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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay so 6 months into a simple 4x8 layout i cant get my engine to run through a turnout without shorting the whole system. i dont get it. this kind of stuff was so simple when i was a kid and now? oh geese. not to mention my BLI hudson doesnt track worth crap with 18" turns. sometimes its like some parts want to go straight and some dont, then short happens. sometimes it just shorts out when everything goes straight. i will make a video if its needed. i just want to make it work for my son.


500 bucks on a board and got nothing to show for it. If anyone could help me with the atlas turnouts, and not say get rid of them, i would appreciate it.
 

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Pics and details of the loco (including underside) and turnout might help.

You don't have a reverse loop with left and right rails criss-crossing back on each other in way of a turnout, do you?

TJ
 

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hudson seems to be larger steamer. i'd think 18 is just to tight for it...

post diagram of your layout. post on how you power your layout. what makes you say "short"? why do you think this is not the more common poor pickup? (asking since your post is very light on description)


atlas turnouts are POS. sometimes they can be improved to point they almost work. since you don't want to hear "get rid of them" i will not say that. however I'm not going to touch those ever again. even if i happen to get some free ones they will never be used on my layout. as the saying goes "i'm not rich enough to by cheap stuff"
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
whenever the loco crosses the turnout it actually shuts the engine down and my powercab. power is connected correctly, code 100 atlas manual turnouts which i bought machines for just havent gotten that far into wiring. ill post a few pics. no hating, i havent got anything done as far as landscaping because this POS wont run. The engine is very "tippy" forward to back. its a 4-6-4. hope this is enough detail. and yes the nail polish was a sad attempt at troubleshooting the issue. i thought just after the frog the wheel may have been contacting both sides, apparently i was wrong. 350 dollar engine... driving me crazy heres a link to it http://www.broadway-limited.com/bli-2020nycj1ehudson4-6-45344romanletteringparagon2sounddcdccho-1.aspx
 

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As per our discussion in private, I think two things could be wrong. and both may contribute to the problem. I didn't see a reverse loop on your layout though I can be blind at times, short on memory and all of the other things attributed to old age.....

One, the power to the switches(rails) could be reversed.

Second, the engine is defective, the "tippy-ness" shouldn't be. I'd return the engine for exchange. Sounds as if the frame could be bent or warped.

Bob
 

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Just ruling things out ...

I see you're locos elec pickups are on the tender wheels. Each pair of wheels (l/r on one axle) is polarized, i.e., the left wheel is electrically insulated from the right. Did you ever remove one pair of wheels from a truck for cleaning and/or service, then reinstall it inadvertently flip-flopped? That would cause an immediate polarity short ... unless, perhaps, that wheel set pickup shoe is loose, and only touching the axle when the tender navigates through a switch.

Just a thought ...

TJ
 

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don't worry about scenery. it will come in due time.


ouch. what i said about Atlas turnouts was referring to their customline series. what you have is even worse - a snap switch . useless and can not be improved upon. i know that's not what you want to hear but i warmly suggest to not use these. nothing can be done with them. on the bright side i only see only 4 turnouts, meaning its will not be bank breaking to change to peco brand products for example . the difference will be "ahhhhh..."

Just ruling things out ...

I see you're locos elec pickups are on the tender wheels. Each pair of wheels (l/r on one axle) is polarized, i.e., the left wheel is electrically insulated from the right. Did you ever remove one pair of wheels from a truck for cleaning and/or service, then reinstall it inadvertently flip-flopped? That would cause an immediate polarity short ... unless, perhaps, that wheel set pickup shoe is loose, and only touching the axle when the tender navigates through a switch.

Just a thought ...

TJ
TJ, his new engine shorts out on a turnout frog
 

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I've run into your problem on my Atlas code 83 layout. To solve it, I took a fine needle nose and squeezed tight the rail joiners. Second, I also found that running at a certain speed leaving or entering or crossing the turnouts would also stop my locomotive. Looking at your layout, I am wondering whether you are using any plastic insulating joiners to separate the major sections across the turnouts. Perhaps, without the track powered, you could pull your loco through the curves to see if you have binding problems caused by your turnouts.
For X-MAS, we got my father-in-law the same BLI NYC Hudson model you have except the road number. We also got him the Kato HO Basic Unitrack Track Set having 22" radius curves, powered by MRC 1370 DC and BLI DCMaster for sound. Even with that, I found that stopping on the curves means that it needs a slight push to getting it going again or the loco would slightly wobble through as even 22" radius curves are just barely enough to prevent binding.
 

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I've run into your problem on my Atlas code 83 layout. To solve it, I took a fine needle nose and squeezed tight the rail joiners. Second, I also found that running at a certain speed leaving or entering or crossing the turnouts would also stop my locomotive. Looking at your layout, I am wondering whether you are using any plastic insulating joiners to separate the major sections across the turnouts.
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what problem you run into with your atlas c83 turnout that was solved by squeezing joiners. i see no reverse loops so insulated joiners are not needed , should work fine without them.





OP, now that it was cleared your engine requires 22 minimum, can it be that it jumps the rail at frog and shorts against the other one? those snaps are 18R in theory, but their irregularity in geometry makes them even less
 

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I feel your pain about the Atlas turnouts. I unfortunately discovered their downfalls after having 11 in my system. I spent about 10 hours filing and sanding and now have very good working switches. They just took a little time is all. If I was to do it over again, I'd still buy the same ones, but spend a little time fixing them before installing them.

I tend to agree that you're having a locomotive issue. What I didn't catch is if you've tried other loco's over the switches or not. I'd try a GP diesel or an 0-4-0 or something small like that and see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
maybe someone could explain what to do with this switches to make them work. maybe a picture with an arrow or something. im now broke after paying for my wedding and transmission just exploded on the highway in the wifes car, so i need to make these work. wish there was a LHS closer than 45 mins away..
 

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on customline switches you could have sharpened the point rails and smooth/ground off the protruding tabs on stock and closure rails. that can prevent flanges catching up and jumping over the rails almost every time. to deep of a gap gap in the frog cannot be resolved in satisfactory manner. at that point i had enough and just said screw it and threw the atlas out.

you however have a snap switch, so nothing can be done i'm afraid, the failing geometry you will not be able to fix.

as for LHS, there is online stores with much better prices. and ebay

I spent about 10 hours filing and sanding and now have very good working switches. ...
you should look at other switches to see what "really good" means. imagine having a frog that wheels don't deep into but cross like a prototype instead preventing any occasional derail. IMHO 4$ extra per switch is little price to pay
 

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you should look at other switches to see what "really good" means. imagine having a frog that wheels don't deep into but cross like a prototype instead preventing any occasional derail. IMHO 4$ extra per switch is little price to pay

So true. I unfortunately couldn't find "good" switches for anything less than $30 each. That's over $300 just for the switches for my layout. Buying in bulk, I was able to get my customline switches for $12 each from my lhs.

I do agree with you though, there is a HUGE difference between what is a "good" switch and an "awesome" switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
so im screwed and wasted my money on a bunch of trash. yay. i cant affoard 120 bucks for turnouts thats proposterous. could someone show me the problem with these switches?
 

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had you used some shorter B-B diesels i'd say put your snaps on siding and make sure to drive extra slow through them. but if you want to run your hudson you will need broader turnout no matter the brand. nothing can be done to snap switch - it needs to be #4 at least or idealy #6 and more (that will not fit your layout unless cut down)

new pecos can be found as low as 20$, althoguh 22-24 is more common. the first few i purchased new but then i lucked out and got bunch of pre-used ones below 20. money can be tight, i know, but worst comes to worst i'm sure you could buy switch or 2 a month. if this makes you feel better i wasted bunch of money on trash too, and i'm sure i'm not the only one :)

to ADD: pecos have centering spring which means nothing more needed. atlas however require at least ground throw or their manual thingy which is ugly. so difference in price is not as bad
 

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so im screwed and wasted my money on a bunch of trash. yay. i cant affoard 120 bucks for turnouts thats proposterous. could someone show me the problem with these switches?
Well, try not to freak out too bad. Atlas are known for their problems, but if you do your research and take your time you can get those switches to work just fine for a home layout. Remember, some peoples expectations are so high, and so out of touch that they often overshadow reality, so don't let it put a black cloud on your day.

There's the old adage "those can't,teach, those who can, do".

Cheers, and don't give up.

Mike.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
i somehow made the one i was having issues with work... no idea how, lots of nail polish later, but now the issue of my leading truck on the hudson, those 2 pictures show how much play there is. when its sitting level it almost looks like the back 2 wheels of the front truck are the only ones actually touching. sorry about the shitty camera btw
 

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I had an issue where the loco would intermittently die after a switch. It turned out that the section of track after the switch was to far from the power leads. The reason it appeared to be intermittent was that only train drawing more amps would stall. Small one would not have an issue. To solve the issue I added an additional set o power leads after the switch, fixed the issue. On my layout the switch was not the issue but the distance from the power lead was. The switch was just the place the issue appeared.

You might want to buy an old Athern blue box of EBay. $30 for one that looks good, <$15 for a cosmetically challenged one. It is great to have as a reliable test tool to rule out your loco as the issue when a problem occurs.

I use both Atlas snap switches and Atlas #6 turn outs. My main lines use the #6 switches since they are a more gradual radius. I have found the snaps are actually slightly less than 18" radius. These I have used for sidings that are entered at low speed. Also the snaps are primarily used by Diesels with 2 axles per truck or steamers with 4 drivers or less, a 2-6-2 and 0-6-0 are exceptions to this, both are not the norm for their size.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
so im not screwed. i think im going to purchase another engine for testing purposes specifically. the lead truck is not right tho. working on getting ahold of bli, never seen such a craptastic design
 
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