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Author Topic: Strange DCC power issue  (Read 269 times)

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Offline chicky365

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Strange DCC power issue
« on: September 24, 2018, 11:02:10 AM »
Hi All

i have an issue with a long piece of flexitrack (which is gradually curved)  that ive just connected to the power, where the trains seem to just stop randomly at slow speed like there is a loss of power.

i have tried 3 trains and all are experiencing the same issue so it loos like track/power problem rather than a loco. The locos run fine on other areas of the layout so its not the lococs or the controller i think.

I have tested it with a voltmeter as best i can and there is power all along the piece of track

I have cleaned the top of the rails with a track cleaner so they are shiny with no bumps but cannot see any issues.

The non-sound trains just stop and need a small nudge but the sound trains are stopping the sound and restarting which is annoying.


It was a brand new piece of track, that has been glued down with pva but any ideas what could be causing this issue?

Offline Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 11:13:13 AM »
If it has power into it, then that won't be an issue.

There might be dirt or corrosion or glue on the rail somewhere.  The area which is critical is the inside corner of the rail:  the upright bit, the radius from the upright, and the top.  Many people only clean the rail top, and miss the corner where the wheel does connect (and tends to connect more when the track is curved).  Clean with non-abrasive methods if possible, IPA or Meths on a rag, or the rough side of hardboard. 

The track might not be level, and there is a dip or rise in the track (perhaps only one rail) where things stop.

Curve might be kinked rather than fairly continuous, and the kink is causing a jump in direction and temporary loss of pickup.

Could be gunge/dirt in the corner of wheels, so the main tread is clean, but the curved corner where the flange starts is holding dirt. 

Or maybe something else.....

Offline chicky365

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 11:24:19 AM »
Hi
Thanks for your help, theres a few things to try there.

I laid the curve by hand and whilst it looks smooth and gradual perhaps it is not, im not sure? Is there a way to test/check or would the only fix to be to rip it up and try again? its definitely nowhere near the 9" limit

Sorry im new to track laying and learning as I go along.

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 12:34:18 PM »
Can you post a video of the loco(s) stalling, and maybe some clear photos of the trackwork?
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline chicky365

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 01:10:48 PM »
yes i can try and do that later on

Offline sprogman

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 03:17:09 PM »
What sort of locos? Wheelbase? Picku-up arrangements?

If it were a single loco I would be looking at what the track curvature does to the wheelsets and pickups. E.g. in an 0-6-0 pushing the middle axle sideways so that one of the pickups loses contact.

Three locos with the same problem, however, ...

Offline chicky365

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 03:22:38 PM »
I tested with two Farish Class 47s and one Farish Class 08

Offline chicky365

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2018, 03:28:36 PM »
I found this pic. So far the issue is with the widest curve (although I have not got round to powering the others yet)

Please ignore the big yellow cement silo  :worried:


Offline chicky365

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2018, 03:35:02 PM »
This pic shows the following

Black/Red dots = power connectors
Yellow = Where trains are stopping




Offline njee20

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2018, 03:38:07 PM »
They stop in 5 different places along that single length? If power's getting to the track, as it evidently is, it's got to be dirt.

Offline chicky365

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2018, 03:40:09 PM »
Yes they stop at all those places. It is brand new track too!

Offline njee20

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 04:03:54 PM »
Doesn't mean it isn't dirty, particularly if you've got PVA on it.

I'm struggling to think of what else it could be, frankly, particularly the straight bits.

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2018, 04:08:07 PM »
Brand new track only looks clean! It may have grease etc from the factory.

Clean as above. Also apply power from the distal end and see if it runs!

Have you checked the voltage in the siding? Does it alter when you switch the proximal point? Is the polarityvthe same before the point? M
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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Strange DCC power issue
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2018, 07:39:34 PM »
If it's been glued down then I'd suspect PVA on the rails.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

 

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