Relco Track Cleaner

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lou2000
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Relco Track Cleaner

Postby lou2000 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:18 pm

Hi
Ive an old Relco Track Cleaning unit in a set up I'm rebuilding. Ive two questions: Do they actually make any difference? If Im using a twin controller do I need two units? i.e. One per output?

Thanks
Louis

Mike Parkes
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby Mike Parkes » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:52 pm

I use to use them but initially ensured everything was clean - wheels on locos and all stock and all track, all pick ups on locos etc, that way they could be used as a fault indicator. You need one per controller. There were two ways of wiring them up, an easy and complex way - later models could not be wired up the easy way. There is a thread on rmweb with the back of the packaging card shown with the wiring instructions on it.
Last edited by Mike Parkes on Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lancastrian
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby Lancastrian » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:15 pm

At one point I was using a bank of four, I am not sure if these images will help or not.

Image

Image

Image

The toggle and by pass switches were for my use and not really necessary. However the bypass switch is handy if you think that a unit may be faulty.
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D605Eagle
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby D605Eagle » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:31 pm

I had 3 of them with 4 circuits. Obviously one circuit was not using a unit. That circuit stayed considerably cleaner than the ones with the relcos! I soon got rid of them, I found they tended to burn the dirt to wheels and track and it was quite hard to clean.

b308
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby b308 » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:13 pm

Also some modern motors don't like them and it'll burn them out, especially if you are using modern N gauge...

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Lancastrian
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby Lancastrian » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:46 pm

I have replaced all mine with Gaugemaster HF cleaners, but in reality I am not sure if they are really necessary. I have started to use IPA, but you must remember that wheels need cleaning as well as the track.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:26 pm

They shouldn't really be called cleaners, what they do is breakdown the resistance of the dirt and allow a current to flow. The dirt usually ends up baked onto the loco wheels and can be a pig to remove. They don't fair well on other counts,
Totally incompatible with DCC,
Will damage coreless motors,
Create more rf interference than unsuppressed motors ever did.
A bottle of IPA and a pack of "J Cloths" is a darned sight cheaper.
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D605Eagle
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby D605Eagle » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:17 am

Bufferstop wrote:.
A bottle of IPA and a pack of "J Cloths" is a darned sight cheaper.

And works a million times better!

lou2000
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby lou2000 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:37 pm

Hi
I've wired it up perfectly and the loco runs and the Relco gets warm (apparently they can get up to 40'c under normal operation) but the orange led doesn't come on under any circumstances. Without the orange led is there any easy way to tell if the Relco works? It's been in storage for 20 years.

Ta
Louis

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D605Eagle
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby D605Eagle » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:52 am

Damp your fingers and put them across the track. If you get a sharp fizz in your fingers, its working. I honestly say that my track stayed so much cleaner when I stopped using mine. I found they just burned dirt onto the track and loco wheels, making them so much harder to clean.

Bigmet
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby Bigmet » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:59 am

These HF dirt burners may have been some aid to reliability when traction tyres and all plastic wheelsets were very common, and resulted in rapid deposition of plastic based track dirt, some proportion of which the HF unit could vaporise. I don't know for sure because I never operated like that or used these devices.

What is certain is that they are superseded now if using current standard models without traction tyres and wholly on metal tyred wheelsets. The track dirt builds up at a much slower rate, and much of it is metal oxides which no HF dirt burner can really touch. Add the incompatability with DCC, and they really are obsolete.

Wiping the track is now way the better solution, directly by hand or using a railhead cleaning drag behind a locomotive.

lou2000
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby lou2000 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:26 pm

D605Eagle wrote:Damp your fingers and put them across the track. If you get a sharp fizz in your fingers, its working. I honestly say that my track stayed so much cleaner when I stopped using mine. I found they just burned dirt onto the track and loco wheels, making them so much harder to clean.


Not sure I fancy a 'sharp fizz' lol. I picked up another Relco and that's LED isnt coming on either. I've checked my wiring again and again and tested with a multimeter......Ive probably picked up another dud maybe?

However one thing that is confusing me is some diagrams show a capacitor over the outputs and others a suppressor? I'm using the little red suppressor it came with??

Louis :-(

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Peterm
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby Peterm » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:14 am

That's a capacitor.
Pete.

lou2000
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby lou2000 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:55 am

Here are two official Relco instructions, one with a suppressor and one with a capacitor?

Im also confused by the bypass switch as current will flow from one track terminal to the other without a 16v input?

Ta
Louis
Attachments
relco02.jpg
Relco_2.jpg

lou2000
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Re: Relco Track Cleaner

Postby lou2000 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:42 am

Chucking them on for sale board. I give up


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