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Discussion Starter #1
I just installed a couple of #6 switches. They have insulated frogs. However, the first run through with my LGB Mikado I saw sparks! After investigating I see the Mike power pickup shoe is just wide enough to cross over to the other track right at the frog, causing a short.

So some options I thought of are bending the pickup shoe end up a bit, or grinding it back. The problem with bending the shoe is it is a tough metal and has an arch in it, so it could be very tough to bend while still attached to the loco. Removing it looks like it would be a nightmare. There may be a problem with grinding the shoe back a bit, as it may not be wide enough to stay on the track?

Any suggestions regarding this problem?
 

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You might be better off modifying the switch to move the gaps further back. That would fix the problem for all of your locomotives. Making the slider smaller might make it less reliable. I know that the USA sliders can be a real problem with hanging up on some switches. I have seen posts here where they replaced the USA sliders with LGB ones because they track better.
 

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Rip the silly thing off of there :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bill, thanks for your input. The switches right now work very well with all my other rolling stock and locos, so I prefer not to modify the switch, unless you have a real simple modification in mind? I was considering putting a 1/4" length of electrical tape over the frog rail that is less used.

Torby, I'd be worried that removing the shoes/sliders would make the power pickup not so good and make the loco not as reliable? If I did remove them is there an easy way? They look difficult to remove.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sunset Valley, very nice switches. The only problem is with my LGB Mike with pickup shoes/sliders.
 

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Try some clear nail polish to move the "hot" areas farther back. It should last a while. I have elminated sliders on all my locos, but these are USAT and I swap out the traction tires to solid wheels at the same time, so I have no pickup loss.

The LGB might not like losing the sliders. You could try some tape on the sliders and see if your performance is still ok, if so, dump the sliders, they will also hang up on track inperfections.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the tip on the nail polish! I must have pretty good track work as I've never had an issue with the pickup shoes in 3 years. I'll also try putting some electrical tape on the shoes and see how the Mike runs without them.
 

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I know it's not the same loco, but MTH users have had real **** with the shoes snagging on gaps in the track and frogs, and besides arresting forward motion, it usually creates a nasty short.

So, in my opinion, if you can do without, you will avoid a number of problems, and cut down on maintenance.

Regards, Greg
 

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Removed all sliders from LGB and MTH locos due to problems with switches even after modifying them.
Did add pickups on the tenders which makes up for the loss of sliders and spreads the contact points further apart which also helps going thru the switches.
No more problems.
Bud
 

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I have an LGB Porter and it had the same problem on the SSV switches. I removed the shoes and have had no problems. You should make sure your switch is flat. With the rigid framed engines it is possible to lose contact if it goes over a bump.:cool:
 

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Don't know if this will help but with the Aristo 30 degree crossovers I found that a bit of filing on the edge of the rail (inside edge) would take care of this. I filed right by the insulator and maybe about 1/4" in length the edge of the inside top of the rail. Just a slight angle made it where the shoes would go through. I have not had the problem with turnouts so this may all be blue sky.... but just a thought.

Art
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Finally got the issue resolved. Tried several things but ended up just removing the pickup shoes/sliders as Torby suggested. No more switch problems and the Mikado still runs great.
 
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Jim,
You could also just snip the wires to the micro switch underneth the switch, witch will cause the frog to be dead and then no issues, unless you run very small locos thru them.. they go bad quickly anyway just snip them and be done with it:D
Nick
 
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