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Author Topic: Do I have a bad E-unit?  (Read 12480 times)
Johnson Bar Jeff

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« on: March 26, 2012, 09:37:06 AM »

Took my brand-new Baldwin 4-6-0 out of the box yesterday to give it its first run. As a life-long HO guy I don't have a whole lot of experience with three-rail AC model trains, but I do have some. When I powered up the engine, it seemed to want to run only in reverse. With no rhyme or reason, it occasionally ran forward, and once it started running forward, stopped with a jerk, and started running backward without me doing anything.

Engines from another manufacturer all ran properly, cycling forward-neutral-reverse-neutral-forward, on the same track with the same transformer, so I'm skeptical that my problem with the ten-wheeler is anything I'm doing--or not doing, although, as I said, I don't have a lot of experience with this type of model train.

As this is my first Williams by Bachmann locomotive, I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't seem to be operating correctly right out of the box, but rather than end on a negative note, I will also say that I think the engine is a beautiful model. I bought the AT&SF version, as it has the plainest paint scheme and seems a candidate for relettering for the Virginia & Truckee, as the locomotive--thought not the tender--looks close enough for me like V&T engines #26 and #27.

I expect I will be contacting Bachmann Service, but any thoughts or suggestions would still be appreciated.

Thanks!
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671

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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 01:01:01 PM »

Hi Jeff,

         671 here. I would first check the reverse unit itself for poor or loose connections. The reverser board should have two output jacks built into the board. On single motor locos, only one of the output jacks is plugged into. If you trace that wire harness it goes to powering the electric motor. Right next to that occupied plug receptacle is an unoccupied receptacle. try moving the motor plug from the factory installed jack to the unoccupied jack. Each jack is wired to the small sugar cube sized relay. You may find that this solves your problem if no loose or poor connections are the fault.
          The reverser board is a universal design that Williams uses in their locos, either single or dual motor. If you had a dual motor diesel, both jacks would be used. One jack for each motor.

                                             Hope this helps...671
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 02:34:42 PM »

                                             Hope this helps...671

Thanks, 671, I appreciate the input.

That reminds me that I neglected to mention that I also made sure the plug on the wire from the tender that plugs into the engine below the cab was properly seated, although I presume that has nothing to do with my problem.

I might just give this a look-see, although, as I mentioned, I don't have much experience with this type of model train--and none with disassembling and reassembling a locomotive--so that I'm reluctant to try to take the engine apart for fear of really bolloxing up the works!  Cheesy  However, there are some pretty good diagrams on the instruction sheet, so I just might look into this.

Thanks again for your suggestion.  Smiley
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671

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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 03:36:02 PM »

Hi Jeff,

         671 here again. If you have a "Tether" wire connection between the loco and its' tender, make sure that there is enough slack on that wire tether ( ususally creating an upward loop in the wire solves the problem.) If not the motion between the loco and tender can cause a poor connection.
         The tether from the loco to the tender indicates to me that the reverser board is located within the tender.
          I have the 773 WbyB Hudson. It has a tether between loco and tender. I experienced similar problems including a damaging derailment due to lack of free play in the tether connection. I was able to pull extra cable from the loco and create an upward loop in the cable. This solved all challenges with my loco tender combo.

                                   Hope this helps...671
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 04:16:42 PM »

Hi Jeff,

         671 here again. If you have a "Tether" wire connection between the loco and its' tender, make sure that there is enough slack on that wire tether ( ususally creating an upward loop in the wire solves the problem.) If not the motion between the loco and tender can cause a poor connection.
         The tether from the loco to the tender indicates to me that the reverser board is located within the tender.
          I have the 773 WbyB Hudson. It has a tether between loco and tender. I experienced similar problems including a damaging derailment due to lack of free play in the tether connection. I was able to pull extra cable from the loco and create an upward loop in the cable. This solved all challenges with my loco tender combo.

                                   Hope this helps...671

I will give that a try!

Here I thought that wire only had something to do with the whistle!  Cheesy

Thanks again for your help and suggestions. I appreciate that you took the time to write twice today!

J.B.J.
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 12:02:48 PM »

Well, I just had a nice conversation with a tech support guy in Customer Service. He suggested that the problem with my engine might be that I'm trying to run it with an "underpowered" transformer.

I'm currently running all my O-gauge engines--which, except for the Baldwin ten-wheeler, are all Lionels--with a Lionel CW-80 transformer (and they all run fine, from a couple of "vintage" 4-4-0s from the 1970s and early 1980s to the brand-new "Strasburg" 0-8-0). The gentleman in Bachmann tech support suggested that the Lionel transformer may not be powerful enough. He suggested I need to use Bachmann's O-gauge transformer, product #00233.

I don't mean to second-guess the professional at Bachmann, but if any of you more experienced O-gaugers see this post, I would appreciate "a second opinion." Does this "solution"--a new transformer--make any sense to any of you guys?

I understand that a good source of power is needed for good operation of any model train, but I'd prefer not to invest in a new transformer if this isn't going to solve the problem.
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671

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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 03:37:01 PM »

Hi Jeff,

         671 here.  If you have a friend with a layout with a larger wattage transformer, try your loco on their layout.
         If you live near a hobby store, they may be able to run the loco on their layout as a test.

                                             671
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r0gruth

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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 03:37:26 PM »

I had the same problem some years ago when getting back into the hobby.In my case it was as stated above an under powered transformer.Remember that any lights  or other accessories will add to the problem.Many,many years ago Lionel included a more powerful transformer with sets that had whistles or passenger cars so this type of problem has been know for quite a while.
I also agree with 671.
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Roger
671

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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 03:41:37 PM »

Hi Jeff,
         
         I just read  a earlier post by EIS "Williams Berkshire Lionel CW 80 problem" 

                             This may be an answer...671
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 03:52:26 PM »

671 and r0gruth:

Thanks very much for your input. This "O-gauge amateur" really appreciates it! It sounds like this could be the answer, then.

And I'll check out that other post about the Berkshire.

Access to an LHS is an issue for me--one reason why I bought the engine from an eBay dealer with "good stats"--and I'm afraid I don't know anyone who's into O-gauge, but I'll work this out somehow.

Thanks again for your help!

J.B.J.

P.S.: I guess I need to see if I can find out the wattage of the Lionel transformer and compare it to the wattage of the Bachmann transformer. It wouldn't do me any good--would it?--to buy the Bachmann transformer if it's the same wattage as the Lionel?

At this point in my career there are no accessories or lighted buildings or anything like that in the equation. The trains run on a loop of Lionel FasTrack on the floor circling the dining room table.  Grin  A train of lighted (Lionel) passenger cars coupled to the engine made no difference, either.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 03:59:33 PM by Johnson Bar Jeff » Logged
phillyreading

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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 07:35:20 AM »

I would suggest using a differant transformer before saying that that the reverse unit is bad. The Lionel CW-80 has issues, like you need to know which generation CW-80 you have, as one or two neeed to be wired differently at the output terminals even though the terminals are marked for track useage.

Try using a Lionel KW or ZW with at least 180 watts rating and see what happens with your engine. Could also use an Atlas or MTH or Williams by Bachmann 80 watt transformer.

FYI, the Lionel CW-80 didn't work that well for me at my freind's house with a couple of my Williams engines, had to reverse the wires to the track to make the horn and bell work.

Lee F.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 07:47:29 AM by phillyreading » Logged
Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 11:10:34 AM »

Thanks for that input, phillyreading.

You've given me an idea to at least try, before I invest in another transformer. I didn't know there were "generations" of Lionel transformers. The one I'm using--which, incidentally, runs my new Strasburg R.R. 0-8-0 with no problems--was bought second hand on eBay. It looks fairly new. But I might try the one, so far unused, that came with my new Lionel Rio Grande "General" set.

Otherwise, I guess I will be looking around for a Bachmann transformer.

I kind of have to laugh at myself, you know? Owing to lack of access to a LHS (transportation issues too long and irrelevent to go into here), I bought the engine on eBay at what I thought was a good price. But that price won't be quite so good if I also have to buy a new transformer just to run it.  Undecided

Live and learn. ...  Grin

And, once again, let me thank all you more experienced O-gaugers for your time and input. It's very much appreciated!

J.B.J.
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phillyreading

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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2012, 01:09:24 PM »

The CW-80 has three differant production codes, one was the first run, next the second run-a little better transformer, the third run is better than the other two. However the CW-80 is very touchy about shorts and over current draw, in otherwords if an engine or train takes too much power the CW-80 throws the breaker.
Most starter sets come with a low watt transformer, mainly so that when you add more lighted cars you need to buy a larger watt transformer.
All transformers have their good points and bad points, if it is real bad, I use it to light up houses or street lights on the layout.

Lee F.
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2012, 09:27:15 PM »

Thanks, Lee. That's good to know.  Smiley

Jeff
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DominicMazoch

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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2012, 05:27:35 PM »

I have run W/WBBwth a 75 W MTH transformer AND passenger cars.  Thing worked.
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