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· Just another modeller
9,967 Posts
Suz, the advice so far is OK and wheels are the likely culprit followed by the need for more power feeds around the layout. If its an 8x4 board or similar, then 4 feeds per loop should be enough.

A second problem may be pickups. Unfortunately the construction quality can be a bit off so pickups don't really touch the backs of the wheels very well. If you look closely under the loco, you will be able to see some fine "fingers" that touch the wheels one side. Make sure they do touch the wheels well and bend a little towardsthe wheel with some tweezers if they don't make firm contact. Also check that the wheels are very clean where they are supposed to touch as they have a tendency to pick up fluff and muck.

Even if they LOOK clean give them a good rub to remove invisible oxides and muck. Careful use of some acetone based fingernail remover or similar on the wheel backs (just a damp cotton bud) to clean them will help too. Keep this away from any plastic though of course.

The other problem will likely be the hornby points - they are very fickle as to reliability of contact between blades and the rest of the rails so really do need a little TLC to keep working. In future, consider buying Peco points which are a tad better.

Perhaps you could experiment and work by elimination: make a largish loop of track only with no points - test. Add a couple of points - test. change to two more points - test. This way you just may find the intermittent ones and can then replace or improve them.

Kindest regards


QUOTE (Sol @ 28 Dec 2008, 06:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Voltage - being DCC which is a form of AC, it needs to be read with an AC voltmeter & while a standard digital meter will not be accurate, it should read around 13v.

Sol: An AC meter can be a LOT out, rarely just a little. Basically the ONLY way to get reliably within one volt is to measure the DC voltage across a function such as blue and white (with F0 turned on). A standard meter set to AC will be up to 50% out as the phasing error is related to the Waveform relativity betweeen meter (50/60 hz and the track power (in the thousands of cycles).

If a meter is to be used, totally ignore the voltage reading and use it to see change around the layout - its error will be constant so variance will be seen the same as if it read correctly.

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