Power outtage on layout!

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illyad

New Member
I just completed my layout. Ran the system without a problem. After testing to make sure both the power and the reversable properties were working I applied a mixture of 70% h20 and 30% glue to the tracks and covered the tracks with ballast.I applied another coat of the glue/water solution and applied another coat of ballast. After drying I went over all the tracks with an track "eraser" removing any residue. No power to system. The power pack is in working order but the connection to the unit appears compromised. When I turned on the power and tried to run the system no movement of my engine and I noticed the reversable unit had become warm. I powered off and used the eraser on the track connections that were where the connections are to the reversible unit. So here I am with out a powered layout. Can any one offer me an explanation for this but more importantly how can I correct this problem. I have attached some photos
 

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dennis461

Active Member
what did you use for ballast, if store bought, what brand and part number.
Did you wait 24 hours for things to dry out?
 

illyad

New Member
what did you use for ballast, if store bought, what brand and part number.
Did you wait 24 hours for things to dry out?
I did not wait 24 hours to dry. Was dry to touch in about 2 hours.
Woodland Scenics Gray Blend Ballast Medium 32oz B1394 was used as
 

migalyto

Well-Known Member
That’s more than likely your problem. Things are wet underneath, and causing a short. Let dry all night, and see if by morning your problem doesn’t go away.
 

illyad

New Member
what did you use for ballast, if store bought, what brand and part number.
Did you wait 24 hours for things to dry out?
Tried to power up this morning. Still no power in track line. Power pack is working but still no power to tracks via converter. Any suggestions? Do I need to replace the converter? Could it have been damaged?
 
Tried to power up this morning. Still no power in track line. Power pack is working but still no power to tracks via converter. Any suggestions? Do I need to replace the converter? Could it have been damaged?
Disconnect it from the track that you have the ballast on and wire it up to a new piece of track and see if it works on the new one.
It's possible that you damaged the output transistors on the reverse unit.

If you don't have a volt meter you can use a small 12 volt bulb and connect it across the track to see if it lights.
 

illyad

New Member
You really need a volt ohm meter in this hobby. They are very inexpensive at Walmart.
How would the use of a volt ohm meter help to solve this problem. I know that the transformer is working and I know the converter is not. How would the Volt meter give me more useful information?
 

illyad

New Member
Disconnect it from the track that you have the ballast on and wire it up to a new piece of track and see if it works on the new one.
It's possible that you damaged the output transistors on the reverse unit.

If you don't have a volt meter you can use a small 12 volt bulb and connect it across the track to see if it lights.[/QUO
 

illyad

New Member
if the output transistors on the reverse unit are damaged what options do I have? can I replace them or do I need a new unit?
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Ran the system without a problem. ... covered the tracks with ballast..... went over all the tracks with an track "eraser" .... When I turned on the power - I noticed the reversable unit had become warm.
Looking at the pictures I see insulated rail joiners so can I assume the white and blue wires are the end-of-line sensors? The red and black wires from the unit go to power and track respectively. I assume there is some sort of loop to the left so that the train goes from one of the bumpers to the other. Is the unit specifically designed that the white sensor goes to the red rail and the blue sensor to the black rail, or does that not matter? Just wondering because if it was working - obviously that is ok.

It is sort of baffling; however, our club did experience a similar thing after a ballast job. After fighting it for a couple hours we discovered there was an invisible coating of ballast cement that had covered the rails apparently by capillary action. I am trying to remember if we had to get a heavier grit "track eraser" or used sand paper (400 grit) to cut through the glue.

The unit says it is rated for 1 amp. so hopefully wet glue would not pull more than that. The issue might have been that BOTH damp sensors were attempting to trigger it simultaneously. You might want to contact the vendor and ask them how tolerant to double activation it is (and hopefully not was).
 
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Did you put insulator pins on the track? I cant tell from the pics if they are there. The reason I'm asking is because I see them taped the the reverse unit still.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Could you possibly go back in and delete the excess pictures from that first post. I thought each one was illustrating something in particular but it looks like they are all just multiple postings of the same picture.
 

illyad

New Member
I wish to thank everyone who offered me advice and encouragement. The train is running now after some waiting for liquids to dry and after giving the tracks a good cleaning with eraser and liquid track cleaner. My engine still stops from time to time and in some sections of track the engine runs a little slow. when the engine stops I need to give it a little touch or push. Any idea why this is? Or how to correct it?
 

migalyto

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you still have some dries glue on one or both rails. If you take 600 grit sandpaper, and lightly (and I stress lightly) and go over the area with a few passes then clean with alcohol (I use dollar store rubbing alcohol something like 91%) it probably will take care of your problem. Don't sand so much you put scratches in the rails, it will be a dust and gunk magnet.
 




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