Track cleaning F7 "Miniatronics Electrak Clean 2"

minesweeper Jul 8, 2024

  1. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Good day, I just got for a bargain price this item.
    Does anyone know if this actually works, or other information? IMG_9142.jpg Screenshot 2024-07-08 alle 17.09.37.png

    Itself has dirty wheels, which does not fare well for the intended purpose.
    Worst case scenario I will use it as a Dummy F7B, but would like to know something about it.
     
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  2. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    They way I see it, and have read some commentary about it, you might have more of a curiosity than a tool that actually works.

    As advertised, the electronic unit sends pulses of high-frequency, high voltage current, but at very very little amperage, across the rails and into the vehicles on the track. That supposedly turns the caked-on dirt or oxidation into loose ash.

    It's a repackaging of a similar unit formerly made in the UK by Relco (there are at least a couple of threads on that one in here).

    Most saw no improvement in track cleanliness. Those that did were very enthusiastically reporting that they never had to clean their track ever again. I suspect there's something like the placebo effect or some form of confirmation bias (seeing only the result you want to see) at work.

    Use it as a dummy engine.
     
  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    :ROFLMAO::LOL::)
     
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  4. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you Mike, I was thinking if it interferes with DCC?
     
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  5. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    I wouldn't chance it. DCC uses coded pulses sent over the power signal by the power supply. This is decoded by some delicate electronics (the more delicate, the more expensive) aboard the locos and any other DCC-equipped rolling stock.

    The kind of electronics that die if they get an electrostatic discharge (ESD) - even at very low currents - whether it's from your finger or from an electronic track cleaner. It might not happen the first few times, but it eventually will. The high voltage will fry it.

    I work in electronics, and I know a thing or two about ESD and boards that have a lot of components that are sensitive. Before manipulating any board, whether it's for assembling them or testing them, I ground myself through a wrist strap to the grounded work mat on my desk. That's how critical it is to take precautions. Blowing a $20000 board on an "oops" is not an option.

    If I had DCC (I do DC), I wouldn't let that beastie anywhere near my babies!
     
  6. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Looks like I am ending up with a toylike F7B dummy
    :)
     
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  7. Mr. Train

    Mr. Train TrainBoard Member

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    I pull it behind my 70mac, or my steam engine and tell everyone it’s a Dino car check engine power. If I am cleaning track it a win, if not I wasn’t trying to clean just pulling car for the story.
     
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  8. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    What is a Dino car?
    Also I could have it pushed by a battery powered toy train from Marklin that goes on standard HO track and have a look if it cleans. You do not need to have the track powered for these toy trains, so no danger of frying decoders or throttles.
    [​IMG]
    If I am not mistaken there is on your side of the pond something similar, i saw the ad on MRR.
    These are actually smart, you can run on their tracks or on any regular HO tracks, there is a remote control (yes, my kids loved cornfield meets, and asked me why you could not do these on DC layouts - I could and I confess I did (y)), and these withstand any kind of damage kid could do.
     
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  9. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    Dino car - dynamometer car. Measures engine performance against the train's rolling resistance.

    Here's my dynamometer car:
    IMGP4197A.jpg
    A 250 gram vertical scale attached to a flat car with a normal coupler on one end and another on an ajustable mount bolted to the scale's pulling tab.

    A lucky find at an estate sale in Ottawa, ON. And it works like a charm!
     
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  10. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Nice idea, could adapt one in europe either....
     

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