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Offline obb_taurus  
#1 Posted : 12 January 2020 19:41:32(UTC)
obb_taurus


Joined: 09/05/2006(UTC)
Posts: 56
Location: ,
I've been having many issues with locomotives getting stuck around my layout but I've traced that back to the new style pickup shoe, I had to bend it more straight cause only a small portion was making contact with the track. One issue I haven't been able to solve is many locations get stuck around my layout where I have C contact tracks (24995). It appears to happen when practically any locomotive approaches the middle of the track so I'm wondering if I have some defective contact tracks as this does not happen everywhere or is this a normal issue with these tracks.

Also, when putting the 2 tracks together, are the rail splits supposed to be on the same side or opposite sides, saw an image on Amazon.com where they are on opposite sides so I'm wondering if it makes a difference?

Thanks
Offline Crazy Harry  
#2 Posted : 12 January 2020 20:15:39(UTC)
Crazy Harry

Canada   
Joined: 18/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 340
Location: Oakville, Ontario
The rail splits, the sides with the raised indicator, have to be on the same side for the contact area to be isolated properly. Here is the manual for those tracks for reference, note the pictogram on page 2:

0a3da96b1c15614d4d6d58afdad7c3b01512382695.pdf (810kb) downloaded 60 time(s).

That answers your second question.

I can only guess why your locos are getting stuck in the isolated areas; it may be insufficient grounding since the one rail is isolated from ground.

Hope this helps,

Harold.
Offline TEEWolf  
#3 Posted : 12 January 2020 21:11:49(UTC)
TEEWolf

Germany   
Joined: 01/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 2,243
Does all your locos and coaches have non isolated wheelsets? Using contact tracks for Maerklin AC you need for your complete rolling stock these non isolated wheelsets. For straight circuit tracks and Reed contacts it is not necessary.

The wheelsets for DC are all isolated. Using these wheelsets on AC Maerklin contact tracks, your train will stuck.
CS 3 is a controlling station from Märklin - not a central station.
Offline obb_taurus  
#4 Posted : 12 January 2020 23:58:28(UTC)
obb_taurus


Joined: 09/05/2006(UTC)
Posts: 56
Location: ,
I've never changed any of my wheelsets, but if that was the issue it would happen at all contact tracks, while it is only happening at a few.
Offline mike c  
#5 Posted : 13 January 2020 01:21:58(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,502
Location: Montreal, QC
Back in the day, the metal bodies of locomotives and cars conducted the return (ground), which meant that, in addition to the wheels of the locomotive, the ground was carried to the cars/coaches via the metal couplings, bodies and bogies/wheels. Today, modern cars/coaches have plastic bodies/chassis and the couplers are insulated from the body by plastic coupling socket. This means that much more than previously, models must rely on contact between the wheels and rails for operation.

This becomes problematic when using contact tracks, where one section of rail is sectioned off from the ground and uses the passage of the uninsulated wheels to complete the circuit and trip the solenoid accessory. As the model is only having contact on one side at that moment, it may fail if there is not good contact. It may not be the track, but rather the ground contact between the model and the wheel that is causing the poor contact.

Regards

Mike C
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by mike c
Offline JohnjeanB  
#6 Posted : 21 January 2020 11:55:11(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 644
Location: Paris, France
Hi OBB Taurus
I believe the problem comes from 2 causes:
1 - slider contact: the slider needs to be perfectly plane (straight) and with a medium force (not too strong as it will wear too quickly and reduce the locos tractive force). Märklin used to recommend slider position to be 2 mm below the top rail surface. Often we focus on this when the return contact by the wheels is the real cause.

2- "Ground return": the contact through the wheel and bearings are not making good contact (the wheels must be clean and the bearings (or wheel sliders in certain cases) must also be clean from dirt and oil dry deposits). What makes the problem worse is that the rails are more and more used with long detection zones so the "ground return" is made only by one rail. The problem is further worsened on some locos (e.g.: the rail car "Schienenbus") where one traction tire make the ground return on one side only through one wheel. The cure is to install a diode (cathode side on the contact rail, anode side on the other rail) on each and every contact rail is the layout. Another cure is to increase the number of ground return wheels (e.g.: on steamers, the ground return may not be on all wheels but only on the tender or on the loco. On many bogie locos, the ground is only made by one bogie and only through contacts (no flexible wire).

Another possible issue is a "twisted rail" (the two rails are not parallel but "screwed or twisted". The result is that only one wheel on each side makes contact (and also traction is reduced for the same reasons). I have made a tool to check the rails (a 10 cm long metal rod with 2 perpendicular 2 cm rods in the shape of an "H" with the long middle bar. The 2 cm rods must be on the same plane. When posing the tool on a problematic zone, if it "rocks" then it means the track is twisted there and need correction.

Last when cleaning the rails only use dedicated cleaning tools (the cleaning erasers or contact liquid). Avoid using abrasives especially of rough grain (use only grade 1000 or higher abrasive as used on car bodies). Using lower grade abrasives will create grooves in the rails where dirt will accumulate and create more problems. Ideally the rail top surface must be polished.
Sorry for the long yakedy yakBigGrin
Cheers
Jean
My lay-out videos
latest vid
humping yard
thanks 9 users liked this useful post by JohnjeanB
Offline dickinsonj  
#7 Posted : 24 January 2020 00:58:16(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,232
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post

Sorry for the long yakedy yakBigGrin
Cheers
Jean


Your long yakedy yak is the best summary of how to maintain a good ground path that I have ever read. ThumpUp

It took me years to figure all of that out and how most electrical problems come from a poor ground path.

Now you are giving it away for free. BigGrin

Good for you and good for the forum! ThumpUp
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
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