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Author Topic: Spectrum Blue Comet knuckle couplers  (Read 2086 times)
Allegehney2666

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« on: December 15, 2011, 03:21:54 PM »

It's Christmas time again and I set up the Blue Comet around the tree and the train won't stay coupled. When my wife bought the comet a few years back the knuckle couplers were already installed. Could it possibly be the fact that the track is sitting on carpet and not fastened down to a board etc. Another issue is with the power supply wide open the train doesn't seem to be running at full throttle. I am not thrilled with the clip on connector they provide with  the set.

Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
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ThinkerT

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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2011, 10:17:33 PM »

Knuckle couplers do sometimes 'loose their spring' after awhile.  Did your set come with the hook and loop ones?

As to your locomotives performance - my first suspicion here would be dirty track, especially if your rolling stock has plastic wheels.  Plastic wheels leave a very fine, very hard to spot layer of grit on the rails that interfears with conductivity.  Wipe it down carefully.

And yes, the bachmann power connector clips are not very good.  In the past I've actually snipped those off and put on itty bitty aligator clips. 
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 12:02:16 AM »

If the track lays very  flat on the carpet then it is probably not the problem.  In a pinch you can use one of those  ornament hangers and wire the cars together snice you are just running around the tree.   The slow running could be dirty track and dirty wheels on the locomotive, the power transformer could be going bad or the locomotive could have a sipping gear.

First Clean the track with special attention to the joints where the track connects together, and reasemble the tracks being sure they are tightly connected toghether and are flat with no bumps

Second clean the wheels on the locomotive including the ones on the front truck, put a drop of oil on each axle where it enters the frame.

Third try it and see if it works.  if it is still slow you could have a failing power pack(transformer).  Try a different transformer. If it is still running slow, you may have a bad gear in the locomotive, in which case you may need to contact Bachmann service.   
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
lucy 1

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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2011, 12:10:22 PM »

Allegheny,
 I had the same problems, here is what worked for me;
 I changed the couplers to the hook and loop.
 I went to a hairsalon supply store and bought a package of
of rubber bands, they are small but they hold the track together.
 Went to a big box store and bought a tube of ox-gard and
put a dab on the track connections. Makes for good electrical
connections.
Cleaned the wheels and a little lube--problems went away.
  Hope this helps, Lucy
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2011, 12:39:53 PM »

Another trick with the knuckle coupler is to paint them, I use flat Rustoliem Oxide Brown or red.  Makes the coupler look rusted, but mainly adds bite to the coupler enough to eliminate the unexpected uncoupling.
I can't remember who gave me this tip, but wow I ave really appreciated it.
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
Allegehney2666

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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2011, 08:21:28 PM »

Well as far as my locomotives poor performance issue I have 12.45volts at the power supply and 8.4 @ the track, we thinks the Bachmann connecter is a piece of trash...lol down to the work shop for the Weller soldering iron and that problem should go away. I will go out to my workshop and use some small zip ties for the time being to hold things together for now. We have plans on running this set this summer on a garden railroad we started building too late in the season to fully enjoy so I owuld like to get the coupler situations squared away before then. I suspect the radius of the curve is just too much for the plastic knuckle couplers to handle.
Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions and Merry Christmas to my fellow modelers.
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