Bogie Track tester

Have you stumbled upon something really cool and new in model railway. Share it with us.
User avatar
Posts: 1501
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:47 pm
Location: N.Wales

Bogie Track tester

Postby TimberSurf » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:28 pm

I am currently laying track and wanted a tester to prove I have wired everything up correctly, especially those troublesome "Live Frogs".
Of course you could use a multi-meter, but you need two hands and contacting the rails with prods isn't easy! plus it doesn't do DCC correctly.
There are proprietary devices available, such as the Train Tech TT1 Multigauge Track Tester, at just a fiver, but I am a cheapskate and would rather build my own (for a few pence) or make one better!

Version 1
I soldered two leds and resistors to a piece of veroboard and two bits of copper wire at one edge
It works well - similar to proprietary ones red or green (dependant on polarity) or both for DCC
But running down track to see states of multi pointwork and frogs is hard without some guide to keep in it line and gets confusing when running over frogs as not sure which track its picking up!


Version 2

Same circuit times two, thus comparing each side of isolation or frog
Built on wheels so easy to run track length and see state changes at frogs/isolators
I only had yellow and green LEDs to hand
Found some metal wheels
Glued bogie together with veroboard (you could use an old wagon)
Made circuit on veroboard and soldered spring steel pickups to it

DC test track (Normal)
NegPos.jpg (105.34 KiB) Viewed 464 times

DC test track (reversed)
PosNeg.jpg (93.63 KiB) Viewed 464 times

DCC (So bright, green/yellow become one)
DCC.jpg (111.82 KiB) Viewed 464 times

Testing dead frog (one end live, t'other dead)
Dead Frog.jpg
Dead Frog.jpg (71.83 KiB) Viewed 464 times

Once I get my frogs wired up, if I get it wrong, opposing ends will show opposite colours!
It will only show dead sections on DCC, so for testing, I will use DC on the layout to ensure I get all the polarity's right before changing back to DCC.
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

User avatar
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:39 pm
Location: Cyprus

Re: Bogie Track tester

Postby RAFHAAA96 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:29 am

Such a brilliant idea I hope you dont mind me sharing it around other forum.
I have used my Traintech track power indicator but your idea makes it much more convenient and accurate to isolate dead spots, plus instant reverse loop finder.
RAF Halton Brat - 96th Entry

User avatar
Posts: 3132
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: Bogie Track tester

Postby End2end » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:57 am

NICE! To be honest Timbersurf, If you could make that look a little prettier, I think you could have a successful commercial enterprise with that. :)
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

User avatar
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:39 pm
Location: Cyprus

Re: Bogie Track tester

Postby RAFHAAA96 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:31 pm

It could be made to drop in a wagon with some suitable pickups.
RAF Halton Brat - 96th Entry

Return to “New discoveries???”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests