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No power

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  • Member since
    January 2008
  • 7 posts
No power
Posted by HO Beginner on Thursday, January 31, 2008 8:50 PM

I have an HO layout with DCC and have lost all power. I tried to install a power booster and that is when the whole thing shut down. Now I cannot get power to the original DCC power station. In addition, all of the power to lights and turnouts is also shot. I have been told that it might be a short circuit. Any thoughts? If it is a short circuit, how can I repair it?

I am really out of my element here so any help will be greatly appreciated.

  • Member since
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  • From: Michigan
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Posted by rolleiman on Thursday, January 31, 2008 9:02 PM
 HO Beginner wrote:

I have an HO layout with DCC and have lost all power. I tried to install a power booster and that is when the whole thing shut down. Now I cannot get power to the original DCC power station. In addition, all of the power to lights and turnouts is also shot. I have been told that it might be a short circuit. Any thoughts? If it is a short circuit, how can I repair it?

I am really out of my element here so any help will be greatly appreciated.

I'm assuming from what you write that at one time you Had power.. Correct? First, check the obvious.. Is everything plugged in and turned on? Did you leave something laying across the rails? Second, Remove all locomotives, and see if that cures the shutdown problem. Third, if it does, start replacing them until your short reappears. If it doesn't, start checking for a loose wire somewhere, a bridged frog (what kind of turnouts are you using?) or point rail, etc.. I only have experience with Digitrax and I know from experience that if it shorts, it will scream for a minute and then shut down to avoid an overload. I also know that in order for that to happen, the power supply (transformer) has to be capapble of delivering the current required to trip the circuit breaker.  

Modeling the Wabash from Detroit to Montpelier Jeff
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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Thursday, January 31, 2008 9:03 PM

disconnect your command station from the track and accessories at all points.  Disconnect your power booster.

Only hook up the power to the AC power supply to the command station.  See if your cab will work then.

If that doesn't work, get a volt meter, set it to AC and measure the power across the power supplies terminal wires.  See if it's still putting out juice.

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

  • Member since
    October 2005
  • From: Ulster Co. NY
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Posted by larak on Thursday, January 31, 2008 9:36 PM
 HO Beginner wrote:

I have an HO layout with DCC and have lost all power. I tried to install a power booster and that is when the whole thing shut down. Now I cannot get power to the original DCC power station. In addition, all of the power to lights and turnouts is also shot. I have been told that it might be a short circuit. Any thoughts? If it is a short circuit, how can I repair it?

I am really out of my element here so any help will be greatly appreciated.

How are you powering the lights and turnouts. Not through the DCC I presume. This should be a big clue to what is going on. Can you better describe your system from wall outlet onward?

Your problem may be upstream from where all of your power sources connect to the line. Perhaps a bad power strip? 

Karl 

The mind is like a parachute. It works better when it's open.  www.stremy.net

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  • From: Charlotte, NC
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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Friday, February 1, 2008 7:44 AM

The obvious first step is to undo the last thing you did at the time the problem occured.

First place I would look is polarity.  Have you reversed the polarity on two separate power supplies?

If that doesn't work, disconnect everything.  Make sure you have power at the outlet and power strip, and then work forward.  Check the fuse or circuit breaker on the power strip. Connect booster to power.  Check fuses and circuit breakers on everything that has one.  Test it with an AC voltmeter.

If it's good, connect it to the track.  Test that.  Continue connecting things one at a time and check voltage and polarity after every connection.

Eventually, you will either find the problem component, or have everything connected with it still working.

Everyone who works in electronic repair has had the experience of taking something that doesn't work apart, testing everything, finding no problem, reassembling it and it works.  No idea why it didn't work before.  It was probably a loose or bad connection, or a small invisible short.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Friday, February 1, 2008 8:53 AM

 Phoebe Vet has it right on the money!  Very logical progression for troubleshooting your problem. Thumbs Up [tup]

If following that doesn't resolve your problem you have likely had a meltdown somewhere or gremlins got it. Shock [:O]

 

 Phoebe Vet wrote:

Everyone who works in electronic repair has had the experience of taking something that doesn't work apart, testing everything, finding no problem, reassembling it and it works.  No idea why it didn't work before.  It was probably a loose or bad connection, or a small invisible short.

Laugh [(-D] While I can't claim to have "worked" in electronics repair, I have had this happen to me dozens of times.  I started to wonder if, (hope) Wink [;)] I had magical powers or something. Laugh [(-D]

I like knowing that this is a common thing that happens to a lot of techs.  Nothing special, (and or wierd) about me...well at least not in regards to electronic repair/troubleshooting. Big Smile [:D]

  • Member since
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  • From: Charlotte, NC
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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Friday, February 1, 2008 9:02 AM

CT-M (Electronics Technician) in the US Navy, stationed at NSA (Fort Meade, MD).

Even if he had a meltdown, following that progression will tell him WHAT melted down, or where the gremlins have built their nest.......

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

  • Member since
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Posted by BlueHillsCPR on Friday, February 1, 2008 9:12 AM
 Phoebe Vet wrote:

CT-M (Electronics Technician) in the US Navy, stationed at NSA (Fort Meade, MD).

Even if he had a meltdown, following that progression will tell him WHAT melted down, or where the gremlins have built their nest.......

Yes I was aware of your training.  Wish I had been in your shoes. Cool [8D]

Indeed after following your instructions the problem should be evident.  It's the guys like you with an elite level of expertise that will make this forum great!  Thanks for sharing your know-how. Thumbs Up [tup]

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Posted by HO Beginner on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 8:33 PM

Thanks so much for all of the responses. It is going to be a couple of weeks before I have a free weekend, but I at least feel that I have some direction as to how to proceed. You folks are great!

Yes, I did have power at one time. Outside of the DCC, I had lights running to about 10 buildings and I had 8 turnouts working remotely. I had a locomotive running on the 2 loops of track with the DCC.

The first thing that happened was that the locomotive would stop just as it entered a tunnel on the inside loop. If I pushed it through, it would start running again on the other end of the tunnel. This led me to believe that I needed more power, so I ordered a booster for the DCC.

While awaiting the booster to arrive, a new locomotive arrived. I had purchased one without installed decoders and send it to a guy who installed the decoders and some sound. When I tried to run the new locomotive, it would not run. It would produce all kinds of sound, but not move on the track. 

I decided to hold off on using the new train, as the booster arrived. I installed the booster and that's when the trouble began. It immediately shorted out the main power station. I could get power back up by disconnecting the booster and switching the main power station off, then back on. I was trying to troubleshoot the problem and on one of those attempts, the power would not come on again.

It makes sense to me to just disconnect everything and start again. It may be a little tedious, but it will certainly insure that I have everything connected properly.

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Michigan
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Posted by rolleiman on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 9:57 PM
 HO Beginner wrote:

Thanks so much for all of the responses. It is going to be a couple of weeks before I have a free weekend, but I at least feel that I have some direction as to how to proceed. You folks are great!

Yes, I did have power at one time. Outside of the DCC, I had lights running to about 10 buildings and I had 8 turnouts working remotely. I had a locomotive running on the 2 loops of track with the DCC.

The first thing that happened was that the locomotive would stop just as it entered a tunnel on the inside loop. If I pushed it through, it would start running again on the other end of the tunnel. This led me to believe that I needed more power, so I ordered a booster for the DCC.

What this suggests ^^^^ is a broken track somewhere, either a joiner, a feeder, or something of that nature or even just plain dirt. If that's the case, unless you've fed the new booster to this section of track, it isn't going to help.

While awaiting the booster to arrive, a new locomotive arrived. I had purchased one without installed decoders and send it to a guy who installed the decoders and some sound. When I tried to run the new locomotive, it would not run. It would produce all kinds of sound, but not move on the track. 

Never ran after the DCC work was done?? Will it run on a DC (non DCC) track? Sounds like a decoder to motor lead isn't hooked up OR, some sound decoders (BLI) are able to disable or lock out the entire loco but I don't think the sound works at that point either. Remember that with DCC, Everything is connected seperately so even if the sound does work (and lights, etc), the motor could still be disconnected. If reasonable to do, either open it yourself (after checking on a DC track) to see that everything is connected or send it back to the installer. 

I decided to hold off on using the new train, as the booster arrived. I installed the booster and that's when the trouble began. It immediately shorted out the main power station. I could get power back up by disconnecting the booster and switching the main power station off, then back on. I was trying to troubleshoot the problem and on one of those attempts, the power would not come on again.

It makes sense to me to just disconnect everything and start again. It may be a little tedious, but it will certainly insure that I have everything connected properly.

Yes, Try to go back to at least the first point of problem (stalled tunnel track), correct THAT problem, then proceed. Just like a car, sometimes throwing parts at it isn't the best approach.

Good luck..  

Modeling the Wabash from Detroit to Montpelier Jeff
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • 7 posts
Posted by HO Beginner on Saturday, February 16, 2008 2:46 PM

I have power!! I started disconnecting everything and I found that some electrical tape had loosened causing two wires to touch. I repaired the wires, replaced the tape, hooked everything up again and I had power again. All of the lights and turnouts are working. The track is also working to some degree. I think the same problem is present related to the booster, but at least I have power again.

Thanks for all of the suggestions and help.

  • Member since
    September 2007
  • From: Charlotte, NC
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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Sunday, February 17, 2008 8:55 AM
 davidmbedard wrote:

On a side note....all these responces and no one asked which DCC system he was using?  I figured that would be important info.

David B

Which DCC system is being used is irrelevant.  He just needed to be sure that it is working.

 

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

  • Member since
    September 2007
  • From: Charlotte, NC
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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Sunday, February 17, 2008 9:56 AM

Just a suggestion.

Shrink tubing is more reliable, and even easier to use, than electrical tape.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

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