I have a #6 WS double slip switch and there is good website which recommends adding jumpers to it to get good electrical feed to all the rails because those flexible rail joiners are not reliable.

However, the trick to adding jumpers is soldering them and not melting the plastic or ties.  I have "servicable" soldering skills and use heat sinks where ever I can.  The site recommeneded at least 6 jumpers to the double slip switch.  I managed to solder in 2 out of the 6 and managed to melt the plastic webbing somewhat in the middle of the switch so I stopped there rather than melt it more.  Fortunately it was minimal damage and didn't affect the geometry and wasn't very visible.

Is there any other way of installing jumpers without soldering and risking melting and damanging an expensive switch?  Those #6 double slip switches sell for around $70 these days!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

JXC
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    January, 2016
  • From: Vancouver, BC
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Posted by JXC on Thursday, August 03, 2017 2:30 PM

We may have a bit of “apples vs oranges” in comparing experience with Shinohara turnouts of 1980s vintage and the current production of Walthers/Shinohara. The photos below compare tops and bottoms. Note the complete absence of visible jumpers on the 1980s model which also doesn’t have gaps to electrically isolate the frog area (i.e. is not “DCC ready”).

tops

 

bottoms

A closeup of the pivot point on the older turnout shows that electrical connection across the gap is provided by a piece of metal laid under the rivet and shaped to extend under the fixed part of the point rails. As it’s embedded in the plastic, you can’t see how it is attached to the fixed rails and it would be best to assume that it is just laid in the injection mold as Frank described and is therefore not reliable in the long term. For this older model, there may also be similar “laid in mold” connections in the frog area but they are completely hidden. Again, probably best to assume long term unreliability and add jumpers and feeders as Frank and Alan advise (although they are totally encased in plastic so less likely to deteriorate than the jumper at the pivot point which is open air so has easy ingress for moisture etc).

point gap and pivot

But on the newer current model, a welded connection (parts bonded at the molecular level) is better than a soldered connection (parts bonded by an overlay of a different metal) for both strength and electrical continuity so I do not see the value in paralleling welded jumpers with soldered ones.  This is especially true if there’s a downside risk to melting plastic when soldering. BTW here’s where I learned to solder http://help.fast-tracks.net/customer/en/portal/articles/2431478-soldering-basics - top hints for avoiding damage to surrounding plastic: use flux, pre-tin both parts, keep the iron tip tinned.

Jan

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, August 04, 2017 8:01 AM

JXC

We may have a bit of “apples vs oranges” in comparing experience with Shinohara turnouts of 1980s vintage and the current production of Walthers/Shinohara. The photos below compare tops and bottoms. Note the complete absence of visible jumpers on the 1980s model which also doesn’t have gaps to electrically isolate the frog area (i.e. is not “DCC ready”).

I think most of the experienced folks here are aware of the old versions vs. the new DCC friendly version but the photo's and explanation will be helpful for beginners.

 BTW here’s where I learned to solder http://help.fast-tracks.net/customer/en/portal/articles/2431478-soldering-basics - top hints for avoiding damage to surrounding plastic: use flux, pre-tin both parts, keep the iron tip tinned.

Jan

I've used best practices for soldering such as heat sinks, tinning, flux etc. for years but it's still challenging to solder jumpers in such close quarters to ties etc.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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