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Author Topic: 0-4-2 Porter electrical pickup problem  (Read 2790 times)

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« on: March 01, 2012, 02:50:14 PM »

I'm having trouble with my 0-4-2 DCC sound equipped Porter losing electrical pickup every time it crosses my Peco electrofrog turnouts. These are On30 turnouts. The engine runs perfectly on all the regular track. It just has trouble on the turnouts. Is there a way to add electrical pickup to the trailing truck and would that help? Thanks. Pete

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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 03:38:47 PM »

I have a DCC, but not sound equipped, Porter 0-4-2 and have the same problem with pickups so I will be very interested to hear any help you may be offered.

Also is it possible to replace the standard decoder with one with BEMF. I have been advised that it isn't but would like to be sure. If you can, how do get the little beastie apart?

Many thanks,

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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 05:05:55 PM »

You might put a micro switch in the frog circuit or use a PECO Accessory switch #PL-13 under the switch if you are using the PL-10 turnout motor.
But BY ALL MEANS go to Allen Gartners web site "Wiring For DCC"  and have a look at that. the address is and that Will say it all.
I ran into the same problem when I built the "M&TD RR (Me and the Dog RR) everytime I ran a Porter thru the turnout it would die. Angry but you can run them wide open and sometimes they make it Wink but that looks like your playing  with your old tin plate.  Kiss
I also have added a small tender behind the 0-4-0 with wheel pickup wires going to the engine and that does the trick real well. As for the 0-4-2, I am playing around with making pickup contacts on the trailing truck but that is a work in progress.
I hope this helps.
Wes aka smokinporter

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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 12:34:18 PM »

I have a sound equipped 0-4-2 Porter and had similar problems when first runs. I cleaned all the blue coating from the wheel treads and the backs of the wheels (where pickup occurs) and since then have had a perfect performer. Will pass through Peco electrofrog and insular of turnouts at a crawl with no hesitation but the wheels must be kept clean. I have found that the new arrangement of the trailing wheels is no longer the benefit found on the original analog design engines - the DCC engines would benefit from the original spring loaded trailing truck arrangement. Unfortunately they are not inter-changeable, you also need to be careful of any bumps in elevation in reverse or the trailing truck will derail.

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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 12:52:19 PM »

There is also the possibility that you have a physical problem rather than an electrical problem. Bachmann On30 wheel sets tend to catch the frog unless you shim the opposite guardrail. This pulls the wheels towards the outer rail and provides a smooth transition. This was a big issue in the early days of On30 and widely adopted - and forgotten about since. A strip of styrene and a little liquid cement and your problems could be solved.

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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2012, 04:30:38 PM »

I've been wondering about the same issue and here's what I plan to do:

1. Glue .008" nickel silver wire on each of the two arms supporting the trailing wheel set so that they rub against the back of each trailing wheel.  I checked - there is no electrical continuity between the wheels.

2.  Solder some very flexible wire to each of the NS power pick-up's.

3.  Thread red and black wire from the NS pickups to your decoder connection point for power pickup.  Will need to bore a small hole through the cab floor.

4.  Possibly have to weight the axle of the trailing truck to overcome any additional swing resistance.  If so, loosely wrap a number of turns of thin solder around the axle, like a coiled spring.

I hard-wire all my decoders so that's my plan.  I don't know where the OEM decoder is mounted but mine will go against one cab side wall.  Since all my locos are sound-equipped, I still have to find a good location for the speaker.  It will probably wind up being disguised as a bench for the engineer to sit on.

Lastly, your Electrofrog would probably benefit from having track power routed to an isolated frog.  Then control that with a wired slide switch that also throws your track switch, or buy one of the $60 power routing electronic switches from Tam Valley Depot that will handle up to 6 of these.  Pretty neat device.Scott G.

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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 03:59:53 PM »

I tried my suggestion of using .008" phosphor bronze wire pickup on the trailing truck and I couldn't make it work reliably.  Either one side or the other did not have continuity from the rail to the pickup wire, or the wheel set skidded along the rail when I had the pickup wires positioned for good continuity.  And that was after adding lead weight to the trailing truck frame.  Good idea - bad execution!
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