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Author Topic: Please help me fix my sons train before Christmas!!  (Read 2969 times)
vanglow

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« on: December 15, 2009, 01:16:18 AM »

Hello all..before I get into my problem, Great board..My boys LOVE looking at your pics!!

Now on to the problem... I bought my 4 YO son A bachmann large scale Night before Christmas set last year for Christmas. He was so happy he started to cry when he opened it..BY FAR the BEST moment of my life so far!! Too bad that "Santa" brought him a train that was broken in about 10 places and he couldn't use it Sad

After a call to Bachmann (Santa's elves) they had me send the train back to them and they replaced the set..AWESOME SERVICE!!!

Now I take the set out of storage and set it up and everything is running like a champ, for about an hour..then it stops and won't go anymore.

I did notice the drive wheels don;t turn when you push or pull the engine,  is this normal that they only turn when the motor turns them or could this mean a motor/gear problem?

How do I tell if the controller is at fault? Is there a testing procedure to narrow this down? I'm leaning towards the controller but not sure..please help...my kids deserve to have this train work for christmas at least once!!!

Thanks,

Mike
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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2009, 02:08:38 AM »

Hi, Due to the gearing of your loco you can not turn the wheels by hand, and should not try to force them.

Do you have power at the wall socket?
Have you checked all the connections to the track?
Does the light on the loco come on but the train wont move?
Do you have a meter you can check track voltage with?
Are the plugs connected properly?
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altterrain


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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2009, 03:00:21 AM »

hi Mike,

Sorry to hear about your train woes. I got fascinated with HO trains around my grandparent's tree at an early age. After a few years that set became mine and I have been a happy hobbyist for the past 40 years.
First thing to check is to see if there is power coming out of the power supply. A simple voltmeter or multimeter will do the trick. If that is okay then see if power is going to the track. If so then the loco is the problem but I suspect either the power supply or the connection to the track.

-Brian

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vanglow

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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2009, 11:44:54 AM »

thanks for the help!

There is power going to the controller but nothing coming out, I noticed the train running slower at top speed then it did last year, I guess it was going.

Do I need to replace it with the same type, or are they a universal sort of thing?
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altterrain


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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2009, 01:06:02 PM »

Most any power pack in the higher power range will work. I run my holiday trains with an old MRC pack I used for my HO trains (don't try to use the smoke though. It uses lots of juice).

-Brian
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vanglow

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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2009, 02:51:04 PM »

whats a safe DC voltage for the train to run on? Looks like I wont be able to get a new one by christmas so I was thinking that I could just wire it to a dc power source and an on off switch. anyone have a clue what voltage/amp would be safe?
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Jon D. Miller

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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 03:23:13 PM »

vanglow,
Not a good idea.  The sudden surge of full voltage, whatever that might be, will put too much stain on the drive system gears.  It won't take long to "trash" the drive gears with this setup.

However, if you want to risk this type arrangement something in the 8-10 volt range should make the locomotive run at a fast pace.

Maybe Loco Bill or Joe Satnik will be able to give you a realistic voltage for running the train.  I'm all battery power with RC so track power is no longer a requirement.


One of the "Enthusiastic Chilcren"

JD
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 03:24:49 PM by Jon D. Miller » Logged

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vanglow

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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2009, 03:46:09 PM »

good thinking... I was going to go with something low, just enough to get the train moving nice and slowwww, for some reason my kids get scared when the train goes above half speed.  I ordered a new controller already but it won't be here for christmas I don't think. I bought two new coaches for the train as gifts for my kids...so you see why I need to get it at least moving.

hmmmm... I could run a 10 volt transformer to a DC dimmer then to the tracks...thats basically all a controller seems to be, unless I'm completely wrong.

again, thanks for the help!!
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2009, 06:42:58 PM »

Dear Vanglow,

Careful. 

Most power packs are more complicated than that.   

Transformers give AC.  You would have to rectify the AC through diodes or a diode bridge (= 4 diodes in a bridge formation) to get DC.   

Large scale locos work nicely with variable and controlled DC voltages from Zero to 18V.

2 amps current would give you the oomph needed to launch your train off the R1 curves and down the basement steps.   

The 2 pc. power packs given in the newer sets are about 17V, 1 amp or so.   

Is your power pack

a.) the old single piece rectangular brick, or

b.) a 2 pc. square controller with rounded corners plus a separate wall-wart transformer?

Still want to troubleshoot and possibly fix it? 

(I have fixed the newer 2 pc. controllers.)

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik
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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
Barry BBT

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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2009, 07:28:31 PM »

Vanglow,

I have several Bachmann Large scale "Big Hauler" power packs, probably much like the one that got you into this mess.

I'll ship it to you for $10.00 total.  These are new never used.

Barry - BBT
623-936-6088
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There are no dumb questions.
calenelson

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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2009, 10:48:36 PM »

this may be of some help?


http://www.youtube.com/user/bachmanntrains#p/u/3/GKImsl8gcWc
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vanglow

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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2009, 12:16:11 PM »

Vanglow,

I have several Bachmann Large scale "Big Hauler" power packs, probably much like the one that got you into this mess.

I'll ship it to you for $10.00 total.  These are new never used.

Barry - BBT
623-936-6088

Thanks so much for the offer...I sent you an email!  I think that is the same tranny I have..that would be a Holiday saver! One local place has it but they want like $45, this close to Christmas with two little kids...I'm BROKE!!! lol

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jsmvmd

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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2009, 02:26:25 PM »

Dear Van,

Aren't these a nice bunch of fellows ?  This is a GREAT website and a fun place to be.

Merry Christmas to All !

Jack in Altoona, PA, home of the world famous Horseshoe Curve. Well, to me anyway.
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vanglow

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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2009, 06:34:24 PM »

Dear Van,

Aren't these a nice bunch of fellows ?  This is a GREAT website and a fun place to be.

Merry Christmas to All !

Jack in Altoona, PA, home of the world famous Horseshoe Curve. Well, to me anyway.

Just noticed that you're in Altoona... I'm from Latrobe and still have a bunch of Family in Latrobe, Altoona and derry..man I love that area, wish I could go back!!
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