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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a model railroad hobbie novice and looking for some insight into an issue that is plaguing me before I have really started. I read that there are some wiring issues with Atlas O-54 / 72 turnouts which I believe I have sorted. However I have two MTH steam engines (PS2) that have pickup rollers which are spaced relitively close to eachother. When these engines cross other switches there are no theatrics. However when they hit the aforementioned O-54 /72 switch, the engines abruptly stop and begin their shutdown sequence.

Total newbie question, but do all DCS controlled engines need to have at least one pickup roller touching the center rail at all times to operate? (or is this a PS2 aliment?) At this particular junction, since the rollers on these engines are so close together neither is touching a powered center rail at its mid point / point of shutdown. (Power at outside rails and center rails are continuous after a bit of re-wiring / soldering)

I have taken the engines and tenders apart to check for shorts / loose wires, and inspected all pickup connections and have not been able to find the "smoking gun" if you will.... Any thoughts / suggestions / tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

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All engines need to have at least one pickup touching the center rail. You might be able to get through the switch if you go fast enough. You mention that the pickups are close together so I’m guessing the locos are switchers. Some folks have put an extra pickup on one of the tender trucks to solve this problem.
 

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... You mention that the pickups are close together so I’m guessing the locos are switchers. Some folks have put an extra pickup on one of the tender trucks to solve this problem.
+1. An extra tether wire from the tender center pickup to the loco is the dominant solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the feedback, definitely good to know! One of the engines is a 2-8-0 with both pickups in the rather short tender, and the other is a slightly larger loco (4-6-2) that for whatever reason the pickups were almost on top of eachother and no easy way to seperate them on the engine.

Is there a good sorce for purchasing pickup rollers? Or is it just a crap shoot online? I'll definitely have to wire in the pickups as suggestied, I already attempted the "high speed" approach to no avail. Ha
 

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Thank you for the feedback, definitely good to know! One of the engines is a 2-8-0 with both pickups in the rather short tender, and the other is a slightly larger loco (4-6-2) that for whatever reason the pickups were almost on top of eachother and no easy way to seperate them on the engine.

Is there a good sorce for purchasing pickup rollers? Or is it just a crap shoot online? I'll definitely have to wire in the pickups as suggestied, I already attempted the "high speed" approach to no avail. Ha
IIRC, GunRunnerJohn had the same or similar Loco/tender with pickups only in the tender. He fashioned a roller pickup in the engine to solve the switch issue. If he doesn't get to this thread if a day or two, perhaps send him a message thru the forum. That can be done by clicking his Avatar and selecting "Start Conversation".
 

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Yep, those little switchers need a 3rd roller, I've done similar updates to a bunch of smaller locomotives. Even Lionel recognized the issue and with the smaller Legacy switchers they used a wired tether to share power between the locomotive and tender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I definitely appreciate all the feedback gentlemen, I'll be diving into these engines and attempt to sort out the best way to install pickups and move power to the control board. Appreciate the link to John's previous post with photos and notes on how he was able to accomplish this as well when there was not power through the draw bar / existing harness! Who would have known getting into model trains would be so involved. Lots to learn, and hopefully I don't blow myself up! Glad there are several knowledgeable individuals out there that are quick to help. Its just too bad you are all so far away (not to mention the state of the world.) I'd enjoy an opportunity to meet in person, see your layouts, and to learn from a few pros / hobbie enthusiasts first hand.
 
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