Why is Deoxit a secret ?

Discussion in 'Track maintenance' started by Splitpin, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Splitpin

    Splitpin Full Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Well it was for me, and is simply the best thing I discovered in model railroading in the last 12 months.

    Usual disclaimer, I have nothing to do with this product other than being over the moon happy I found it. It's not so much a rail cleaner though, using it in a tiny quantity means NOT having to clean track at all, or at least very rarely.

    Before. Due to my current obsession with automation of software controlled trains I was finding I was having to spend way too much time in track maintenance mode compared to running mode. I had a program of 1hr a day four days a week with white spirit and rag, track and wheels. And it still wasn't enough. Playing trains was becoming not fun. This didn't bode well especially as lots of track was starting to disappear under landscape never to be seen again. Reliable automation dream not looking too good at this stage.

    Research for the 'best track cleaning method' on Google revealed suggestions from sand paper to electronic (precluded by my DCC). Yep I tried IPA rather than white spirit but they are both pretty good solvents so not much difference there. ATF, yes Automatic Transmission Fluid, was something different - really, oil, OMG ?? Anti-oxidant was the theory. Once or twice in the ATF threads there'd be the comment 'not ATF use the real thing - Craig's Deoxit' Hmm intriguing.

    It's advertised as a contact restorer/protector principally for audio gear plugs/pots/sliders etc but good for any electrical contact especially moving contacts eg rotary or sliders - hmm 'moving contacts' sounds very familiar. I could find only one supplier in New Zealand, a boats/marine dealer. A week later my tiny bottle(s) arrived, at which stage I was so pissed off with track cleaning it hadn't happened for two weeks. The effects of which are jerky running, trains not hitting stop markers accurately, hesitant starts and transits of points, frustration etc- far far from reliable.

    Now the best part, before using Deoxit, don't clean the track (what fun!). Put a smear, just a light smear of Deoxit about an inch long on both tracks in one place somewhere on the layout. Now run trains all over the layout, they'll spread it. That's it. By the second lap the effect was visually apparent, by the 5th lap Blind Freddy's dog could have seen the difference. Perfect running, ALL the above symptoms vanished like magic, I couldn't believe it.

    I've been waiting to see how long the effect lasts before saying anything but I've given up waiting. It's been 3 months since I've cleaned any track, any track at all, this stuff is simply magic.
    There are a couple of caveats, less is more - the smear is a light smear we don't want globs of the stuff attracting dust/dirt. And to an extent it's a lubricant, there may be some loss of traction on gradients but from my experience of the bit of too steep 1:33 gradient I have, that the slip effect disappears after a day or two and they'll run better up that gradient than they ever did before. Craig's Deoxit comes in a number of formulations, look for the 100% Red variety (D100L) as in the pic. I could only get it in NZ in a 2 red/gold pack but it's the red one you want and this tiny bottle will last the rest of my life. The smear is just a smear.

    This has already stretched into the TLDR area so I won't rave on more, but I could if given the slightest encouragement.

    John
     
  2. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    110
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    De-oxit is certainly not a secret in the audio world. There are lots and lots of posts extolling its virtue for cleaning volume controls, switches and connectors. Some people get really wound up extolling its virtue.
    I have used it, but it is very hard to get it in Aus. I find a CRC product CO contact cleaner to be quite good.
    I would be a little concerned about the oil content of some de-oxit products (they do seem rather secretive about what is in it) especially with locos with traction tyres.
    Your results sound like an interesting test though, just applying a little bit and having the loco do the work, I will try it with one of my layouts that has had a break of operation for a while.
    Sorry, I don't seem to get the pic that you put up.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
  3. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
  4. TimberSurf

    TimberSurf Full Member

    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    331
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    jakesdad13 likes this.
  5. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

    Messages:
    610
    Likes Received:
    545
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    John,
    Do you have traction tyres or plastic wheeled rolling stock?

    If the answer to either is yes, get rid, as they are the biggest issue in my opinion of causing dirty track. I clean mine about once a month if that with DCC as all items are metal wheeled (thankfully newish items or swapped.) with only a Lima class 60 having traction tyres.

    When I worked in the model shop, no end of folk would come in for wheel cleaning... one thing we worked out was that the majority of those customers were using tri-ang or early Hornby railways rolling stock with nylon wheel sets and the wear from those built up on the driving wheels causing some locos to “breed” their own traction tyres.
     
    TimberSurf and amdaley like this.
  6. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    2,563
    Likes Received:
    461
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Some fifty or so years ago, the switch cleaner of choice was "Servisol", mainly Carbon TetraChloride based I understand, but various "Elf n' Safety" regulations put paid to that formula, although I believe it is still available in a new formula.
    Keith.
     
  7. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Ordered mine from Hot Rox UK, thanks for the link..:thumbup:
     
  8. Splitpin

    Splitpin Full Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Thank you all for your replies.
    Hi Dr Tony. Yes LOL I do apologise for the tone of religious fervor in my post as well, but this stuff changed my life! And yes the 'oil-ish-ness' of this stuff had me concerned and it was with great trepidation I applied those first smears. In truth I half expected to create a disaster and have to clean the whole lot off - but it was worth the risk I wasn't prepared to take with ATF. My pic was just of the little 7.5ml bottle I got - do you or other see the pic now ? Or have I failed the basic album management test ?

    Thanks Ron and TimberSurf for the links - Dr Tony backs me up here, Deoxit isn't easy to find down here on t'other side of the world. That tiny bottle on the Hot Rox UK link would still be enough for a lifetime. I'd had to buy the two bottle pack of Red and Gold in 7.5ml bottles because that was all that was available here.

    Hi Andy and just a few plastic wheeled wagons still waiting for metal replacements but none is the goal yes. My last traction tyred loco a Lima Railcar has been retired in favor of a nice new Dapol example of the same which I'm very happy with by the way. And yes traction tyres probably should get added to the Deoxit caveats I'd think too.

    I was about 12, I remember my dad sitting down to 'clean' my little camera with Carbon Tetrachloride - the result was a melted pool of grey plastic on the kitchen table, one very upset little boy and a mother/wife who was equally unimpressed. He was also the bloke that first handed me a bottle of white spirit and a rag and pointed me at 'our' layout - he had his track cleaning solution.

    If anyone else tries this I'd really like to know your impressions - especially if you get the 'Crikey it works!' moment on the second lap.

    I think maybe whats going on here is we're focused on 'cleaning' and yes general grunge is an issue, but Deoxit is focused on contact, enhancing contact, the 'goo' itself is conductive, those couple of molecules thick on the track surface is actually conductive itself and gives better contact than the cleanest wheel on the cleanest track. If I ran trains after dark in the past the arcing between driving wheels and track could be quite spectacular at times. After application of Deoxit that virtually vanishes.
     
    Ron and Andy_Sollis like this.
  9. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Got mine today so I'll test it out this week..

    Ron
     
  10. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Well so far so good, only used 1/3 of a bottle to do the whole layout! (the photo shows the bottle lying flat!)
    The track 'looks' dirty after the application but the trains run very well and the slow running is excellent.
    I'll update here after it's been in use a few weeks.

    IMG_4239.JPG
     
    Splitpin, Ben Alder and jakesdad13 like this.
  11. Ben Alder

    Ben Alder Full Member

    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    61
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
  12. Splitpin

    Splitpin Full Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Hi Ron, thanks for the reply.
    A 1/3 of the bottle sounds like a lot to me, I'd only used one dab on each of the two tracks, that was it for my approx 50m of track.
    And yes I also noticed the track 'looks dirty' after - just a sort of brownish/bronzey tinge. To me that was an unlooked for improvement over my bright shiny track (that looked clean but wasn't ! ).
    Really really happy you've had success. :cheers:

    John
     
  13. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Only a very small bottle John, just run all my loco's around the layout (inc added sound), all without a problem!!
    Good stuff!!
     
    jakesdad13 and Splitpin like this.
  14. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    2,981
    Likes Received:
    585
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Ron likes this.
  15. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    471
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Well I'm pleased with it! All my loco's are running well!! Slow running is the best it's ever been.

     
    Andy_Sollis and jakesdad13 like this.
  16. Splitpin

    Splitpin Full Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    16
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Hi Ron thanks for the update, good news indeed. :cheers:

    John
     
    malc60015 and Ron like this.

Share This Page