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Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in Miscellaneous, Tony's Tips |

What to do: We tried mixing 5% (by volume) of DeOxit D100L (the full strength stuff) with 95% (by volume) of 91% isopropyl alcohol. We then ran this solution in a HO scale CMX Clean Machine on our maintenance train. The alcohol removes most of the grease/oil/debris. The DeOxit removes the metal oxides that are interfering with electrical contact. Previously, the oxides had to be removed by mechanical abrasion (i.e. sand paper or track block). We are using a 5% solution of...

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Direct and Paged Programming Modes with NCE

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Miscellaneous, Tony's Tips |

From the NCE manual: “STD programming (option 1) will automatically determine whether to use the Direct or Paged programming methods. Paged programming is used by older decoders and can take up to fifteen seconds to read each CV. Direct mode is newer and generally reads CVs in one to two seconds. For various reasons you may wish to ‘force’ the programming method to one or the other types. You can press 4 for paged programming or press 5 for direct programming....

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Chemist Reviews CMX Clean Machine

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Miscellaneous, Tony's Tips |

Buy CMX Here The following review of the CMX “Clean Machine” was performed by Charlie Miller, a retired chemist. We asked Charlie to do this review because as a chemist he would have a better technical basis to do so. Track Cleaning – A Chemist’s Perspective Few aspects of model railroading evoke as much controversy as track cleaning. Opinions on how to clean our rails are as varied as the ages of model railroaders. The one thing about this subject that we seem to...

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Wire Sizes to Use in DCC

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Miscellaneous, Tony's Tips |

Since we all use wire, you would think that wire size would be common knowledge with modelers. That may not be so! I got a phone call from a club that had just smoked some of the wiring on a DC layout. Their question to me was what size wire should they be using? It seems that the wire they used was scrap telephone wire, the price was right! When DCC was first announced, it sounded like all you had to do was to connect the DCC system in place of your DC power pack and you...

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Wiring Track Feeders & Rail Joiners

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Miscellaneous, Tony's Tips |

Courtesy of Mark Gurries DCC Website Any discussion about track feeders needs to center on the most common electrical failure point in a track system; the rail joiner. Why? A rail joiner serves two purposes: 1) Mechanical alignment of the rails between independent rail sections (track).The mechanical problems are most obvious and visually observable. Without proper alignment of the rails, our model trains will derail. 2) The passing of electrical current from rail to rail...

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Guide to Using Prewired Suface Mount LEDs

Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 in Miscellaneous, Tips Decoders and Installations, Tony's Tips |

Some LEDs come prewired with magnet wire.  In this case we’re using 0603 smd type LEDs. The magnet wire is very thin and has an insulating coating which has been removed from the ends for 12mm/0.5″. The leads are of different lengths, with the longest being the [+] connectionto the blue [common] wire from the decoder. A 1.5 KΩ resistor is to be soldered to the short lead, which is then connected to the function wire from the decoder. Do not replace the magnet...

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