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Author Topic: A veteran  (Read 1002 times)

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« on: June 28, 2017, 03:28:09 PM »

My first Bachmann steam engine, a  DCC/soundtraxx 2-8-0, MP 180, has faithfully hauled mixed trains for 10 years now with no issues.  But age is creeping in.  I've found that I had to increase CV 2, the motor starting voltage, from 0 to 5 to get the same performance it earlier had.  It's not the track voltage, I checked that.

Anyone else ever have this happen?  Is it the decoder slippping?  Or has the motor magnet weakened?  She runs fine with increased starting voltage, but I worry about the issue increasingly worsening.

Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
A Derailed Drag Racer

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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 09:44:11 PM »

So just replace it when it dies. Some of you expect more out of a toy train than a new car. Roll Eyes



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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 10:06:09 PM »

I can do that, Sid.  But isolating the problem would help me know what to keep when the time comes.  If it is not the decoder, no sense in throwing it away. I like the present sound and if the problem is the motor, then all I replace is the mechanism with one from a new engine and put my custom decaled boiler shell on it.  From the new engine leftovers,  I get an extra boiler shell for another project, and a tender for a steam crane or pile  driver.  If the problem is the decoder, then I put a Tsunami 2 in.

Anyone else here ever have an engine slowdown like this?


Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945

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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 10:16:47 PM »

Just make sure that all moving parts are lubed.

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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 10:29:45 PM »

If the loco has been lubed properly, the most likely cause is the motor brushes have worn down to the point they're not making good contact with the armature any more. I don't have that particular loco, so can't tell you if the brushes can be replaced or if the entire motor will need replacement.


If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
James in FL

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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 11:00:29 PM »

Could be any number of things.
Lubrication, or lack of.
Brush springs.
Clogged commutator plate gaps.
Weak magnets.
Increasing slop in the mechanism.
Binding etc., etc.

You state you checked the track voltage, what did it measure and how did you check?

Is it the decoder slippping?

Not sure I understand your question.
Decoders donít slip.
Are you asking if itís possible a component on the board is going south? Could be.
Other than changing CVís what have you done/checked as far as troubleshooting goes?

Without having the loco to look at, all that can be offered is WAGís.

An increase in resistance would require an increase in voltage to overcome, you need to figure where that increase in resistance is coming from, whether mechanical or electrical.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 11:11:57 PM by James in FL » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 06:42:23 AM »

Congrats on making it 10 years without incident.

I have two of these locos.  Sounds to me like you're just experiencing age, that is, normal wear and tear.  Have you ever broken down the locomotive and gave it a good cleaning.  It is possible to disassemble this loco far enough to get to all the little places that gunk can creep in... especially the wheel brushes and axles. 

Disassembly will allow you to get a look at the cog belt and worm.  The worm axle sits in these two brass bushings that are a bit undersized (opinion). There could be excess friction in this area.

Also some new lubricant (small amounts) will help, once the parts have been cleaned up.  The eccentric crank pin ALWAYS needs to stay lubricated. It is the first part to wear out on the mechanism.

90% of all running problems come down to dirty track and/or dirty wheels.  Good electrical contact is paramount.



Lastly, after 10 years, it may be worth it to invest in a new motor assembly, as suggested above.

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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 08:14:47 AM »

The decoder "slipping " is a figure of speech only, "progressive loss of function " might have been better but man, that's a lot of words.

Track voltage normal, around 13.9, what it's always been.  I'll lubricate the running gear first, and if that doesn't do anything, I'll disassemble.

Yes , 10 years is a good long run.  This engine has always been the dependable go-to power.

Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945

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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2017, 09:32:13 AM »

I looked at the contact wipers on the drivers.  They were coated in dust balls.  Cleaned them off and oiled around on the running gear.  Back to normal.

Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
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