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Offline Penrose  
#1 Posted : 17 February 2019 20:46:33(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
This subject has been discussed to death here over the years: Use of what cleaners; Use of abrasives vs. liquids; Track cleaning cars; Environment issues... etc.
//RANT ON//
I have a single issue: CLEANING THE CENTER STUDS.

Here's typically what happens to me. First, My layout lays "fallow" for months at a time. Then, I finally have a few days to work on it. I turn on the power, I put a loc on the rails and press the GO bar. 1 or 2 jerks of the loc (sometimes none) later and it stops. I try another loc. Same thing. Doesn't matter which loc I use. GROAN! Gotta clean the track. Issue: Gotta clean the track by HAND because locs won't run. I take a cloth and rub down the outside rails by hand. Locs STILL won't run. GROAN, GROAN! Now for the fun part... I gotta clean the $#@&^ center studs.

This is the hallmark of my railroad: It's always the center studs that need cleaning. The rails have NEVER had to be cleaned nearly as often as the studs. I don't know why. I guess because I don't run the layout regularly, or my environment is screwy somehow. It doesn't matter. It's what I have to work in. (It is a climate controlled attic room BTW...)

Can't use cloth because it snags on the studs and never cleans the studs well anyway. I've tried all different kinds of cloth. I don't want to use abrasives because of wear, however, I've found that a slim ink eraser is the only thing I have that actually works! Now for the fun of cleaning every single $#@&^ center stud! If I miss one or two, I'm likely to get a no-contact jerk out of the loc. When I reduce the jerkiness to a dull roar, I can hook up my rail cleaning car to dust off the main rails, pulled by one of my heavier locs that tend to coast for a bit if they lose contact. Fortunately, I have a LUX vacuum and rail cleaner. I DON'T have the center rail cleaner. ($300.00 US! Are you kidding me?)

It seems like an impossible task: I can't use rail cleaning cars because the locs don't run. The cleaning cars won't clean the center studs hardly at all anyway, although they do some. I seem doomed to clean the center studs by hand, stud by stud.

Has anyone found something that is on HO trucks that had a center MILD abrasive that I can push around the track to clean the center studs?
\\RANT OFF\\
I did get an idea from one of the forum posts, that there is a 1200 grit fret cleaner "eraser" that looks promising. 1200 grit is only a polishing grit and would seem to be the least abrasive while cleaning surface issues without removing metal. I know this because of the metallurgy I learned as a gunsmith. If I had oodles of money, I'd just go buy the LUX center rail cleaner car and be done with it. However, it's been a while since center rail cleaning has been discussed very much and I'm wondering if any other procedures or products have come to light. I found a new track cleaner car from DAPOL, who normally specializes in O and OO scale product (They're out of Wales) but they have a DCC rail cleaner/vacuum car for less than $100.00 US. I'm just wondering if there's anything else out there.

Thanks for reading.
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Online RayF  
#2 Posted : 17 February 2019 21:00:48(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,323
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
I agree with most of what you've posted. Leaving the layout unused for more than a week or two makes it impossible to use without a good clean. For this reason I try to run my trains at least once a week.

Even if you can run your trains regularly there will always be some sidings or side tracks that see less use, and these will be the first to need attention.

On tracks that are very dirty I use a PCB rubber. I used to use them a lot in a previous job in electronics and I still have a couple that I brought home with me. (They last for ever!)

If you can't get your hands on one a good Ink rubber (eraser) will also work. I run the rubber over the centre studs gently, followed by a light rub over the running rails, and this is usually enough to get the trains running. A good rub over with solvent afterwards gets rid of any residue left.
Ray
Mostly Marklin.Selection of different eras and European railways
Small C track layout, control by MS2, 100+ trains but run 4-5 at a time.
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Offline Penrose  
#3 Posted : 17 February 2019 21:14:39(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Yes, This is pretty much what I'm doing now. I have a thin ink eraser that has enough length to "skid" over the studs. I thought I'd try the fret cleaner because it's a bit thicker without being over-wide on the rails and less abrasive. Do you lube your rails at all? I keep seeing forum members using a light lube to reduce slider wear and to keep hard dirt off rails/studs. The lube also seems to keep the dirt from adhering. I don't know if this would work for me because of the long time lengths between use.
Offline ixldoc  
#4 Posted : 17 February 2019 23:31:03(UTC)
ixldoc

Australia   
Joined: 18/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 203
Location: Brisbane,Australia
For a few years I used an old Lima electric loco driven by a rechargeable battery (7.4 volts) in a Marklin carriage in front of the loco .
I fitted a shoe to the loco and two shoes to the carriage for a total of 3 shoes,. They were not wired , just acted as cleaners.
The loco had a DPDT centre off switch on the roof . I would start it running, pushing the carriage ahead of the loco.
This worked quite well as it was independent of the track power and dirty studs made no difference. After a few laps the studs were clean enough for electrical pickup.
It was fine for continuous runs but for sidings and small spur tracks I still had to clean by hand.
We are all in the same boat here!
Cheers ,
Howard.
thanks 5 users liked this useful post by ixldoc
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#5 Posted : 18 February 2019 00:57:45(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,528
Location: New Zealand
Do you mind me asking what track type(s) you're using?

My original layout was M track, and my locos including a particular Roco Tauras loco ran fine on this.

When I got some more space, I expanded the layout using C track. Despite having feeder tracks every 2 metres or so, many locos ran badly and the Roco mentioned above couldn't run much more than a metre with out stopping.

Getting to the point of desperation with this, I ripped up all the M track (a sad day for me, but necessary) and replaced it with C track, so that the layout is now all C track.

The Roco now runs fine with no issues or stuttering or sudden stops, as do other locos.

Ask me for a technical / scientific reason for this, well I can't give you one but the fact that these locos are now running fine leads me to think there is some sort of incompatibility between the two track types when used on a large (5.4m x 4m) layout.

I have a Lux track cleaning car which member xxup sold me, it can work wonders with dead spots. I also use a track rubber (well I did, but it seems to have grown legs and wandered off somewhere.....). I've also used an electrical contact cleaner on bad spots, this can fix persistent dead spots. As stated in the next post following this one, the problem is often the outside rails rather than the centre studs, so keeping the outside rails clean is important.
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Offline Tex  
#6 Posted : 18 February 2019 00:59:42(UTC)
Tex

United States   
Joined: 30/01/2004(UTC)
Posts: 266
Location: Houston, Texas

The topic has been discussed many times but I , for one , am not sure we have all the right answers.

I have felt that it was the rails and not the center studs. How did you determine it was the studs ?

I have applied conductive oil to the locomotive sliders to help ensure better conductivity. Do others follow this practice ?

Also , it seems that after a long shutdown some engines will jump or stall while others will run smoothly


Tex

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Offline applor  
#7 Posted : 18 February 2019 02:24:09(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,333
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
As per my post in this thread:

https://www.marklin-user...n-t-the-pukos-made-of-SS

Use a 2B graphite bar on the studs and you shouldn't have anymore problems. As for cleaning them first, I use the Roco track cleaner.

ps. its not the rails (unless you got dirt on them, if so just wipe them with isopropyl alcohol)


The only other issues that can cause dropouts are design related (ie. K track wide radius turnouts and DKW with centre hole sliders or small short wheelbase locos that lose ground connection)
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline Penrose  
#8 Posted : 18 February 2019 04:27:19(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: ixldoc Go to Quoted Post
For a few years I used an old Lima electric loco driven by a rechargeable battery (7.4 volts) in a Marklin carriage in front of the loco .
I fitted a shoe to the loco and two shoes to the carriage for a total of 3 shoes,. They were not wired , just acted as cleaners.
The loco had a DPDT centre off switch on the roof . I would start it running, pushing the carriage ahead of the loco.
This worked quite well as it was independent of the track power and dirty studs made no difference. After a few laps the studs were clean enough for electrical pickup.
It was fine for continuous runs but for sidings and small spur tracks I still had to clean by hand.
We are all in the same boat here!
Cheers ,
Howard.

I'd thought about that. At one time, Marklin made a battery powered and IF controlled model using C-track-like stuff. I think I'd have to kit-bash something to make it work. I'm not used to kit-bashing so I don't think I ready for that yet.
Offline Penrose  
#9 Posted : 18 February 2019 04:34:19(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Do you mind me asking what track type(s) you're using?

My original layout was M track, and my locos including a particular Roco Tauras loco ran fine on this.

When I got some more space, I expanded the layout using C track. Despite having feeder tracks every 2 metres or so, many locos ran badly and the Roco mentioned above couldn't run much more than a metre with out stopping.

Getting to the point of desperation with this, I ripped up all the M track (a sad day for me, but necessary) and replaced it with C track, so that the layout is now all C track.

The Roco now runs fine with no issues or stuttering or sudden stops, as do other locos.

Ask me for a technical / scientific reason for this, well I can't give you one but the fact that these locos are now running fine leads me to think there is some sort of incompatibility between the two track types when used on a large (5.4m x 4m) layout.

I have a Lux track cleaning car which member xxup sold me, it can work wonders with dead spots. I also use a track rubber (well I did, but it seems to have grown legs and wandered off somewhere.....). I've also used an electrical contact cleaner on bad spots, this can fix persistent dead spots. As stated in the next post following this one, the problem is often the outside rails rather than the centre studs, so keeping the outside rails clean is important.


I use C-track exclusively. Right now, I have a simple long oval with a dead-end siding on one long side and 3 passing tracks on the other. I'm going through the CS3 book examples on automation and experimenting with shuttles, yards, and blocks. My older layouts were using M-track and I only ran block signals on the layouts.
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Offline Penrose  
#10 Posted : 18 February 2019 04:43:38(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: Tex Go to Quoted Post

The topic has been discussed many times but I , for one , am not sure we have all the right answers.

I have felt that it was the rails and not the center studs. How did you determine it was the studs ?

I have applied conductive oil to the locomotive sliders to help ensure better conductivity. Do others follow this practice ?

Also , it seems that after a long shutdown some engines will jump or stall while others will run smoothly


Tex


I used the process of elimination. I cleaned the outside rails first, since they were the easiest to clean. I cleaned them thoroughly. No difference. I then used my ink eraser on the studs. That made enough difference so that the locs would run for longer stretches without stuttering/stopping. Then I ran the loc that stopped the most and marked where it stuttered/stopped. I worked on those stud locations until the loc ran smooth. From there on in, the rest of the locs ran smoothly.

I've never used any lubrication on the center studs although, like you, I've read where lubing the pick-up shoe would help reduce shoe wear.
Offline Penrose  
#11 Posted : 18 February 2019 04:50:30(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
As per my post in this thread:

https://www.marklin-user...n-t-the-pukos-made-of-SS

Use a 2B graphite bar on the studs and you shouldn't have anymore problems. As for cleaning them first, I use the Roco track cleaner.

ps. its not the rails (unless you got dirt on them, if so just wipe them with isopropyl alcohol)


The only other issues that can cause dropouts are design related (ie. K track wide radius turnouts and DKW with centre hole sliders or small short wheelbase locos that lose ground connection)


I hadn't really thought of graphite. It's electrically conductive, so I thought graphite particles might cause shorts. Also, I don't know where to get decent-sized graphite bars to use around here. Maybe large wooden pencils? BigGrin
Offline Ross  
#12 Posted : 18 February 2019 04:54:11(UTC)
Ross

Australia   
Joined: 25/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 670
Location: Sydney, NSW
Hi Penrose/All

With the humid months upon us I have cleaned my centre studs once more using the following method.

Centre Stud Cleaning on YouTube

Centre Stud Cleaning article.

Hope it helps


Ross
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Offline costing  
#13 Posted : 18 February 2019 13:22:38(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74
Location: Geneve, Geneva
The disk in the article above is a really good idea, it's a long time since I have it on the todo list. Though I would give it a try alone, without any abrasive cleaning. How about a request to M* for one? Or maybe as next year's MRU wagon? :)

To start the process you could use a keep-alive equipped loco.

Cheers,

.costin
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
Offline dennisb  
#14 Posted : 18 February 2019 19:27:52(UTC)
dennisb

Sweden   
Joined: 21/09/2015(UTC)
Posts: 217
Location: Kronoberg
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: ixldoc Go to Quoted Post
For a few years I used an old Lima electric loco driven by a rechargeable battery (7.4 volts) in a Marklin carriage in front of the loco .
I fitted a shoe to the loco and two shoes to the carriage for a total of 3 shoes,. They were not wired , just acted as cleaners.
The loco had a DPDT centre off switch on the roof . I would start it running, pushing the carriage ahead of the loco.
This worked quite well as it was independent of the track power and dirty studs made no difference. After a few laps the studs were clean enough for electrical pickup.
It was fine for continuous runs but for sidings and small spur tracks I still had to clean by hand.
We are all in the same boat here!
Cheers ,
Howard.

I'd thought about that. At one time, Marklin made a battery powered and IF controlled model using C-track-like stuff. I think I'd have to kit-bash something to make it work. I'm not used to kit-bashing so I don't think I ready for that yet.


Maybe one of the kids MyWorlds models would work? It's battery powered and has an IR controller. In combination with the adapter wagon it could push a good cleaning wagon around the layout for a couple of laps?

Märklin MyWorld adapter wagon


My kids have some MyWorld models so I would only need to get the adapter wagon, worth trying out.

D.
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Offline applor  
#15 Posted : 18 February 2019 22:14:16(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,333
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
As per my post in this thread:

https://www.marklin-user...n-t-the-pukos-made-of-SS

Use a 2B graphite bar on the studs and you shouldn't have anymore problems. As for cleaning them first, I use the Roco track cleaner.

ps. its not the rails (unless you got dirt on them, if so just wipe them with isopropyl alcohol)


The only other issues that can cause dropouts are design related (ie. K track wide radius turnouts and DKW with centre hole sliders or small short wheelbase locos that lose ground connection)


I hadn't really thought of graphite. It's electrically conductive, so I thought graphite particles might cause shorts. Also, I don't know where to get decent-sized graphite bars to use around here. Maybe large wooden pencils? BigGrin


ebay, $5 from China:

https://www.ebay.com.au/...kAAOSw4CFYt8PL:rk:5:pf:0
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline Penrose  
#16 Posted : 19 February 2019 01:38:57(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: dennisb Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: ixldoc Go to Quoted Post
For a few years I used an old Lima electric loco driven by a rechargeable battery (7.4 volts) in a Marklin carriage in front of the loco .
I fitted a shoe to the loco and two shoes to the carriage for a total of 3 shoes,. They were not wired , just acted as cleaners.
The loco had a DPDT centre off switch on the roof . I would start it running, pushing the carriage ahead of the loco.
This worked quite well as it was independent of the track power and dirty studs made no difference. After a few laps the studs were clean enough for electrical pickup.
It was fine for continuous runs but for sidings and small spur tracks I still had to clean by hand.
We are all in the same boat here!
Cheers ,
Howard.

I'd thought about that. At one time, Marklin made a battery powered and IF controlled model using C-track-like stuff. I think I'd have to kit-bash something to make it work. I'm not used to kit-bashing so I don't think I ready for that yet.


Maybe one of the kids MyWorlds models would work? It's battery powered and has an IR controller. In combination with the adapter wagon it could push a good cleaning wagon around the layout for a couple of laps?

Märklin MyWorld adapter wagon


My kids have some MyWorld models so I would only need to get the adapter wagon, worth trying out.

D.

I think My World locs is a great idea. I looked at My World stuff and with the adapter wagon and it would work. I went back through my Marklin catalogs to see what was available from Marklin. I couldn't find locs that weren't in expensive sets. The locs, as single items, don't seem to be in production, but I don't know if I dug far into the internet. When I keyed in numbers for some of the old single units that were available in the old catalogs, all I got was " Not in production" on the current website. I also looked on eBay and didn't see anything on the US section other than complete sets and car sets.
Offline midwestbls  
#17 Posted : 19 February 2019 17:19:03(UTC)
midwestbls

United States   
Joined: 04/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 53
I use the Centerline track cleaning car with free-floating brass weight, non-abrasive cloth strips and goo gone. It does a great job on the rails and cleans center too. I don't fasten the cloth with the bands, rather let the end flip free which helps with the center studs. I run with the wet cloth, then follow with a dry cloth on the weight.

https://www.centerline-p...scale-nmra-specification

You can order with Marklin couplers.

- Bill
ETE - Swiss Era III - BLS - Brig Station
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Offline Ove Malmström  
#18 Posted : 19 February 2019 18:15:54(UTC)
Ove Malmström

Sweden   
Joined: 18/02/2019(UTC)
Posts: 34
Location: Åkersberga
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
This subject has been discussed to death here over the years: Use of what cleaners; Use of abrasives vs. liquids; Track cleaning cars; Environment issues... etc.
//RANT ON//
I have a single issue: CLEANING THE CENTER STUDS.

Here's typically what happens to me. First, My layout lays "fallow" for months at a time. Then, I finally have a few days to work on it. I turn on the power, I put a loc on the rails and press the GO bar. 1 or 2 jerks of the loc (sometimes none) later and it stops. I try another loc. Same thing. Doesn't matter which loc I use. GROAN! Gotta clean the track. Issue: Gotta clean the track by HAND because locs won't run. I take a cloth and rub down the outside rails by hand. Locs STILL won't run. GROAN, GROAN! Now for the fun part... I gotta clean the $#@&^ center studs.

This is the hallmark of my railroad: It's always the center studs that need cleaning. The rails have NEVER had to be cleaned nearly as often as the studs. I don't know why. I guess because I don't run the layout regularly, or my environment is screwy somehow. It doesn't matter. It's what I have to work in. (It is a climate controlled attic room BTW...)

Can't use cloth because it snags on the studs and never cleans the studs well anyway. I've tried all different kinds of cloth. I don't want to use abrasives because of wear, however, I've found that a slim ink eraser is the only thing I have that actually works! Now for the fun of cleaning every single $#@&^ center stud! If I miss one or two, I'm likely to get a no-contact jerk out of the loc. When I reduce the jerkiness to a dull roar, I can hook up my rail cleaning car to dust off the main rails, pulled by one of my heavier locs that tend to coast for a bit if they lose contact. Fortunately, I have a LUX vacuum and rail cleaner. I DON'T have the center rail cleaner. ($300.00 US! Are you kidding me?)

It seems like an impossible task: I can't use rail cleaning cars because the locs don't run. The cleaning cars won't clean the center studs hardly at all anyway, although they do some. I seem doomed to clean the center studs by hand, stud by stud.

Has anyone found something that is on HO trucks that had a center MILD abrasive that I can push around the track to clean the center studs?
\\RANT OFF\\
I did get an idea from one of the forum posts, that there is a 1200 grit fret cleaner "eraser" that looks promising. 1200 grit is only a polishing grit and would seem to be the least abrasive while cleaning surface issues without removing metal. I know this because of the metallurgy I learned as a gunsmith. If I had oodles of money, I'd just go buy the LUX center rail cleaner car and be done with it. However, it's been a while since center rail cleaning has been discussed very much and I'm wondering if any other procedures or products have come to light. I found a new track cleaner car from DAPOL, who normally specializes in O and OO scale product (They're out of Wales) but they have a DCC rail cleaner/vacuum car for less than $100.00 US. I'm just wondering if there's anything else out there.

Thanks for reading.


Buy a "my world" loko that is battery powered, and let it drag the cleaning cars around the track.
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Offline Penrose  
#19 Posted : 19 February 2019 23:15:46(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: Ove Malmström Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
This subject has been discussed to death here over the years: Use of what cleaners; Use of abrasives vs. liquids; Track cleaning cars; Environment issues... etc.
//RANT ON//
I have a single issue: CLEANING THE CENTER STUDS.

Here's typically what happens to me. First, My layout lays "fallow" for months at a time. Then, I finally have a few days to work on it. I turn on the power, I put a loc on the rails and press the GO bar. 1 or 2 jerks of the loc (sometimes none) later and it stops. I try another loc. Same thing. Doesn't matter which loc I use. GROAN! Gotta clean the track. Issue: Gotta clean the track by HAND because locs won't run. I take a cloth and rub down the outside rails by hand. Locs STILL won't run. GROAN, GROAN! Now for the fun part... I gotta clean the $#@&^ center studs.

This is the hallmark of my railroad: It's always the center studs that need cleaning. The rails have NEVER had to be cleaned nearly as often as the studs. I don't know why. I guess because I don't run the layout regularly, or my environment is screwy somehow. It doesn't matter. It's what I have to work in. (It is a climate controlled attic room BTW...)

Can't use cloth because it snags on the studs and never cleans the studs well anyway. I've tried all different kinds of cloth. I don't want to use abrasives because of wear, however, I've found that a slim ink eraser is the only thing I have that actually works! Now for the fun of cleaning every single $#@&^ center stud! If I miss one or two, I'm likely to get a no-contact jerk out of the loc. When I reduce the jerkiness to a dull roar, I can hook up my rail cleaning car to dust off the main rails, pulled by one of my heavier locs that tend to coast for a bit if they lose contact. Fortunately, I have a LUX vacuum and rail cleaner. I DON'T have the center rail cleaner. ($300.00 US! Are you kidding me?)

It seems like an impossible task: I can't use rail cleaning cars because the locs don't run. The cleaning cars won't clean the center studs hardly at all anyway, although they do some. I seem doomed to clean the center studs by hand, stud by stud.

Has anyone found something that is on HO trucks that had a center MILD abrasive that I can push around the track to clean the center studs?
\\RANT OFF\\
I did get an idea from one of the forum posts, that there is a 1200 grit fret cleaner "eraser" that looks promising. 1200 grit is only a polishing grit and would seem to be the least abrasive while cleaning surface issues without removing metal. I know this because of the metallurgy I learned as a gunsmith. If I had oodles of money, I'd just go buy the LUX center rail cleaner car and be done with it. However, it's been a while since center rail cleaning has been discussed very much and I'm wondering if any other procedures or products have come to light. I found a new track cleaner car from DAPOL, who normally specializes in O and OO scale product (They're out of Wales) but they have a DCC rail cleaner/vacuum car for less than $100.00 US. I'm just wondering if there's anything else out there.

Thanks for reading.


Buy a "my world" loko that is battery powered, and let it drag the cleaning cars around the track.


I would agree. I need a loc and the special car with the Marklin coupler. I can find only expensive My World sets, nothing else, not even on eBay (USA)
Offline Penrose  
#20 Posted : 19 February 2019 23:24:40(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: midwestbls Go to Quoted Post
I use the Centerline track cleaning car with free-floating brass weight, non-abrasive cloth strips and goo gone. It does a great job on the rails and cleans center too. I don't fasten the cloth with the bands, rather let the end flip free which helps with the center studs. I run with the wet cloth, then follow with a dry cloth on the weight.

https://www.centerline-p...scale-nmra-specification

You can order with Marklin couplers.

- Bill


I still need to resolve the problem that nothing will run on the layout until the track is at least somewhat clean. Nothing will run if I leave the track alone for more than a month. (Which is often) I need a battery powered alternative. My first thought, and a thought shared by others, is to find a Marklin My World battery powered loc with the Marklin coupler equipped car. Then I can pull a track cleaning car of my choice. BTW the Centerline cars are nice for the price, which is a big advantage over the LUX center rail abrasive cleaner car at $300.00 US.
Offline orionstars  
#21 Posted : 20 February 2019 04:54:18(UTC)
orionstars

United States   
Joined: 15/02/2018(UTC)
Posts: 30
Location: Tosa
There’s this loc:
Marklin 36101

Our sets do not use this newer controller so I’m unfamiliar with its performance. We have two adapter cars and they work rather well.
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Offline applor  
#22 Posted : 20 February 2019 05:47:05(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,333
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post


I still need to resolve the problem that nothing will run on the layout until the track is at least somewhat clean. Nothing will run if I leave the track alone for more than a month. (Which is often) I need a battery powered alternative. My first thought, and a thought shared by others, is to find a Marklin My World battery powered loc with the Marklin coupler equipped car. Then I can pull a track cleaning car of my choice. BTW the Centerline cars are nice for the price, which is a big advantage over the LUX center rail abrasive cleaner car at $300.00 US.


Are you choosing to ignore my advice? I have given you the solution - a $5 graphite bar from ebay. Yet you are still going on about cleaner cars etc and lamenting the cost.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline Penrose  
#23 Posted : 20 February 2019 14:53:13(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post


I still need to resolve the problem that nothing will run on the layout until the track is at least somewhat clean. Nothing will run if I leave the track alone for more than a month. (Which is often) I need a battery powered alternative. My first thought, and a thought shared by others, is to find a Marklin My World battery powered loc with the Marklin coupler equipped car. Then I can pull a track cleaning car of my choice. BTW the Centerline cars are nice for the price, which is a big advantage over the LUX center rail abrasive cleaner car at $300.00 US.


Are you choosing to ignore my advice? I have given you the solution - a $5 graphite bar from ebay. Yet you are still going on about cleaner cars etc and lamenting the cost.


Heck no! I fact I found a source of graphite and I ordered a few bars. Since I haven't yet had the chance to use the graphite and experience the results, I'm keeping my options open. As long as I have open track, I believe your suggestion for using graphite is good. If I have covered or inaccessible track, I may need other options. No offense intended.
Offline Penrose  
#24 Posted : 20 February 2019 15:00:38(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: orionstars Go to Quoted Post
There’s this loc:
Marklin 36101

Our sets do not use this newer controller so I’m unfamiliar with its performance. We have two adapter cars and they work rather well.


That's the one I'm looking for. Marklin doesn't make them any more. I'm checking eBay every so often but I haven't found one. It's battery operated with a wireless controller.
Offline orionstars  
#25 Posted : 20 February 2019 17:04:48(UTC)
orionstars

United States   
Joined: 15/02/2018(UTC)
Posts: 30
Location: Tosa
Check both Reynaulds and AJCkids.
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Offline Minok  
#26 Posted : 20 February 2019 19:55:24(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,900
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: orionstars Go to Quoted Post
There’s this loc:
Marklin 36101

Our sets do not use this newer controller so I’m unfamiliar with its performance. We have two adapter cars and they work rather well.


That's the one I'm looking for. Marklin doesn't make them any more. I'm checking eBay every so often but I haven't found one. It's battery operated with a wireless controller.


5 of them listed

https://www.ebay.com/sch...rklin+36101&_sacat=0
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
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Offline Henrik Schütz  
#27 Posted : 23 February 2019 21:27:45(UTC)
Henrik Schütz

Sweden   
Joined: 04/08/2015(UTC)
Posts: 28
Location: Stockholms Lan, Stockholm
I personally use 5000 grit and ATF on tracks and studs, I run digital on M-Track and so far it is trouble free.

5000 grit is good for use on car paint, it wont scratch the rails.

Regards

Henrik Schütz
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Offline Penrose  
#28 Posted : 24 February 2019 00:30:05(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: Henrik Schütz Go to Quoted Post
I personally use 5000 grit and ATF on tracks and studs, I run digital on M-Track and so far it is trouble free.

5000 grit is good for use on car paint, it wont scratch the rails.

Regards

Henrik Schütz


5000 grit is super polishing grit. It can remove light dirt and dust without removing metal and coatings, but it clogs fast. For heavier buildups or do you pre-clean with a cloth and/or liquid cleaner first?
Offline TEEWolf  
#29 Posted : 24 February 2019 01:30:05(UTC)
TEEWolf

Germany   
Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 1,554
Location: Bavaria
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: orionstars Go to Quoted Post
There’s this loc:
Marklin 36101

Our sets do not use this newer controller so I’m unfamiliar with its performance. We have two adapter cars and they work rather well.


That's the one I'm looking for. Marklin doesn't make them any more. I'm checking eBay every so often but I haven't found one. It's battery operated with a wireless controller.


Here at Amazon you get the loco.

https://www.amazon.de/dp...g=SdoxMEkOGy7hcKpa9WG7gg

The dealer is bwbahn in Munich.

http://bwbahn.com/epages...-14dba60cae51/Categories

Bwbahn is well known here in the forum. I myself even visited the shop personally in Munich this year.
CS 3 is a controller system from Märklin - not a central station.
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Offline Penrose  
#30 Posted : 24 February 2019 15:32:07(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: orionstars Go to Quoted Post
There’s this loc:
Marklin 36101

Our sets do not use this newer controller so I’m unfamiliar with its performance. We have two adapter cars and they work rather well.


That's the one I'm looking for. Marklin doesn't make them any more. I'm checking eBay every so often but I haven't found one. It's battery operated with a wireless controller.


Here at Amazon you get the loco.

https://www.amazon.de/dp...g=SdoxMEkOGy7hcKpa9WG7gg

The dealer is bwbahn in Munich.

http://bwbahn.com/epages...-14dba60cae51/Categories

Bwbahn is well known here in the forum. I myself even visited the shop personally in Munich this year.


Thanks. I'll check it out.
Offline artfull dodger  
#31 Posted : 25 February 2019 01:48:06(UTC)
artfull dodger

United States   
Joined: 31/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 355
Location: Indiana, Kokomo
An option for those that have powered catenary on thier layout is to fit one of the Eloks with a ski and run it off the wire and let the ski polish the studs for the steam and diesel style engines to use. I did this when I would first power up my layout after it sat most of the summer with little to no use. I would also run with both front and rear pantographs up to help with power pickup off the catenary which itself would have dust and such on it. Mike
Silly NT's..I have Asperger's Syndrome!!!!
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Offline Penrose  
#32 Posted : 25 February 2019 04:19:54(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post


I still need to resolve the problem that nothing will run on the layout until the track is at least somewhat clean. Nothing will run if I leave the track alone for more than a month. (Which is often) I need a battery powered alternative. My first thought, and a thought shared by others, is to find a Marklin My World battery powered loc with the Marklin coupler equipped car. Then I can pull a track cleaning car of my choice. BTW the Centerline cars are nice for the price, which is a big advantage over the LUX center rail abrasive cleaner car at $300.00 US.


Are you choosing to ignore my advice? I have given you the solution - a $5 graphite bar from ebay. Yet you are still going on about cleaner cars etc and lamenting the cost.


Heck no! I fact I found a source of graphite and I ordered a few bars. Since I haven't yet had the chance to use the graphite and experience the results, I'm keeping my options open. As long as I have open track, I believe your suggestion for using graphite is good. If I have covered or inaccessible track, I may need other options. No offense intended.


NEWS FLASH! I got the graphite bars yesterday. I had a chance to use them today. What a difference! I took a loc that doesn't run so well and put it on a slow circuit around the layout. Wherever it stuttered or stopped. I ran the bar over the studs. Where I used the bar, no stutters or stops. The graphite bar worked. As a caution, I ran a vacuum over the rails to pick up any dust. Just a warning: graphite is a really good conductor. Try not to do what I did and forget to press the STOP bar before I "graphited" the studs. I shorted the rails and shut the CS3 down.
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Offline Minok  
#33 Posted : 25 February 2019 21:28:00(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,900
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
So what graphite did you order, from where?

Nevermind, it varies by country. Found a set of 2B sticks in the US .... Amazon Prime, no shipping fee for me.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
Offline applor  
#34 Posted : 25 February 2019 21:30:50(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,333
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
So what graphite did you order, from where?


I posted it in this very thread...

https://www.marklin-user...stud-cleaning#post586948
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline costing  
#35 Posted : 27 February 2019 22:42:48(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74
Location: Geneve, Geneva
Here is my attempt at a center stud cleaning wagon. It combines a collector and a cleaning wheel. Made of 10mm acrylic glass the wheel is 41g and the rest of the wagon is 69g.

For now the central collector has the original metal surface, I'll try to see if it's enough to create some contact points. I'm also considering gluing a piece of paper to it, to which I could apply the graphite to help spreading on the studs (and the paper itself is a bit abrasive...).

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to create my wagon from scratch, I've learned quite a bit on dimensions and on how to work with acrylic.

20190227_221211.jpg

20190227_221059.jpg
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
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Offline Ross  
#36 Posted : 28 February 2019 01:54:22(UTC)
Ross

Australia   
Joined: 25/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 670
Location: Sydney, NSW
Hi Costin,

Well done on your design.

I use the wheel for lubrication of the studs with conductive oil to provide a protective coating to slow corrosion down.

1000 grit on the collector shoe works well to polish the studs. I find I don't have to use it often to maintain the track studs.

Ross
Offline Penrose  
#37 Posted : 02 March 2019 03:39:50(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: orionstars Go to Quoted Post
There’s this loc:
Marklin 36101

Our sets do not use this newer controller so I’m unfamiliar with its performance. We have two adapter cars and they work rather well.


That's the one I'm looking for. Marklin doesn't make them any more. I'm checking eBay every so often but I haven't found one. It's battery operated with a wireless controller.


Here at Amazon you get the loco.

https://www.amazon.de/dp...g=SdoxMEkOGy7hcKpa9WG7gg

The dealer is bwbahn in Munich.

http://bwbahn.com/epages...-14dba60cae51/Categories

Bwbahn is well known here in the forum. I myself even visited the shop personally in Munich this year.


Thanks. I'll check it out.

OK. I was successful in getting a My World loc and adapter car for less than $100.00 USD. I can pull the Marklin track cleaning car with no problem. I don't have a heavier Centerline cleaning car to test with yet. The My World magnetic couplers are surprising strong. Marklin claims the locs rechargable batteries will let it run 1.5 hours on a complete charge. I'll continue to test with it but my priority right now is to replace all the C track I bought back during the late 90's spastic plastic fiasco. I've probably replaced 50 track sections already. I'm about to try replacing 60 more.
Offline Penrose  
#38 Posted : 03 March 2019 05:04:20(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: TEEWolf Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Penrose Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: orionstars Go to Quoted Post
There’s this loc:
Marklin 36101

Our sets do not use this newer controller so I’m unfamiliar with its performance. We have two adapter cars and they work rather well.


That's the one I'm looking for. Marklin doesn't make them any more. I'm checking eBay every so often but I haven't found one. It's battery operated with a wireless controller.


Here at Amazon you get the loco.

https://www.amazon.de/dp...g=SdoxMEkOGy7hcKpa9WG7gg

The dealer is bwbahn in Munich.

http://bwbahn.com/epages...-14dba60cae51/Categories

Bwbahn is well known here in the forum. I myself even visited the shop personally in Munich this year.


Thanks. I'll check it out.

OK. I was successful in getting a My World loc and adapter car for less than $100.00 USD. I can pull the Marklin track cleaning car with no problem. I don't have a heavier Centerline cleaning car to test with yet. The My World magnetic couplers are surprising strong. Marklin claims the locs rechargable batteries will let it run 1.5 hours on a complete charge. I'll continue to test with it but my priority right now is to replace all the C track I bought back during the late 90's spastic plastic fiasco. I've probably replaced 50 track sections already. I'm about to try replacing 60 more.

Here's the My World consist doing a test cleaning on my simple layout. The loc is strong and the magnetic coupling is also strong. I also have another video showing me pulling the tracking car to a stop without the couplers releasing.




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Offline costing  
#39 Posted : 13 March 2019 00:43:06(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74
Location: Geneve, Geneva
Here is my attempt at a cheap motive power for the above cleaning wagon.

I found a very well kept, very cheap Roco DC loco and adapted it to 3 rails, adding a mLD/3 (more than doubling the original price but hey, it's still cheap, ~80CHF in total, shipping costs included).

It has current pick-ups on all wheels and two new shoes. All 4 axles powered. Runs very quietly and so far is unstoppable :)

20190312_230108.jpg

20190312_225916.jpg

Cheers,

.costin
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
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Offline TEEWolf  
#40 Posted : 13 March 2019 00:57:40(UTC)
TEEWolf

Germany   
Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 1,554
Location: Bavaria
Originally Posted by: costing Go to Quoted Post
Here is my attempt at a cheap motive power for the above cleaning wagon.

I found a very well kept, very cheap Roco DC loco and adapted it to 3 rails, adding a mLD/3 (more than doubling the original price but hey, it's still cheap, ~80CHF in total, shipping costs included).

It has current pick-ups on all wheels and two new shoes. All 4 axles powered. Runs very quietly and so far is unstoppable :)

20190312_230108.jpg

20190312_225916.jpg

Cheers,

.costin


Good idea and what are you doing for cleaning the wheels? This is sometimes more necessary than the tracks. Do you know this wheel cleaner from Trix? But it is only for 2L tracks.

https://www.modellbahnsh...-de-p-0/ein_produkt.html
CS 3 is a controller system from Märklin - not a central station.
Offline lewistrain  
#41 Posted : 13 March 2019 02:07:46(UTC)
lewistrain

Australia   
Joined: 08/03/2016(UTC)
Posts: 68
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
I use engine degreaser and those tiny teeth cleaning pipe brush things to clean the wheels, works very very well.
They are sold as Piksters, very useful.
I then dry the wheel with a cloth while the loco is running, its actually super easy to clean loco wheels if you can use aligator clips to power it up.
LOLOLOL they are just toys, grow up and play with them.
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Offline costing  
#42 Posted : 13 March 2019 15:17:40(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74
Location: Geneve, Geneva
Alcohol and cotton swabs. Flattened wooden tooth picks. Bottle cork. Elbow grease. These usually do the job of cleaning the wheels :) But they are rarely the problem for me, the central studs are usually the issue.

Now, since I have started with the cleaning wheel for the central studs, I'm working on attaching another rolling cylinder to the cleaning wagon, to collect the dirt from the tracks this time. Something like this:

Screenshot_20190313_131818.jpg

I have a fixation on not scratching the track surface and I'm counting on rolling over it being enough to remove the dust before the nicer locos run. It's good to have a sacrificial loco at hand :)

Cheers,

.costin
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
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Offline Harryv40  
#43 Posted : 13 March 2019 17:32:56(UTC)
Harryv40

United Kingdom   
Joined: 07/08/2015(UTC)
Posts: 198
Location: Wilshire
Another option is a Fleschmann track rubber, it is shaped in away, that the broad side will clean the rails and the narrow side will clean the studs.

They only cost around £8 to £10.

Give it a try

Harry
Offline TimProdigy  
#44 Posted : 13 March 2019 18:13:15(UTC)
TimProdigy

United States   
Joined: 13/03/2019(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Tampa, Florida
"Another option is a Fleschmann track rubber, it is shaped in away, that the broad side will clean the rails and the narrow side will clean the studs. They only cost around £8 to £10."

Thank you very much! Will keep that in mind.

By the way, new guy here as well. Whenever I'm taking a break from this particular interest, I'm usually found at home, watching my ferret play in one of his big ferret cages (have a couple of them at home) and having fun with the wife and kids. Such a simple and noble life. Cheers, everyone! Have a nice day!

Edited by user 21 March 2019 19:46:00(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline costing  
#45 Posted : 14 March 2019 23:33:09(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74
Location: Geneve, Geneva
I've finished putting together the track cleaning cylinder, here's how it looks like in use or just carried around:

20190314_222732.jpg
20190314_222740.jpg

And in action:


Cheers,

.costin
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
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Offline TimProdigy  
#46 Posted : 20 March 2019 19:14:49(UTC)
TimProdigy

United States   
Joined: 13/03/2019(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Tampa, Florida
That looks amazing! Exceeded my expectations, overall. Thanks!
Offline Penrose  
#47 Posted : 21 March 2019 20:30:01(UTC)
Penrose

United States   
Joined: 02/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 18
Location: North Carolina, Holly Springs
Originally Posted by: TimProdigy Go to Quoted Post
"Another option is a Fleschmann track rubber, it is shaped in away, that the broad side will clean the rails and the narrow side will clean the studs. They only cost around £8 to £10."

Thank you very much! Will keep that in mind.

By the way, new guy here as well. Whenever I'm taking a break from this particular interest, I'm usually found at home, watching my ferret play in one of his big ferret cages (have a couple of them at home) and having fun with the wife and kids. Such a simple and noble life. Cheers, everyone! Have a nice day!


If you can't find a track rubber, I found you can get "fret erasers" that are normally used to clean and polish frets on musical instruments. If you live in the US, you can get them from StewMac (stewmac.com) at about $7.42/ea. I bought 3 and shipping was about $10.00. The good thing about these is that you can get them with different grits: 800 (Blue), 1200 (red), and 2000 (green). The finer the grit you use, the more rails and studs are polished rather than ground down.

Applor suggests using graphite as a cleaner. It has a dual purpose: 1) cleans rails (especially center rails) and 2) is also a conductor so residue will not interrupt power. It also does not abrade/polish the rails/studs. I suggest care in how much graphite you use because conductivity is a two-edged sword. Too much graphite in the wrong place may cause shorting, so, use graphite when track power is off, and vacuum up after yourself. I have lately used graphite very successfully to tune up track conductivity. The only warning I have is the same for rubber or graphite. You may not be able to use either on hidden track because of track access. I had no problem finding graphite on the web and in different dimensions. I finally chose 1/2" diameter rods. Others prefer thinner and rectangular dimensions. EDM electrode scraps are a good source.
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