Why do I have power loss on HO scale switches?

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Why do I have power loss on HO scale switches?

Postby rrbluesman » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:23 pm

I decided recently to start an HO scale layout (my background is in Lionel O Scale) and I have two loops with a handful of switches. Two of the switches I have on the inner loop seem to have a power loss problem, I have removed and tried new track connectors and replaced the adjoining track, but I continue to have power loss on both switches on the short straight end of the switch until over the frog. All my other switches work fine without this problem, are they just bad switches or am I doing something wrong?

-Ed
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Re: Why do I have power loss on HO scale switches?

Postby lexon » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:12 am

Get your multimeter out and do some continuity checks. Pretty simple.

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Re: Why do I have power loss on HO scale switches?

Postby mp15ac » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:42 am

Ed, first question is what brand of track are you using? Are all the switches the same brand?

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Re: Why do I have power loss on HO scale switches?

Postby CNJ999 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:36 pm

I would hasten to point out that, unlike Lionel; 3-rail, powering 2-rail trackage works quite differently and as a poster above indicates, different manufacturers' switches can work a bit different electrically from one-another. Also to be considered is that depending on the arrangement (separation/facing or opposing) that you have the switches in may require isolation from one-another.

If you are indeed just starting out in HO and are not familiar with 2-rail track wiring I would suggest picking up a book on the 2-rail wiring. In all likelihood reading through its pages will give you the answer that you are seeking to your problem. Alternatively, if you could post a diagram of the track layout on your HO railroad and indicate the point(s) at which power wires are attached it is likely folks here could also pick-up on possible errors.

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Re: Why do I have power loss on HO scale switches?

Postby rrbluesman » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:43 pm

The switches I have are mostly inherited from my father, who had them given to him in the late 1980s. Several of the switches are Atlas, they all work, but the switch that has the power loss on I do not known the brand. Several of the other switches I have are not Atlas and they are working fine as well. Can someone recommend a good book or website to refer to? I'm not at all sure what good sources are for HO, thanks!

-Ed
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Re: Why do I have power loss on HO scale switches?

Postby NYC_Dave » Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:34 am

The following website will give you a brief description of the two types of turnouts or switches: INSULATED and POWER-ROUTING.
http://www.building-your-model-railroad.com/turnouts.html

Insulated (also called “standard”) are the easiest to use and require no special insulating gaps in your trackwork.

Power-routing (also called “selective”) have some advantages but require insulating gaps at various locations depending on the configuration of your layout.

Atlas switches are the insulated type. Peco makes both types. It is likely that your switches which do not work are of the power-routing type. A google search of power-routing switches or turnouts may turn up a website which will help.

“Easy Model Railroad Wiring” by Andy Sperandeo (Kalmbach Pub.) is a book which explains all kinds of wiring.
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