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Discussion Starter #1
H i all,

I have two Brigdewerks power supplies and the UR15 radio control unit. The UR15 from new has always defaulted to reverse when restarted with power to the rail.
Friday I called them and they said to send it back under warranty Cool. The Magnum 200 is probable 8 plus years old but had gone back two times for the diode bridge. When I started getting the new layout ready it failed again. They have graciously said to send it back for a warranty repair even though its 8 years old.

It's so refreshing to find a company who will still stand behind their product in this day and age.

Thank you Bridgewerks, keep up the good customer relations. Doug
 

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Super Modulator
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That's good service... sounds like there is a problem with the diode bridge in the 200 though, going out 3 times cannot be just random luck.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg,

I've sometimes wondered about lengths of outdoor trackage and electromagnetic impulses from lightning. Or even lightning strikes in the vicinity. Perhaps these outdoor setups take that into consideration and I'm not aware of it.

Les
 

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You must be reading my mind... I think it would take a **** of a surge to zap this components, especially knowing the quality level of the Bridgewerks. Maybe he's getting nasty lightning surges... surge protectors are supposed to handle this, but there are a lot of "junk" ones that do nothing... a good one is expensive.

Regards, Greg
 

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I would think that lightning 3 times would do more than just attack the diode bridge.

I fixed a friends large power pack and he had an intermittent fan.

Perhaps the diode bridge has a temperature issue with not enough heat dissipation.

If the unit is located in a small enclosure, any electrical part could fail.

Power supplies and controllers for our trains must have good air flow around them, and not air that could recirculate back inside them as this will create a super heated situation.
 

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I think the comment was about a secondary effect caused by lightning, but a heat related problem as you describe is much more likely.

The effect of a lighning hit would look like this:

 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm sure its not lightning. My power supplies were always unplugged from the rail and brought into the house. According to John at Bridgewerks the early ones sometimes had a problem. He said the new diode bridges are bullet proof now. I'm just ticked that they are willing to fix it at now charge especially since I was let go from my job recently.
And the way things seem to go for me if there were only one ever made with a problem I would end up with it.
 

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Krs:

I just want to emphasize that I wasn't envisioning lightning strikes. There's a heckuva EMI (ElectroMagnetic Impulse) generated even by a cloud-to-cloud lightning flash. You've probably noticed your house lights dim for a second after one goes off very close, even though there's no contact with the ground or power lines. And, depending upon the nature of the ground a layout is on (high iron content, for instance) even a strike a good distance away can pass a 'spike' through the earth, to the tracks, through the tracks, etc, which being a 'closed circuit' are ideal for generating stray currents--granted, in the micro-amp and probably micro-micro amp ranges--not worth worrying about. And it would depend to some extent on how well 'buffered' the outputs are from such a 'backwards feed' situation. But since you've been told the diodes were flaky from the git-go, I think that pretty well answers the questions. Kudos to BridgeWerks for their commitment to customer satisfaction. GM could take some pointers from them. I'm sorry to hear you're out of work. Hope you can find a job soon.

Les
 

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I just want to emphasize that I wasn't envisioning lightning strikes


I know Les - that's why I wrote "secondary effects caused by lighning" (like the one you describe) and posted a picture of what the supply would look like if lightning had really struck directly.

Knut
 

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Here is another one to show what it can do to your track.
Isolating the outside and inside track using the standard plastic track isolators does nothing - lighning jumps right across that gap.


 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow that is scary. In the 5 years I ran even with 70 trees on my one acre I never had any damage to the layout. Although we have had several trees hit by lightening.
I did have a deer step on the track and dent it pretty well in several spots. The piece of track is laying on the picnic table in the back yard waiting to be cut up into smaller sections.
 

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Trees are a good thing when it comes to lightning.
Lightning would hit them first before it finds it's way to the track.
 

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Is track any safer on the ground as opposed to a raised layout? I would cry if my trains got zapped lol.

-Will
 

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You are absolutely right Steve.

I kept a couple of the pictures since this subject comes up every once in a while, but I no longer had any clue where I got those pictures.

Knut
 

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Will,

It wasn't my intent to make anyone lose any sleep over it. Think of you train as being inside the house. How often does your house get zapped? Likely about the same probability.
 

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Well regarding lightning strikes, I'm sure it's true that statistically the chances are slim, but then again just how many times does it take, not to mention the fact that this is another of those things that fit snugly within the "almost" category (just like horseshoes, grenades, & nuclear weapons).


Additionally, I surely wouldn't go using U.S. Park Ranger Roy Sullivan as an example regarding the "lightning doesn't strike twice" thingy.


Actually, I'm not all that certain being as I live in the lightning capital of the U.S. (i.e. central Florida), I'm not tempting fate by posting these comments, July is just two months away.
 
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