Model Train Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After attempting to run my engine from the approach track onto the finished build Atlas N scale turntable I carefully wired I found I my engine would stall immediately trying to run onto the turntable. A quick check with a volt meter revealed no power to either rail of the turntable even though the transformer was properly wired to the two screw terminals. A closer examination revealed the two spring loaded studs under each rail ohmed fine to each terminal but made no real physical contact with the rail directly above each stud. Weak springs? Who knows but regardless I decided to solder the outside of each rail directly to the each stud and solved the problem immediately with perfect rail voltage every time regardless of the rotated positions....perfect and bullet proof. Just be sure to keep the little stud level under each rail as you solder them as you don't want them to lose the spring under them. I used a toothpick tip to "steady" the inside rail side of the stud while I soldered the outside rail to each stud.
I soldered the outside rail to each stud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,153 Posts
Good Info

After attempting to run my engine from the approach track onto the finished build Atlas N scale turntable I carefully wired I found I my engine would stall immediately trying to run onto the turntable. A quick check with a volt meter revealed no power to either rail of the turntable even though the transformer was properly wired to the two screw terminals. A closer examination revealed the two spring loaded studs under each rail ohmed fine to each terminal but made no real physical contact with the rail directly above each stud. Weak springs? Who knows but regardless I decided to solder the outside of each rail directly to the each stud and solved the problem immediately with perfect rail voltage every time regardless of the rotated positions....perfect and bullet proof. Just be sure to keep the little stud level under each rail as you solder them as you don't want them to lose the spring under them. I used a toothpick tip to "steady" the inside rail side of the stud while I soldered the outside rail to each stud.
peplovick;

Very good fix. Thank you for passing it on.

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,963 Posts
Any way you can post pics? I got lost in all the "rails" and "studs"......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,963 Posts
Any way you can post pics? I got lost in all the "rails" and "studs"?
I'm asking because I have an Atlas turntable that when I installed it back in Vegas, about a year ago, it operated flawlessly. Now, six months later, I have disassembled the layout, moved it to Arizona, reconnected everything.....now the turntable doesn't power the locomotive.....very frustrating!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Answer to photo of Atlas fix

I entered the URL of my facebook change to the moderator for approval with a photo and description ( more or less what I already wrote) of details of the fix plus an added aspect of adding a 22 gauge wire into the hot solder to ensure contact between the rail and lug that I found later when one of my solder joints didn't quite connect to the stud as I'd hoped originally. The added wire in the solder did the trick though. Couldn't find any other way to get the photo out there so I hope the railroad forum will attach it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,153 Posts
Join for free

peplovick;

When I tried your link to your photos on Yahoo I got the "Join yahoo" page. If you want to post photos on this forum you will need one more post to bring your total up to five before you can attach photos. Directions for attaching photos are in the "Form news, updates, and help" section of this forum. Why not give the forum a try. Your fix of the Atlas turntable is very good, and would interest some forum members. I'd like to see it added to our "Need all your threads on How Tos thread.

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Re: Can't view pics

I am sorry too. I tried to download my photo directly into the forum but my file size is too large. Oh well, I can't modify what comes directly out of my cannon camera. Only suggestion I have is to ask for me to add you to my facebook and then view it there? Paul Plovick is the name. No one else has that name so it should be simple. As for the 'studs" I refer to,,,,,they are the round thingy's directly below each of the two rails on your roundtable if you just see the two holes under each of the two rails.
All you have to do is solder the thingy to the outside of each rail. That simple. If you have any knowledge of a continuity/ohm meter check for zero ohms measurement after your fix between one of the two power connect terminals of your Atlas and the rail you just soldered to. If you get zero ohms you're good. If not, keep maybe with the added 22 gauge copper wire down each soldered hole to guarantee a good connection like I did on one of the holes I'd soldered and found with a meter that it hadn't quite soldered well enough initially. I'm out of ideas on any more communication so thanks for your interest and good luckj.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Similar issue with the Atlas turntable

I can't seem to get my thread on this topic approved (it's been 2 days now), so apologies for putting it here, but ... I've been sloooooowwwwwly building a little switching puzzle shelf layout and have installed an Atlas HO turntable at one end to act as a kind of sector plate. It was working fine (I'm using it manually, not motor driven) until a few days ago when power disappeared from one of the rails. After (eventually) finding out that I could take off the top rotating plate, the mystery of the little contact lug thingies that provide the power to the two rails above (and reverse the polarity when needed) was revealed, and I am presuming that one of them had failed in some way. But having taken the top plate off, reassembling proved a bit of a challenge because I had the base well and truly fixed to the baseboard. The upshot is that one of the teensy tiny little springy things that make the contact lug work went sprong into the air, I know not where (I could barely see it when I knew where it was, let alone where it might be now). So what I am looking for are any suggestions about how I can power the two rails on the rotating plate without using the Atlas lug approach. Or should I just bite the bullet and try to get some replacements from Atlas, who are a long, long way away from Melbourne, Australia? The replacements cost only $USD2.30 a pair, but the postage is another $USD20 approx. That makes it over $AUD30, and the entire turntable only cost $AUD65.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,153 Posts
Atlas turntable fix

I can't seem to get my thread on this topic approved (it's been 2 days now), so apologies for putting it here, but ... I've been sloooooowwwwwly building a little switching puzzle shelf layout and have installed an Atlas HO turntable at one end to act as a kind of sector plate. It was working fine (I'm using it manually, not motor driven) until a few days ago when power disappeared from one of the rails. After (eventually) finding out that I could take off the top rotating plate, the mystery of the little contact lug thingies that provide the power to the two rails above (and reverse the polarity when needed) was revealed, and I am presuming that one of them had failed in some way. But having taken the top plate off, reassembling proved a bit of a challenge because I had the base well and truly fixed to the baseboard. The upshot is that one of the teensy tiny little springy things that make the contact lug work went sprong into the air, I know not where (I could barely see it when I knew where it was, let alone where it might be now). So what I am looking for are any suggestions about how I can power the two rails on the rotating plate without using the Atlas lug approach. Or should I just bite the bullet and try to get some replacements from Atlas, who are a long, long way away from Melbourne, Australia? The replacements cost only $USD2.30 a pair, but the postage is another $USD20 approx. That makes it over $AUD30, and the entire turntable only cost $AUD65.
scottmac99;

It's been a very long time since I've dealt with the insides of an Atlas turntable. If I remember correctly (Something I do less, and less, since getting old :laugh:) Two semi-circular rings of brass were fastened to the bottom. The track rode on top, and a pair of contacts (apparently spring-loaded according to your post) rode along the brass rings to provide power up to the rails. Does that sound reasonably accurate?
I would try making a new pair of contacts, before I spent a small fortune in postage ordering some from Atlas. I don't remember the contacts Atlas used, but I'm going to describe two types, either of which would work electrically, but one or the other may fit better physically.
The first is the simplest to make. Use brass strips, available at hobby shops, bent at about 30-45 degrees to act like the pantographs on the top of an electric locomotive. They should be attached with screws to the top plate of the turntable. I suggest small brass screws driven into holes drilled just outside each rail on the turntable. The brass strips can be soldered to the screw heads and the rails soldered to the screw threads. Cut off any excess threads.
The second type would be telescoping contacts made from two retractable ballpoint pens. The old type of pen had a brass tube, containing ink, and the actual ball point. There was a steel spring that wrapped around this center tube and retracted it into the pen's plastic outer housing when you pushed a button.
Cut off the bottom tip of the tube that contains the ball point. The ball will be used as the contact that rides along those brass rings in the base. A wire can be soldered to the short bit of brass tubing that holds the ball. The other end of this wire should be soldered to one of the rails. You will have to bend, re-shape, and cut, the spring until one end of the wire spring goes down the center of the brass tube. The other end of the spring should be bent into a loop, and a small screw can be driven through the loop, and into the top part of the turntable.
You may be able to simplify things considerably by eliminating the ball point/tube assembly altogether. Just bend the spring itself to slide along the brass rings while screwed to the top piece as before.
I just thought of another possibility, actually two. The pins that women use to do up their hair are called "bobby pins, or "hairpins" in the US. I know the British call them something entirely different, and I have no idea what they're called in Australia. Hopefully you can guess what I'm talking about. These pins can be used as sliding contacts to ride the brass rings in the bottom of your turntable. Paper clips could also be used. Both are made of steel, so they won't solder. You can loop a tiny wire around the screws used to secure the pin to the top part of the turntable. Solder the other end of this wire to a rail.

good luck;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
All good advice, thank you TF :)

I have actually found another little spring, a spare from a coupler set, but it's even smaller than the original and I can't actually feel it well enough to pick it up (my old man fingers don't have a sensitivity they used to).

But you've given me some ideas to work on. btw we call them bobby pins as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,153 Posts
Picking up stuff when your old

All good advice, thank you TF :)

I have actually found another little spring, a spare from a coupler set, but it's even smaller than the original and I can't actually feel it well enough to pick it up (my old man fingers don't have a sensitivity they used to).

But you've given me some ideas to work on. btw we call them bobby pins as well.
scottmac99;

I hear you about picking up *&%^$# tiny little parts! :mad: I'm 71 years old, need hearing aids to hear my wife nag me(leave them out a lot :cheeky4:) Need one prescription of eyeglasses for distance, and another for close up, so bifocals. Somewhat disabled (nerve disorder affects the muscles in my feet) Have one semi-working finger (It had a fight with a moving fan blade. Naturally it lost! :eek:) Etc. Etc. Good thing the only alternative to growing old is death. Otherwise why would anyone do it? :laugh:

Here's a few tips.

1) I built a "parts catcher" across the front of my workbench, and walled off the other three sides. This works wonders for keeping those little bitty bits corralled. The parts catcher is a simple loop of cloth suspended from a frame, just below the front of my bench. Several times a day, I congratulate myself for building it, since it just caught another item I would otherwise need to search for.

2) Sometimes things get past the parts catcher, or otherwise manage to get down on the floor. My disability makes getting on my knees, or even bending over for more than a minute, painful. So, I equipped myself with tools to minimise bending over. One is called a "Grip & Grab" it is sold by Lowes, an American "home improvement center" (big hardware/lumber store.) There are several other brands of this device, but none work as well as the Grip & Grab. It can pick up anything from a sewing pin to a hammer. I don't know if you can get this in Australia, but it would be worth looking for. You can see the Grip & Grab, and my telescoping magnetic pickup, hanging from the leg of my workbench in the first photo. One end of the parts catcher is barely visible to the right of the electrical outlet.
Another handy item is a telescoping magnetic pickup. It attracts those tiny screws and other metal items that get dropped.

2) I have plenty of light where I work. Two 4' LED shop lights over the workbench.

3) I keep some high power generic reading glasses on the workbench. Since I'm "In my golden years", I tend to forget where I left my glasses, my strength, my mind Etc.:confused:

4) when doing real "microsurgery", like assembling couplers, I put a white terry cloth towel over my bench, and lay weights on top of the corners of the towel. The white color makes the black coupler parts easier to see, and the texture of the towel tends to capture springs, screws and such.

5) I also use an Optivisor over my glasses to see tiny parts.

Hope that helps;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

Workbench right view.JPG

IMG_0135.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
A quick shot of CRC QD Electronic Cleaner on each of the button locations can do wonders to restore electrical conductivity. Plastic safe, and leaves no residue. I've treated my turntable several times over the past 15 years or so that it's been in operation.

Should be able to find it at any hardware store or automotive parts store. I get mine at Walmart in the automotive section.

Hope this helps. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
scottmac99;

I hear you about picking up *&%^$# tiny little parts! :mad: I'm 71 years old, need hearing aids to hear my wife nag me(leave them out a lot :cheeky4:) Need one prescription of eyeglasses for distance, and another for close up, so bifocals. Somewhat disabled (nerve disorder affects the muscles in my feet) Have one semi-working finger (It had a fight with a moving fan blade. Naturally it lost! :eek:) Etc. Etc. Good thing the only alternative to growing old is death. Otherwise why would anyone do it? :laugh:

Here's a few tips.

1) I built a "parts catcher" across the front of my workbench, and walled off the other three sides. This works wonders for keeping those little bitty bits corralled. The parts catcher is a simple loop of cloth suspended from a frame, just below the front of my bench. Several times a day, I congratulate myself for building it, since it just caught another item I would otherwise need to search for.

2) Sometimes things get past the parts catcher, or otherwise manage to get down on the floor. My disability makes getting on my knees, or even bending over for more than a minute, painful. So, I equipped myself with tools to minimise bending over. One is called a "Grip & Grab" it is sold by Lowes, an American "home improvement center" (big hardware/lumber store.) There are several other brands of this device, but none work as well as the Grip & Grab. It can pick up anything from a sewing pin to a hammer. I don't know if you can get this in Australia, but it would be worth looking for. You can see the Grip & Grab, and my telescoping magnetic pickup, hanging from the leg of my workbench in the first photo. One end of the parts catcher is barely visible to the right of the electrical outlet.
Another handy item is a telescoping magnetic pickup. It attracts those tiny screws and other metal items that get dropped.

2) I have plenty of light where I work. Two 4' LED shop lights over the workbench.

3) I keep some high power generic reading glasses on the workbench. Since I'm "In my golden years", I tend to forget where I left my glasses, my strength, my mind Etc.:confused:

4) when doing real "microsurgery", like assembling couplers, I put a white terry cloth towel over my bench, and lay weights on top of the corners of the towel. The white color makes the black coupler parts easier to see, and the texture of the towel tends to capture springs, screws and such.

5) I also use an Optivisor over my glasses to see tiny parts.
They are all super good tips, thanks ! And I hear you about the reading glasses. I have pairs lying all over the place, different strengths for different purposes, e.g. reading, reading late at night, watching TV, chainsawing and brushcutting, ride-on mowing. The trouble is, I often forget where I have put the pair I want, and I probably need to wear that pair to find that pair, if you get what I mean :laugh:
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top