View single post by Robert Comerford
 Posted: Sun Apr 9th, 2017 12:11 am
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Robert Comerford

 

Joined: Thu Feb 14th, 2013
Location: Glen Innes, Australia
Posts: 576
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Reg, I have been using both graphite (lock lubricant) and light machine oil successfully for decades as a spark suppressant/contact improver. Both indoors and out.
The graphite method was as a result of the findings of a well known Australian modeller who when moving to the then new Triang TT range in the 50's became frustrated with the poor electrical performance. He found a solution in a suggestion from a local long time O gauge modeller who used powdered graphite to solve the same problem with some cast loco wheels.
This modeller later moved to N gauge and continued the practice that had worked so successfully in TT.His layouts ran reliably with no attention month in month out unlike the rest of us.

Use of a light machine oil such as Wahl hair clipper oil came about as a result of article in a US magazine in the 1970's. Hundreds if not thousands of modellers have used that method since with similar results.

Indoors I normally use the graphite method but outdoors I have given both a try.
Outdoors I first tested with just a clean track to define a baseline for performance. A day or two at best before signs of hesitancy started.
I initially thought the graphite was the longer lasting solution but repeating the tests a year or two later with a little more oil than the first tests proved to change my mind. I am now using the oil outdoors.

I am happy to trade a little adhesive performance of my locos for weeks of trouble free running.

cheers
BobC

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