Help! MTL Turnout Issue

jshglass Mar 8, 2018

  1. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The problem with taking out the traction tires is empty space it leaves. You need to replace it with a non traction tire wheel. I think traction tires work better in six axle trucks, because it has more wheels to pickup power.
     
  2. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    According to my friend, grooved wheels are not a problem. But one should better replace axles indeed, if able to do so. Otherwise did anyone think about flowing some lead or solder in the groove, and flatening it putting the loco on its back and turning wheels applying power with a 4.5 volt battery for example ?

    Dom
     
  3. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think there’s a problem. The wheel without the traction tires seats a little higher, and it will not make contact with the rails.
     
  4. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Hundreds of these locos run on hundreds of turnouts. Need to look a little closer at what is going on with this turnout or truck pickup.
    GOOD, BRIGHT lighting and a good Controller that can run the loco at SLOW speeds can help, as you watch the loco run through the turnout, from several angles. Use a voltmeter to probe around.

    Any loco that stalls:
    Is the headlight on? Then there is no power from the track to the chassis. This would mean only one truck has the power pickup. If it stalls on the frog, the points don't have power or that truck doesn't have power either.

    When it stalls, use a voltmeter, preferable fine point, narrow tip, to probe the track, wheels, truck contact (to chassis). We know the chassis does not have power, you need to figure out which connection is failing. Take the shell off, when you are doing this, as it makes it easy to probe the truck parts. Put one meter probe on track you know is running and probe the truck parts and track on the opposite side. You don't need a fancy meter, any $5 will work

    NOTE: If you are using DCC, most decoders have Momentum (CV3 & 4) that make the motor ramp up slowly, making this 'stall' effect more noticeable. Also, some decoders do not have Momentum (value at 0) but, the decoder itself restarts with a delay and ramps up slowly. Again, makes poor connections look really bad.
     
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  5. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    I also have had many problems with the MTL turnouts. Very frustrating. But replacing them with Rokuhan is expensive: I see that they are even more expensive than the MTL ones, and they are also electrical turnouts (which I do not want)...

    Still thinking what to do.....
     
  6. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It’s expensive, but I really like the fastrack switches.
     
  7. jshglass

    jshglass TrainBoard Member

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    I had a thought tonight while fiddling with my layout:

    The short, inside section of rail in the turnout does not connect to the frog. Is it feasible to solder a booster wire to it? It would come from the same wire feeding the straight rail, as that would be the required polarity. I thought it might be a work around, as the loco can pass over the frog, which for some reason is always dead, and pick up the appropriate polarity on the rail just passed it.

    This all makes sense in my head, but in case I’m not making sense in this post I’ve attached a photo of my idea. The booster wire would just attach to the section of rail circled in yellow. Note the wire is the same color as the outside rail, thus maintaining a steady polarity.

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    But that section of the track should be fed by the adjoining diverging track?
     
  9. jshglass

    jshglass TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, but the adjoining rail will be the same polarity.


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  10. jshglass

    jshglass TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry, I was not clear. This section of track is not fed from the adjoining turnout because it is joined with insulated joiners. The two joining turnouts separate two separate blocks.
     
  11. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    OK, now I understand :)
     
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  12. jshglass

    jshglass TrainBoard Member

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    So do you think if I boost this section of track that would help? It currently is not powered for some reason, which is what I think my problem is.
     
  13. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Why?

    1. Insulated joiners don't hold alignment as well.

    2. Insulated joiners are ugly.

    3. The frog does exactly the same thing an insulated joiner does.

    So why put an insulated joiner on that rail?

    If it's a crossover, and both switches are the same type, you can use nickel-silver joiners between the two curved legs of the two switches and it will act just like you used two insulated joiners--except more secure, better looking and ready for solder. There is, after all, a frog in each rail. So why use insulated joiners?

    I have crossovers done that way, and they work fine for me. Yeah, the insulated spots aren't right across from each other. So? The only time it matters is when a train crosses over, and all electricity should be aligned at that moment. Right? So why mess with insulated joiners there?

    Using n/s joiners is a much, much easier way to enliven the dead rail of each switch than soldering jumpers to Z rails, I assure you!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
    bostonjim likes this.
  14. jshglass

    jshglass TrainBoard Member

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    Holy crap, man! You just blew my mind. I had no idea I could do that. I feel dumb now.

    Will test it out tomorrow.


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  15. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    :)

    That three letter word is our best friend. Why?
     
  16. jshglass

    jshglass TrainBoard Member

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    So I replaced the insulated joiners with nickel/silver joiners. Instead of stalling out, the loco shorts out. Both blocks are set to the same cab, so there’s no issue there. The polarity seems to be just fine in the crossover, but the frogs are still dead. What is going on?! I feel so dumb!


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  17. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    This is a crossover between two straight tracks? Both switches are identical? Because it sounds like either one doesn't have insulated rail past the frog, or there's a left and a right hand switch so there isn't a frog in each rail.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  18. jshglass

    jshglass TrainBoard Member

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    Yes. Two MTL turnouts to to crossover between to straights.


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  19. Thieu

    Thieu TrainBoard Member

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    I think a picture would be helpfull :)
     
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  20. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Is the short constant or only when the locomotive is on the switch?
     
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