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atlas switches

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atlas switches
Posted by mmartian22 on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 7:11 PM

hi  i would like to how to troubleshoot these switches snap & custom line, what is going on is everytime  a loco goes over these switches it stops them either on top of them or entering the frog or leaving the points, i just don't know where  to start . i have also replace them in which they did the same thing.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 7:16 PM

What types of locomotives are you running and do they have all-wheel pickup? Is this HO?

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by mmartian22 on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 7:28 PM

i have steam & diesals  steam are more troublesome  the six axle units stops at the points when devirging  i run ho

 

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Posted by jrbernier on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 8:58 PM

  A couple of questions:

  • How are the switch points locked?  Atlas switch machine, Tortoise, or ground Caboose Ind ground throw?
  • How 'old are these turnouts?
  • What model/brand are the engines?

  Now, a couple of comments.  The switch points need to make clean/firm contact with the stock rails.  The 'rivets' fastening  the points cannot be too loose.  I hope you have good firm rail joiners or electical feeders(even better) to all of your track.  And would guess you have cleaned all of your track/engine wheels as well)?

  I have over 40+ Atlas turnouts on my 17 year old layout.  I have had 'one' turnout failure in all that time.  Most of my turnouts use Caboose Ind ground throws or Tortoise motors to keep them thrown.  I clean the track about every 6 months.  Once in  a while I have to clean a switch point.  That one turnout I had to replace was due to the rivet getting loose and I just replaced it after trying to 'pean' the rivet several times.

Jim

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 5:24 AM

mmartian22

hi  i would like to how to troubleshoot these switches snap & custom line, what is going on is everytime  a loco goes over these switches it stops them either on top of them or entering the frog or leaving the points, i just don't know where  to start . i have also replace them in which they did the same thing.

A problem like this is almost always attributable to one of three things: faulty or inadequate wiring, the turnout itself, or a problem with the affected locos.

You say, "I just don't know where  to start".  A good starting point is to take one of the troblesome locos, in your case one your steam engines, and run it through one of the turnouts (i.e., switches). 

Start with a straight through route.  Any porblems?  Where?  If no problems, then run the loco through the divergent track of the turnout.  Any porblems?  Where? 

Since you seem to be indicating that the problem occurs with more than one of the switches, chances are that the switches are OK.  If the locos stalled on only one turnout, I would suspect the turnout.  But, with multiple turnouts affected, it is either your wiring or the locos causing the problem.

Have these turnouts worked OK in the past, or is this a new installation where the problem has occurred since the outset?  DC or DCC ?

Are the turnouts receiving power on all three legs of the turnout?  Are the frogs powered?  Use a multimeter or light bulb to test them.  If the wiring is OK, then the problem is with the locos.

Do any locos, diesel or steam, run through the turnout without stalling?  Which ones?  Diesels?  Four axle or 6 axle?  Steam?  Which wheel configurations?

Get going, my man, you have some detective work to do.

Keep us posted with your questions and observations and let us know how this all turns out.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 6:45 AM

richhotrain
    A problem like this is almost always attributable to one of three things: faulty or inadequate wiring, the turnout itself, or a problem with the affected locos.

My immediate thought was wiring, too.  Snap-switches route power through the switch, regardless of the point setting.  I'm guessing that you have loose rail joiners, and you're depending on joiners to pass power.  Add more feeders so that the joiners no longer become critical parts of your power distribution system.  You can also solder the sections of track at the feeder to make sure they make better contact, but there's still nothing like a good network of bus and feeder connections to make your railroad run the way it should.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Eric97123 on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:02 PM

I have had this problem in the past and I figured it out by watching where the loco stalled and when I nailed what section of track, I often found it was points loosing contack on the piece that they are hooked to the underside of the track and was magnified when the track was not prefectly level.  The weight of the loco would make it not get good contact and stall.  The best fix for it is to make sure you have power at all ends of the turnout.  When I went DCC and expanded my layout and put feeders in, I made sure to power the turn out on all sides and have not had trouble since.   I can 99.999% promise if you do that, you will have no more problems

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Posted by mmartian22 on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 6:43 PM

hi what i have is bli 's ,atlas kato, rivarossi. i us e these loco's at my club . also which i   don't have  any problems there.except one bli steam which the front polit wheels rides over the switches sometimes i do have dcc,my feed wires are every two and a half feet apart but i don't have power feeders going to all ends of the switches either  .  and goimg to check how clean they are to, i use turtles under the switches and cabooses throw switches  most switches are three yrs old,

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, November 11, 2010 6:59 AM

mmartian22

hi what i have is bli 's ,atlas kato, rivarossi. i us e these loco's at my club . also which i   don't have  any problems there.except one bli steam which the front polit wheels rides over the switches sometimes i do have dcc,my feed wires are every two and a half feet apart but i don't have power feeders going to all ends of the switches either  .  and goimg to check how clean they are to, i use turtles under the switches and cabooses throw switches  most switches are three yrs old,

OK, so you operate in DCC, all of your locos perform OK at your club, and your home layout appears to be adequately wired, but you still haven't answered a few basic questions. 

Have these turnouts worked OK in the past, or is this a new installation where the problem has occurred since the outset? 

Also, do any locos, diesel or steam, run through the turnout without stalling?  Which ones?  Diesels?  Four axle or 6 axle?  Steam?  Which wheel configurations?

Are the turnouts receiving power on all three legs of the turnout?  Are the frogs powered?  Use a multimeter or light bulb to test them. 

We cannot help and advise unless we get more information.

Rich

 

 

Alton Junction

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Posted by CTValleyRR on Thursday, November 11, 2010 9:24 AM

Just My 2 Cents worth of advice for the OP:

We know you're frustrated because you're having difficulties, and we know that you're eager to get past this issue and get on with modeling / operating.

However, if you're going to solve this problem, you'll need to take this slow and steady, identifying exactly what situations and conditions cause which problems.  Gradually, you will eliminate possible causes.  As Sherlock Holmes said, "Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

So when someone gives you a suggestion, run off to your layout, and examine exactly what happens, then come back and give us a full report.  We can help, but only if we get the information to do so.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

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Posted by mmartian22 on Friday, November 12, 2010 8:08 PM

hi problem almost solved i think one turnout wasn't  level when going into a diverging route  it had a little twist in it . my six axles and  steam will go through it without stalling ,the other one is new but wheels  get hung up when going through or diverging it looks like the wheels ride into the  frog and drops into it  then derails  . like  the frog is not made right  they seem to hit it and  derails if this makes any since. on my steam i have 4-8-8-4   2-6-6-2   4-8-4 plus more configs most problems involve six axles and 4-8-4 s

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Posted by mmartian22 on Friday, November 12, 2010 8:17 PM

hi also i have a rramp meter which showing i  have anywhere ftom 8- 11.5 vts  at all ends or legs.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, November 12, 2010 10:20 PM

 That says inadequate feeders to me - the voltage should be the same or at least no more than half a volt difference at all parts of the layout. an 8-11.5 volt varience is going to be a SIGNIFICANT speed change.

               --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 13, 2010 5:23 AM

rrinker

 That says inadequate feeders to me - the voltage should be the same or at least no more than half a volt difference at all parts of the layout. an 8-11.5 volt varience is going to be a SIGNIFICANT speed change.

               --Randy

I feel the same way.  It is one thing to rely on rail joiners alone to carry current from one piece of track to another, flex track or sectional track. It is quite another thing to rely on rail joiners alone to carry current through a turnout.  I learned the hard way that inadequate feeders will cause locos to stall on the turnouts.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 13, 2010 5:28 AM

mmartian22

hi problem almost solved i think one turnout wasn't  level when going into a diverging route  it had a little twist in it . my six axles and  steam will go through it without stalling ,the other one is new but wheels  get hung up when going through or diverging it looks like the wheels ride into the  frog and drops into it  then derails  . like  the frog is not made right  they seem to hit it and  derails if this makes any since. on my steam i have 4-8-8-4   2-6-6-2   4-8-4 plus more configs most problems involve six axles and 4-8-4 s

You may be on to something here.  An unlevel turnout can cause all kinds of problems, not the least of which is derailments.  I give special attention to the placement and leveling of turnouts for exactly that reason. 

It is also possible that an uneven turnout can cause a loss of power if the wheels lose contact with the rails, although this is more likely to happen with shorter locos than longer ones.

Sure hope you solve your problem.  This seems to be going on for a long time now.  Good luck.

Keep us posted and let us know how you ultimately solve your problem.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by mmartian22 on Saturday, November 13, 2010 8:17 PM

iam going to replace one with a peco turnout as a test to see if they operate better, i was told they are  a better turnout ,  they are down right pricey too . plus iam going to install feeders on  each leg of one , guys yuo have been a great help, also would a point  or leg that is lower than outside rail  would  be a problem

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, November 14, 2010 6:28 AM

mmartian22

also would a point  or leg that is lower than outside rail  would  be a problem

Oh yeah.

Alton Junction

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