Switchers stalling? Please no.
#16
Hi Reinhard, you might recollect my concerns about RC components on a SW1500 that I have. while I have not yet opened it up to have a look, reading this thread made me wonder if the SW1500's are mechanically near identical to the MP15AC's and therefore might have the same problems...

Koos

PS: which hobby shop (that does mail order) in germany would you recommend (I am looking to buy US style code 83 track), that doesn't charge too much for shipping?

thanks, Koos
Be sure to visit my model railroad blog at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.namrr.blogspot.com">http://www.namrr.blogspot.com</a><!-- m -->
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#17
torikoos Wrote:a...made me wonder if the SW1500's are mechanically near identical to the MP15AC's and therefore might have the same problems...
b...which hobby shop (that does mail order) in germany would you recommend (I am looking to buy US style code 83 track), that doesn't charge too much for shipping? ...
Koos,
a. I do not think the problem is similar on the two machines. The Athearn MP15AC is much longer on the market than the SW1500. Mine with the problem have been made when Athearn did not offer the Sw1500. I am pretty sure they had bad luck and got a batch of wheels from their supplier that had a problem with corrosion.

b. These are dealers I use frequently
1 http://www.rd-hobby.de/shopping/catalog.php?id=927
2 http://www.aat-net.de/index.php?main_pag...th=29_2903
3 http://www.us-train-store.de/Gleismateri...63_64.html
1 and 2 two have their web pages in English languages. #3 is German only. None of them has Atlas code 83 flex track on stock. I understood Atlas has severe problem with their production in China. #3 has Walthers code 83 on stock.
All three ship with DHL to UK. This the DHL postage calculator
http://www.dhl.de/en.html
An example that is suitable for flex track might be 2 kg, 120 * 60 * 60 cm = 17€
Sectional track and switches will fit into up to 2kg length + width + height = 90cm is 10,60€.
That is not bad. A standard domestic parcel is 6,90€.
Reinhard
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#18
thanks Reinhard, I was more thinking of shipping to the Netherlands. I travel to the netherlands every week for work, and have a small apartment there now on where I have a little bit of space to build a small switching layout. In the UK I almost always buy from Modeljunction (<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.modeljunction.info">http://www.modeljunction.info</a><!-- m --> ) , which have always provided great service so far, but they're on holiday, so I thought I try my luck with something a little closer to my work location :-)
There are hardly any shops in the netherlands that do model railroads anymore (thanks to the computer games etc), and even fewer that do US outline, I know of only two, and one's about to close (retiring), the other doesn't stock any track for US outline at the moment...

thanks for the links, I will check them out and see what my options are, vielen dank :-)
Deutsch ist fur mich uberhaupt kein problem, also wenn du noch mehr tips hast, dann bedanke ich dich schonn hertzlich . :-)
Koos
Be sure to visit my model railroad blog at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.namrr.blogspot.com">http://www.namrr.blogspot.com</a><!-- m -->
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#19
AAT (#2 on my list) is in Karst. That is not far away from the Netherlands / Venlo.
All American Trains
Matthias-Claudius-Strasse 28a
41564 Kaarst
Finish work early on Friday and take a late flight back home. Should work if you stay away from the rush hour. Rainer Hartmann is a nice guy (at least at the phone, I met him never in person:-).
I thought about the name Koos and you wrote sometime ago about your weekly travel. Might be there is some dutch blood in you?
Reinhard
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#20
faraway Wrote:AAT (#2 on my list) is in Karst. That is not far away from the Netherlands / Venlo.
All American Trains
Matthias-Claudius-Strasse 28a
41564 Kaarst
Finish work early on Friday and take a late flight back home. Should work if you stay away from the rush hour. Rainer Hartmann is a nice guy (at least at the phone, I met him never in person:-).
I thought about the name Koos and you wrote sometime ago about your weekly travel. Might be there is some dutch blood in you?

There's a lot of dutch blood in me, 100%. :-) A good guess!
I was born and raised in the Netherlands, but after a carreer at sea, I met my english wife and settled in the UK in 1999. I started work for a local engineering firm in 2009 and was a traveling service engineer for a while, but since last year I now am the manager of their dutch service depot. (it helps that I speak the language :-) ). In this role I travel every monday to NL, stay there until friday afternoon, and travel back, so I spend the weekend at home in the UK. I have no intention to move back to NL though, I like the hills etc in my part of the UK much better, and there's a few good hobby clubs busy with american model railroads. I haven't found one locally near my place of work , and links I found on the internet are all mostly dead.
FYI, I work and reside in Leiden, Netherlands. 20 minutes south of Amsterdam airport by train, so my commute is not all that bad. In the UK I also have a 20 minute taxi journey from my local airport (Exeter) to my home near Newton Abbot (in Devon, UK).

Koos
Be sure to visit my model railroad blog at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.namrr.blogspot.com">http://www.namrr.blogspot.com</a><!-- m -->
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#21
Back to the switcher stalling problem. One of my favorite DCC/Sound equipped locomotives has suddenly started stalling and intermittently experiencing sound resets for no apparent reason. This is one of the outstanding Atlas MP15dc models and has, up until now, been very reliable. The wheels are not dirty, nor is the track, so I'm puzzled. I can't see anything in the trucks that might be causing this. None of my other DCC/Sound equipped loco's have experienced this, even an inexpensive Bachmann ALCo S-4. Any ideas on what to look for or suggestions? I sure don't want to have to put this model in display only mode!
Ed
"Friends don't let friends build Timesavers"
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#22
FCIN Wrote:... started stalling and intermittently experiencing sound resets for no apparent reason....
My first guess would be a bad electric connection on one side of one truck. That results in an unreliable 0-2 or 2-0 configuration on the faulty side.
Put the engines with one truck only on the track and see which one is the faulty. Next test what side is the faulty. Usually one wire needs to get some solder.
Reinhard
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#23
Reinhard;

I've been trying out your suggestion some and it seems to be the rear truck under the cab, which of course doesn't have much weight on a model like this. Also noticed that when only touching one wheel set of the rear truck to the track that it seems to get no power, whereas doing the same with the front truck it does get power.

Can't see the power pickup's very well so not sure if I should disassemble the trucks. Guess I'm too scared that I'll damage it rather than fix it. I was going spray some contact cleaner on the wheels and the contacts, but my can of it is empty (isn't that always the way).

I've also seen mention of soldering the connections to the decoder rather than relying on those plastic clips to make contact, but that would be a last resort for me.

This is really bugging me, as I operated the layout last Friday with this loco and it never once stalled, even moving though insulated frog switches at less than 1 scale mile per hour. Then this evening I decided I needed another break from my current project and started an operating session and it wouldn't run two feet without either hearing the sound stop/start or stalling completely! Loco just sat in the same spot between operating sessions and haven't done anything else that would seem to cause this. Loco is acting just like the Athearn GP15-1 that I got and never could get to run reliably!

Guess I'll keep playing with it and see what I can come up with.
Ed
"Friends don't let friends build Timesavers"
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#24
FCIN Wrote:Reinhard;

I've been trying out your suggestion some and it seems to be the rear truck under the cab, which of course doesn't have much weight on a model like this. Also noticed that when only touching one wheel set of the rear truck to the track that it seems to get no power, whereas doing the same with the front truck it does get power....
Ed, in that case the first I would do is to reseat the two cables from the rear truck in the plastic clips of the main board. Checking the same cables at the truck side would require disassembling some more parts and would be the next logical step if required.
Good luck!
Reinhard
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#25
This is just plain weird! I was running the MP15dc back and forth on the layout, trying to see what I might do to correct the sudden, unexplained, stalling and noticed some other strange behavior. When I hit the horn button on the DCC cab, the horn would sound and the bell start ringing (should not do that - separate functions), but the horn did not want to stop until I repeatedly hit the horn button. Also noticed that the uncoupling and air hose separation sounds no longer functioned as they did before.

So I did a factory reset of the decoder and programed the engine number back in and what do you know? It's now running just fine with no stalling or other strange effects and everything is as before!

Question is, how could the decoder have gotten messed up, just sitting unused for a few days? Could the decoder be going bad or did I unknowingly do something the last time I operated the loco?
Ed
"Friends don't let friends build Timesavers"
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#26
Hello,
i have just seen some picture have disappeared. As it is not possible to edit older threads here they all come in a new article:

[Image: dsc02761swaof.jpg]
The test rail.

[Image: dsc02762jobnj.jpg]
Putting some force to it to made it really bad.

[Image: dsc027569gyx1.jpg]
[Image: dsc0275750l74.jpg]
A 2-10-0 with traditional European deep flanges and traditional running stiff gear.
In normal the deep flanges prevent derailing.
Here some of the deep flanges are actually raised above the railhead causing derailments.

[Image: dsc02755doadj.jpg]
[Image: dsc02758bay1g.jpg]
The same type 2-10-0 with modified running gear under exact the same conditions.
All wheels will stay on the railhead.
Now you can reduce the deep flanges to "civilised" depths like RP25.
Here i overdue is with flange depths of app. 0.3mm just to show that a safe riding woth this tiny flanges is still possible.

[Image: dsc02769x1a73.jpg]
Now a 50' box car (P2K) with traditional loosened and tightened screw method.

[Image: dsc02768rsach.jpg]
A closer look.

[Image: dsc02766jjzym.jpg]
The same type of car (also P2K) with a 3-point device.

[Image: dsc01185k6af.jpg]
Here are two Trix/Märklin box cars equipped with 3-point suspension. Quick and dirty created by 2 pieces of styrene profile.
The cars got also body mounted Kadee Coupler and coupler boxes.
Nearly all of my cars were equipped with 3-point suspension.

Meanwhile a made a new testbed:
[Image: dsc04313eijn7.jpg]
[Image: dsc05429cashx.jpg]
This is only a testbed for testing running gears and suspensions to see how and if they will work, not a layout degree of quality!

[Image: dsc043116dkjc.jpg]
Interestingly if you ride slowly over such treated rails you can see the cars (all equipped with 3-point suspensions of course) gently rocking like the prototype.

But if you have European prototype and some of the modern 4-wheel cars with 8m (app. 26.25ft) axle stands and you will ride with low profile flanges:
[Image: dsc011244abts.jpg]
Then it is absolutely necessary to equip those cars with a 3-point suspension.

[Image: dsc05767kdkvn.jpg]
[Image: dsc05772iau5d.jpg]
Here i created some solutions of this problem. In normal the traditional deep flanges will prevent derailments. But when the flanges are not so deep ...
You will have to do something.

[Image: dsc05433wcu5o.jpg]
A common German Diesel switcher (V60, Roco model), wheel flanges turned down to 0.5mm and running gear equipped with 3-point suspension.

On the test track:
[Image: dsc05429cashx.jpg]
[Image: dsc054328es8x.jpg]
[Image: dsc05431w1s62.jpg]
[Image: dsc054309as8n.jpg]
Watch the wheels taking the "hole" in the rail.
There is no stalling any more.
All wheels stay on the railheads and will pick up the current properly.
And there are no derailments.
And what will work here under this extreme conditions, will work on the layout also.

In conclusion:
European H0 rolling stock and rail systems are much more toy train like,
with deep flanges and narrow curves it is like an 1:87 scaled down traditional Lionel Toy Train.
The quality of detailing has rised in the last years, but the running gears are still according to 1930's standards.
[ironical modus] Genehmigt vom Reichministerium für Spielzeuge (RMfS) Nope [/ironical modus]
This also contains switchers which have ex box the capabililty of running speeds: fast, faster, still faster.
Only in still faster speed they have certain chances to take switches without stalling. Confusedhocked:
You have to do a lot of work to made smooth running and good looking models out of those toy train like locos and cars.

US H0 rolling stock and rails are much more prototypical designed. The most work here is confined to optical work to get them still closer to the prototype.
Only in exceptional cases you have to work on running gears. Older brass locos are such exceptions.

And that was my expierience with stalling German switchers, that brought me to make the modifications on this Athearn MP15AC.

Switcher stalling, please no.

My 2 cent.

Lutz
Cheers Lutz
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#27
A completion to the thread:

[Image: dsc08935jyjo4.jpg]
This are modfied Athearn Blomberg trucks.

How to do:
1) pry off the bottom of the gear box
2) slide out the truck frames
3) solder each 4 pieces of 0,3mm bronze wire to each axle bearing as shown
4) solder the connection wires between main PCB and trucks direct onto the trucks and PCB
5) reassemble the whole

The bronze wire will make a direct and reliable electrical connection to the half axle. It must not exact being 0,3mm bronze wire, every other thin wire with a certain amount of springing will do it also.

greetings
Lutz
Cheers Lutz
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