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Minitrix 15 deg R & L Turnout Sm Loco Issue

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Bahner View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 12:20am
Need some experienced input on my first N-scale layout.

I just completed mounting Minitrix track for a simple double loop layout with a passing track and a dead-end siding. The setup uses (2) 15 deg Left (14954) and (1) 15 deg Right (14954) non-polarized turnouts with manual switching. I have a number of Arnold, Fleishman and Minitrix locmotives (all more than two axle locos) and they all run perfectly fine through these turnouts irregardless of the switch set to left or right or which direction they enter the turnouts.

My issue is with one loco only, namely a tiny 2-axle Bavarian 'Glaskasten' ('Glass Box'), MiniTrix # 12017 released in 1989. Oddly, this engine can run flawlessly through the turnout if the switch is set for the passing track, but it'll stop/start (full speed) or completely stop (3/4 speed or less) at the frog if the switch is set for main line travel. Stranger still, if the engine runs in the opposite direction and then enters the Right turnout the operation is smooth as silk through all the switches no matter how the Right switch is set.

From what I have read, really small locos can have issues on non-polarized turnouts, but if this were the case here I'd expect that this small loco would show issues no matter how the switch was set...which is not the case. I wonder if this might just be an oddity with these switches themselves?

Any input would be appreciated.

Ralph.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Railwriter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 12:47am
The issue here might be with the power pickup of the loco itself.  Check to make sure that all wheels are clean and that all the wipers which collect power from the wheels are clean and making good contact.  If you have an electrical continuity tester, you can check whether various parts within the loco are carrying power as they are supposed to.

Long-term, consider changing to turnouts with polarized frogs.

Hope that helps.

== Ernest
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el Gato Gordo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote el Gato Gordo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 7:35am
Welcome, Ralph! I suspect that the wheels may be ever so slightly out of gauge. I've noticed that on my European trains the wheels on each axel are set a tiny bit closer together than with American trains.   Use an NMRA n scale gauge and a pair of small screwdrivers to center the wheels in the gauge slots and I bet the problem goes away.

Use a screwdriver on each side to avoid stressing the gears.
Cheers!
Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bahner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 9:31am
Thanks for the quick replies and great suggestions. The Glaskasten loco wheels are squeeky clean (rubbing alcohol) and the gears have been very lightly lubed, so I'll look next at the wipers and check that the wheels are set at the correct distance for N gauge this weekend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote el Gato Gordo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 9:53am
I have a Fleischmann BR 182 that ran erratically.  As you note, it would go through some turnouts one way, but not the other.  Had no trouble on other turnouts.  Checked the wheel spacing and they were just touching the inside edges of the notches on my NMRA gauge.  I gently moved them the tiniest fraction, so that the wheels were centered in both of the grooves, and now that is one of my best running Loks.
Cheers!
Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bahner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 10:55am
What I'm finding with N scale is that the tiniest variences out of the norm can cause issues, either with the track or the running stock. Lots of track connection soldering, filing, rail gleaming, cleaning, etc. to get smooth running trains. The most problematic have been the adjustable track sections as the interior moveable rail would cause the loco/cars to climb up the rails and then plop back down again (eventually fixed with a good needle file and a small needle-nose plier). Lesson learned for next time; use as few of these a possible and don't attach them directly to curved track, if at all possible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote el Gato Gordo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 1:24pm
I've never tried the adjustable track. I considered it for my layout extension, but found an easier way.

My first layout was all Fleischmann Piccolo which worked well, but as you say, was a bit touchy. The mainline on my current layout is all Peco code 80, and I have no track issues at all. The turnouts are particularly good quality. For odd lengths of track I simply cut flex track with a razor saw.
Cheers!
Gordon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bahner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2017 at 1:43pm
Originally posted by el Gato Gordo el Gato Gordo wrote:

I've never tried the adjustable track. I considered it for my layout extension, but found an easier way.

My first layout was all Fleischmann Piccolo which worked well, but as you say, was a bit touchy. The mainline on my current layout is all Peco code 80, and I have no track issues at all. The turnouts are particularly good quality. For odd lengths of track I simply cut flex track with a razor saw.


The overall MiniTrix track quality seems to be quite good and the turnouts/switches work as they should for everything but the little loco. Since this is my first layout, I attribute most of my inital running issues to 'beginner's errors'

Cutting flex track to make an odd length track sound like a great idea. Thanks for the tip :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BR42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2017 at 6:15am
Hello:

To make you N-scalers feel better:  Good running track also needs lots of work in H0 scale, soldering, file and smoothing joints.

Ulrich
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote el Gato Gordo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2017 at 6:30am
That's true, Ulrich. My first layout was HO and I learned some of these lessons the hard way.

Cheers!
Gordon
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