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Old 02-06-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
belial
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inherited uge o scale set, multiple trains same track?

Hi ,my first post!

Growing up I played a lot with HO scale, and in my teens I had a large set up. My grandfather recently passed unfortunately, but left me with an absolutely amazing and huge o/27 scale set up with all the track, cars, engines, power, and accessories from 1960s Lionel than I could ever want for.

Now, I couldn't afford even the tiniest scale, but he literally has everything. My problem is guides online are about model train parts from the last decade, much less generation.

My questions are:

1. How and what do I need to do to clean them? There's some yellowish gooey wax lubricant he has that I think I just stick into the gears of engines, and the rest is cosmetic.

2. How do I run multiple controllers/trains on the same track? I don't have any crazy direct control center dcc and sure as hell not buying one either (think poor undergrad who just graduated). I know he has the equipment, including a mega controller with 4 independent power controls, but I'm not sure about the wiring and insulators, or what insulators from the 60s even look like.

3. He has a million 'lockons'. What are these?

Buying modern equipment is out of the question/budget (yay I can eat today) but I do have a modern MTH basic starter set.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:16 PM   #2
gunrunnerjohn
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The short answer is, you don't run multiple trains on the same track without command control.

With what you have, you need to think multiple isolated track sections and switches to connect transformers to the sections to control the trains. Drop over to the O-gauge forum here, that very topic has been discussed recently.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #3
belial
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Yes, I knew it had something to do with isolating sections of track with plastic rail joiners instead of metal ones, and then I assume a different power supply/controller, but I wasn't sure how that works if there isn't a circular track, or circuit, like just isolating half a lopp or a part of straight track.

Links to the thread would be helpful, I've tried multiple searches but had no luck. Problem is I don't know what running multiple tracks is called (I know modern systems are called DCC) especially on legacy/old systems
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:47 PM   #4
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If you isolate part of a loop, you have the issue of transitions to the other part of the loop. If the trains get onto the same section, then one transformer is controlling both trains, and you lose individual control. Typically, that's why the control is split between different loops and/or sidings.

There is TMCC/Legacy for Lionel 3-rail trains, I use the Legacy system. This allows you to control individual trains on the same track segment. You can also have multiple CAB controllers to allow several people to control different trains, again all on the same segment.

I think the first thing to do is decide what kind of layout you're going for, then you can see how to fold in multiple trains.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:43 PM   #5
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Belial,

First, my condolences on the passing of your grandfather. I'm happy, though, that his interest and legacy lives on through his trains and you.

Couple of points ...

It's common that the gears, bearings, armature, contact brushes, etc. on old trains gets gunked up. A thorough cleaning of the motor and its parts is in order. Get yourself a bottle of GooGone, some Q-tips, and pipe cleaners and go to town. Remove the loco motors from their shells (we can step you through, if needed), and used the GooGone to clean all coagulated gunk. Also, importantly, you'll likely want to pull off the brush cover plate (carefully ... watch for tiny bouncing springs!), and clean the contact brushes (usually little bronze cylinders) and the copper face of the armature (called a commutator). In addition to GooGone, you can use a soft pencil eraser here, or even some very fine (800+ grit) sandpaper to get that copper face shiny and smooth. You'll also want to take a close look at each loco auto-reversing unit, or "e-unit". There's a few different types of these, but traditional ones have a little cylinder drum and two sets of contact fingers ... together, they serve to route or reroute power to the motor into forward or reverse mode. Again, we can step you through this in more detail.

In regards to track and wiring, though modern DCC control offers many benefits, lots of guys (myself included) are quite happy running with a traditional system and setting up the track layout in controllable blocks (or individually powered sections). Those sections can be toggled by multiple transformers (or a dual-control transformer) to run multiple trains.

You suggested above that a block would have to be a full loop, in order to run a train. That's not the case. In fact, a train will run just fine on a single straight line of track, or on a dead-end spur radiating away from a switch or turnout. You do NOT need a loop to complete the electrical current path. Rather, think of it this way: current runs from the transformer out to the train through the middle rail of the 3-rail track. From there, it runs through the train motor, and then returns back to the transformer through one of the outer rails of the track. It's not important or necessary that the far ends of the track connect up to anything. Rather, power is routed to (and from) the track at some determined point (or often multiple points) via the LockOn terminal clips that you mentioned.

Poke around our O forum section. Use the Search tool. Get familiar with some recent posts, and ping us back with more detailed questions.

Welcome to the forum ... hope you enjoy the ride!

TJ
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:40 AM   #6
erkenbrand
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I did some digging in old posts, and found this link to the Lionel document for the 153C contactor that talks about creating block sections for running 2 trains at once on the same track. The rest of the thread I found this in was dealing with triggers for accessories which is a bit outside what you were asking.

Read through this and it should help a bit.

http://ia700202.us.archive.org/3/ite...onel_153_C.pdf
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:13 AM   #7
belial
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Thanks tjcruiser, very helpful. I think between that post and Google there's nothing I really need to ask anymore!

He passed, actually, exactly a year ago (1/26/1920) so time has healed it. I appreciate the sentiment though.

I think I just need to find legacy insulators though, I don't think I'm sure I've ever seen those in his boxes of stuff. It's either somewhere ... or not. I know what they look like on modern HO scale ;/
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:17 AM   #8
x_doug_x
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don't grease or oil the brushes or commutator

Last edited by x_doug_x; 02-09-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:07 AM   #9
gunrunnerjohn
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Legacy insulators? What's that?
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:33 AM   #10
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One more thing ...

Per Doug's comment ... he's right. But, for clarification, there's a big difference between grease and oil...

A few guys (with me recently joining the club) are fans of using small drops of 5W-20 motor oil (synthetic, if possible) to lube loco gears, axles, shaft bearings, etc. ServoGuy touts that's it's OK --in fact helpful -- to use a small drop of this on the armature face (commutator), too. I've been doing that per his advice with good success.

Regards,

TJ
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