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Author Topic: trials and tribulations installing a decoder  (Read 1923 times)
pdlethbridge
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« on: May 16, 2009, 01:05:59 AM »

     I recently got my brothers brass B&M R1D to fix. There were many small problems with the Engine such as the following: Centipede tender causing shorts. Its wheels were binding and derailing. The metal draw bar was a constant problem with shorts. The engines lead truck was derailing.
    These problems made a beautiful engine run like garbage. Its tsunami sound system would go on and off with regularity. It was a real heart breaker.
    As the tender was the source of most of the problems, I started there. A complete disassembly was in order. So much for the custom paint job. The 4 wheel lead truck has been a problem and if it was screwed together too tight, it would derail. Too loose, and it would instantly turn into 3 pieces. After setting the screws, a touch of super glue solved the falling apart problem.
    The back 5 sets of wheels were another problem. All mounting screws for the frames had to be taped and drilled for 2-56 as the were stripped. Each bearing had to be checked for burrs and the insulated side wheels had kadee fiber washers put on the shaft between the wheel and the frame to prevent shorts, a very large problem solved.
    The wires coming out of the tender were shorting on the tender body so enlarging the hole they went through and insulating it stopped all shorts here.
    The draw bar was brass and it had to go. Even using plastic screws it still shorted. I made a plastic draw bar and that problem was solved
    The lead truck on the engine was the last problem. Flipping the truck over put it lower and gave it better tracking
     Its in the process of getting repainted and decaled. It has taken a couple of weeks to figure out what the problems were. The tender wheels were giving me a headache but I realized as the insulated wheels were moving side to side to allow the engine to run on 22" radius curves, they were coming in contact with the metal frame.....SHORT
     Not all problems can be solved overnight or even over a 2 week period. Sometimes it takes walking away from it for a while so you can mull over it for awhile.
    The conclusion is this: All problems are solvable, given time and patience.
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OkieRick

Trackside in Rural OK


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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2009, 02:10:58 AM »


What does that thing weigh?  Is the tendder brass also?


Rick
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Invacare 2-2-2 TDX5 Tilt Recline & Elevate - 24v - ALS Head Control
God Bless Jimmie Rogers the Singing Brakeman
pdlethbridge
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009, 02:15:24 PM »

It had weight added so its as heavy as a bowser or mantua engine
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2009, 07:34:49 PM »

When successfully completing what seems like impossible or overwhelming tasks, I have learned not to ask my wife for her appraisal.  Her usual comment is: "What do you want, a medal or a chest to pin it on?"  Cheesy

Seriously, you do deserve a medal for perserverance and systematic troubleshooting that marks you as a true modeler.  I hereby award you the Model Railroading "Purple Heart" for your one handed accomplishment, and for enduring the many headaches you must have suffered.

I'm proud to know you as a fellow modeler.  However I would probably have resorted to the "larger hammer" approach.   Cool

Bob 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 08:45:29 PM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
pdlethbridge
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2009, 08:55:46 PM »

I wanted to try the "larger hammer" many times. There are so many places to look on an engine that can cause a short or derailment. I think that this was a real test of my patience. If I put it on the track tomorrow, it will probably have some sort of problem, but I'll just fix it tomorrow. Grin Grin. Yes, I did it one handed and not under handed and I didn't even use my multi-meter. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2009, 10:46:10 AM »

My "Big Hammer" (in fact my only hammer when it comes to decoder installation) is Tony's Train Exchange.

I have sent a couple of engines to Tony's and have been pleased with their work and reasonably pleased with the price (which isn't necessarily cheap). Personally, I commend you are your fortitude and skill in completing such a difficult task...better you than me.

Regards,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
pdlethbridge
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 07:03:06 PM »

I can't imagine what it would have cost tony to fix it.
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OkieRick

Trackside in Rural OK


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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2009, 12:06:09 AM »


Frankly, I'm amazed!   Shocked


The natives of the Southeast Northern MidCentral Valley Highlands on the dark continent of Africa say if you see the giraffe in this picture you posses un-natural super powers that very few non-natives are capable of controlling. I saw it once after a Cherokee Medicine Man took me for an overnight two week trip.


                                   


Bless you, may your headaches be cured.



An Okie named Rick






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Invacare 2-2-2 TDX5 Tilt Recline & Elevate - 24v - ALS Head Control
God Bless Jimmie Rogers the Singing Brakeman
WGL
Great Northern


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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2009, 02:01:16 AM »

Ray, I hate to think what it would cost for Tony's to program a decoder they'd installed.
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pdlethbridge
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2009, 02:23:38 AM »

Decoder installing is lots of fun and can be challenging. You just have to learn when its time to walk away. I came real close to toasting a decoder last night but caught and solved the problem.

A decoder installer's friend is CV 29. Ever wire one backwards and see the train run in reverse?
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