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Author Topic: Fed up with n gauge!!!  (Read 12252 times)

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Offline bluedepot

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Fed up with n gauge!!!
« on: June 24, 2011, 09:10:41 PM »
god it's just one problem after another...

i got a class 73 chipped by someone on ebay (br large logo, 73 138), it makes a noise taking corners (even radius 3 or 4 curves, bogies not catching on anything, it's a vibrating noise) and more annoyingly it cuts out or short circuits on some points.... it does this 90% of the time...

another problem is the duchess of hamilton loco short circuits on points....

i also get random short circuits with other locos, these are a lot better to be fair, all fairly modern farish diesels, the short circuits are rare and random....

is it because the locos more laterally on the track so much????

i keep my layout clean, i have power feeds to every piece of track, i'm a beginner but i've tried my best to get reliable running.... but there is always one more problem!!!!

is OO like this as well or much better? i don't mind a few 'challenges' but honestly n gauge is testing my patience to the limits!!!! i love the actual models and they look great nowadays... but the quest for reliable running is infuriating!!!!

anyway that's my rant over!!!!

i'm off to forget about model trains for a while....



tim
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 09:41:54 AM by Tank, Reason: Title change due to swearing. »

Offline MJKERR

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 09:20:40 PM »
Most of the Dapol motors screech round curves, there doesn't seem to be any way to avoid it

I too suffered all kinds of problems early on, with stuttering, derailments, and so on

The best thing to do is find one motor that runs over all the track, I use a BachFar Class 56 for this
Nextly run it VERY slowly over all sections of track, this then proves there is no electrical issue
Nextly run it at FULL speed, proving the track alignment is correct

Then work through each model, as you intend to run it

Some examples
A
My Class 91 and Mark 4 coaches will run at full speed with loco hauling
However, with the loco pushing the DVT derails almost all the time at crossovers
The solution was to add some weight to the DVT
B
My GNER HST would separate, leaving the rear two coaches and dummy power car
I turned the two coaches and they still split in the same place
I then examined the bogies and found on one coach the bogies were a little too tight, adjusted the pins, and this corrected the issue
However the split moved to the final coach and dummy power car
This turned out to be due to the coupling on the dummy power car being slightly lower, in the short term I have swapped the chassis for a spare one, and will repair the faulty one later

Finally, when you buy used models on eBay UK use caution
If it is fitted with a decoder then assume it does NOT work
You will get better results from a working model, fitting a new decoder (and if necessary sending it to an agent for the fitting of that decoder)
Therefore if the model is not working (bought on eBay UK as DC) then it is not so much of a loss
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 09:30:04 PM by mjkerr »

Offline Southernboy

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 11:15:09 PM »
"god it's just one problem after another... "

You're right.

When I first started back in N gauge I felt the same.

For me the starting point was the insulfrog / electrofrog points thing.
I bought Insulfrog, but then found they weren't so good and on advice from various forums exchanged them for electrofrog. Problem solved? No!

The next bit of advice was that electrofrog points alone still weren't that reliable - I would need to rewire them for polarity (so why don't they just supply them like that I asked ?? - well they just don't was the answer!! - idiots!!)

So next question: What do I have to do and what do I have to buy to rewire them for 'polarity' (whatever that is!)

  ... and so the story has continued...  One problem after another it seems ...

But then I decided I wasn't going to be beaten by the ineptitude of the manufactures when I could clearly see evidence on the forums of others who had layouts where they'd overcome these problems, and decided to follow suit  ...

Since then I've come to enjoy discovering the solutions to these various challenges and seeing if I can improve on them.  In the process I've gained confidence and discovered i can do things, and have patience in a way which before I'd not thought possible.

So what am I saying?
Well perhaps ultimately the benefits of overcoming initial frustrations can bring longer term benefits.
I do sort of wish manufacturers would be a little more 'up-front' about the limitations of their products 'out-of-the-box'  ... but then again we live in a commercial world where that's not going to happen and it's up to the 'railway modeller' within us to deal with that.




 


Offline poliss

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2011, 12:22:26 AM »
From what I've seen OO'ers have much the same problems, usually caused by sloppy QC at the factorys.
Wheel back to backs wrong, wheel contacts not touching some wheels, wheels not level, bumpy points that lift wheels off the track etc.
To be crystal clear. Insulfrogs should not cause even the shortest wheelbased loco to stall. Points should not need to be altered in any way for them to work properly.
The problem, as I see it, is that people don't complain enough. Take up your pens and write to the MDs of Peco, Hornby etc. saying how fed up you are with shoddy goods and points that have to be altered for them to work properly.

Offline elmo

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2011, 01:59:10 AM »
I understand where you are coming from with regards to shoddy goods. In years gone by when I purchased a loco it would be tested in the shop and I do not recall many problems with running etc.
In more recent times though I have given up. The amount of rubbish I have had to send back is ridiculous and it has got to a point that if something says Graham farish on the box it stays on the shelf. I am fed up with having to adjust wheel back-to-backs, adjust dodgy wheel quartering and ensure that all pick-ups actually touch the wheels. The stupid thing is that the graham farish mechanism is basically simple and easy to maintain, but they are just thrown together in the hope that they will work. My two finest farish runners are both returns purchased from both from B R Lines and the Grafar stand at exhibitions. Having been sent back due to not working they have been correctly adjusted and set. If done properly the farish motor is excellent, but I am personally fed up with having to strip down new locos to get them working.

I know from reading this and other forums that it is not just farish that have these problems but in my own personal experience I have not had to put up with such poor quality from other manufacturers. It must also be noted that my complaint concerns just their steam locos. I have never had a diesel (except 08) that is a poor runner, even my first edition 37 & 47 still run superbly at all speeds.

With regard to points I have been in arguments with people on other forums concerning polarity wiring. I have old and newer peco points in both oo and n. I run them as they come out of the box and they work fine. Problems occur when dirt deposits on the sides of the rails where the blade and rail meet thus no electric current can pass.
We all clean the top of the track so why not clean the sides as well? If you clean track with a rubber, rubber deposits can gather between point rail and blade. A liquid cleaner dissolves the gunk on top of the rail and this can get into the gap between blade and rail. I therfore , after cleaning the top of the rail use the corner of a paper towel to wipe the rail sides. No extra wiring, no expensive switches and no running problems.
I will also add that I have a garden railway in oo gauge which sits unused between October/November and the spring. This year after cleaning the top of the rail I found that less than half of my points actually needed the points sides cleaned in order to run properly. I therfore conclude that good running comes from keeping things clean.

Another important aspect is track laying. Track sections need to be lined up straight and be on a flat surface. With our old oo gauge train sets that we used to set up every session on the lounge carpet the large wheel flanges meant that the track could bounce up and down all day and the trains would to a fashion run all day. With N gauge a small dip at the track joint could be a scale six inches or so thus finer scale wheels are going to derail unless care is taken when laying the track.

One thing that you do need to consider with N gauge is that whilst the track and wheels are smaller than oo, dirt deposits, animal hair and dust etc remain the same size. I have noticed with oo that things do seem to run on track that looks far too dirty for N gauge to be running. Before concluding that the larger the railway the better the running quality, I must report a couple of exhibitions that I have been to this year where the O gauge layouts have been suffering electrical problems whilst the n and oo have been going faultlessly.

Elmo

Offline port perran

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2011, 08:39:26 AM »
Now then.
I concentrate mainly on the scenic side of things on my layout. I'm not into electronics at all(Dcc etc is not for me)   so all points etc are manually operated . My track was,however,  laid verycarefully using insulfrog points(I've got 32 of them!). Only two power feeds (one for branch line and one for fiddle yard/main line ), I  don't wire each piece of track seperately.  All track/pointwork is ballasted and pinned down. Everything runs just fine !
As for locomotives - they just work - straight out of the box ! I would say though that my two Dapol 45XX tanks are rather underpowered. 
The only slight problem is the occasional uncoiupling - it's strange - the same loco with the same waggons can go round a circuit 10 times then one of the trucks comes loose on the 11th circuit !
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline MJKERR

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2011, 09:04:24 AM »
The only slight problem is the occasional uncoiupling - it's strange - the same loco with the same waggons can go round a circuit 10 times then one of the trucks comes loose on the 11th circuit !
I have also had this, it is more common of Graham Farish stock
On closer inspection I found that the coupling was moving vertically with the vibrations, where uncoupling was taking place one was rising and the other was falling
The solution is to either :
replace the spring and coupling
or
place a plastic cover (cut to about 5mm x 5mm) over the spring pocket
I have used both methods and don't have any preference, they both take time
Replacing the spring is fiddly, gluing the cover means waiting for the glue to cure

Offline longbridge

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2011, 09:23:23 AM »
I found that the British N Gauge gear did not always run as I would have liked but perseverance pays. I have very little problems now and find problems can soon be sorted out. :thumbsup:

I found that when I modelled American and Japanese N Scale that the problems were fewer and further between particularly when running the Kato and Atlas locos, sadly I learned early on to avoid one particular brand (Un-named) as I tried 3 different F7 A & B units and they all sounded like a coffee grinder running round the track. :thumbsdown:

I agree with Poliss re the OO Gauge stuff as it has more than its fair share of running problems and that is why I made the move back to  :NGAUGE: but once again problems can always be solved, I guess thats the hobby.

Give me trains any day rather than model aircraft, I wish I had a $ for everyone I stuck into the ground whilst flying control line and learning the stunt pattern. :thumbsdown:
Keep on Smiling
Dave.

Offline moogle

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2011, 04:42:50 PM »
Yes, patience and perseverance are the keys.
Most of the running problems in N gauge are cured by keeping track and wheels clean.
And that includes coach and wagon wheels too!
Personal motto: You don't have to be mad to be a modeller, but I find it helps!

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Offline Alex

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2011, 03:41:33 PM »
Hi,

I suffer the same sort of problems with stuttering engines. But I put it down to the fact that most of my engine stock is 2nd hand and could probably do with a good service. Running the engines at high speed for a few minutes usually helps as once they have warmed up they will run at slower speeds with no probelm. If I think I have a problem with a section of track I run one of my US engines on the track at very slow speed. If it can do a couple of circuits without stalling then I assume the track is ok and it's an engine problem.

I do enjoy my British stuff but I'm sorely tempted to replace it all with US stock as the quality of the engines is far superior.

Alex



Offline bluedepot

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2011, 08:15:54 PM »
hi everyone!

thanks for all the replies

i'm a bit more positive today!!! hahahaha

the good news is my new intercity hst works well :)

the other good news is that my class 73 now only short circuits about 1/10 times round... i think the bogies move a bit too much laterally.... it still makes a noise on the curves... i have to slow it right down to stop the vibrating sound.

mjkerr: "work through each model, as you intend to run it" yes sensible advice i'll have to do this and sort out the problems on each loco / rake as they occur...

southernboy: "The next bit of advice was that electrofrog points alone still weren't that reliable - I would need to rewire them for polarity (so why don't they just supply them like that I asked ?? - well they just don't was the answer!! - idiots!!)" hahaha yes i've had the same thoughts... i'm not doing polarity switching on my layout, i'm still a beginner....

Elmo: "A liquid cleaner dissolves the gunk on top of the rail and this can get into the gap between blade and rail. I therfore , after cleaning the top of the rail use the corner of a paper towel to wipe the rail sides" cheers for advice elmo i will definitely do this to help the points conductthe current better

a few of you pointed out that OO has it's own similar problems.... so i'll stick with n gauge!!!! it has a good web forum anyway!!!! hahahaha

i hope to finally get the track glued down, install the point motors and add some sidings to the fiddle yard this week... it's just a shame i have to go to work as well....


best wishes



tim



Offline Newportnobby

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2011, 09:25:32 PM »
Ah, work - the curse of the modelling class. Of course, it does provide the pennies for our collections :D

Offline OwL

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2011, 09:29:13 PM »
Hang in there Tim, remember ' you reap what you sow', meaning hard work, sleepless nights, head scratching and trial and error now, will definatley pay off in the future :thumbsup:

All the best mate it seems you are coming through the worst of it now :thumbsup:


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Offline poliss

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2011, 10:05:02 PM »
Never give up on your locos. I have this ancient Atlas loco with plunger pick ups. Showed no sign of life. Kept tinkering with it. Pressed down hard on her. Suddenly she shot off at 100mph. After a little while she was running like a dream.

Offline Lawrence

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Re: pi**ed off with n gauge!!!
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2011, 08:30:24 AM »
Never give up on your locos. I have this ancient Atlas loco with plunger pick ups. Showed no sign of life. Kept tinkering with it. Pressed down hard on her. Suddenly she shot off at 100mph. After a little while she was running like a dream.

I had an an old Atlas like that, good grief did it frustrate me, I serviced it to the nth degree and was still this most unreliable loco" in the world" .
Put it back on ebay from whence it came and made a fiver on it, so all was not lost  ;D

 

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