027 - Remote Control switch

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Uncle Don, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don New Member

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    I am a newbie so be gentle.

    I have a layout, attached to plywood, that has not been used in years. I am trying to get it set up and running for my nephews on Thanksgiving (nothing like waiting until the last minute). I am using a lockon for the contacts. When I apply power however the remote control switch closest to the lockon energizes it's solenoid. I don't even have the switch controller wired to the switch yet. No power is going to the locomotive. Any ideas?
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Don: If it's a Lionel switch, there could be a problem with the non-derailing feature. Summary: the rail beyong the frog (outer rail on the curved track) is wired to the switch motor so that a train coming to a switch that is set against it will throw the switch the right way. This rail has to be isolated from the rest of the track -- there has to be an insulated (fiber) pin in the end of the rail.
    I don't know why it would happen in storage, but check that the pin is there; that the rails haven't shifted over the where the gap should be or that something metal isn't bridging the gap.
    If you turn the switch manually, does it pop back when power is applied?
  3. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don New Member

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    One of the fiber pins is missing and there is a metal pin in it's place. I purchased the platform with the layout attached and the trains from a neighbor who was retiring and moving to an over 55 community and wouldn't be able to keep it. He has since passed so there is no way to find out what the operational state was before I got it.

    Is there anything I can substitute for the missing fiber pin?
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    The fast solution may be a round toothpick and an insulating washer -- you need something that won't stick out past the rail. You may get away with as little as removing the metal pin and putting a little piece of plastic in the bottom of the rail. A tight round toothpick is what I'd use.

    If you need instructions, look for the Olsen's Toy website pictures.olsenstoy.com
  5. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don New Member

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    Thanks for the tip. Used a round toothpick and everything is working. Cleaning off the track now and hope to put this puppy to rest by 2-3AM.

    Again, Thanks.
  6. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don New Member

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    Last question: I have 2 small transformers. Can I use both to suppy power to the track if I put 1 lockon on one end of the oval and a second lockon on the other end?
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    Do not parallel transformers for extra power on the same section of track! I responded in detail as to why in a thread called using 2 CW-80 transformers together (http://www.the-gauge.com/showthread.php?t=23103). If the small transformer doesn't have enough power to run a given train, you need a bigger transformer.

    You can use one transformer to run the train, and the other to run any lights or accessories (but not O27 switches which only run off track power). Do wire both lockons to the same transformer to prevent any voltage drops as you go around the loop.

    Most of the Lionel train set transformers were big enough to run the train they came with and may be 2 switches and an accessory. If you needed more power, you moved up the transformer scale. For most trains on a 4x8 layout, a used Lionel 1033 or 1044 is a great transformer (typically $40-$50 at US train shows) one for each loop of track or train running at the same time. Each will run a train, 4-5 switches, and a couple of accessories.

    yours in wiring
  8. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don New Member

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    Thanks for the response. Do I just run another set a wires from the transformer posts to the lockons?
  9. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

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    You got it.:thumb:
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    You can run the extra wires either from the transformer or from the lockon or some other type of terminal strip.
    If your transformer will run the train at one point on the layout, you don't need extra power, just better eletric feed. Old rail joints loosen up and add resistance, lowering voltage. As well as the extra lockon (and have a reasonable sized wire - 16 or larger), you should take a pair of pliers to the track joints and crimp them tighter. (There's a tool that actually fits around the rail head, but they're hard to find.) several techniques if you take the track off first.
  11. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don New Member

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    My nephews and I had a lot of fun on Thanksgiving with the trains. They ran real slow around the far turns but never stopped. I promised to have them running better for Christmas.

    I'll be pulling all the track and cleaning them and the pins. Then I'll check performance and decide on the transformer upgrade.

    Thanks for all the advice! Great site for info and help.

    Don