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Offline wingtips  
#1 Posted : 14 March 2021 04:18:27(UTC)
wingtips

United States   
Joined: 14/03/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
Hi. I'm brand new to the hobby, and just bought and connected a brand-new grade crossing set (8992). The gates activate when the train passes the circuit tracks (yay), but they only go halfway down (boo), and hold there until the second circuit track is crossed, at which point they pop back up (yay). Has anyone else experienced this behavior? My set is analogue, and I'm using the big old blue transformer (6727). Thanks!
Offline wingtips  
#2 Posted : 14 March 2021 13:09:03(UTC)
wingtips

United States   
Joined: 14/03/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
I should add that I also had another problematic pair (from eBay), which I returned due to a different issue. Those did lower fully, but would often get stuck on the way up.

That set was vintage, in the photo box. The new set described in my post above came in the newer-style packaging.

My gut is that perhaps the new edition is somehow different in design, and may require a newer-design transformer. Grasping at straws, tho!
Offline JohnjeanB  
#3 Posted : 14 March 2021 15:27:53(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,518
Location: Paris, France
Hi Wingtips
I don't have this Märklin crossing gate but the HO equivalent.
The arm is a molded plastic with a little iron core to be attracted by the solenoid hidden in the supporting vertical post.
The arm has 2 plastic short axles clipping into a sheet-metal hinges.
The system is so constructed that when hitting accidentally the gate's arm, it will un-clip and get loose.
The arm normally gets back in vertical position because it is unbalanced but the force is very tiny so any resistance will prevent a return to vertical position.
Of course any filing or change will modify the force to return it to vertical position

Sans titre.png

So how to repair
* inspect with a strong magnifier the arm for damage (broken axle), unhinged, bent part, etc
* install back the arm after making sure there is no pinching of the arm by the hinge

I hope this helps
Jean

My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
Offline wingtips  
#4 Posted : 14 March 2021 16:42:31(UTC)
wingtips

United States   
Joined: 14/03/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
Thanks for the reply, Jean!

These gates are brand new. The clips are properly seated, and the upward and downward movements are smooth. The problem is that when descending, they stop partway down. Here's a video.

Both gates exhibit this exact same behavior.

I think they may have been incorrectly calibrated at the factory. They have a full range of motion.

eric

IMG_9645.MOV (11,410kb) downloaded 20 time(s).gate-up.jpggate-down.jpg
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#5 Posted : 14 March 2021 17:54:51(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 339
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: wingtips Go to Quoted Post
These gates are brand new. The clips are properly seated, and the upward and downward movements are smooth. The problem is that when descending, they stop partway down. Here's a video.

Both gates exhibit this exact same behavior.

I think they may have been incorrectly calibrated at the factory. They have a full range of motion.

eric



I don't have any personal experience to offer, I'm afraid, but the problem you describe does sound as though it could be to do with inadequate voltage coming out of the transformer. (As European mains supply is 230V and US 110V, there is plenty of scope for things to go wrong, especially if things have been imported directly.)

If you have a multi-meter, why not check out what voltage it is giving out? I'd expect 10-15VAC but if it's much less than that, it would probably explain what you're seeing.

The current Marklin controller uses a 12V DC plug-top power supply, which powers the accessories directly. You may well have such a supply around (it's a common voltage for external hard drives and laptops) so you could quickly check your crossing with that to see it it behaves better.

Hope that is of some help, good luck!


Chris





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Offline JohnjeanB  
#6 Posted : 14 March 2021 18:09:50(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,518
Location: Paris, France
Hi Eric
Sorry I can't help you more as I don't have these Z Gauge crossing gates.
I can only see one possibility: the gates and the core for activation are out of sync.
On your movie we see clearly the gates go half way down and bounce back as if it was their target position
Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline wingtips  
#7 Posted : 14 March 2021 19:38:16(UTC)
wingtips

United States   
Joined: 14/03/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
My multimeter seems to have given up the ghost, but I get identical results with my Marklin 10v 6727, Marklin 16v 6001, and a 16v Bachmann I had laying around. Taken together with the fact that the older product did go all of the way down every time (but tended to get stuck on the way up, sigh), My (admittedly noob) gut is that it’s not a voltage issue.

I think I’ll head back to the shop in a day or two and see if the proprietor gets the same results with one of his transformers. Another great reason to shop local: customer support! 😀

Thanks for your wise input, Jean and Chris. Watch This Space for my follow-up video, where I’ll demo the fully functioning solution! 🤞
Offline Zme  
#8 Posted : 14 March 2021 20:59:49(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 303
Location: West Texas
Hello, I am like Chris and do not have one of these.

I believe this is a common problem with this item. According to my research I discovered this comment:

A vertically movable pin is located centrally in the support to transfer the movement. The lower third of the pin is significantly thickened and serves as a weight, which, when the coil current is switched off, causes the raised pin to slide back into its starting position.

It would seem, once the gate is lifted, gravity returns it to the original position.

I watched your video, and can see the issue, but this is with the unit not installed to the track as it should. Do you have this experience when both sides are attached and joined to the track as the instructions indicate? It is possible, the design is planned and works when in proper placement and correctly wired etc.

After proper setup, if the weight does not return it as it should, look for something which interferes with the movement of this part.

It would seem, oil is not called for on this unit, since this is a new unit, this should not be found anywhere. Perhaps someone else returned this item after purchase, for the same problem, but tried to solve the problem by oiling it.

I am going to look for one of these gates, they look like they add interest.

Best wishes

Dwight

Offline wingtips  
#9 Posted : 14 March 2021 22:24:19(UTC)
wingtips

United States   
Joined: 14/03/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
Thanks for the research, Dwight! (I’d be curious to see where you found that info. I’ve googled and found nothing.)

The gates definitely add interest, in my opinion. I find any automated activity interesting, so to see two gates plus the lights activate when a train passes is neat (though a bit pricey).

As you say, the gate in my video is not fully wired. When I first encountered the problem, they were fully installed as the instructions outlined. I shot the video after disconnecting it, so you all could see it in action. The behavior is identical.

The info about the movable pin is interesting. If I’d purchased this second hand, I’d be willing to play with it a little, to try and debug. But having bought these brand new yesterday, I’m hesitant to start poking around. It’s back to the shop for me.

I suspect the same as you: that someone else returned it after seeing the same problem. I did notice a little smudge on one of the tabs, as if it had been handled previously, AND the base plate wasn’t fully attached to the face plate in one corner ... 🤔

Eric
Offline marklinist5999  
#10 Posted : 14 March 2021 23:48:07(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 493
Location: Michigan, Troy
If I had Z scale, I'd never oil a solenoid. Silicone perhaps. Are there small springs involved at all?
Offline wingtips  
#11 Posted : 15 March 2021 01:00:05(UTC)
wingtips

United States   
Joined: 14/03/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
Pretty sure there’s no oil or springs. As I understand it, just a small piece of iron at the hinge end of the gate, which is pulled down by the solenoid.
Offline JohnjeanB  
#12 Posted : 15 March 2021 01:03:21(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,518
Location: Paris, France
Hi
On small scale or small mechanism, oiling is disastrous. In HO for instance oiling Telex couplings is a sure way to destroy them.
Back to this issue I understand you will return the item. I would do the same.
When checking into this, I discovered that the HO version is way more clever:
* fully foolproof as if you hit the gate arm, it will spring loose and you will have to clip it back in
* no moving parts: the solenoid is concealed in the vertical stand and attracts a piece of metal moldered with the plastic arm

Hope all will go well
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline Zme  
#13 Posted : 15 March 2021 05:44:57(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 303
Location: West Texas
Hello. You are correct to take advantage of any warranty available to you. That is what I would do also.

There may be some conflicting information on the web about this unit. This site says the solenoid pulls it up and down using some kind of spring. Check it out.

http://www.guidetozscale...automatic_operation.html

My earlier information was from a German website and I failed to drop a bookmark. Seems my search was the item number and the German word for repair. Sometimes the foreign sites have more information. The Bing translator can help with these sites.

I hope you find one which works for you.

Best wishes

Dwight
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Offline wingtips  
#14 Posted : 17 March 2021 03:11:45(UTC)
wingtips

United States   
Joined: 14/03/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
Update: called the shop that sold me the crossing, and they said that buyers complain to them about this very problem with the product all the time! This might explain why the old model goes for about as much on eBay as the new ones cost. They don’t make em (in Hungary) like they used to (in Germany).

Happily, they’re more than willing to give me a refund. So it’s back to the shop for this one, and back to eBay for me!

Thanks again for all of the great info. Clearly, good people gather here :) Glad that I found this board.

Eric
Offline Zme  
#15 Posted : 17 March 2021 06:24:28(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 303
Location: West Texas
Hello. Glad to hear about your outcome. I am not aware of another maker of z scale crossing gates with warning lights. Perhaps you will come up with one. Here is a site listing an older model. (Lightly used)

https://www.ztrackresale...ucks-8992-2b?search=8992

I know Busch made a set of warning lights for a crossing point, perhaps you might find some of these on EBay if you are interested.

I have seen YouTube’s about switching the gates to a servo which moves the gates with precision, but this would be a DYI project. I have never tried this type of process, so could not offer any advice.

I agree, only great z scalers reside here! BigGrin this is our refuge.

Take good care.

Dwight

Edited by user 18 March 2021 14:44:01(UTC)  | Reason: Brawa Was not correct maker

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Offline wingtips  
#16 Posted : 17 March 2021 18:05:28(UTC)
wingtips

United States   
Joined: 14/03/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
Wow that looks like a great deal, Dwight! I was unaware of that website, lots of good deals. Thanks for the tip.
Offline wingtips  
#17 Posted : 23 March 2021 04:01:38(UTC)
wingtips

United States   
Joined: 14/03/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
“New” set of gates arrived today from Ztrack resale.com. Perfect condition. Work like a charm. One gate does sometimes halt halfway up, but only rarely. Frankly, I think it might be the nature of the beast.

I’m happy. Thanks for the link, Dwight!

IMG_9715.MOV (9,953kb) downloaded 14 time(s).
Offline Zme  
#18 Posted : 20 April 2021 21:41:52(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 303
Location: West Texas
Hello. Glad to hear it worked out for you.

I found this YouTube with what might be the best crossing gate action, but for the wobble on the gate on the right. I wonder who produces this one or if it is a DIY project.



Best wishes


Dwight
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