New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Discuss Hornby Model Railway products and related topics here. This includes (Lima, Rivarossi, Jouef, Electrotren).
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poliss
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby poliss » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:15 pm

Yes, change the carpet for a woolen one. Your feet rub on the carpet. You get a static charge. You touch the track and the static discharges from you into the track. The layout does not have to be on the carpet, just your feet.

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D306Whistler
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby D306Whistler » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:20 pm

Amen to that! ;). My grandad had one from his layout he had back in the 1980's, I was just a child starting out on my Lima adventure with the HST back then. But those old HM controllers are almost indestructable :D.

Why don't they make great stuff like that nowadays? :?.
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Alexander Court
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:37 pm

I was standing on tiles, not carpet when it happened, and I am not carrying the charge, the track is, and it keeps shocking me argh! dam this infernal thing and i can't change the carpet because this is not my house, i just rent the place.

Really must start a new layout thread for this layout...

Alex

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"

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K9-70
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby K9-70 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:25 am

Disconnect the controller from the track and touch the rails.
Do you then get a shock ? if yes, then it's not the controller that is causing it.

It will then be down to the surface you are walking on or the type of clothes you are wearing.
The Rides the "REASON" the "DESTINATION" is only an "EXCUSE" :-).

b308
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby b308 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:27 am

Sounds like you are carrying a charge then, trouble is model railway track is great for discharging static... At least if you have up to date wiring you won't kill yourself!

Whistler, the answer to your question is cost...

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cmeonthemove
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby cmeonthemove » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:32 pm

Rather than doing a touch test, have you got access to a voltmeter? If so put the clips across the track and see if it registers areading with the power off.

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Alexander Court
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:26 pm

Ok, so i went over and touched the track while power was unplugged from the wall and didn't get a shock, i touched the track in various places, then i plugged the plug into the wall socket and without turning the knob i tested the track in several places and got a shock then i unplugged the controller from the power track and tested and i did not get a shock, so i plugged the controller back into the track and tested and i did get more shocks so i am fairly certain now that it is the controller.

Alex.

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"

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naugytrax
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby naugytrax » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:03 pm

Alexander, the big puzzle here is why you keep plugging this thing in! Something is wrong in this electrical device - either the R8250 controller or the P2000 wall transformer it plugs into. Electrical equipment which is suspected of being faulty must not be used because can kill you or a loved one. If it hasn't yet caused your skeleton to light up, as in Free_at_last's previous post, you've been lucky. And your luck may be about to run out.
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Alexander Court
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:53 pm

Ok so i sent it away to Hornby and it returned with a thing saying to email them, and also that the controller, transformer and power track were all in perfect working order (so now i am annoyingly out of pocket for the postage) and they also said that it might be a certain locomotive, which i think i have narrowed it down. It appears to be my lovely 45xx bachmann prairie although i'm not sure there is any way to know for sure. I'm not sure there is much point in contacting bachmann, rather i just stop using the controller in combination with the prairie, which did give me some rather un-healthy shocks this morning while testing :P

Alex

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"

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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Essex2Visuvesi » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:17 pm

Here is a pic of AC i took this morning while peeping thru his windows :D
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Bigmet
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Bigmet » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:24 pm

Alexander Court wrote:Ok so i sent it away to Hornby and it returned with a thing saying to email them, and also that the controller, transformer and power track were all in perfect working order (so now i am annoyingly out of pocket for the postage) and they also said that it might be a certain locomotive, which i think i have narrowed it down. It appears to be my lovely 45xx bachmann prairie although i'm not sure there is any way to know for sure. I'm not sure there is much point in contacting bachmann, rather i just stop using the controller in combination with the prairie, which did give me some rather un-healthy shocks this morning while testing

Better to be slightly out of pocket, and now confirmed as safe from getting a potentially fatal amount of current from a mains voltage shock.

Electric shock sensitivity varies from person to person (both perception and fatal current level) you may be pretty sensitive. There are plenty of ways of getting a shock you can feel which has no risk of fatal consequences, static charges already mentioned being an example most people are aware of. The voltage can be in hundreds or thousands of volts, but it is current that kills, and a static charge even at a high voltage potential falls way short of causing a 5mA current to flow through the human body, which is the level where the lethality risk begins to be significant.

The only way to know for sure that this shock effect is down to a single loco, is to clear the layout of all locos, then try them just one at a time, and see if the shock occurs. Better to do it with an instrument, but electrometers are not exactly off the shelf kit. Know a friendly physics teacher?

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Alexander Court
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:44 pm

i don't know any teachers at the moment :L hmm well i think that would take a long while, not really intending on using the controller that much so i shouldn't have to worry too much, the layout it is working on will probably be cut up for scrap wood for the new layout i hope to build, reduce, reuse and recycle and all that, although i find it odd the 45xx has a problem with the silver controller but not the HM2000, is that perculiar?

Alex

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"

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Bufferstop
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:06 pm

If the controller doesn't feature a reversing switch with a centre off position you are connecting yourself to the equivalent circuit of an old style spark ignition system. You have a power source, a storage capacitor, a coil (any loco standing on the track) and a switch to open the circuit. Putting your finger on the rail is supplying a discharge route for the capacitor. The controller probably does function ok, but dishing out fairly harmless shocks to the unsuspecting user is not part of good design. Hornby should know better.
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Alexander Court
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:12 pm

Bufferstop wrote:If the controller doesn't feature a reversing switch with a centre off position you are connecting yourself to the equivalent circuit of an old style spark ignition system. You have a power source, a storage capacitor, a coil (any loco standing on the track) and a switch to open the circuit. Putting your finger on the rail is supplying a discharge route for the capacitor. The controller probably does function ok, but dishing out fairly harmless shocks to the unsuspecting user is not part of good design. Hornby should know better.


Maybe I should email them again quoting you on that :P it does not have a centre of position on teh directional switches, and while the knob turns down to the off position and the lights go out, there isn't of the off click i get when i tunr my hm2000 knobs to the full off. blast my electrical sensitivity! maybe i should wear gloves when operating from now on ;)

Alex

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"

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Truffy
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Truffy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:45 pm

Worryingly enough, this same controller setup comes with the Thomas The Tank Engine set that my daughters (and no doubt countless other children) play with. If an engine is added while the control knob is at anything other than zero the circuit shorts and the controller has to be unplugged. I figure that this is some kind of safety device, but there's got to be a better way of doing it.


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