Golden Val­ley Hob­bies Volt­age and Po­lar­ity multi-tester

Model Rail (UK) - - WHAT’S NEW -

Re­viewed by: Richard Foster Stock code: GVVOLT Price: £16.50 Avail­abil­ity: Golden Val­ley Hob­bies Tel: 01981 241237 Web:­en­val­ley­hob­

If a mech­a­nism is bro­ken, you can nor­mally see where the fault lies. Find­ing an elec­tri­cal fault is not that easy. There are nu­mer­ous track volt­age testers on the mar­ket. These lit­tle de­vices sit on the rail heads and if there’s power, a light comes on; if there’s no power, the light stays off. This neat unit from Golden Val­ley Hob­bies prom­ises to do a bit more than that. It has three coloured lights - red, am­ber and green - which should in­di­cate the volt­age on the rails. Red means that you’re get­ting less than 5V, while green means 12V or more. The re­sults should prove hugely use­ful when try­ing to di­ag­nose a fault. Un­for­tu­nately, the sam­ple re­ceived for re­view didn’t work en­tirely as in­tended. The unit is de­signed to work on both ana­logue and dig­i­tal set­ups. I tried it first on my DCC lay­out and all lights il­lu­mi­nated. I fol­lowed a train around a no­to­ri­ous black spot and when it sud­denly stopped, checked to see what the volt­age tester said. When pressed firmly against the rails, all three lights came on. Just touch­ing the track, and noth­ing. Us­ing this tester is so sim­ple that no in­struc­tions are sup­plied. I have to as­sume that what I’ve done is cor­rect, in which case the ‘traf­fic lights’ don’t seem to of­fer much more than a less ex­pen­sive unit. The same was true on a small stretch of ana­logue ‘OO9’ (the unit can work on ev­ery­thing from ‘Z’ to ‘OO’). Again, all three lights came on - ex­cept when you have the unit point­ing the wrong way (it’s po­lar­ity sen­si­tive with ana­logue). Another nig­gling is­sue is that it doesn’t seem to be wide enough - only by a frac­tion of a mil­lime­tre - to sit on ‘OO’ gauge track com­fort­ably.

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