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Discussion Starter #21
In order to figure out the gremlins in my wiring, I decided to make a test track last night, as I"m starting to think the power supply I'm using is past its life span. The trains I'm running go forward, but when I hit reverse they sometimes don't move until I give them a nudge. I'm using 20 gauge wire connected to the track via alligator clips from the power supply.
Thanks
 

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Hello CTValley.
The blurred photo you speak of is my brother's HO Fleischmann train. The insulation on the coil fell off, which is now touching the wheels. I messaged a guy in the UK through youtube. He works at a hobby shop dealing in European model trains. He suggested I replace the insulation on the coil & resolder the joint
Yes, I can make out drivers and connecting rods, thereby giving me a pretty good idea that it's a locomotive, but any detail of wires, connections, motors, etc, which might be helpful in troubleshooting is not clear.
 

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In order to figure out the gremlins in my wiring, I decided to make a test track last night, as I"m starting to think the power supply I'm using is past its life span. The trains I'm running go forward, but when I hit reverse they sometimes don't move until I give them a nudge. I'm using 20 gauge wire connected to the track via alligator clips from the power supply.
Thanks
A faulty power supply would not make things stall at the same place all the time, although you have never confirmed that this is what is happening.

Dirt or poor (or no) lubrication can also cause the symptoms you describe. Did you clean everything? Your track photos seem to show somempretty heavily oxidized brass track. I would clean and lube before doing anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I inspected my track more tonight resoldered a wire so that it wouldn't stick up, added more track nails as some track wasn't nailed down in spots. I remember when I was gluing down the blue foam insulation I didn't have lots of weight in every corner, but I made the best of it with what I had available. I clamped down the foam where all my trains "stopped", & ran my 00 train around the track. I had success for once, no derailments a little power loss, only because I undid some wiring below but my engine ran completely around. I'll check the inner circles this weekend for continuity I reglued & clamped the spots where the foam was raised. I think lately I've been treating this hobby like a chore, doing everything in a rush only to find mistakes later on. I'm glad the mistakes I'm finding aren't costly though just a little time consuming.
 

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Treating the hobby like a chore is the best way to get fed up and quit. Obviously, depending on what you enjoy doing, some aspects of the hobby will seem like drudgework anyway (wiring and blasting track, for me).

It sounds like your operating problems are mechanical, not electrical, and adding feeders isn't going to help that.

As you've discovered, rushing is not a path to success, no matter how much you hate the process you're doing. Enjoy the journey, and take the time necessary to do things right. This is especially true of track work: it must be bullet-proof, or it sucks the fun right out of the hobby (as you have seen). It must be dead level (if on an incline, the slope must be smooth, with the exception of gradual easements at the beginning and end). Curves must be smooth (and eased, if they are sharp) and free of kinks and sharp S curves. Better quality and more gradual turnouts are also generally a good idea.

Anyway, I hate to say it, but it sounds like you're in a situation where you have taken so many shortcuts that your best recourse would be to start over, and take the time to do it right: no bumps, no kinks (either vertical or horizontal), no misaligned track joints, etc. Sand, file or otherwise smooth your surface to avoid transmitting imperfections to the track. Ideally, you should take so much care in this part be genuinely surprised when your trains DON'T run smoothly, not pleasantly surprised when they do.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Hello CTValley.
I don't think that I want to quit the hobby, but I am leaning towards starting over as per your suggestion. The one thing I don't have is a shelf for power supplies, switch connector boxes etc. I think I'll clean off my layout as its where I do all my soldering or put other stuff aside. I got things to work last week, but yesterday nothing. I disconnected the wires from the terminal block & the lights on my SD40 lit up & I also saw a spark, when I was trying to connect the wire to the transformer. I'll keep toying with things to get things up & running.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I decided to start over. I'm in a really good mood right now so I tore up parts of my track, not bothering to disconnect anything. I've been so busy this past month I can't seem to do anything fun.
 
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