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Power to extended track

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I have a Lionel HolidayTradition Express. The train came with enough track to make a 12' oval track layout. I extended the layout to a 23' oval layout. Here is a description of my problem followed by a question:

 

After I setup my 23' layout, with the lockon track power connection attached to one of the end curved pieces, and the power on, I had a problem getting the train to run in either  forward or reverse. All other commands to the engine worked fine. Someone suggested to me that I could solve my problem by adding another power lockon to mt setup, so I added the additional power lockon to a curved piece at the opposite end  of the oval from my original power lockon. That gave me two 12V 2.5 amp power supplies providing power to the track. In addition, I cleaned the track to make sure the tender was getting good contact. I turned the set on, making sure both power lockons were on and both were supplying power to the track. THe train worked just fine with this setup. However, for some reason or another, after having run the train a couple of times over the chistmas Holiday, and having it sit idle for three days, I'm back to getting no forward or reverse to the engine. I cleaned the track again, but that did not solve the problem.  I've checked the tender and engine on a test track (made up of two track sections, a lockon track power connection, and an original lionel 12V 2.5 amp A/C adapter) and I get plenty of power to the engine, both forward and reverse, and all of the other commands work as well, so I know, or have to assume,  that the tender and engine electronics are fine. I also have to assume that the problem seems to be in getting enough amps to power the train when it is sitting on the 23' layout.

 

So, here is the question. Could my problem be that I need to boost the amps to the track layout, and could I achieve that goal by adding yet another 12V 2.5 amp power supply to the layout giving me a total of three 12V 2.5 amp power supplies connectd to the tracks?   

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Hi there, is this a Lionel O gauge engine set?  

 

My guess is that one power supply should be enough, the only question I have is 12v output enough.  Did that 12v power supply come with the set or is it something separate you had?

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This is a Lionel "G" gauge set. The A/C power adapter that comes with this set is a 12V 2.5 amp power supply. Is it possible that I need more voltage rather than more amps?

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I'm honestly not sure in this case as I'm not that familiar with Lionel and AC operation fundamentally though given that you are just running simple analog track power there can't be too many variables causing problems.  Is it possible you have polarity incorrect as far as the wires connected backwards either to the power supply or to the lock-on?  Can you get direction to work with the engine right at the lock-on track section?  I don't believe your issue is lack of voltage or amps as your engine won't suddenly need more power just because there is more track, the same power supply should work ok.   The only possible issue with larger layouts you might run into is voltage drop due to resistance of the rail and relatively poor track joints but again I dont think that is at play here either with only 23' of track.

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This Lionel set up uses their own style of Lock-on and there is no good way for two adapters/power sources to be connected to one lock-on. Not unless I cut and splice some of the power supply wires.

The Lionel uses DC to the track.

I checked the power to the track as follows:

First I checked the power to my two section (total 24" of track) test track and got the following readings. One of my A/C adapters was delivering 11.89 DC volts to the test track. My other A/C adapter was delivering 11.92 DC volts. That is pretty close to the 12 volts that the adapters rated at, but it is still not 12 DC volts.

I then checked the voltage on my 26" track set up. Using just one of the A/C adapters, I got a reading of 11.35 DC volts at a point on the track furthest from the A/C adapter. I then added the second A/C adapter and got a reading of 11.58 DC volts at a point midway between the two installed adapters.

So, I purchased a third A/C adapter. The first two that I had used were Lionel adapters but the new one is a standard 12V 2.5 amp adapter that I bought from Amazon. I tested the new adapter on the test track and it reads 12.8V right out of the box. I hooked it up to my track layout and took a reading at the half way point on the oval. I got a reading of 11.98V. But, the train still  won't move. It tries, but just can't get going. And, I'm only have the tender and the engine on the track.  

So, I have to assume that the Lionel adapters are a little on the weak side when it comes to 12V adapters, and I have a voltage drop because of the length of the track.. I've since ordered a second adapter from Amazon, and should be getting it early this week I'll hook that one up to my second lock-on and see if that will get the train moving. I'm thinking that I'm either losing voltage along the track or I'm losing amperage.
This is really weird. The engine runs strong on the test track, but it appears that it doesn't get enough power to run on the layout.

The next thing I'll have to check out is to find out if I'm getting a drop in amperage.

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 When someone says that you need more than one lockon to the layout, they should say that you may need more than one attachment point or you'll get power dropping issues as the engine gets too far away from the single lockon. There are reasons for this such as power loss from the track connectors, voltage drop from the track itself not being a perfect conductor, etc.

 Ray knows much more than I do, I'm just confused on how you're going about this. Adding packs (power source) sounds wrong to me, unless you're dividing the sections of the layout into blocks?

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I know this is very old, but it is too bad someone didn't advise that the engine should first be tested right at the lockon.  If it won't run properly there, it certainly won't run elsewhere on the loop!!

 

Also, voltmeters don't measure any voltage drop across a bad track joint if there is no current flowing through the joint.  A good way to test is to break the track at one side of the lockon and then move a load (locomotive) and the voltmeter probes around the layout in increments until reaching the disconnected end.  With the engine set for slow speed, stalling the engine by hand will temporarily increase the current enough to get a good drop across a bad joint.

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