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Frustrated By Poor Electrical Conductivity ?
 Moderated by: Si. Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4   
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 Posted: Sun Apr 9th, 2017 12:11 am
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Robert Comerford
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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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 Posted: Sun Apr 9th, 2017 03:55 pm
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Herb Kephart
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I find that ATF (automatic transmission fluid) works well, availability is a lot better than Whal--or , for that matter Whale--oil.

ATF has a detergent in it that may help, I dunno, but it works "a treat' and with graphite probably works even better.


Herb



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 Posted: Sun Apr 9th, 2017 10:51 pm
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Robert Comerford
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Herb, ATF is also sold in small containers as Railzip in model railway shops.
I have never used it myself but have seen how well it works on a long running HOn30 exhibition layout that did the circuit for some years.
The owner said he preferred it to Wahl oil but I have never done a comparison test. Maybe when my tin of Wahl oil is empty I'll get some from my mechanic? The tin is about 1/4 full and I bought it about 1981 so not sure if it will outlive me :>)
cheers
BobC

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 Posted: Mon Apr 10th, 2017 05:18 am
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Si.
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A simple test performed by a Member of an automotive & electrical Forum I sometimes look at :-



- - - - - - -



Electrical Conductivity of oil: myth de-bunked



One of the distinguished members of this group asserted a claim that oil is conductive. Always having held the belief that it was insulative I decided to test the distinguished members theory.

My belief was based on anecdotal evidence based on observations I have made over the years, ie... ignition coils are filled with oil, diodes in oil cooled alternators are immersed in oil and solenoids in electronic controlled transmissions are immersed in oil with no ill effects to the electric system.

Using controlled conditions I assembled together a digital volt/ohm/ammeter, a sample of engine oil, transmission oil and water and an automotive battery.

The three test liquids were put in paper cups. I tested for continuity in the three samples with the ohmmeter starting with the lowest setting and progressively switching to the highest most sensitive settings.

Result: water passes current at some of the higher resistance settings while the 2 two respective oil samples did not have any continuity, even when the meter was on its most sensitive setting.

Test two revolved around using the three samples and attempting to pass current thru them from the automotive battery while measuring current with an ammeter set on it's most sensitive scale.

the expected result was obtained: electricity will flow thru water, the oil samples did not allow any measurable current to flow.

I came up with two conclusions based on this test.

1. Oil is in fact an INSULATOR.

2. I have too much time on my hands.





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 Posted: Mon Apr 10th, 2017 06:27 am
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Si.
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What cleaning fluid does the largest model railway exhibition in the world (Miniatur Wunderland) use ?

Answer :-  NONE !

They use only track rubbers & vacuum cleaners on their 12 kilometers of track.


Here's what they say :-

" The reason why we dry-clean is quite simple.
Any fluid leaves some residue on the tracks and the chance to completely dry the track is minimal.
Damp track however, is a magnet for dirt and dust which in turn is picked up by the engines and that results in higher maintenance of rolling stock.
We tried it and had to state that some wagons picked up that much dirt that the wheels didn't turn anymore.
Some engines just barely were able to pick up current due to dirty wheel boxes. "


L:



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http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7318&forum_id=17&page=1

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=59295&st=0&a
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 Posted: Mon Apr 10th, 2017 02:44 pm
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Reg H
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Si:
No big surprise there.
Why get involved in all these "magic" formulae.   I did the straight graphite approach.
I had been fighting a losing battle with connectivity problems (which is what started this thread). I was having to thoroughly clean track before every operating session.  Even if things had only sat for a day.  Even after cleaning the track I was having spotty problems.
My one and only application was months ago and equipment still runs flawlessly.  So simple. Get the graphite sticks. Rub 'em on your track.
Reg



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 Posted: Mon Apr 10th, 2017 06:18 pm
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W C Greene
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For many years, I used the "latest"thing in track cleaning ideas...Wahl clipper oil, ATF, graphite, Brite Boys, and even read where some ACTUALLY used steel wool! Crazy! I tried some liquid contact cleaner on my little DC Gila Tram and it worked, after a fashion. The "dragger" cars work for many, I rigged one up for the Gila and it worked OK but it limited the tonnage that the loco could pull.
Everybody has their favorite and best way to clean track, variety is the spice...
But I found my solution some years ago and it takes care of all the contact problems.

I will leave you with that...
Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Apr 10th, 2017 06:56 pm
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pipopak
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I still remember (not too fondly) my first layout with code 100 brass track on fiber ties, built in an non-AC room. Oxidized track was just one of the issues...
Jose.



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 Posted: Tue Apr 11th, 2017 02:16 am
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Herb Kephart
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Don't know about  how graphite works, but oil is not to make the rail or wheel more conductive, it is to prevent the oxidation that makes the joint less conductive---and who here has the rail mileage that Wunderworld has? Yes, oil may collect dust, but most of it gets pushed off the railhead by the passing wheels. And if the crud builds up on wheels, you are probably using too much. Not doubting that graphite works, just wondering how it keeps the corrosion at bay. One time not too long ago I put some graphite on the overhead wire. Not that I was having trouble, just thought that I would improve something that wasn't broke. Guess that I put too much on (it was mixed with a thin oil/solvent that dried) and it completely insulated the pantograph from the wire! Pushing the car through the spot gave a wonderful display of sparks. Had to sand the stuff off the bottom surface of the wire. But the coating was far far thicker than what rubbing with a pencil would leave.

Moderation? NAH!

Herb



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