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022/711 Switch operation pblms

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022/711 Switch operation pblms
Posted by runtime on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 8:52 PM

Think I messed up.

Installed a half dozen switches on my layout without first testing their operation electrically .Sigh

Now, as I apply power, I discover they don't all throw that well.

Is the solution mechanical lubrication (what kind? where? inside the mechanism or on the 'rail side')?)

Or is it an electrical issue? ( I'm using the constant voltage plug, bridged from nearby existing switches which work fairly well with a 16V tap.)

Do I have to physically remove and open up all the new switches? Say it isn't so!

runtime

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Posted by servoguy on Thursday, December 10, 2009 2:16 AM

 I have just finished a long project of restoring 55 022 switches.  Here is what I have found and what I recommend.  I hope I don't miss anything.  This involves oiling and soldering and a little adjustment.  When you are done with the switches, they should operate very smoothly.

 1.  Remove the switch motor cover, the switch motor, and the back cover of the switch.

2.  Lubricate the following places in the switch motor:  The latch should be oiled at the pivots and where it slides over the moving piece that is connected to the solenoid.  Lubricate the lantern pivot and the gear.  Lubricate the slide that is attached to the solenoid.  Lubricate the two rivets that hold the slide with the contacts.  Put two drops of oil in the solenoid.  Test the switch motor by putting a lantern in the lantern holder and turning it. It should turn very freely. 

3. Solder all the crimp connections on the bottom side of the switch.  These are often high resistance due to corrosion.  I either wire brush them with a small soft wire wheel in a Dremel tool, or use a fine sandpaper wheel in the Dremel tool.  There are a total of 6 places to solder:  Two for the center rails, one for each of the rails that are the rails for the non-derailing feature, and two that connect the two outside rails together.  To sand the clip that connects the two outer rails, I had to reverse the sanding disc on the Dremel tool.  Don't put too much solder on this clip, or the solder may interfere with the operation of the switch motor.  Use a Scotchbrite pad to clean the clip where it contacts the switch motor frame.  This is the ground connection between the switch motor and the outside rails.  Clean the corresponding area on the switch motor, and put a little WD-40 on things. Tighten the screw that connects the center rail to the strap.  Work the screw back and forth a couple of times to burnish the contact area.  Test the connections between the outside rails and the center rails. I use a cheap meter that you can buy from Harbor Freight for this.  The resistance should be less than 0.1 ohms. These cheap meters usually don't read zero ohms when you short the leads together, but whatever they do read with the leads shorted you can use as your "zero." 

4. Clean the silver contacts with WD-40.  Most of the tarnish should come off of them.  Do not use anything abrasive to clean them as it will probably damage the silver.  Leave some WD-40 on these contacts as it is an excellent contact cleaner. 

5. Use a wire brush on a Dremel tool to clean the 3 contacts on the bottom of the switch that connect to the switch motor.  One of these is a flat brass strip that is spring loaded and connects to the fat center rail.  The other two connect to the two rails that are used to make the switch non-derailing.  

6. Clean the two contacts on the switch motor that mate with the two pins on the bottom of the switch that connect to the non-derailing rails.  Bend these two up a little so they make a good contact, and put a little WD-40 on them. Clean the two brass contacts on each side between the silver contacts with a wire brush on the Dremel tool.  These two contact are where the power comes to the switch motor from the center rail.  One or the other is used depending on which side the switch motor is on.

7. Put a little WD-40 on the contact spring that contacts the pin for the constant voltage plug.  Snap the spring a few times to make sure the contact is clean.  If the rivet that holds this spring is broken (I had two switches with broken rivets), you can repair it by soldering it back together.  Clean both surfaces with a wire wheel in a Dremel tool, and tin each surface with solder.  Then hold the spring in place and heat the spring until the solder softens, and then hold the spring in place until the solder cools.  You need to make sure the spring is somewhat bent when you do this so that it makes a good contact with the pin.

8. Put the switch motor back on the switch.  Put a drop of oil in each of the screw holes so you can get the screws out 100 years from now.  Check the switch for smooth operation.   It should operate smoothly with minimal friction.  Check the resistance between each of the outer terminals and the appropriate non-derailing rail.  Once again, the resistance should be less than 0.1 ohms.  Check the resistance between the center rail and the constant voltage pin. It should be less than 0.1 ohms. Check the resistance between the center terminal and one of the outside rails.  It should be less than 0.1 ohms. Check the resistance between each of the outer terminals and the center rail with the switch points about half way beween the two outer rails.  They should be about 7-8 ohms. 

9. There is a solder tab on the constant voltage pin that is usually very near the pin.  If you bend this tab away from the pin, you can use a blue crimp lug for a constant voltage plug.  These crimp lugs don't come loose like the Lionel plugs do.  Some switch motors have a pin that is too large to use the crimp lug, so for these, you will have to use a Lionel plug.

10. Put the covers on and again check the switch for smooth operation.  You may have to move the switch motor cover around a little to make sure the lantern does not bind against the cover.  

 11.  Check the end of the fat center rail to see that it is not bent down.  If it is, your little 0-4-0 switch engine may stall on the switch.  If you bend it up too far, it will open the electromagnetic couplers for you. 

I hope I didn't miss anything.  If I think of something else, I'll post it later.

 

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Posted by rlplionel on Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:31 AM

It sounds as though your trouble is mechanical, since the switches do operate, but don't throw very well.

If you didn't attach the switch covers with screws, you can probably troubleshoot the switches on the layout with the covers removed. However, if the covers are attached to the switch with screws from underneath, they will have to come off the layout.

I would suggest using graphite instead of oil when lubricating switches. Oil tends to attract dirt over time and gum up switch mechanisms.

Robert

http://www.robertstrains.com/

 

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Posted by initagain on Thursday, December 10, 2009 2:34 PM

I just read all the suggestions for making the switch operations smoother.  While very time-consuming and often frustrating (I just finished with some 022 reincarnations myself) the advice is excellent and far-ranging.  One thing I noticed in your post is that you get "fairly" good performance at 16 volts.  If you follow all the steps as suggested in other replies, the switches should operate very smoothly at 14 volts fixed (using the side plugs on the switches).  If you HAVE to use 16 volts, you will likely burn out the switch lamps AND controller lamps prematurely.

 

 

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Posted by runtime on Friday, December 11, 2009 6:59 PM

Thank you guys ( I think).Confused

So I'm faced with removing up to all 15 switches from my  layout to get them to operate flawlessley.  Basically that would mean tearing the entire layout down, perhaps in sections.

Well, I geuss I'll start with the newest additions, and try following the advice given above.

Love to know of any triage style approaches though.....

Silly (or dillusional) of me I suppose, to proceed as though 50 year old stuff would perform as new....like me.Big Smile

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Posted by servoguy on Saturday, December 12, 2009 3:36 AM

 Don't feel like the Lone Ranger.  I have 39 022 switches in a carpet RR and I need to solder all of them as I described.  You learn things as you go, and sometimes you have to stop and back up a few steps.

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Posted by servoguy on Saturday, December 12, 2009 3:45 AM

 I run my 022 switches from the 20 volt fixed tap on a KW transformer.  I do this primarily because I have most of the switches wired in pairs so that the two switches throw at the same time.  This allows the train to control the switches and so make a very complex path around the layout.  I have changed the bulbs in the switches to 18 volt bulbs to prevent melting the switch lanterns.  Install two switches so that the switch points face each other, wire the outer two terminals of the switch motors together.  Then when the train throws one switch, the other will switch also. 

 Here is something I forget in my list of things to fix.  Occasionally, the lamp socket for the switch lamp will be loose.  It is held in place by two tabs that bend around the bracket that holds it.  You can tighten the tabs up with a pair of pliers.  Be gentle as the lamp socket is thin.

 I found one switch motor that had a high resistance in the connection at the terminal.  I soldered this one but I haven't made a habit of soldering all of these connections.  I may regret this decision later.

 Bruce

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Posted by servoguy on Saturday, December 12, 2009 11:37 PM

 Here are some more hints on servicing the 022 switches:

 I bought some 18 volt bulbs recently ( part number 1445, bayonet base) and they would not go into the socket.  They were too long.  I took a switch motor apart to try to discover the problem.  The switch motor was OK.  So I took a soldering iron and reduced the size of the solder ball on the tip of the bulb.  Now it fits and it is an easy fix.

I had two switch motors that had the lantern support broken.  These were die cast zinc, and there  is no way to repair them.  I repaired one the hard way, and here is the easy way I used to repair the second one.  Use a #43 drill to drill a hole into the rivet from the bottom.  This is the tap drill for a 4-40 screw.  Drill all the way through and make it as straight as you can.  Be careful not to damage the wire going into the lamp holder.  Then drill the rivet out with a larger drill.  Remove the rivet and what is left of the lantern support.  Tap the hole in the rivet with a 4-40 tap.  Then, with the tap still in the rivet, check the new lantern support for proper fit to the the rivet.  In my case, the support didn't turn freely on the rivet, so I took my Dremel tool with a sanding disc and carefully reduced the OD of the rivet until the support turned freely.  Then I cleaned up the marks from the pliers that I used to hold the rivet while I was tapping it.  I also sanded off the end of the rivet where it went through the bottom plate of the switch motor so that it didn't go quite all the way through.  This way, the 4-40 screw I used to hold the rivet in place would be tight.  Now install the support and the rivet under the lamp bracket and use a 4-40 screw with a star lock washer to hold it in place.  Make sure you properly clock the sector gear on the support with the rack gear on the slider.

I bought a 5132 and a 5133 some time ago.  While I was lubricating them, I noticed that the sector gear on the lantern support did not always stay engaged with the rack gear on the slider.  After much time trying to figure out what was wrong, I came to the conclusion that the lamp bracket allowed too much vertical clearance for the slider.  I used a pair of channel locks to gently bend the lamp brack down to reduce the clearance.  The switches have been working with no trouble for about a year. Make sure the gears are properly clocked before you bend the bracket or you will be talking to yourself.

Make sure the fat 3rd rail is not bent down and rubbing on the movable points assembly.  If you need to bend it up, don't apply pressure to the rails.  They are die cast zinc, and not very strong. 

If you need parts, you can buy a manual switch at a swap meet and use the parts.  The points assembly is the same and the screws and nuts all work.  One word of caution when working on these switches:  The screws are 4-36 which is not common at all.  You can still buy them on the Internet, but you are not going to find them in a store like Home Depot or Harbor Freight.  The terminals use this same thread.  Lionel must have made this choice prior to WWII as 4-36 is no longer a common standard.

I have a couple of switches with cracked screw base lamp sockets.  I squeeze them gently so that the split is nearly closed and apply a little solder to the outside of the socket.  

Bruce

 

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Posted by servoguy on Sunday, December 13, 2009 1:12 PM

 I found a new problem last night.  When I tested a switch after repair, it showed a high resistance between one of the terminals and the insulated rail that makes the switch non-derailing.  It turned out that the pin that makes contact with the switch motor was loose and there was corrosion on the end of the strap that connects the pin to the rail.  I didn't try to reset the rivet, but put some WD-40 on the pin and rotated it with a pair of pliers and the resistance went to zero.  Since there is pressure on this rivet from the switch motor contact, it showed zero resistance when I reassembled the switch.  The pin would not take solder as I believe it is aluminum.

 Bruce

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Posted by servoguy on Friday, January 1, 2010 10:58 PM

 I have been going through my switches and correcting the electrical problems, and have found a few new things to check. 

I have found another switch motor miswired from the factory.  This is the second one.  The two wires that come out of the coils near the fixed voltage pin should go to the pin and not the flat spring.  If they go to the flat spring, the only thing that will be powered from the fixed voltage plug is the lamp.  To fix this, I unsoldered the wires going to the fixed voltage pin and flat spring.  Then I carefully unsoldered the wires to the solenoids.  I soldered a short piece of flexible wire onto the solenoid wires, and covered it with shrink tubing.  I used the soldering iron to shrink the tubing to minimize the heat on the other components.  I pushed the shrink tubing into the hole that the wires came through.  The wires were routed through the rivet that holds the flat spring, and I didn't want the wires shorting to the flat spring.  Then I soldered the short piece of added wire to the pin and reattached the two wires I had removed. 

I found a switch motor where the fixed voltage pin was not making contact to its solder lug. I soldered the pin and the solder lug together.  

I found a switch motor that had the copper strip between the two outside rails split in the middle.  I soldered it back together with a minimal amount of solder so the switch motor could be put onto the switch.

I found one switch that had an intermittent sliding contact.  It appears it was not properly adjusted from the factory.  I bent the spring down to increase the contact pressure.  Do this carefully, as I also had one where the PO had bent the spring too much, and there was too much friction.

I have put a diode in series with the lamp to reduce the brightness and also reduce the power and heat.  It works well, and I think the lantern brightness is now more realistic.  If you do this, put some of the diodes in one way and some in the other way to balance the load on the positive and negative cycles of the power.  This is going to stop the problem I have had of melting switch lanterns.

This part of the layout has 20 switches, 5 crossings, and 137 pieces of track.  As I have corrected the electrical problems with the switches, the trains run much better and the speed variation is almost non-existent.  The engines do slow down a bit on the curves since the drivers have to slip on a curve, but that is all.  This part of the layout has only one feed. 

I also found two of the crossings had poor connections.  One was a 4 terminal open circuit.  I used a sanding disc on the Dremel tool to clean off a little area near each crimp and soldered everything.  This included the outer rails as well as the center rail.  

Bruce Baker

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Posted by servoguy on Sunday, January 3, 2010 2:08 AM

 One more problem and a recommendation. 

 I had one switch that was intermittently  staying in one position.  The problem was clearly with the sliding contacts.  When I took the switch motor off of the switch, I saw that the insulator that carries the two sliding contacts was turned slightly.  This allowed one of the sliding contacts to move far enough that it was off the end of the fixed contact.  I carefully rotated the insulator so it was straight, and the switch now works reliably.  One more thing to check.

I have found enough fixed voltage pins that are are not tightly riveted to their solder tabs that I recommend that every switch motor have its fixed voltage pin soldered to its solder tab.  I wish I had been doing this to all the switches, but I didn't realize it was a problem until I had several switches finished.  

After all of this, the switches work very well.  I ran one of the diesel switch engines for about 20 minutes and never had a switch fail to work perfectly.  When I dropped the voltage to 18 or 16 volts, the switches were still reliable, but at 14 volts or lower, I would get an occasional failure.  I checked all the sliding contacts for any sign of erosion, and didn't find any, so I am going to leave the voltage at 20 volts.  I am using the 20 volt fixed output on a KW.

After dong all of this, I also checked the voltage drop from the transformer to the furthest point of the layout.  I am measuring about 0.25 volts on the center rail and about 0.375 volts on the outside rail.  This engine is pulling about 2.5 amps, so this is a resistance on the center rail of 0.1 ohms, and for the outer rail, 0.15 ohms.  Some of this track is 50s vintage and some of it is rusty, and all of the switches except 2 are 50s vintage.  I am quite pleased with these results.  I put the 2046 Hudson on the track, and it will reliably go around the layout at 9.35 volts at the transformer.  It is only pulling a tender. 

 Bruce Baker

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Posted by lionelsoni on Sunday, January 3, 2010 9:44 AM

I'll say it again:  The number 53 lamp runs cooler than the 1445 at any voltage.

Lamp ratings are a tradeoff among voltage, current, efficacy, and lifetime.  The ratings of the two lamps are

  #53  14.4 V  120 mA  1728 mW  1    mscp  1000 hr
  #53  18   V  136 mA  2442 mW  2.18 mscp    69 hr
#1445  14.4 V  135 mA  1944 mW   .7  mscp  2000 hr
#1445  18   V  150 mA  2700 mW  1.53 mscp   137 hr

The numbers in italics are values that I calculated using the rules that for incandescent lamps current varies as the .55 power of voltage, light output as the 3.5 power, and lifetime as the -12 power.  The 1445 is actually rated at both 14.4 volts and 18 volts; but that doesn't give it any particular advantage over the 53 in terms of power dissipated at either voltage, as you can see.

For screw-based lamps, the number 52 is cooler than the 1447:

  #52  14.4 V  100 mA  1440 mW   .75 mscp  1000 hr
  #52  18   V  113 mA  2035 mW  1.64 mscp    69 hr
#1447  14.4 V  135 mA  1944 mW   .7  mscp  2000 hr
#1447  18   V  150 mA  2700 mW  1.53 mscp   137 hr

Bob Nelson

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Posted by servoguy on Monday, January 4, 2010 2:05 AM

 With the diode in series with the lamp, and running the switches from the 20 volt fixed output of the KW, I should have about 10 volts on the lamp which puts me in a good position as far as power dissipation and life are concerned.  The lamps are cool enough now that I can touch them after they have been on for some time and not burn my fingers.  And they look great.

 

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Posted by lionelsoni on Monday, January 4, 2010 4:38 PM

A series diode is a good, efficient way to reduce voltage, but it doesn't cut it in half.  It will reduce 20 volts to about 14.  An ordinary voltmeter will indicate 10 in that case; but it is designed for a complete sinusoidal waveform; and the half-wave that the diode produces is very different from that.  Your lifetime with a 1445 is going to be close to the value specified for 14.4 volts, that is, 2000 hours.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by servoguy on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 4:09 PM

 Bob,

I am a little confused.  20 VAC is the RMS value of a sine wave that has a peak of 20*1.4 volts.  The peak is 28 volts.  Now if I take a half wave rectified sine wave, I have half as many peaks, and the RMS value of the peaks I have has not changed (ignoring the diode drope for simplicity).  Therefore, the RMS value for the half wave rectified sine wave should be half of the RMS value for the entire sine wave.  What am I missing?

BTW, I remember reading something in Model Railroader back about 1954 where they had done tests on grain-o-wheat lamps.  They advocating running the lamps at half their rated voltage to make the brightness more realistic.  They also stated (and I am going back a long ways in my memory) that the life of the bulbs would be increased by a factor of 19,000 (it may have been 1900).  

Bruce Baker

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Posted by lionelsoni on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 10:31 PM

You have to go back to the meaning of RMS, or "root-mean-square", or the square-root of the mean of the square.  The square of the full waveform is a 120-hertz sine wave raised up so that the most negative peaks are at zero and the most positive peaks are at (20*1.4)^2 = 800 square volts.  The mean or average of that waveform is halfway between the peaks, or 400 square volts.  The square-root of that is 20 volts, as expected.

Now, when you take out every other half cycle, that 120-hertz waveform loses half of its cycles; so the average of the modified waveform drops by half, to 200 square volts.  The square-root of that is 14 volts.

You can do a little experiment to demonstrate this.  Just take two transformers (real ones, not CW-80s).  Set one to 10 volts, the other to 20, but with a diode in series.  Then switch a lamp back and forth between them with an SPDT switch.  I'll bet the lamp looks dimmer on 10.  Then increase the lower voltage until the lamp brightness is the same in both switch positions.  I'll bet the lower voltage will be about 14.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by lionelsoni on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 10:33 PM

The lifetime is usually considered to vary inversely as the 12th power of the voltage.  So I would expect that it would increase by a factor of 4096, more or less.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by servoguy on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 11:26 PM

  I don't know how the guy that wrote the article in Model Railroader did his calculations.  I am not sure I remember the number correctly.  It was a very long time ago. They may or may not have done the calculation correctly.  A factor of 4000+ in bulb life time is a healthy increase.

If the bulb life was 2000 hours at the rated voltage, then it gets so large it is difficult to test when you cut the voltage in half. There are about 8000 hours in a year, so a bulb that would last 8 million hours would take 1000 years to test.  

Bruce Baker

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Posted by servoguy on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 11:51 PM

 Bob,

You can do the calculation another way to validate your analysis.  The diode shuts off the power to the lamp for half a cycle, so the power delivered to the lamp is half of what it is without the diode.  But since the power is V^2/R, and R doesn't change (ignoring the temperature coefficent of resistance of tungston), the voltage with the diode has to be 0.7071 times the voltage without the diode which is the result you got.  Very interesting, and not exactly intuitive.

Before I added the diode to the switch motors, I ran a test to see what the lamp brightness was at 10 volts, and the lamps were not as bright at 10 volts as they are with the diode.  Now I know why.  Like I said, not exactly intuitive.  At 10 volts, the power delivered to the lamp is 1/4 of what it is at 20 volts.

Bruce Baker

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Posted by martinden on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 12:00 AM

Linn Westcott wrote the Model Railroader article, and I think we can be pretty sure that he knew what he was talking about, being that he was Mr. Electronics, so to speak, of the model railroad world for a couple of decades. I remember the article and have thought about citing it, but can never remember the figures he used. (It's around someplace in my apartment, but I'm not sure where it is.) I do remember that he said that at half voltage, most lamps used in model railroading would last long enough to call it "forever" -- longer than a person's life.

Martin

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Posted by servoguy on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 12:25 AM

 I find it amazing that two of us would remember the article. 

I think the formula for the life of the lamp probably is not exactly accurate when the voltage is down to half of the rated voltage.  Usually these formulas are empirical based on test data, and getting test data for a bulb running at half its rated voltage is essentially impossible because the bulb life is so long. 

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Posted by servoguy on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 12:28 AM

 BTW, another easy to drop the lamp voltage is to put a capacitor in series with the lamp.  It must be a non-polarized cap.  The advantage over using a resistor is that the cap doesn't dissipate power and so doesn't get hot. 

Bruce

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Posted by lionelsoni on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 5:25 PM

Actually the resistance change of the lamp filament is large.  The current varies as the .55 power of voltage, so the resistance varies as the .45 power.  So the resistance at half voltage is .732 times its value at full voltage.

However, your analysis is correct for an unvarying resistor.  And, since the voltage is the same regardless of the load, the .707 voltage that would result from inserting a diode in series with a fixed resistor is the same voltage that you would have with any other load, like an incandescent lamp.

Because of the varying resistance, the power to the lamp is not really 1/4 but closer to 1/3.

Indeed, a capacitor in series with the lamp will do the job.  However, except for a small amount due to the forward drop, the diode doesn't dissipate power either.  It has two advantages:  It is likely to be much smaller than the capacitor; and the voltage drop doesn't vary with the load.  On the other hand, you have only one choice for that voltage.

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Posted by Bob.M on Thursday, January 7, 2010 2:34 PM

 I was reading this thread this morning, and had some switch repair to do. An earlier message here refers to a spring loaded contact which was troublesome. That was the problem I had. The anti-derail feature was intermittent. It looks like brass, not aluminum, and all it needed was a good resolder job. To aid identifying what we are talking about, I am including this picture:

 

O22 switch contact pin

OK, maybe that is too close up. Below is the picture that I cropped to get the pin only as above. It better shows where the pin is located:

 

O22 switch 

 

 

 

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Posted by servoguy on Thursday, January 7, 2010 6:38 PM

 Yes, that is one of the problems I was referring to.  However, you have a newer model of the switch.  I believe the older switches us aluminum for this pin, and I have not been able to make it take solder.  I have only found two that are bad, so far.

I think it is good practice to solder all crimped or riveted connection on track that is going in a permanent layout as removing the switches or crossings can be a real bear after the layout is finished.

Bruce Baker

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Posted by Bob.M on Friday, January 8, 2010 7:28 AM

servoguy
I think it is good practice to solder all crimped or riveted connection on track that is going in a permanent layout as removing the switches or crossings can be a real bear after the layout is finished.

 

That indeed is a problem after the track is screwed down. I had to remove 2 other switches and parts of 3 sidings to get at the troublesome switch. As I mentioned, it was intermittent, so the first 3 times I removed it did not result in fixing it. First, I saw excess lube on the sliding contact, cleaned it off, and it worked, but not for long, then tried bending the spring mechanism up to make better contact, and so on.

As an aside, I notice that I only have 2 of the original switches left from my late forties set. I stupidly sold off most of it in the seventies. Now I have 13 switches. I found that the manual switches are no longer made. There are times when it would be easier to throw a nearby switch manually, than to find the controller.

Someone mentioned the voltage used to operate the switches. Mine is currently (pun noted) set at 12.7 vac, determined by lowering the setting until one laggard switch fails to operate, then raising it a bit. No problem with running the bulbs too hot.

Speaking of voltage, my postwar ZW puts out 19.47 vac max. The output of the PH1 is 17.1 at its highest  setting. I previously was using a 1033 for one of the loops, but its max voltage is 16.2, which meant that my MTH E-8 AA Dual Can Diesel could not make it up the grade. It needs close to maximum volts to operate. The other lamps in the bumpers and Lighted Lockons scream "Help me!!" when I run that engine. I will look into the diode method of bulb preservation for them.

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Posted by Taranwanderer on Sunday, January 31, 2010 6:04 PM
I was going to ask about the 20V accessory terminal on a KW for running 022 motors...I'm reading 18V at the CV plug on each switch with it wired this way, is this too much voltage for the motors? I just bought these things, I now have them worked into my layout, and I really don't want to burn out the coils or something. So is the 18V OK, and I just need new, different voltage bulbs, or should I knock that voltage down a little before it gets to the 022 motors? Thanks!
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Posted by servoguy on Sunday, January 31, 2010 6:25 PM

 I am running my 022 switches from the 20 volt tap on the KW.  It will not burn out the coils unless you leave the coils on for some length of time which would only happen under some fault condition.  The question that was raised in another post about using 20 volts had to do with electrical erosion of the sliding contacts in the switch motor.  I have been using 20 volts for 6 months or more, and have inspected some of the switch motors after this usage, and have not found a problem with the sliding contacts.  However, I would suggest that you use as low a voltage as possible to extend the contact life as long as possible.

The reason I use 20 volts is that it is readily available, and I have the switches wired in pairs so that when the train goes through one switch and throws the switch, another switch somewhere on the layout also throws.  This allows the train to control the path around the layout, and I just get to watch.  My layout has 41 switches, 38 of which are on the main line, and it takes the train 22 minutes to complete one circuit of the layout when it is running slow.

Bruce Baker

  • Member since
    July 2009
  • 951 posts
Posted by servoguy on Sunday, January 31, 2010 6:47 PM

 I have been buying 022 switches and 042 (manual) switches at swap meets for $4 or less.  I have some 042s that I have been using for parts, but I am about to modify some of them so that the curved rails are shorter.  This will allow me to use them for making a yard and the yard spurs will be close together and save space. 

I would caution against paying a big premium for 022 switches that appear to be in good condition.  I am finding poor connections inside almost all of the switches, regardless of appearance.  In this case, NIB probably means nothing, except the switches may look better than mine.  I run them all through my rehab process regardless of appearance.

Bruce Baker

  • Member since
    January 2010
  • 188 posts
Posted by Taranwanderer on Sunday, January 31, 2010 8:42 PM
Agreed. This is the first pair of 022s that I've ever owned (being a Super-O guy all my life,) and I'm amazed by the (IMO) better design of the 022s vs the 112 Super-Os. You can actually not only take the cover off, you can separate the motor housing from the track, and you can remove the bottom cover to troubleshoot! I'm just in awe after dealing with Super-O since childhood and not being able to fix anything. Both the 022s I bought (on eBay) had some electrical continuity issues in them (either the derailing not working or the diverging center rail not getting power.) Both were simple resoldering jobs, which are just not even possible on 112s. I'm in heaven. Now, just getting them to mesh with the Super-O track (which I still love,) and all will be right with the world. But I'd agree that you need to take them apart and at least clean and lube them before throwing them into service. Thanks for all the advice, Bruce!

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