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Something interesting happened to me today.  I was reconfiguring my basement floor layout since the Christmas tree is down and I have more room.  I replaced one of my 1' straight pieces with a USA Trains 4' small turnout to make a parallel spur.  When I tried to run the train, I blew the fuse on my Aristocraft trackside unit.  I replaced the fuse and tried again.  Same thing happened.  I switched out the fuse and replaced the straight piece and everything was fine.  Since I smelled burning wire, I looked at the underside of my switch.  The plastic coating had melted and the wires were touching.  The switch had been on the layout for months with no trouble in its original position.  In the new position, it was one section away from my powerr hook up.  I use a Power G unit running through the Aristo track side.  I don't understand how just moving the switch caused the wires to melt and the switch to short out.  Any thoughts?  What did I do wrong?

Ed
 

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Time to go battery.

No maybe the power is coming into or through it in another direction, then the short was made known.

Just like I changed an old light at out house. turned off the braker, touched the ground and the light went on. the polaity is back wards thus they fues the (-) side not the (+) side.
 

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RE: Melted Wires & Blown Switches - HELP!

I did have an intermintent problem with the contacts inside of a bachmann switch frog shorting out. Drove me nuts trying to figure it out.
 

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RE: Melted Wires & Blown Switches - HELP!

Gonna bet the wires werent touching till you moved the switch.... somehow in the move they got pushed closer together. If the insulation had already been damaged, you now had a short, which, when you turned the power on, had dramatic results. Earlier, and undisturbed, even if the insulation had been damaged, if the wires weren't touching, you would have been ok....
 

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RE: Melted Wires & Blown Switches - HELP!

hehe

The fuse blowing is a clue that there's something wrong.
 

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I agree with Marty, it's time to go battery!! I've fought those d*mn turnouts for years and have had to re-wire each and every one of them! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif Do yourself a BIG favor and go battery!!
 

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Some battery people need to "get over themselves."

This is obviously a simple wiring or track connection error, or a short within the turnout, any of which are easy to identify and fix.  Telling him that he should have used batteries does nothing to help.  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/pinch.gif

I still think that there is a link between battery use and Jehova's Witnesses. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif 
 

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RE: Melted Wires & Blown Switches - HELP!

I still think that there is a link between battery use and Jehova's Witnesses.


Little do you know


Do you have an ohm meter? It shouldn't be hard to track down. You separate something, say the wires from the track. Either there will be 0 ohms on the track or on the wires. Whichever is not zero is free of problems. Then you separate something else. Divide and conquer.
 

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Another way and cheap way to find a short is to take off all of your rolling stock and Eng. off  of the tracks and find an old table lamp that 
has a 75 or 100 watt bulb in it.. Take a pr. of test wire jumper with alligator clips on it to each end of the lamp plug and other end to the 
rails.. (Make sure you have the lamp switch turned on.) 
Turn on your power supply to the tracks and if shorted you will get a orange glow when the power from throttle is up to full power.   When you find the short the bulb will go out and nothing get burned out from the testing.. Very safe. 
And ... Very cheap way to find a shot..  

But now you have to repair your track turnout first and then try it.   After repaired  then start taking track apart  until the light goes out.  then you found your short.     It also may have been your Eng. or a rolling stock shorting when on the tracks?. 
Hope this helps.. 

Its an old way from the past to find shorts.. We even use it to find shorts in our Group Ho layout with out burning out wires.  :cool:

We are using a Aristo  10 amp power supply.   So you may want to like we have done on our TM's  (out side)  is to put in a  8  amp re-setable Breaker on the secondary side of the TM.  Its saves problems with short from our G-Train group  blowing fuses from a wheel jumping the tracks or Eng. problems.
We still have the 10 amp fuse in the Pri. side. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gif
 

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RE: Melted Wires & Blown Switches - HELP!

I had one of the Aristo switches where the wires burnt through, leaving an open circuit rather than a short. They are a PITA, and for what they cost, you'd think Mr Polk & Co. could improve the quality of the switch and the motor.
 

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If you are comming to Marty's saturday bring an engine and controller and you will turn to the DARK SIDE!!!


Bubba
 

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  Until you have tried r/c battery you really don't realize how much less stressful it is! It's not about "getting over ourselves!!" (Geez....) Okay, if you want to stay with track power lose the Aristo turnouts! They really are a PITA and will give you nothing but trouble within two to three years. My advice (yes, I do think this will help) would be to have some turnouts made by the Parker Co. (code 332) or Llagas Creek (code 215 and 250) and finish with Ten Mille ground throws! At least you would then get something that will last and not give you trouble!
 

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RE: Melted Wires & Blown Switches - HELP!

Lincoln is a pretty far piece from Chicago, or I'd offer to drop by and help you find this.

Anybody closer willing to give him a hand with this?

(Thoroughly on the dark side, myself.)
 

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Torby...Ed has a plethera of help and information via the club...he just has a need to voice it to maybe a larger audience....not sure why.

Anyhooo this saturday is a club meeting at Marty's place and he has the option to bring ANY FRIGGIN thing he wants to work on!:D/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif

AND I might add I have an open policy, for the most part that working on any train items is just there for the asking to get together...barring any hoildays and such!

Althought Mohammad..(no association meant to ANYTHING except the old saying),  has to come to Omaha...not the mountain going to Lincoln!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif:D:)

Bubba
 

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RE: Melted Wires & Blown Switches - HELP!

Well, I totally agree with Todd... you battery folk need to see the light.

If you want to eliminate, and I mean TOTALLY ELIMINATE electrical problems...

LIVE STEAM is the only way to go!
 

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I don't always have 1/2 hour to wait to get up a head of steam!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif

When I run I sometimes only have time for a quick trip or 2!

And cannot wait to cool things down before I leave!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif

Other wise maybe I would try it....naw!!  never mind!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/satisfied.gif

Bubba 
 

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RE: Melted Wires & Blown Switches - HELP!

Now that's something I've wondered:

When it comes time to campaign in Nebraska, would oBama go to oHama or would Omaha host Obama?
 

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RE: Melted Wires & Blown Switches - HELP!

I love a good pun, but that is not only scraping the bottom of the barrel, but you have done gone and scrapped all the way through to the cobwebs between the barrel and the floor it is sitting on.!!! :)
 
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