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Offline Michael4  
#1 Posted : 23 November 2020 18:19:47(UTC)
Michael4

United Kingdom   
Joined: 02/02/2017(UTC)
Posts: 478
Location: England, South Coast
I have an analogue layout with blocks, signals etc controlling up to four locos per track using 5146 etc. Also lights in carriages. A traditional set up.

One of the track's transformers randomly cuts out, goes dead for a few seconds and then the transformer comes back to life. I say 'random' because the locos positions on the tracks are not necessarily the same when the cut out happens (or the frequency of cut outs). I have been round the rack and checked my wiring and connections but because the transformer switches itself back on and runs happily again I question whether the issue is a short or something else.

So my mind turns towards the transformer. White transformers are new to me. It is 32VA. Do these new fangled white transformers have an overload switch of some sort that blue plastic transformers lack? In my memory if you overload a blue one things just get slower and dimmer...

Am I simply overloading the white transformer?
Offline hxmiesa  
#2 Posted : 23 November 2020 18:57:42(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,155
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: Michael4 Go to Quoted Post
So my mind turns towards the transformer. White transformers are new to me. It is 32VA. Do these new fangled white transformers have an overload switch of some sort that blue plastic transformers lack? In my memory if you overload a blue one things just get slower and dimmer...
Am I simply overloading the white transformer?

Most probably an overload.

BTW: The blue ones cuts out too. You can test that very easy with a screwdriver ;-)

Anyway; Just do the numbers. Depending on the age of your stuff and the type of interior lighting, the calculation is the following;
10VA per lok
1VA per incandescent light bulb for interior lighting. (Traditional lighting has 2 bulbs per carriage)
As an example; 2 trains with 4 lighted waggons each equal; 2*10 + 2*4*2*1 = 36VA -and you are already over!

But wait, there's more! You can have intermittent shorts by wrongly aligned pickup shoes or any other pinched cable or metallic debris on the track;
Go around slowly on the track, until you reach the point/curve where the short is created. Be systematic!

Good luck!


Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline Michael4  
#3 Posted : 23 November 2020 19:48:30(UTC)
Michael4

United Kingdom   
Joined: 02/02/2017(UTC)
Posts: 478
Location: England, South Coast
Thanks, I have been over the track and signals step by step. The numbers do the talking. I will move all accessories to another transformer and see what happens.
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Offline LA2019  
#4 Posted : 23 November 2020 22:15:29(UTC)
LA2019

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2012(UTC)
Posts: 265
A few years ago my white transformer was acting up like you describe. I traced my problem to a 'failing' wire inside the transformer. The wire was pinched (you can kind of see it in the middle of the wire) Cracked open the transformer and replaced the wire and all was fine.

Just throwing the idea out there....

UserPostedImage
Ken
USofA
Offline analogmike  
#5 Posted : 24 November 2020 01:35:44(UTC)
analogmike

United States   
Joined: 02/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 665
Location: NEW JERSEY, USA
I had a similar problem on my last layout with all blue traffos. It was a problem that would come and go. After a long time I found a melted uncoupler section. Apparently a low coupler of a parked train was barely touching the solid center rail of the uncoupler. Sometime it would sizzle others not. I don't park over uncouplers anymore. I hope you find your trouble.
Mikey
I love the smell of smoke fluid in the morning .
Offline Michael4  
#6 Posted : 25 November 2020 18:06:28(UTC)
Michael4

United Kingdom   
Joined: 02/02/2017(UTC)
Posts: 478
Location: England, South Coast
Well, I don't know, it is far more satisfying when you find something that is the obvious culprit. After hours of pulling things apart and putting them back together, I dismantled a section in a tunnel (inevitably), including a set of points and a 5146. There appeared to be nothing wrong with them but when re-assembled the whole thing came back to life. Now all I need to do is to re-adjust the catenary, that should keep me quiet for a while.

I suppose it is human nature, you have to blame a piece of equipment before accepting that fault might be yours!
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Offline HO Collector  
#7 Posted : 26 November 2020 23:49:11(UTC)
HO Collector

United Kingdom   
Joined: 21/02/2016(UTC)
Posts: 149
Location: Just north of London
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
Anyway; Just do the numbers. Depending on the age of your stuff and the type of interior lighting, the calculation is the following;
10VA per lok
1VA per incandescent light bulb for interior lighting. (Traditional lighting has 2 bulbs per carriage)
As an example; 2 trains with 4 lighted wagons each equal; 2*10 2*4*2*1 = 36VA -and you are already over!


Have to admit that I have never heard about this calculation.
Years ago, well, many years ago, when I was a kid I used to run X4 locos (3025, 3021, 3003, 3000), some cars with lights, all switches and signals as well as the 103 Faller station (lots of bulbs) on one old blue metal trafo, most times 3 trains were running and when my parents let me loose it was all over the house going from one room to another with all trains running, never had a problem.

Offline Bigdaddynz  
#8 Posted : 27 November 2020 11:07:21(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,610
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: HO Collector Go to Quoted Post
Have to admit that I have never heard about this calculation.


Wow, really? It was printed in the catalogs, in this example on page 87 of the 1980 catalog (top right hand corner)

Capture.JPG



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Offline hxmiesa  
#9 Posted : 27 November 2020 11:25:48(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,155
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: HO Collector Go to Quoted Post
Have to admit that I have never heard about this calculation.
Years ago, well, many years ago, when I was a kid I used to run X4 locos (3025, 3021, 3003, 3000), some cars with lights, all switches and signals as well as the 103 Faller station (lots of bulbs) on one old blue metal trafo, most times 3 trains were running and when my parents let me loose it was all over the house going from one room to another with all trains running, never had a problem.

So? Me too. Maybe even more locos. I may even have used two trafos in parallel to feed the same track-section, just to have more juice.
When I was a child, I didnt even do the fase-check test when using more than one trafo!Scared

As Bigdaddynz has already showed, this is a standard calculation from the catalogues. Although... I see that there were different versions. F.x. the picture shown by BD details 9-12 for locos, while I have seen others just stating 10 for any loco. I also remember a version explaining the consumption of 3VA of each solenoide coil used. (points, signals, uncouplers), although those are mostly activated one at a time.

As any manufacturer would do, all those values listed are propbably conservative values;
The trafo may be able to supply 35VA (my TITAN brand ones do...), A well-functioning, well-oiled, well-maintained loco may use just 4VA when it has been run in, and there are no burs on the metal gears and the brushes are adapted to the stator and the motor housing is still free from coal/metal particles from the brushes, -and no binding from wheels and driving rods...

"Your milage may vary".
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#10 Posted : 27 November 2020 21:24:45(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,610
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
Although... I see that there were different versions. F.x. the picture shown by BD details 9-12 for locos, while I have seen others just stating 10 for any loco.


I've also seen reference to the 3047 BR44 and 3015 Crocodile requiring 15va (can't remember where though).
Offline kiwiAlan  
#11 Posted : 28 November 2020 14:41:17(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 5,609
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
Although... I see that there were different versions. F.x. the picture shown by BD details 9-12 for locos, while I have seen others just stating 10 for any loco.


I've also seen reference to the 3047 BR44 and 3015 Crocodile requiring 15va (can't remember where though).


In early catalogues it was stated that a '30VA transformer is required for this loco', and that description was included with the CCS800/3015, and the DL800 and its derivatives which all had the very large centrally mounted motor with cardan shafts to drive the bogies. The description may also have been applied to large steam locos like the 3047 as well.

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