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Model Railroading > Switch point conductivity


Date: 11/20/22 12:07
Switch point conductivity
Author: Jeff_Johnston

My recent post about Hex Frog Juicer problems (which was resolved in a dependable way) brought up some discussions about switch point conductivity. This is what I do to aid that situation.

I gently spray a small amount of DeOxIt into a plastic cup so I have a modest puddle to work with. A strip cut from an old business card is dipped in that puddle, then passed between the closed point and rail. The Tortoise spring tension helps provide a secure "scrubbing" action.

If the switch is really old, and the Central Camp part of our layout dates back to around the early 1990s, I start with a pass or two at the points with 1,200- or 1,500-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper to do some deep cleaning before the DeOxIt is applied.

There are probably 1,000 different opinions on this type of model railroad maintenance work. This system works just fine for us.

Jeff Johnston
www.thesugarpineshop.bigcartel.com

 






Date: 11/20/22 13:09
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: santafedan

I use Rail Zip.
 



Date: 11/20/22 13:42
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: Westbound

I gave up on this type of maintenance decades ago. For frog polarity I use one set of SPDT electrical switch contacts (each machine has 2 ) on my power switch machines. All manual switches use a DPDT slide switch for manual point positioning and I use half of that slide switch’s contacts for the SPDT electric polarity frog power. Probably does not matter but I use DC, not DCC.

 



Date: 11/20/22 15:29
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: Jeff_Johnston

Westbound:

That's great that your wiring works for you as described, but this thread concerns switch point cleaning, not "101 ways to wire your switches."

Jeff



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/22 15:30 by Jeff_Johnston.



Date: 11/21/22 11:35
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: grahamline

I wonder if No-Ox paste would work well for this purpose?



Date: 11/21/22 13:21
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: ChrisCampi

grahamline Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wonder if No-Ox paste would work well for this
> purpose?

I use it from time to time in the point hinge area. Problem is it's grease based and attracts and collects dirt.



Date: 11/22/22 16:08
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: JUTower

Jeff_Johnston Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My recent post about Hex Frog Juicer problems
> (which was resolved in a dependable way) brought
> up some discussions about switch point
> conductivity. This is what I do to aid that
> situation.
>
> I gently spray a small amount of DeOxIt into a
> plastic cup so I have a modest puddle to work
> with. A strip cut from an old business card is
> dipped in that puddle, then passed between the
> closed point and rail. The Tortoise spring tension
> helps provide a secure "scrubbing" action.
>
> If the switch is really old, and the Central Camp
> part of our layout dates back to around the early
> 1990s, I start with a pass or two at the points
> with 1,200- or 1,500-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper to
> do some deep cleaning before the DeOxIt is
> applied.
>
> There are probably 1,000 different opinions on
> this type of model railroad maintenance work. This
> system works just fine for us.
>
> Jeff Johnston
> www.thesugarpineshop.bigcartel.com
>
>  
What was the ultimate resolution to your frog juicer trouble?



Date: 11/23/22 06:18
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: ZbigniewChrysler

The De-Oxit is great stuff, but don't EVER use sandpaper on an electrical contact.  It leaves microscopic pieces of grit embedded in the metal, holds the contacts apart, and accelerates the problem.  Use Crocus Cloth instead, it does not remove any metal, but cleans up corrosion and rust on a contact.



Date: 11/23/22 10:23
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: BAB

Jeff_Johnston Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Westbound:
>
> That's great that your wiring works for you as
> described, but this thread concerns switch point
> cleaning, not "101 ways to wire your switches."
>
> Jeff
Wow he just pointed out what he did to get rid of the same problem. But oh gee forgot the TO comeback is alive and well.



Date: 11/23/22 12:57
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: Jeff_Johnston

" What was the ultimate resolution to your frog juicer trouble? "

JU:

I cut additional gaps to fully isolate the frog from the points. I should have done this in the first place, but alas, I did not.  Next time I'll know better. Now, the system works just fine as advertised.

Jeff



Date: 11/23/22 12:58
Re: Switch point conductivity
Author: inyosub

A  long time ago in the old days of Telco the electromechanical step switches were cleaned with trapezoidal double
sided felt-like pads called wiper cleaners. Anyway I took a handful home, and have used them to clean between
the points and closure rails for years.They are perfect for it. Big enough to be held between fingers, don't shed 
when sprayed with chemicals ( I like CRC 2-26 or alcohol) and have enough tooth to clean. I push the points against
the closure rails and slide these up between. I can slide them back and forth and clean that area well. 
I wish I could share these, but didn't get that many, and they do get dirty and wear out. Passed a few around to locals.
I've never had any luck with posting images so can't share a pix.  But perfect they are. 



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