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Author Topic: N Scale DoodleBug. Lights on no power  (Read 1398 times)
Jimbo46

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« on: June 10, 2017, 10:18:17 AM »

I have a new N scale DoodleBug that I have only run a brief amount of time. It just suddenly stopped. Lights are on but no drive power. I'm new to this and not sure what I should check or do. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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spookshow


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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2017, 10:20:19 AM »

Is it the more recent DCC-equipped version or the old analog version?

-Mark
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Jimbo46

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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 10:24:18 AM »

Newer DCC
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spookshow


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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2017, 10:28:16 AM »

First thing I would do is try a decoder reset (write 8 to CV8). If that doesn't fix things, I'd check the wiring between the decoder board and the motor for a loose connection. Hopefully the motor itself didn't die, but that's always a possibility too (in which case I would just send the whole thing back to Bachmann for replacement).



-Mark
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Hudspethtb

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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 05:39:36 PM »

I have the same problem, again a low usage Doodlebug. I think it's an older DC version, Part #: 81456, but I'm not sure. If it's DCC I got a steal! Anyway, the lights come on, but no movement, not even a buzz. I got it at a train show from an old dealer who had a store, but went out of business and was selling all his stuff fairly cheap at the show. He said the Doodlebug spent most of its life on a shelf, never really run. Any advice?
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kmcsjr


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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2017, 09:30:54 PM »

Don't let price fool you. These have been selling for pretty low prices with DCC. Its a beautiful model, but an almost beautiful runner. If you you have rapidity couplers it's old, but I bet you have a newer one. Open it and look. I've got a replacement decoder ready, for after my latest trip. It would be nice, if they redid it, with a great drive system. Spookshows advice holds, if you have a warranty. If not, I'm not sure what parts are available, or if it isn't cheaper to google the model and buy a new one. Figure which model you have and go from there.
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brokemoto

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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2017, 09:14:08 AM »

I do not use DCC.  I have fried the decoder on two of these, so I simply took out the thing and re-wired.  Much like the 4-6-0, the 2-6-0 and the GE industrial power, the thing runs better on DC without the decoder.

I have two of the factory decoder equipped as well as several of the older ones, without the decoder.  When I fried the decoder, the lights would light, but the motor would not run.  When I took the things apart, I applied power to the motor poles and it ran.  From my experience with the steam, I decided that I had fried the decoder.  As soon as I took out the thing and re-wired, they ran and ran much better.

These so-called "smart" decoders, ain't as smart as the manufacturers would have you believe.  This does not apply simply to Our Host's decoders, this applies to "smart" decoders across the board.  I have fried BLI decoders on DC, as well.   Atlas was going to build their locomotives with a factory decoder but with a micro switch that you would change to run either on DCC or DC.  To be sure, that would have added cost to the power, but, it may be the way to go until someone can come up with a truly "smart" decoder.
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kmcsjr


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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2017, 05:40:41 PM »

Brokemotto! When you removed he decoder, were you able to salvage the led light, on the decoder? If not, were you able to match the color?
Thanks
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spookshow


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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2017, 05:55:36 PM »

That's interesting about the decoder. I didn't realize you could fry part of a decoder, but not all of it (IE lights work, but no motor control). That's sounding like a very plausible candidate here.

-Mark
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brokemoto

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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2017, 08:09:03 PM »

Brokemotto! When you removed he decoder, were you able to salvage the led light, on the decoder? If not, were you able to match the color?
Thanks

I did not even try, I just put in another light.

It does sound strange that you do not fry all of the decoder, but, the thing lit up and would not move.  When I took out the decoder and
re-wired, the thing moved and the lights that I wired in lit up.
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Franz T

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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 08:52:09 AM »

Don't let price fool you. These have been selling for pretty low prices with DCC.

You're not kidding! M.B. Klein has them for 60 Bucks right now. (MSRP being $275).
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spookshow


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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 09:22:27 AM »

That's an excellent price, considering you also get a nice very trailer coach in the bargain.

-Mark
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James in FL

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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2017, 06:22:46 PM »

It is what it is.
Itís a most basic entry level model.
And has been since its introduction.
Not bad, but just old design, old tooling, the new are much like the old, and retain the growl/grinder sound.
What is the coach worth?
$25 +/-?
To some.

That makes the powered unit worth what? $35 +/-?
Still only one truck drive? with both picking-up power?
Wheel back wipers, no needle point?
Not state of the art cutting edge technology here.
Other than motor, no other changes.

Whatís the decoder worth?
Donít know, donít do DCC.
10/15 bucks?
2/3 function?
Dunno.

That leaves us with a $25 loco.

At this point, I agree with the Spook.
Itís a good value.
For what it is.

Donít expect 60/90 dollar performance.
From a $25/30 loco.

It's just not there.
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brokemoto

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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2017, 11:00:58 PM »

Still only one truck drive?

My original issue doodlebugs would pull six RR HWs, on RR trucks, up a one per cent grade at forty SMPH.  The newer one will pull only three.  Still, three is far beyond what the prototype would have done.

The trailer coach lists for something on the order of sixty or seventy bananas.  I am glad for the four axle paired window coach.  I can use them on B&O trains.  I would like to see some single window four axle coaches.  MT is supposed to be doing a single window coach based on a NYCS prototype.  While NYCS did have some six axle HW coaches, most of them were four.  I like the idea of a NYCS prototype, as I can use it on P&LE trains.  Microscale has a NYCS passenger sheet, that includes P&LE and P&E lettering.

Most modellers are going to run these things either singly, with one coach or one head end car.  You might get a few who will run it with coach and head end car or two head end cars.    You might get a few ATSF modellers who will run it with freight cars, as ATSF did have some doodlebugs that worked branch lines in Kansas that did pull a few freight cars here and there.
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