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Disaster at Fontana?

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GNRi1959
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Yesterday I laid ballast and dampened it lightly with a spray of water. I covered by points with strips of duck tape and then sprayed the ballast with a mix of water, fairy liquid and pea. After all was complete I started cleaning up, removing any excess glue, ballast and removed the duck tape. I checked all my posts from the switches and all points were working correctly. This morning, none of them are operating so I guess some glue had made its way, through the bore hole in the ply and possibly glued my motors? I cannot think of any other reason. The points are all moving manually but motors not. 

 

Am I doomed?

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I can't remember what motors you're using, but some can be moved by hand - if that's the case, then try it and you may 'break' the stiction - if the glue has seeped in there, and it is now dry, that may be enough to rectify the issue.

 

Worth trying anyway...

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I stayed with the layout for some time the morning after and switched them for a while, ensuring they were all moving. They were fine. Now one is working and all others not.

If I reach under, the motor is still moving, maybe there is an electrical problem somewhere. The are gauge master

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2 hours ago, Galteemore said:

Are you using a CDU with the motors, Tony ?

Yes, I have a CDU fitted and everything has been fine up to the point where I introduce PVA mix for ballast. To be honest, I have put my wagons and loco's back in their boxes and they are now in a bedroom cupboard, I've walked away. I just lost heart in it!

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Sorry to hear of your problems! I've had similar experiences on my old layout and I would'nt dream of fitting points until AFTER ballasting is complete. I know that's not much use to you now though...

Maybe try removing the point motors from the baseboards and try to free them?

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25 minutes ago, GNRi1959 said:

There is a lot to be learned from mistakes and I just seem to make new ones each time. It isn’t the first layout that went to the railway graveyard!

Well at worst you just need to replace the points, so it’s not a total loss.

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I've had this problem before and I freed the point motors (hornby) by applying a few drops of water/ diluted IPA to the moving parts of the motors. It took a few goes but they all started working once all of the glue had been washed out of them.

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I managed to glue the point blades and swell a section of MDF trackbase when I completed the ballasting on my Keadue narrow gauge layout about 10 years ago.

The original ballast looked too coarse for a branch/narrow gauge line, so I topped up the existing ballast with a fine ash ballast and gummed everything up by using a very dilute water pva mix using an eye-dropper rather than a sprayer.

I eventually managed to free up the point blades and re-lay a siding where I damaged the MDF with excess water, ten years on the blades still need easing if I haven't run the layout for a while. I am reasonably satisfied with the layout which is a good backdrop to my narrow gauge stock and brightens up the home office.

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As long as the points are moving, then you can always replace the motors, or perhaps consider wire in tube. The amount of force in a point motor is negligible compared to that of your hand and with no scenery in place, wire tube runs on the surface can easily be hidden, or they could go under the baseboard.

 Model railways can be a test of patience and at times, resilience too. Rightly or wrongly, I am eternally pessimistic about any moving parts, because there are so many variables. Have spent two full days fettling my new track on Northport Quay, including rebuilding one point and realigning the headshunt. Thus far, nine of my 14 locos will negotiate everything, so more tweaking still required.

 At times, such things are a pain in the primary orifice. At others, I have been known to wonder why I bother! However, I take inspiration from others in this hobby, including many on this forum. Stuff happens, as the Buddhists say - or something like that.

 One rule I very much try to stick to is 'stop while you are ahead'. The temptation to keep going rarely works out and many is the time that an extra ten minutes has meant several hours sorting it out later. Stop, have a cuppa, do something else, then sit down and think the problem through. There is always a solution.

Edited by David Holman
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Hi all, on a learning curve, from my experience I’ve learned a few things. These are personal views, so I’m not preaching fact.....

Short shunting layouts are more demanding on ‘power flow’ than continuous layouts and are more prone to contact problems

short shunting layout with a lot of points and insulated rail joints present challenges for locomotives 

pva and other liquids in and around pointwork is to be used with great care

foam ballast underlay may not be the worst choice

 

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Absolutely right, Tony. Iain Rice would say that a small shunting layout is the most technically demanding to get right! Hence why P4 layouts spend so much time on things like compensation etc to ensure smooth running. There is no speed momentum to carry you over a small dead spot! There are a few dodges to ballasting points - some have simply been know to lay them on top of appropriately coloured sandpaper. 

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Shame indeed. Can only suggest that before any future projects begin, that you spend time thinking about what you want from a model railway, for there is no doubting your skills in scenery and buildings, or indeed baseboards. There are many strands to follow within our hobby, so feel sure there must be several you can enjoy.

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Tony. Sorry to hear that Fontona has gone to the graveyard. 

I am impressed by the modelling that you shared with us on the news group in particular your original Omagh North concept and your model of Omagh Goods Yard.

I tend to put a project on hold, and return to it at a later date when I loose interest or run into what appears to be an insurmountable problem in the meantime move on to another project.

My narrow gauge Keadue layout has been around for nearly 18 years with a number of stops and starts when I lost interest or ran into problems, but I don't intended to scrap it

As we get older I think the important thing is to identify and focus on the aspects of the hobby we find the most interesting and enjoyable as we have less time for false starts, whether your main modelling interest is in building and assembling models or in running trains, whether you prefer shunting or simply to watch trains run round.

For me the main problem is that I over analyse things and it takes me increasingly longer to start and not quite complete a project, I started researching Kiltimagh in 1982, installed the baseboard framing in 2014, have most of the material in stock and still have not started work on the layout.

 

 

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