Locomotive keeps loosing power dcc

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Speedbird 48

New Member
Ok, so I decided to make a quick temporary ezttrack layout and run my dcc trains but I encountered problem. every so often the trains completely stop moving and trains with sound decoders go silent! The strange thing is out of 5 locomotives that I tested, only three had this problem. They were the Athearn Big boy 4016. The genesis SD70ACE. And the Athearn SW1500. The ones that did not have this problem were the Athearn p42 and a dc switcher 040 steam locomotive. Please help as best you can :)
 
Try adding another set of feeder wires at the furthest point away from your command station. Also try cleaning the wheels of your locomotives and your track, they do still oxidize when not running. Run a bright boy around the layout. Put a few drops of light oil onto a paper towel and run the locomotive with one truck on it and the other on the rails for power, run in the oil spot then on the dry part of the towel and alternate until it comes clean. Once all of that is done put three or four fresh drops onto a fresh towel and run that over the railheads. If you follow all of these steps and things still die I will be surprised.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
Different locomotives behave differently on a given stretch of track. I suggest that you have a continuity problem at one or more joiners, perhaps loose or corroded ones. A Big Boy is likely to be heavier than the others, but also longer. If it stops at the same spot, it's that spot. The track is uneven, perhaps, and contact with the rails is lost by a critical metal tire with a wiper behind it. Or the joiner under or on either side of the locomotive is being moved such that continuity is being lost.

The logic is simple in that some locos seem fine while others don't. A combination of wiper arrangements, joiner contact and condition, and rail stability, all conspire to make the ones affected behave as they do.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Probably the extra feeders will end this. I bet what's happening is the track isn't secured to the benchwork, and as the train moves along the track, it's causing the railjoiners to lose contact with one another. That's why it's common practice to solder joints together, and provide extra feeders. While this may not be anywhere near what you want you permanent layout to be, it can only help to provide more feeders to each rail. You don't have to solder the joints together, but you do need those feeders.
 
All good suggestions, but the first thing I would do is check all the joints and make sure that for every rail joiner both rails are in the joiner (you don't have one sitting on top of the joiner).
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
(awkward moment) I actually kind if sort of have the track on a carpet... I might try a smaller track layout though.
Before you tear up your track for a smaller one, why not try slipping a piece of ply (or similar) under it first and see if that resolves the problem? While I'm no expert at wiring, it does seem to be a continuity issue caused by any of the above suggestions.
 
It's okay, my track is on the carpet at the moment too. Not everyone can have an actual layout all the time...

Being that it is EZ track, it actually isn't that hard to make a terminal piece out of any hunk of track. Drill a 1/16" hole next to the outside of the rail and solder on a bit of wire, then hook that back to the power supply. Make sure you keep your polarity straight though!

Not to hijack the thread, but I thought you might enjoy this.
 

Attachments

yep, the easy track joiners tend to kind of wear out and lose contact. might try and tighten or replace the joiners, or solder in feeders.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Ok, so I decided to make a quick temporary ezttrack layout and run my dcc trains but I encountered problem. every so often the trains completely stop moving and trains with sound decoders go silent! The strange thing is out of 5 locomotives that I tested, only three had this problem. They were the Athearn Big boy 4016. The genesis SD70ACE. And the Athearn SW1500. The ones that did not have this problem were the Athearn p42 and a dc switcher 040 steam locomotive.
Ok, I see lots of answers but no one has ask some key questions to diagnose the problem. You say "trains". Does this mean that you have multiple trains on the track at the same time and they all stop at the same time, or is there ever only 1 train on track at the same time? Do the trains always stop in the same place on the track or do they stop at various places perhaps at a given time intervals? Do you know what brand of decoders are in these locomotives?
 
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