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About Haddock51

  • Birthday 08/27/51

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  1. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Thank you so much for your tremendous effort to provide clarification re. these mysterious findings! The ppt drawings are very informative, certainly to me, so you definitely should not appologize... However, it's me that needs to start appologizing for two findings that came up since I posted my latest reply: The scheme on level 85 turned out not to be the final one. There has been a minor change on the layout (which doesn't make any difference w.r.t. the case results). HC 2 in fact is a standard point left. However, I discovered to my surprise that the "minus" rail on HC 1 leading to the yards was disconnected! After fixing this issue, the result for case 2b turned out to be different and was in line with your own expected result: both trains were moving! Please notice that the polarization on the layout is converse compared to your drawings, i.e. your blue lines should be red and vice versa. Then I tested Case 2c - operate train on yard B: Point configuration: HC 1: straight, P 2: straight Power feed configuration: yard A: off, yard B: on Result: only train B is moving! (Studying your drawings, this makes actually sense) So where do I go from here? Since I know the required configurations to operate trains from yard A and B to and from the mainline, I will certainly not get into additional wiring.... (Another important section in the future documentation ...) The siding on level 175 is not a reversing loop but a short cut. Trains running uphill on the vertical climb can take the siding and return downhill. So outside power lines remain outside and inside power lines remain inside. No risk for shortage. Referring to your final comment, I must admit that I didn't get your point. I believed - and still do - that I have a rather good knowledge and understanding on how the 9V speed regulator works. So I was rather surprised to read about your own thoughts w.r.t. changed polarities (something I have not experienced on my layout): "Finally, things may even become more confusing when changing directions on the regulator. As far as I remember, the dial hardware (the "coded" copper conductors of the dial and the copper conductors on the printed circuit board) of the regulator actually reverses the entire power ("+" becomes "-" and vice versa). In the "stop" position power is completely removed from the outputs (both, "+" and "-"). In this case the common power block changes polarity as well in your setup and depending on the permanently powered lines of the points, this may create further issues." To conclude: once again, thank you so much @Toastie for your efforts and clarifications! You certainly succeeded in shedding some light into the mysterious things that happened!
  2. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Actually, I have the same problem with the two yards on level 85. These power feeds can not be removed! Let me explain in detail with the help of this picture and the schemes below: The picture shows speed regulator D, a switch connected to speed regulator D and the switch box. The switch connected to regulator D is in position "Yard" which means that all power feeds operated by speed regulator D on the main line (level 50, parts of level 85 and ramps between level 50 and 85) are inactive. The only active power feed with this configuration is power feed T1 on the left ramp between level 50 and 85. The basic idea behind this configuration is to move trains from yard A resp. yard B smoothly to alt. off the main line without other trains moving at the same time. And now the cases: Case 1: Operate train on yard A: Point configuration: Halfcurve (HC) 1: left, HC 2: right Power feed configuration: yard A: on, yard B: off Result: only train on yard A is moving Case 2A: Operate train on yard B: Point configuration: HC 1: left, HC 2: straight Power feed configuration: yard A: off, yard B: on Result: both trains are moving! Case 2B: Operate train on yard B: Point configuration: HC 1: left, HC 2: right Power feed configuration: yard A: off, yard B: on Result: only train on yard B be is moving with HC 2 in "wrong" position! The "minus" wires for power feeds on yard A and yard B are directly wired to block DD "minus" in the cable terminal." Plus" wires are connected to switches "Yd A" resp. "Yd B" on the switch box and then to block DD "plus" (operated by speed regulator D with switch in position "Yard") in the cable terminal. (see picture of cable terminal on the first page of this thread). The only common denominator for all three problems (yards on level 50, level 85 and the siding on level 175) are additional power feeds that are/were properly mounted and wired. It seems like these additional power feeds "disturbe(d)" neighbouring points. In the cases described above, some kind of interference seems to have affected HC 2. Finally, this is the scheme with siding on level 175 and power feed S 175 (which has been removed) and standard points on each end of the siding. This section is operated with speed regulator C. Wiring of S 175 the same way as described above. This siding and the neighbouring main line (vertical climb) had the same mysterious problems as described above and before.
  3. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Interesting comments. I basically agree with you - with the exception of soldering directly to the metal rail, something I commented in one of my previous replies. However this is a separate discussion. I guess this is the right time for bringing up a mysterious experience that I still fail to understand and find a logical explanation to. As Toastie correctly pointed out, the distribution of power feeds is very important. There are indeed substantial losses of power where you have sections with several points in a row. Being aware of this problem, I therefore decided to mount power feeds on each of the four yards and main line on level 50 according to the following scheme: The idea was to assure appropriate power supply and to selectively turn on/turn off each of these power feeds with the help of switches on the box to the right of the speed controllers (in combination with adequate points settings). However, this did not work (all power connections all the way to the cable terminal have been carefully checked). And this is what happened: even with turned off power feed - and closed switches for the relevant yard - neighbouring yard(s) would still be on power! (The same mystery occured on the siding on level 175 with an additional power feed halfway into the siding). After several hours of testing, I ended up with all these extra power feeds being taken away. Now, everything works properly and power on yards and siding is shut down with the help of points. However, as a consequence, sensible power losses occur, particularly on yards # 4 and # 5. Can somebody explain this mystery?
  4. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    This is of course a balance between space and grades. The more space you have, the longer ramps/planks and the lower grades you can use. In addition, you have to decide how high up you ultimately want to go.
  5. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    That's very steep indeed! Amazing! Next time, you have to show us a video with locomotive and some (heavy) wagons. That might be a different story ...
  6. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Testing gradients back in 2013/14 showed that 9V engines on short and light trains could manage grades of 10 percent or even somewhat more. For me it was important to find the right gradient so that all trains - without exceptions - could make it through the planned layout. Back in those days when I used to run trains with up to ten engines on the test gradients, there were problems with wheel slipping with 10 percent grades. Therefore, I decided to go for 8 procent to be on the safe side.
  7. 9v Controller Repair Question

    Back in 2013/14 when I tested gradients and various components for the 9V Extreme layout - incl. 9V speed regulators with mounted thermometers on the LM317s - I remember some occasions when temperature passed 70 degrees Celsius after approx. 6 minutes, and I stopped. Then I decided to upgrade to LM350 regulators and outside heatsinks with a thermal resistance of 1.9 K/W. Don't underestimate heat management and -control when operating trains with multiple 9V engines and keep in mind the correlation between low speed and high temperatures.
  8. 9v Controller Repair Question

    This seems to be the staple that holds the LM317 regulator against the "heatsink". With a broken staple, your regulator should be disconnected from the heatsink. Depending on how many engines you use for how long time - and keeping in mind that you don't have a functional heatsink - your LM317 might get very hot. According to specification, I think it works up to approx. 90 degrees Celsius.
  9. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Coming back to testing grades, let me share with you the "hump" approach (this might not be applicable to 12V). When building layouts with gradients - and particularly with 8 percent gradients - you are faced with a problem that eventually can cause derailing: a sharp edge between the upper part of the gradient and the flat level.. In order to "disarm" this potential derailing pitfall, I have built humps, resulting in three minor track edges instead of one big at each edge: As you can see on this picture, I have put 1x2 plates under the linkage of the first and second straight on each side of the edge. In addition, I used a grinder to grind all three track edges. With this "hump", you get a rather smooth transition fram gradient to flat level (and vice versa), something you can also observe in the iron ore train video. This also provides safer "landing zones" for 3 wheel constructions, e.g. on EN, Dm3 and Da locomotives.
  10. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Yes it was, mainly due to the lack and distribution of engine power. I had calculated that I needed 8 percent gradients to get the trains from floor to ceiling within reasonable space. So the grades were a given from the very beginning.
  11. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Unfortunately, I don't know anything about 12V. Hopefully somebody else with good knowledge about and experience with this train product line can give you more advice/help. W.r.t. testing, in this video you can see - and hopefully get some inspiration from - my test layout with a climbing spiral and test gradients back in 2014: Good luck!
  12. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Maybe my own imagination is not big enough.for this fancy idea. To me, the concept of running different sets of motors at different speeds with a train like the iron ore train is wishful thinking. Referring to my scheme with the red marked problem sections, I just can't imagine how you can manage to change speed of 13 motors - probably within seconds - when passing these difficult sections. Yes I know, never say never ...
  13. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    From what I have seen myself when watching trains/locomotives with PF motors, I am still convinced that one of the main disadvantages with PF compared with 9V are the inbuilt mechanical frictions with all these parts to transmit that engine power to the wheels. Would be interesting to know the real efficiency of PF engines after discounting for these frictions. And then you have the constant issue of decreasing battery load .... To my opinion, the key and remaining advantage with 9V engines is the fact that power supply is stable and engine power is transmitted directly to the engine-wheels. I would simply hate the idea to watch my trains stop somewhere halfway up to the top because of power shortage.... Speaking about long trains in grades, I don't believe in the idea of mounting a super strong motor in the very front of such trains. As you wrote yourself, you need to spread engine power. And for that there is no need for engines like a PF XL. And somewhere along the line, you start to ask yourself if you really want to proceed with all the necessary modifications to meet your requirements ... PS: Maybe I am wrong, but then somebody has to prove that the combination of long trains and PF - in a track environment with 8 percent grades - really works. Meantime, my impression is that this entire discussion about PF - including third party devices - in this kind of environment is highly speculative, not to say just an illusion.
  14. Lego Train 9V Extreme - ready!

    Sometimes, I am still experiencing derailing issues with the EN - another heavy breakpad - and its tender . Even though it carries a 9V battery, it apparently is still too light and often pushed off the track when passing points and/or s-curves uphill, something that I unfortunately can't do much about it. Again, the trick is to find and apply the appropriate speed when passing these critical parts of the layout.