Author Archives: Dale

Improved horn/whistle circuit

If you have a Lionel diesel with a battery-operated horn that sounds like bleating sheep, here is a tip that will give you strong, clear horn honks. The current from the horn battery must pass through the hinge joint of … Continue reading

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Using the MANCO Track Signal Measurement System to solve weak-signal problems

A Case Study in Improving TMCC/Legacy “Track” Signal  The TrainMasters of Babylon Model Rail Road Club of Long Island, NY was having trouble with poor TMCC/Legacy signal pickup.  Their layout covers approximately 3000 square feet with multiple parallel tracks and … Continue reading

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High-Current Load Bank for testing transformers

How do you test a transformer or power controller to see that it works properly over the full range of currents and voltages?  You need something that will cover the range of 0-20 volts and 0-10 amps, or even higher … Continue reading

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New Product–TMCC/Legacy Track Signal Measurement Device

As part of my work with Lyle Dumont in Iowa to solve his TMCC signal problems, I developed an easy technique to measure the strength of the TMCC/Legacy signal going to the track (http://www.trainfacts.com/trainfacts/?p=436). Recently Lyle made some measurements on … Continue reading

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TMCC Video Switcher

I wanted to have a way of remotely switching between the multiple video cameras that I have on my layout using the TMCC/Legacy remotes.  I decided to try using an Accessory/Switch Controller as the switching device.  I figured that the … Continue reading

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Dale Manquen’s Train Layout Tour – October 2012 Part 2

We also visited Dr. Jack Fisher in Nashville – after we made a stop at the Nashville train store. Dr. Jack has a large layout in the basement that runs through a couple of rooms, breaking the layout into isolated … Continue reading

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Dale Manquen’s Train Layout Tour – October 2012 Part 1

  The following chronology of my trip is quite long because it spans 17 days and 5000 miles. The goals of the trip were to help Lyle Dumont with his TMCC problems in Iowa and to visit several OGR Forum … Continue reading

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Troubleshooting at the Dumont Museum near Sigourney, IA Oct. 2012

Background: The Dumont Museum has two large train layouts and an extensive Oliver tractor display housed in a steel building.  The smaller layout is about 15’ x 20’ with fairly simple loops of track on the flat and in a … Continue reading

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AG 440 output distortion due to VU meter

The output distortion is improved by dropping the closed-loop gain by 10 dB, thereby lowering the output source impedance. The feedback shunt resistor is raised from 510 ohms to 1500 ohms, and 470 uF capacitor was added across the 390 … Continue reading

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Testing the TMCC/Legacy Track Output Signal

The 455 KHz signal coming out of the “Track” or “U” thumbscrew on a TMCC/Legacy Base is too high a frequency for most handheld digital voltmeters to read.  I just “invented” a very simple test to see if signal is … Continue reading

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