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  • Power Boost (DC) to Double Reverse Loop Tracks

    EDITED for Brevity and With Additional Details (11/16/16):

    My 4' x 6' HO layout runs on DC power. It has a mainline outer oval (controlled through a dedicated DPDT, center-off toggle switch) and a double reverse loop (figure eight) inside that oval. The two loops cross dead center in the layout via a 19 degree cross track. The mainline tracks are joined to the two loops at four places (bottom left, bottom right, upper left & upper right) by four remote Atlas turnouts.

    The double reverse loop operation is all set up, properly wired and has been running flawlessly via a dedicated DPDT, center-off toggle switch since Day #1. One loop is connected to the toggle with green 20 AWG wire, and the other with orange 20 AWG wire.

    The only glitch - and it's a relatively minor one - is that the loco slows down a bit only along a one-track stretch of track in each loop just after passing over the cross track. If you look at the layout as you do a map, then the slowdown occurs just a tad "northwest" and "northeast" of the cross track; that is, in both loops. (Sorry, I have no way to provide a schematic or diagram that might aid in visualizing my layout.)

    So, to increase the electrical conductivity and reliability in those two trouble spots, I'm considering adding two feeder wires (green and orange, respectively) to the proper section of each loop - and to whatever else they need to be connected at the other end.

    I have already measured a noticeable decrease in electrical conductivity at the two affected areas with my multi-meter. But since the tracks are already soldered together, I'm reluctant to de-solder and re-solder them - if that might indeed be the source of the problem (I don't think so, because it was a clean soldering job in the first place as best I can tell and the tracks are fairly new.). Instead, I'm looking at adding those two feeder wires.

    So, the bottom-line - and only - question is this:

    Just where (to what) do I need to connect each end of the two feeder wires in order to increase electrically reliability within the two loops?

    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    I'm conflicted with your description. "that supply power to a double reverse loop (a figure eight)" Is it a figure 8 or a pair of reverse loops connected by a section of straight track?



    Even if you don't have a crossover track in the middle of your figure eight, the polarity reverses in the other loop. Follow the rail with your finger. The "orange" rail goes from right to left or vice versa. It's probably chugging because you have an open circuit in the rails (poor connection). Leave the orange and green wires where they are, and add another set in the other "loop', but reverse the orange and green connections on the other loop.

    Jim
    Take the red pill

    Comment


    • #3
      Have you measured the current along the all the sections of track with a multi Meter? If you get different readings, Then you need to re- wire those areas. Also, check all your connections in the suitcases. Sometimes they can be problematic'..And check your track connections that they are all tight. Also is your track clean, that is usually the number 1 reason a loco will slow down on certain areas of track'..

      Good luck'.. [^]


      Ted

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:


        Originally posted by BurleyJim


        I'm conflicted with your description. "that supply power to a double reverse loop (a figure eight)" Is it a figure 8 or a pair of reverse loops connected by a section of straight track?



        Even if you don't have a crossover track in the middle of your figure eight, the polarity reverses in the other loop. Follow the rail with your finger. The "orange" rail goes from right to left or vice versa. It's probably chugging because you have an open circuit in the rails (poor connection). Leave the orange and green wires where they are, and add another set in the other "loop', but reverse the orange and green connections on the other loop.

        Jim


        Jim,

        Ah, I should have include that little detail! It is indeed a double reverse loop figure eight connected in the center with a crossover track as in your diagram.

        Since I've disconnected those initial feeder wires, I'm no longer concerned with the chugging. The locos run perfectly within the loops - in both directions.

        My bottom line questions are:

        1. Is providing an electrical boost - as I did on the mainline - to the reverse loops possible?

        2. How do I accomplish this via feeder wires without compromising loco operation within those two loops?

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:


          Originally posted by quartergauger48


          Have you measured the current along the all the sections of track with a multi Meter? If you get different readings, Then you need to re- wire those areas. Also, check all your connections in the suitcases. Sometimes they can be problematic'..And check your track connections that they are all tight. Also is your track clean, that is usually the number 1 reason a loco will slow down on certain areas of track'..

          Good luck'.. [^]


          Ted,

          Thanks for the suggestions. I've already done all that except check with a multi-meter. Re-wiring may be in my future!

          As I just wrote to Jim, I've now disconnected the feeder wires, since they were the cause of that chugging.

          See my "bottom line" questions to Jim. Your suggestions?

          Comment


          • #6
            That is a good question'..I would think Boosters, on that loop really shouldn't affect performance negatively, but enhance it'..Curious to see what others may think on this question'. Hopefully others will be chiming in shortly'..


            Ted

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:


              Originally posted by quartergauger48


              That is a good question'..I would think Boosters, on that loop really shouldn't affect performance negatively, but enhance it'..Curious to see what others may think on this question'. Hopefully others will be chiming in shortly'..


              It's a DC layout. By "boost," I meant increase the electrical dependability and current flow along that very short stretch (one track length) where the locos tend to slow down.

              Comment


              • #8
                David,

                It sounds like you still have a track issue. The "slow down" section is not receiving the same amount of power as the track sections that are running perfectly. Suspect and carefully inspect the track connections at both ends of that faulty section. If you can't find the poor connection, then the fix is to run a parallel set of feeders between the perfect track and the one that is driving you nuts.

                Jim
                Take the red pill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jim,

                  It's not yet driving me nuts...or loco!

                  Back to my original question.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    quote:


                    Originally posted by BurleyJim


                    David,

                    If you can't find the poor connection, then the fix is to run a parallel set of feeders between the perfect track and the one that is driving you nuts.

                    Jim


                    Jim,

                    And that's just what I did. It seems to have remedied the problem. Thanks for the suggestion!


                    Comment

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