Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Session #8 continued

Since I've been having problems again with the locomotives running at a reduced speed, I went back down tonight to continue test running the rest of the power for the through trains, both consists for the local power at El Dorado and the pair of locos for the ICG, all checked out OK. I still need to get the power checked for the El Dorado switcher and the W&OV.  I've already checked all the consists on the four manifest.  Some of these may have one loco that runs either a little fast or a little slow, but they should be able to limp through the session.  Since it's The Rock Island, I suppose it's somewhat normal and prototypical to have at least one unit in the consist not functioning properly?  Heck it may add to the operations.

While doing this I also made sure that some the new cars that I swapped out for cars that have never been on the layout before ran OK.  Only a few needed to have the trip pins cut or bent.  This only leaves staging a few miscellaneous cars around the layout such as the cars for the ICG.

I have one turnout for the house track at El Dorado station that gives me fits from time to time that may need another feeder applied.  But for now I have it making contact so I'll try to get to it later.

One other thing I fixed a few weeks ago that should make a difference, four of the UP3/5 panels were under powered and was making the DT400r's act screwy.  Several years ago I was having issues with the throttles dropping some of the consists.  I was told that I had too many throttles plugged into the Loconet system and they were drawing too much power.  If  the voltage drops below 8v, the Loconet will not function properly.  

One option I was given was to place batteries in all my throttles so they had their own juice.  The second thing was that I could power all of my P3/5 panels with a PS12/14 power supply.  Since I had 9 UP3/5 panels and one UR91 I decided to split them up into two groups and power each group with a PS12/14.

The five UP panels on the East end of the layout was powered with one and the other four and the UR91 on the west end was powered by the power supply from the UR91.  Long story short here, two of my older DT400r's would act up and never settle down to where I could dial up a loco.  The DT402r's never had that problem.

After several nights and a few phone calls later, I found my problem.  Digitrax says that you can connect up to 10 UP panels with one PS12/14.  They also said that you could include at least one UR panel in the group.  I thought OK.  So I started the west group by using the power supply for the UR91.  Well the problem turned out to be that the power supply for the UR91 was only rated for 120vac - 12vdc - 300mA.  The supply for the East end was rated at 120vac - 12vdc - 1a.  This is why the DT400r's was only having issues when they were plugged into any of the UP panel on the west end, including the UR91.  So to be safe I isolated the UR91 with it's power supply and found another 1a supply for the four remaining UP panels on the west end of the layout and now everyone is happy again.  So much for following instruction...   

I figure on more night to finish testing the rest of the consists, then I can start tidying up the basement and clearing of the work bench and getting things moved out of the way and I should be ready for Saturday night!

Oh yeah, I finally got around to adding a link to the track plan.  You can find it below the "Layout Overview" 


  1. Hope you got your electrical gremlins resolved with the UP panels. Good luck at your op session Saturday.

    1. Thanks.
      Yessir, I did. One problem down, one to go.

  2. Hi Allen
    Looks like you have finally got a handle on the power issues. I have 9 UP5's and 1 UR92 all powered by one 5 amp power pack and they all work very well. Last night before my Friday night ops session we added a Tam Valley circuit breaker / booster just for the town of Augusta. We found that if too many locos went in there the circuit would drop out. This new Unit is now also powered by a 5 amp power pack and gives us an extra 3 amps if needed through the circuit. It worked like a charm.
    We had 9 throttles working overtime last night and went well.
    Trust you have a good session.

  3. So far, so good. I'll find out tonight!
    I probably could have gotten by with one less supply, but wanted to make sure I had enough power.
    Since I got the UR91 and the batteries for the throttles,I don't have near the draw on the Loconet system now. Sounds like you ave your problems solved.