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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a newbie . But a quick learning Mc Gyver type one.
i making a layout. No pictures Atm. I understand the "Special Isolated outside rail track". And made 2 correctly and removedpins on both sides of third track . They are right before the switch and i want to use them to trigger the switch . So i wont have derailment. However the train does not trigger them . I have old vintage MAR lines switches . I totally cleaned the and lubicated them and work at 14 volts and less . I have them on a zw transformer on a separate dedicate rail . they both connect to a remote controller and the transformer powers that controller.
they work fine. Except for the derailment safety measure i took. but the anti-derailment modification i did works . But only when i trigger it myself . with a piece of metal. I contact the center rail and the isolated 3rd rail i made. and it works fine.
why does the train not trigger it?? I tried holding the train while power to it .and still no trigger. I s the train using the voltage and the voltage is not high enough to power the train and trigger the switch at that moment?the switch is not isolated from the main track or power . Only the 3rd rail on the track i made before the switch has no contact with the switch or main track .
everything is lionel,o-27 track,except the Mar line switches and controller that came with them . (red,black,green wires) . Also the connection on the controller . has 2 leads to connect to transformer . 1 lead has brack plastic marker underneath. is the the ground (U)lead or does that go to the (B) connection? I believe I had it to the ground.not sure . but they were working fine when i press buttons. but they cannot be triggered by train .I also tried using the track connection to trigger them also . i thought made the rail gave to much resistance and lowed the voltage that was not the case. it works when i make connection with a nail .
what am i doing wrong.
If pictures are needed i can furbish them .
1 more hting the connection i made to isolated track is good and gives .02 resistance ,better then most track sections.LOL however i never measured voltage at time of contact .
Do i also have to isolate ground rail on that section?there is a OTC connection not to far away . In which the distance of the OTC to transformer is less then the distance of isolated tract > switch>controller>transformer. maybe that could be the reason.Current chooses the shortest path to a ground I think. maybe it does not go thru isolated rail because it would be the longer path back to transformer.
I have no electrical backround and taught my self . However this AC thing is a little confusing. I learn that there is always continuity in AC where as DC that would be detrimental . At first i thought everything was shorted. until i realized that is AC.LOL I repaired and restored about 6 different engines ,e-units,horn relay,i ever re wired the coil on a horn from a 2023. I drilled the rivet and hot glued it back. did the same to the coil on the Milk car. Also to some coils on the couplers that were broken. i'm a McGyver . I have pisture on my Facebook (chris zambrotta). for some who want to see repair details.
Thank you kindly ,
any response please keep it simple ,i dont understand schematic or technical terms to well. maybe a 4-8 year old diagram will be fine.LOL
Chris
 

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C'mon, T-Man! The poor guy spent the time to type in a novella---you give him the solution in 25 words or less?:laugh::laugh: Can't you at least make it SOUND like a complicated answer?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the 3rd rail i isolated from the ground and center rail . I soldered a wire to that isolated rail and connect it to the switch on the green terminal .
When i mentioned center rail. I meant that if i make contact with a nail accross center rail and my isolated rail which is connected to the switch for the anti derailment . It works fine. But when a train passes it does not .
I just made contact with a nail to see if it was working . to test it . when train go over that section.its suppose to route the current thru that isolated rail to trigger switch. but does not . But when i make contact with nail or piece metal it triggers.
forget about that isolated rail scenario. I also tried using that connection from lionel . and still dont work
.I have it wired right .Im almost positive.
http://www.facebook.com/BROOKLYN758#!/album.php?aid=2065708&id=1561494053
I took some pictures so you can see the wiring there the last photos in the album. maybe this will help you understand.
I know the trigger for the switch is NOT connected to center rail or ground rail . it is suppose to work off the 3rd unused rail that is not connected to transformer.
even when i use that lionel connection it does not switch the switch either.
I thank you though for responding. I must have explained it wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

the wire running underneath is the other wire from the other section isolated track going to green terminal on switch for anti-derailment when train comes from that way.
both dont trigger switch .but if i jump center rail to isolated rail with a nail they work. but with train they dont .Am i suppose to isolate the ground rail on those sections of track where i made a isolated rail from the layout?
its not like crossing lights . where they only require few volts to light up.
these Mar line switches needs 12-16 volts to work. If engine is using 12-14 volts maybe there is not enough to throw the switch. remember these switches has to be connected on a separate terminal on the transformer . they have their own power. Can there be a Phase issue ? why it wont trigger when train is running?
Also on the controller for the switches . what terminal goes to the ground(u) and which goes to the hot(b) terminal on transformer? Maybe there is some polarity or inverted phase or something . I do not know much about this. I noticed that the MAr line Mainstreet lightposts are wired different then the lionel lights.
please tell me what more info or pics u need
 

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brooklyn,

Your pics aren't showing here on my end. I think (???) there's some forum mandate that says you have to have 10 posts before you can post photos ??? (B&M, is that the case?)

TJ
 

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brooklyn,

Your pics aren't showing here on my end. I think (???) there's some forum mandate that says you have to have 10 posts before you can post photos ??? (B&M, is that the case?)

TJ
Um, sort of... But his photos are not showing because he is linking them from his Facebook account...

Brooklyn, please see this guide to posting pictures here: http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=2595
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the directions and help . i apologize for my ignorance with the forum formats and protocols. Im also a Forum Newbie:eek:
Thank you kindly
chris
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I also tried wiring the switch with that connection and still the train does no toggle the switch. But if use a jumper from the center to that connector it toggles the switch immediately. Im still thinking that a voltage drop occurs with the train. Not enough volts goes to the switch. or it is a shorter path to the common rail to the CTC to transformer . Then it is from isolated rail to switch to controller to transformer.
 

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I think i found the solution .being the switches require a separate power source . Or need to be connected directly to transformer . when i run the isolated rail wire to 11 of the terminals . There is no completed circuit because there is not a ground . I need to ground center terminal on switch to the ground on transformer . those switches only get grounded when you press the controller button . theoretically it will work with 1 wire (if i dont add ground to transformer)if i hold button down at time of contact of train to to isolated rail.
Did that make sense? the windings in the switch is isolated from track .works its own circuit separate from the track circuit. Im explaining it complicately(Brooklyn word).
I found this and made me think of this now .

http://www.thortrains.net/maracc4.html
 

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the 3rd rail i isolated from the ground and center rail . I soldered a wire to that isolated rail and connect it to the switch on the green terminal .


( This is what I wanted to know)*************
When i mentioned center rail. I meant that if i make contact with a nail across center rail and my isolated rail which is connected to the switch for the anti derailment . It works fine. But when a train passes it does not .


.
The whole purpose for the isolated rail is to complete a ground from the opposite rail not the center. You are running current to the switch not from it when you connect the isolated rail.


IT is the axles that make the circuit complete not the the motor ground.
That is my simplest explanation.

I will read what you posted but a diagram would be best. The pole fed to the center rail should be the same fed to the coils. Not the same terminal but the same polarity. Both will work when contacted to the outer rail. That is what you need to do.

I checked an old switch and the Thor Diagram. Ground is also referred to as common. Now you have accessory power and variable train power on your transformer. Both have the same ground. The polarity for the center rail is the same as the black wire feed to the switch. The isolated rail connects to the red or green terminal. The train axles will ground out the isolated section and switch the switch.
You need steel wheels and axles for the connection. plastic won't work.

Your last statement makes sense.

With this information I will do a writeup on the Marx switch with pictures.
 

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Thanks you were very informative . I still little fuzzy witht he hot common issue . But back to this subject.
The track and switch works fine . Meaning its connected properly and the track is made correct.
BUT my final conclusion . It cant work.
Un lees i can have a steady low volt 2nd source steadily powering the switch .
I say this becuase the voltage running the trains at a NORMAL speed is just not enough to throw the switch . These older switches resistance increases over the years and require high voltage as when they were new. and they require 12-16 50 yrs ago. 14 will throw them . But it will also throw my train 20 feet of the track in a turn. so i cant run a train at the high enough voltage ,safely ,for that configuration to work,
is it possible to have maybe 4 volts always cycling the switch ?I dont believe so .It would probably Melt the coil in the switch.But remember i have NO education or previous knowledge or was i around a person who knew about this stuff
Im just putting bits and pieces of little i read about electricity. I barely know how to use a multi-meter . DC i know more due to Car mechanics . In which i also taught myself .LOL Im pretty good at that .
Maybe if you explain to me how i can hook up a multimeter to the switch to see if and how much Volts (current) im getting at the switch at the time the train passes the isolated rail.
That would be a good test to see if its getting sufficient volts or if its working at all .
I did test resistance from isolated rail to terminal of switch. .002 so the solder-joint and rail and wire is conducting pretty good ,I guess. some rail end to end has a higher resistance,lLOL these track were totally rusted and oxidized .I cleaned them and sanded them where they are usable . these trains were my Fathers Toys when he was a kid.
let e know if you find something on these switches and wiring a anti derailment feature .
As to what I found ,Nothings says you cant . but nothing shows you how . Are these switches a rarer breed?they are the only switches i have at moment.
What do you think about my U.P. engines ?? 2023. they were totally nonworking. and all moving parts were seized and rusted together all wires were rotted also . Even Mold and oxidation on the plastic . Dont forget the battery Acid damage .They were not put away properly 45+ years ago.
I overhauled the and they run like new now . I still need the whole assemble for dummy car that contact the rail .Just for the lights and coupler . the contacts were rusted . Not even a wheel on the pick up.:-(

Thank you again . .
 

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Chris, next step is understanding your ZW transformer. Here is the link. I suggest you print it out.

The very first picture shows the terminals. A U is for the left throttle. The A terminal should go to the center rail. U to the outer.

Now B U terminals are for the switches, B connects to Black, U connects to your button( I think), but it is not needed for auto switching ( which is grounded off the outer rail (U)).

You don't need your voltmeter. You already know that there is not enough power to run the engine and the switch.

The manual may list voltages that you can check to see if your transformer has no problems. They do require servicing. The rollers inside wear out.

Use your volt meter to determine which lead on top connects to black. Connect B to that one. U to the other.


It is great, that you saved the 2023. We encourage everyone to revive old trains. To us they have more sentimental value than anything.
Show and tell us more about you layout when you get a chance.

Being a McGyver, think long term, and look for some used 022 switches, clean them up and replace the Marx switches. They have auto derail, already.
 
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