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Old 03-23-2008, 10:06 PM   #1
onelow_mazda
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MTH Trains and Lionel switches

I've got a MHT locomotive w/ ProtoSound 2.0. I'm running it on Lionel 0-27 gauge track because i need the #27 curves and the smallest curves MHT offers are #31. The train works fine. Anyways...my problem is that the Lionel switches have a nice feature on them that automatically triggers the switch once the loco touches the track so it does not derail itself if the loco is entering the switch from the opposite side from which it exited. The MHT loco dies (temp. looss power and gets put into neutral) sometimes when it passes over the switch. The other problem is that the twin coil packs in the switch are activated the entire length of the train as it passes by (you can hear the coils buzzing). How can I modify the Lionel switches to make this feature work with my MHT loco? I am not afraid of a soldering gun, plastic welder, MIG welder, whatever I need to do to make this work!
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:15 AM   #2
Boston&Maine
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Hmm... The switches are designed so that when one pickup roller goes over one of the plastic middle rail pieces the other one will still pick up power... Now this plastic piece should not be the problem, because MTH's switches have it too...

IIRC, trains equipped with PS 2.0 are able to survive a reduction of power when going over a switch because of the backup battery...Since it is switching into neutral though, that implies that it is loosing total power, just like you shut off your transformer... Now when it dies, is it over the metal middle rail piece which turns? You might want to check that for power, that could be the problem...

I guess it could also be that backup battery... They can go bad after like five years or so... Are any of your train sounds distorted?

Here is something else you will want to check... Is this an automatic (electric) switch or one of the manual (turn by hand) switch? If it is an automatic one, are the wires you have hooked up to it in the correct order? That could screw up the third rail and give you a buzzing sound...

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Old 03-24-2008, 10:36 AM   #3
onelow_mazda
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I have the electric switches just like in the pic. The train is only a few months old and I know the back-up battery is ok. I triple checked the wiring per Lionel's instructions on the switch and it's ok. It's basically like this...the loco goes over the switch, sometimes it dosen't die, but when it does, it is like I turn the power off for 1 second or so...or until the train passes over the switch at which point it turns back on. Even if I go over the swich fast, it still does the same thing. However, the coils on the switch always buzz the full length of the train; loco and cars. I guess now I am wondering if the MHT switches have a non-derailer feature built into them? If so, I might need to re-wire the Lionel swithces to mirror the MHT. I have found a way to disable the automatic non-derailer feature so the coils don't buzz and still be able to switch them via the remote switch. However, my goal is to be able to use the automatic non-derailer feature of these switches.

Last edited by onelow_mazda; 03-24-2008 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:19 AM   #4
Boston&Maine
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So this is an automatic (electrical) anti-derailment feature? I do not think MTH switches have those, but from the looks of it, their switch is designed to manually prevent the train from derailing...

Like in this picture, if your loco was entering coming out of the curve, the front trucks would push the rail out preventing a derailment... I have two of these MTH switches, but they are in storage so I can not test this theory for you...


As you said, MTH does not make O27 track... They do make this adapter piece though, so if you got new MTH O31 switches you could still use all of your other Lionel track...


Last edited by Boston&Maine; 03-24-2008 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:31 PM   #5
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I've got like 8 switches or so already. That's a pretty big investment and all of my other truns are 027 as well. If the train is going out of the switch on the curve and then circles around comming back into the switch from the straight then the switch automatically switches the track from the curve to the straight so the front wheels do not derail. It has something to do with the train completing a circuit before it passes over the actual switching mechanism. I do know that if you remove the metal plate on the bottom of the switch and disonnect power from the inside rail of the straight and what would be the outside rail, if the track continued in a left hand curve as in the pic above, (the 2 rails almost form a "V"), it disables the automatic non-derailer feature and gets rid of the coil "buzz" as the train passes over it. You can still use the remote switch to activate it. I'm just trying to figure out exactly what it is that activates the auto non-derailer feature. I have a feeling that whatever it is, also has some connection to the coils "buzzing" as well.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:59 AM   #6
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I do not know, that is about all the help I can offer... I am the kind of person that needs to see things and be able to mess around with them myself... The fact that I have never owned any Lionel switch does not help either, LOL...
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:06 PM   #7
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onelow_mazda;

Check to see if your MTH loco is set up for contact on only one of the two side rails. This is done on some locos so that two locos can be run at the same time on different throttles by giving each one a connection to only one side rail. I've never used it personally, just read about it.
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:39 PM   #8
Boston&Maine
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I was reading on the Lionel website and may have found the answer to your problem, I hope this helps

Quote:
Locomotives with Rubber Tires and Lionel Non-derailing Switches

If you are experiencing difficulties because locomotives with rubber tires are not activating your non-derailing switches soon enough, try the following tip.

Just extend the insulated controls rails. Remove the insulating pins from the end of the switch and install steel pins in their place. Now replace your existing straight section of track with Lionel number 6-12840 for "O" gauge track or a 6-12841 for O27 track. These sections will extend the point at where the switch will activate. Be sure to reinstall the insulating pin, on the outside rail, at the end of your insulted track section. If you need to replace curve sections of track, you will need to make your own insulated rail sections. Simply remove the outside rail by bending the tabs on the track ties to release the rail. Now insert a piece of cardboard between the rail and the tie and bend the tabs back into place to hold the rails. If you own the Lionel Train Book, refer to pages 54 & 55 for creating an insulted control track.

Last edited by Boston&Maine; 04-20-2008 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:02 AM   #9
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Ah ha! The old traction tire insulating the turnout control trick.

http://getsmartmovie.warnerbros.com/
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lownen View Post
Why the heck did you post a link to a Get Smart trailer? I used to watch that show on TV Land, and I can not wait to see the movie... Of cource I love The Office and Steve Carell too
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