Old age strikes again

Discussion in 'RTR Trackwork' started by The Hebridean, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. The Hebridean

    The Hebridean Full Member

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    Good Evening
    The headline has struck and I hope someone can pull me out of my problem.

    Imagine a standard Peco code 100 any size turnout, trains running well etc.and suddenly one side of said turnout is not closing to the outside rail enough to make electrical connection. Finger and thumb pinching the rails together or shorting across with a metal object and trains run again, let go trains stop. The point control is wire in tube and I wondered if a Peco point motor spring loaded mounting block [Part no. Sl11] might fix it or has anyone got any ideas to pass on.

    To remove the said point would be a major effort and possibly seaverly damage the scenics. I also live on a remote island as my user name inplys and model shops are nonexisitant.

    Thank you all in advance for any assistance
     
  2. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    Presumably the moving blade looks as though it's making contact.

    Does it have a small wiper under the moving blade that electrically links the moving blade to the fixed rail, if so that may have become weak and need adjustment, or maybe some dust or scenic material has got between it and the fixed rail.

    Jim
     
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  3. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Sounds like the wire in tube isn't fully making the switch when moved. I assume it's worked fine up until now ?
     
  4. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    If the point blades are failing to throw fully in one direction then the fault is either an obstruction such as a tiny particle that is preventing the point blade from completing closure or, there is a loss of travel in the mechanical connection (e.g wire in tube) between motor and point. It could be that the action of the wire moving the point blade standing off is in push mode and that the tube has become loose causing flexing and thus a loss of travel, this is not apparent if/when the blade motion is reversed as the wire in tube is in pull mode and no flexure being caused. I'd firstly clean the point blades of any potential dust using a desk top micro vacuum checking also the offending blade isn't twisted in any way, then check for any lateral movement of the tube and if necessary check the end connections in case they have become loose. Hope this helps.
     
  5. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    If the points are insulfrog, then you could try connecting a wire from the blades to the stock rail, this would maintain electrical continuity.

    Paul
     
  6. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Paul has the answer........this is common on older points and the wire connection will solve the electrical side of the problem.
    Once the electrical bridge is done, the point blade is merely there to carry the wheels across.
    If wiring to the point blade I would use a flexible wire.
    :cheers::tophat:Gormo
     
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  7. Davoetype

    Davoetype Full Member

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    A dollar to me for every point I have installed a wire connection to would be very handy.

    Cheers

    and happy modellind

    Richard
     
  8. The Hebridean

    The Hebridean Full Member

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    Hello everyone,
    Thanks for all the advice offered and now tried without success. Further inspection shows that the rail that moves [technical term] is slightly twisted out of vertical and is a electro frog turnout. The rail I am having trouble with is connecting to the curved side and is on the pull of the throw.
    Regards
    Alan [The Hebridean]
     
  9. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Do you have an Omega loop on the wire to the point? maybe it needs tightening up if so?

    Pete.
     
  10. The Hebridean

    The Hebridean Full Member

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    Thanks Pete, I never thought of fitting one ,I will give it a try this weekend

    regards
    Alan
     
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  11. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Alan
    May be a couple of photos will be of help with the diagnosis of the issues.

    Usually if the blade isn’t making electrical connection it is one of two things No1 alignment/position of the closure “Blade” Rail = adjust travel or angle or if failed replace point
    No2 dirt build up between the surfaces,= clean, may need scraping with a utensil with sharp edged, this dirt may be burnt on due to arcing.

    Why is the dirt burnt on, this burning occurs as the blade moves when a locomotive crosses the slight electrical arc will burn the dirt on it may look sooty, this is not usually as evident with DC and may take years of running over the point before any issue appear, but with DCC and using the blade to do the conducting (Something that should be avoided) it will happen very quickly.

    If you need to remove and replace the point it may not be as bad as you think to remove.
    If it is connected to plain track using a sharp blade to trim away the first sleepers chairs on the adjoining rails will allow you to slide the joiners along and if your track is ballasted soak the track with a mix of wet water, ie water with a few drops of detergent this will soften the PVA glue and you will be able to removes without damaging anything.
    I’ve been gradually doing this on my local clubs layout replacing 25+ year old points as they fail without having to completely pull up sections of the layout.

    Shoot us all a couple of photos as they say a photo conveys a thousand words.
    Best of luck sorting your issue
     
  12. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    When I have replaced points that were beyond in situ repair in a fully ballasted and scenic area I would remove it in pieces.

    To start with I would cut through the rails at least 1/2inch away from the fishplates joining the points to the running lines.

    Then remove the main part of the point by whatever means necessary

    Next slide the 1/2 inch rail stubs and the fishplates off the running rails and remove all ballast debris.

    Fit new fishplates to the running rails so they are almost totally attached to the running rails, they may need a bit of slackening to do this.

    The new points can then be dropped in vertically and fixed in place, point actuation wires/motor etc connected as required.

    Then slide the fishplates from the running rails towards the points to engage the point rails, finish any wiring.

    Track colour paint and reballast as though the PW have been and done a repair or service as in real life.

    So it's not really that difficult, except when at arms length, boy that was tricky ;)
     
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  13. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    You could try drilling a small hole as close to the rails outer edge, then insert a panel pin and solder the pin to the rail, hopefully this will lock the rail in situ.

    Paul
     
  14. The Hebridean

    The Hebridean Full Member

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    Hi paul_I I have never made an electrical bridge as you suggested as I have always used electrofrog turnouts. Do I connect a wire from the switch rail to the stock rail or both sides or do I connect either side of the frog to the stock rails.
    Regards

    Alan
     
  15. The Hebridean

    The Hebridean Full Member

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    Hello everyone ,
    I think I have fixed the problem by working my way through the advice you have so kindly offered. While changing the turnout I noticed that the tie bar was twisting across it's width and twisting the switch rail a touch.
    Thankyou all for your time and pataiance

    Alan [The Hebridean]
     
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