Signal Maintainer

Signal Maintainer

If you think you just build a layout and your work is done, think again.

Problems under the Salinas control panel (which controls turnouts through the fruit packing area). First off, crummy Radio Shack DPDT toggles, which must be being assembled in some hellhole factory in China. After a while, they stop working – you gotta wiggle them and try to coax a current through them. Perfect for engineers focusing on their timetable or waybills, a turnout that dosn’t go over when you throw the control.

And second, somehow (and I curse the day it happened) I somehow got acid flux or solder, dunno which. I replaced some dying DPDTs, only to look in there are year or so later and find billowing green corrosion taking place (it looked like Brussels spouts – horrible!). Every so often, in the middle of a session, a green wire would pop off and half Salinas would go dead.

Tonight I replaced two of the toggles that have gone bad, tossing the corrupted wire and rotting (inside and out) toggles. Salinas is back on line.

Back onto the handcart. I’ve got two more toggles up at King City (including the critical mainline turnouts) that are giving me fits. But that’s for another night…