Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Sporadic Train Running

1076 views
3 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Sporadic Train Running
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 7, 2001 10:14 PM
I just started in model railroading and got a layout started called the Twice Senior. I have put down a cork roadbed and put the tracks on that. I have wired the layout according to the Atlas book I have but the train runs sporadically and I have to have it on three quarters to full power before it will run. Anything less the train stops or goes real slow. I bought The Thundering Rails trainset from LifeLike trains. I upgraded the power pak to a railpower 1300 from MRC thinking that the power pak was not strong enough. The train still runs sporadically especially on the straightaways. Any hints or ideas?

Thanks
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 7, 2001 10:34 PM
You could check a number of things
1.How many wire leads do you have connected to the track?the more the better
2.How clean is the track?
3.Life like isnt exactly a very good product...I would suggest to start with athearn they are alot better in quality and manufactuer and not that expensive.
4.Check the wiring in the engine if its too small or bad connections it could be causing a load on the transformer that is to much to handle.

And thats where i would start
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 8, 2001 5:10 AM
Like devin said!Lifelike isn't the best to start outbut you have to start somewhere. I have had diesel problems with the best. Can you borrow another engine??Also perhaps you can borrow a ohm meter instrument and measure the current output onthe back of the transformer DC connectors, say at 75 power, then take the instrument probes, and run them along the top of the rails at the same power setting and see if there's a drop in current. If not, then I would think you have sufficient wires to the track. Lifelike has a toll-free # 1-800-638-1470 in Baltimore.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 302,230 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 8, 2001 12:25 PM
Think of your power supply as a system, that has several components, all of which need to be operating well. You replaced the power pack, that's good. Next, I would use the N-track standard for power transmission. I used 10-12 guage automotive wire (get a roll of red and a roll of black). I'm not sure how your layout is designed, but run a red and black wire from one end to the other. This will become your "main bus". Use the same wire to hook-up to the power pack. I'm assuming you are not soldering your track joints, but with this method you don't have to. Next, use smaller wire (I use Bell Telephone wire in N-scale, you can use larger in HO) to run "power drops" to each section of track. Use the correct size drill bit, and drill a hole inbetween the ties, but on the outside of each rail. Feed the wire down through the hole, strip about 1/8" at the end, bend 90-degrees, then solder to the outside of the left & right rails. Below the layout, connect these power drop wires to the correct main bus wires. Do this all the way around the layout, about every 3-feet, or where-ever you break the track at a joint. Then see if things run much better. I suspect you did not solder your joints, and each joint makes the amount of resistance jump dramatically. Let us know how this works for you. Robert

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!