Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Basic electrical and electronics, such as DC/Analog control.
Jules59
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Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Postby Jules59 » Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:33 pm

Hi Guys

I was doing some research on the Gaugemaster HF track cleaners and getting mixed reviews on their effectiveness or if they work at all . Im running n gauge mainly Minitrix 35 years old some with working lights.

As an aside I tested my locos in my excitement to see something running and test my basic wiring on the newly laid track ( some aged and a bit tarnished ) prior to cleaning it can anyone advise best way to clean the loco wheels as they have picked up dirt deposits and are now stuttering around :(

Jules

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End2end
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Re: Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Postby End2end » Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:17 pm

99% Isopropanol alcohol (IPA), cotton buds and grease of the elbow kind. :D
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Bufferstop
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Re: Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:31 pm

This has been discussed many times and apart from a few who use them most are of the opinion that they are the work of the devil. They don't clean the track they blast a conductive path through the muck, leaving burnt on deposits which will one day have to be cleaned off. They aren't compatible with DCC, other types of electronic devices and modern low current motors. I'd give them a miss. If you are using older track, first test the rails with a magnet, if it sticks the rails are steel and will require endless cleaning to keep trains moving. Rails that aren't magnetic will either be brass or nickel silver. Use only the most mild abrasive then wash them clean with IPA (iso propyl alcohol) or meths. Keeping rails and wheels clean is the most important bit of maintainance on any model railway.
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Peterm
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Re: Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Postby Peterm » Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:01 am

As Bufferstop says, clean track, wheels and pickups are essential, even more so in N guage than OO. Rather than use a Relco or similar HF device, you could use a Zimo decoder with a tiny Lais stay alive. These decoders will work with DC to give you reliable running.
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Jules59
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Re: Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Postby Jules59 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:09 am

Thanks for the reply guys i have bought some IPA and will get the elbow grease working !!!!

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End2end
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Re: Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Postby End2end » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:57 pm

Peterm wrote:Rather than use a Relco or similar HF device, you could use a Zimo decoder with a tiny Lais stay alive. These decoders will work with DC to give you reliable running.


I'm assuming your using DC Jules59.
So on that note would making a stay alive circuit for DC not work instead of adding a decoder?
After all, it's surely not much more than just some capacitors.

Just a theory. :wink:
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Peterm
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Re: Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Postby Peterm » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:38 pm

I'm assuming DC as well. I suggested the decoder and stay alive because as far as I know, you cant make a stay alive for it because of polarity changes when reversing/going forward.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:50 pm

In theory you can build a stay alive to work with DC, it's getting a big enough non electrolytic capacitor to fit in your loco, cleaning the track is easier. Having a loco with a proper flywheel is even better!
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Re: Gaugemaster HF track cleaners

Postby Someone » Mon Dec 20, 2021 4:43 pm

I would steer clear of these, they might be fire a hazard consider they burn of dirt. If you have something flammable sitting on the rails then it's more then the dirt that's gonna burn.
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