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Author Topic: The dreaded flicker  (Read 5828 times)
Bill Baker

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« on: January 31, 2011, 01:18:16 PM »

I recently ran my old post war Lionel passenger cars and remembered how the lights flickered while running.  I have cleaned the electrical pick up rollers and checked that all wires were tight and properly connected to the light harness.  Still they flickered.  Does anyone have any idea how to overcome this problem short of replacing the entire lighting harness?

Thanks, Bill
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Bill
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2011, 01:31:12 PM »

Dear Bill,

Are there center roller pickups on both trucks, or just one?

Joe
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2011, 01:33:48 PM »

Threaded screw in bulbs or bayonet (push against spring,  1/8th turn to lock)?

Thanks.

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.
Bill Baker

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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 02:52:30 PM »

Joe,
Thanks for the quick response.  There are single rollers on both ends. Bulbs are the bayonet type which have been cleaned with a light Emery cloth along with the rollers.  I have three passenger cars and all three flicker but at different places on the track.  When the cars are idle, all lights remain on.  It's only when they are running do the lights flicker....and I might add they stay on mostly for about a second or two then flicker off for a split second, then back on again.  I talked to a guy at my LHS and he said that is just typical for post war Lionel cars.  Do you think Bachmann's conductive lube would help.  I'm a bit leery about putting any lubrication in an electrical connection.
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Bill
phillyreading

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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 05:06:03 PM »

Bill,

Other than cleaning the track and wheels on your Lionel passenger cars, there is nothing to do, short of adding an extra center roller wheel. I did this to my pre war passenger cars, but it was expensive, sometimes as much as $15.00 a wheelset to get the extra roller wheel I wanted.

Be careful of current production center roller wheels by Lionel as the truck assemblies are made from cheep plastic and short out.

Lee F.
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DominicMazoch

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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2011, 05:54:46 PM »

Maybe there should be a "HEP" line which connects all the cars with the bulbs.  The only problem I can see with this is if the train crosses into a new block and the transformers are not phased.
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2011, 08:17:19 PM »

Bill,

What number series Lionel cars or what number bulb is used in them? 

Thanks.

Joe Satnik
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DominicMazoch

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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2011, 09:57:11 PM »

Would going with LED's help?
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phillyreading

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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2011, 10:22:23 AM »

The only thing that LED's will do is give you a different type of light, the Flicker still remains! Cry

May as well face it, the flicker is a way of life with model trains & passenger cars. You can try to eliminate it, with capacitors, but it will get very expensive per lighted car.

Lee F.
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2011, 10:40:27 AM »

Dear Bill,

What road number(s) do you have on your post-war Lionel passenger car(s)?

Here's a long shot:  Have you thought about taking the trucks off to clean them and apply conductive lube to the bolsters?

The only other way to improve grounding (if needed) would be to run a wire between the truck frame and the chassis. 

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik
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jpstrainyard


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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2011, 01:11:30 PM »

JP of Acton MA, USA writes,

Mr. Baker,

you might want to try installing disconnectable wire harnesses (like those made by Digital Dynamics or Micro Mark) between each passenger car, so when the cars go through short dead spots, like on some switches and crossovers, the lights should work with flicker-free operation

Ex. I have 2 MTH Railking subway sets. My layout consists of switches placed back to back, and when the train goes over those switches, the lights would flicker, and the powered car would stall. This problem was fixed by installing Digital Dynamics 2 pin disconnectable wire harnesses between car 1 and car 2, and between car 3 and car 4, with no harness between car 2 and car 3.

Sincerely: JP of Acton MA, USA
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Sincerely: JP
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2011, 01:57:26 PM »

Dear JP,

Sounds like a nice solution.

A bit of caution, though.   

If you have block wiring, your harness could send power to (jumper power into) a de-energized block. 

This is not the best situation for an interlocked approach to an open lift bridge.

Hope this helps,

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.
Bill Baker

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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2011, 03:45:04 PM »

Joe,

Great advice about cleaning the bolsters!  There was a goodly amount of grunge on them.  After cleaning the lights worked much better than before.  There is an occasional dimming flicker but the lights stay on.  I can live with that.  I haven't bought any conductive lube yet but will do so my next visit to my LHS.

Thanks for the great advice.

Bill
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Bill
Joe Satnik


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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2011, 07:55:09 PM »

Dear Bill,

Some saying about "a stopped clock being correct twice a day"  comes to mind here...

You still haven't told me what road numbers or series of road numbers your cars are....

If I know that I can give more suggestions for less flicker...

Thanks.

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.
Bill Baker

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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2011, 12:31:35 PM »

Joe,

I'm currently out of town and will give you the info when I return home.  Thanks for your patience.

Bill
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Bill
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