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This may be an off the wall question but we'll see. I've been doing some scenery related stuff to my track like grass, guard rails etc. After I was all done the track was slow as balls. I didnt know what to do so I cleaned all the rails to start and it was better but still had no power. So I swept the track off again and screwed with some of the joint connections and it got a little better. As of now its close to where it used to be but Im not getting full power through a long section of track but Im not sure if there is a way to read the voltage with a multimeter but I know where the track starts getting slower but I cant see anything that would cause this. I know it wasnt like this before so it has to be a connection on a track piece somewhere. Its more noticable with the cars that have more amp draw as they really slow down in that slow section. Anyway, I was just throwing this out there to get some ideas. Ive taken all the connections apart and played with the track but nothing helps. :confused: If anyone else has experienced this or has suggestions Im listenning! :D Thanks in advance.
 

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It is possible to test voltage with a multi-meter and with the controller trigger depressed. I've tested mine, and it is pretty much 20.5 volts wherever I test it. I haven't figured out how to get an amp reading yet, or at least a consistent one, as I try to hold a controller with one hand, and the probes like chopsticks in the other to touch the rails while a car races around, always desloting before I have obtained a legible reading.

I haven't read where anyone has advised that these tracks can be finicky regarding inconsistent power and/or traction, but I seem to think that they can be. Be it the track, or the cars, or the controllers - somedays the cars just seem to run differently then the day before. I don't know the variables well enough to troubleshoot it.

Did you clean your rails with an eraser? As I recall, you had your track setup before me, and I noticed yesterday that my rails were nearly black after a month, and with not a whole lot of racing in that time. I used one of those Pink erasers, and was impressed with how shiny the rails were afterwards.
 

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You have to put a load on the system to get a meaningful reading. The key is to have some amps flowing, like when a car is running around the track.

A voltmeter does not load the circuit when it does the reading, so you are getting "open circuit voltage". You will get a high voltage reading even with bad connections because there are no amps flowing through the circuit. You really want to measure "closed circuit voltage".

Heck, just take the rear tires off a magnet car, and put it on the track at various places, put a rubber band on the controller, and measure the voltage. Or just listen to the car.......... :thumbsup:

Quite a while back I vacuumed my track with a shop vac that had a plastic hose. When I put the cars back on the track, it was s l o w..... It turned out that some plastic from the hose transferred to the rails. Used a scotchbrite pad to scuff the rails, then used the air compressor to blow off all the scotchbrite dust..... Good as new again....... Live and learn.
 

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I had two areas in my layout where as some cars went through and I noticed a hesitation.
After cleaning and checking the connection it was still occuring but mostly on the heavy mag cars and worst on cars with slightly worn shoes.

I soon realized it was the track section, one side the track rails were wore down in both problem areas, now I never use emery cloth on my rails just a model railroad eraser it must of been from some of the used stock I purchase.

Check the rails with a feeler gauge for proper rail height.
 

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To simulate a load using a car Just put a weight at the front of the car so you get good connection but the rear tires are lifted off the track............No need to remove the tires.
A block of Wood is generally plenty and will not effect your electrics.
 

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...as I try to hold a controller with one hand, and the probes like chopsticks in the other to touch the rails while a car races around, always desloting before I have obtained a legible reading.

Scaf,
You got my best laugh so far today!! :lol: I too tried the "one hand on controller and probes like chopsticks in the other" and it sure doesn't work!! After alot of cursing and fiddle **#*@[email protected] around, I went one step farther and called the "Track Manager" to help!! Wrong!! I told her to "hold the throttle down" so I could take a reading and she says "WHAT??" I smiled and said never mind!! I will try the Manning way now!!
TBro
 

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Lmao!

Love the chop stick visual!

Hey Guys! Take an old chassis with the guts stripped out. Leave the pick up and guide assem. Solder some jumper wires to the pickups. Solder gator clips to the jumpers. BE HOLD! More like "not be holdin' " those those chop sticks. If you really want to get fancy. Use a spare set of probe leads and solder those to your "anti chopstick, voltage testing, adapter device". Now you can slide your probes around the track with ease and concentrate on the test car and your readings.

In 1:1 auto diagnostics fabbing adapters is the norm. The chopstick technique is still a manditory skill. Due to their computer heavy nature, AKA a sensor for the relay, that controls the module, that controls, the ciggy lighter, and of course the forty two contact points and nine differently styled connectors that must be tested. :p

Gatored test leads should be part of any good test set. Hands free!
 
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