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Author Topic: 5 Bachmann related simple questions  (Read 11860 times)
tac

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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2014, 03:12:33 PM »

REFERENTE Q #5.
Looking hard at the wiring diagram I see a very interesting note that states "#9 & #10 PCB connector for triggering customer's speaker module."  Is the Dallee sound card a speaker module? I suppose it probably is.
Looking even harder I see that a Red and an Orange wire  connect the wheel pickups on each truck to terminals on the PCB . Safer to connect the Dalle there perhaps? I'm being very careful because although I can weld OK I'm not confident with electronics, I can sometimes  mess things up without  realizing it. The Dallee card has scary warnings like: CAUTION Speaker wires must not contact anything else, this will damage S.C. and void guarantee. CAUTION Device can be damaged by static discharge.  I suppose it's just a matter of being cautious.

Whenever I install one of these high-falutin' sound systems, I use a copper wrist strop to earth myself to the worktop.

tac
Ottawa Valley GRS
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 05:29:52 PM »

"Typically," the power feeds coming from the rails on Bachmann locos are the red and black wires coming up from the power trucks (on locos such as the Shay, Climax, etc) or from the tender and loco chassis. Usually the power to the motor itself on the power trucks are the orange and green wires. The locos I've taken apart have all been fairly consistent in that regard, though there are others who have told tales of different-colored wires being used. A good ohmmeter is your friend to check for continuity. Depending on the version of the Shay, there may be screw terminals on the PC board that you can use to connect to the rail inputs. Look for a pair labeled "L" and "R." Again--check with the ohmmeter to make sure they do connect to the rails, but that would be the easiest way to tap into the track power.

If you've got questions with the Dallee system, don't hesitate to drop them an e-mail or give them a call. I've always found them to be very helpful and responsive to my often pretty dumb questions.

In terms of lubrication, I've heard people say they've had good results with synthetic oils like Mobil 1. I've not tried it myself, having cans of white lithium grease that seem to do the trick well enough for me. That, and a good set of small hobby lubricants from LaBelle, EZ-Lube (Bachmann's house brand, I think), or others. They're pricier than a quart of Mobil1, but "peace of mind" is often worth a few extra dollars.

As others have indicated, don't sweat the middle driver being slightly above the railhead. This is by design, so to help the loco handle uneven track since it's a rigid chassis. If the middle driver touched the rail and the loco went over a hump in the track, the lead driver pair would rise up off the railhead, possibly enough such that the flanges would rise above the rail. If this were to occur on any kind of a curve, the loco would derail. I originally thought as you did--this has to be wrong, and it looks terrible in photos! So--thinking I would outsmart the designers--I got a spare set of flanged drivers, machined off the flanges and turned the wheel so it was the same diameter as the front and rear drivers. It looked great sitting on the track. All the wheels were in contact with the rails as it "should" be. Then I ran it... and found every last little hump, bump, and twist in my track in the process. So, "off with the new, on with the old," and miraculously the loco tracked much better. Lesson learned.

Other locos (Bachmann's "Spectrum" series, for example) use a chassis design where each axle is individually sprung, so it can adapt to twists and bumps in the track much easier. This keeps all the drivers in contact with the railhead, so electrical pick-up is improved in addition to tracking over uneven rails. It's a "better" way to do business, but ads a fair amount to the complexity and expense of the model. Having said that, the 4-6-0 chassis is probably one of the most time-proven designs out there. The gearing has changed, but at no point has Bachmann ever felt the need to spring or equalize the drivers. That speaks volumes. (They did re-do the suspension on the pilot truck with this latest release)

In terms of glues for Bachmann's plastics, it's really going to depend on the plastic. I typically like to use solvent cements (Weld-On or Plastruct or similar that I get from the hobby store) but that's hit-or-miss as to how well it works. Wherever possible, I like to use a mechanical reinforcement to the broken joint. Usually this can take the form of a thin piece of styrene overlapping the back side of the joint (out of sight) if possible, or I drill holes and reinforce the break with wire pins to help keep things in line. It's not always possible, but it is always advantageous when practical. I've learned not to rely solely on glues for joints where things need to stay together.

Later,

K
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trainstrainstrains

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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2014, 10:29:53 PM »

Will check with the ohmmeter tomorrow and if I have time bond the
Shay's  cracked ring.  Later on this week I'll lubricate, first time ever. Will wait to see what more Bill has to say about the 4 6 0 chassis (plural) hopefully soon when he settles in. Nice to know the truth about the mysterious airborne middle driver. .Thanks.
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trainstrainstrains

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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2014, 05:24:42 AM »

I found the wires to tap power from inside the loco with an ohmmeter and then  telephoned Dalle for more install advice, they were indeed helpful. But I am considering installing the whole  sound system, Dallee sound card, battery, on of switch, and speaker in a specially  made enclosure in a gondola or hopper car behind the loco, that way I would leave the loco unaltered which I like, use a larger speaker facing up for better sound and have more space so things are not crammed together in too small a space. Ideally the power in this case should be tapped  from the wheels  of the car. How would I best go about tapping power from the wheels  of the gondola?
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tac

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« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2014, 05:36:13 AM »

Will check with the ohmmeter tomorrow and if I have time bond the
Shay's  cracked ring.  Later on this week I'll lubricate, first time ever. Will wait to see what more Bill has to say about the 4 6 0 chassis (plural) hopefully soon when he settles in. Nice to know the truth about the mysterious airborne middle driver. .Thanks.

Sir - there is no mystery to the 'airborne' middle driver.  As has been noted already, many locomotives that needed to traverse sharp bends had flangeless centre wheels, sometimes even TWO sets.  In reality, they wheels STILL made contact with the head of the track, but were not restrained by either the sharpness of the curve or the less-than-great condition of switches they might encounter.

As late as the middle 1950's the great British Railways locomotive designer Riddles built the 9F loco, a 2-10-0 fast freight locomotive.  Even in 1950's UK, it had a flangeless centre driving axle.

Bachmann have done this on their hauler and annie for precisely the same reasons - sharp curves and often less-than-ideal trackbed, but chose to lift the axle minutely off the railhead to  enable the use of tight bends on thrown-down trackage.

It's no big deal.  My $4000 Accucraft K27 is the same - maybe the Bachmann version is the same, too.

tac
Ottawa Valley GRS
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 03:04:31 PM by tac » Logged
Joe Zullo

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« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2014, 08:30:26 AM »

« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 08:34:28 AM by Joe Zullo » Logged
Chuck N

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« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2014, 10:10:06 AM »

T3

I don't have any Big Hauler freight cars.  All my Bachmann Rollin stock is 1:20.3.  LGB's trucks have a place where their carbon (graphite) electrical pickups can be inserted into the couple tongue.  Wires can be soldered to the metal sleeve that enclosed the carbon plunger.  This is a better mechanism than metal springs pushing against the back if the wheel.  That adds a lot of friction, the car may act more like a brick, than an easy rolling car.

A better solution, but more expensive, is to get wheel and axle sets that have ball bearings and electrical pickups.  These can be put into existing trucks.  This might not be that much more expensive if you have to buy trucks, wheels and electrical pickups.

I have batteries in both a tender and trailing box cars.  I prefer the trailing car.  It is easy to swap out a dead battery for a fresh one in the trailing car.  It is impossible to to that with my batteries in the tender.  I have to take the engine and tender off the track and charge it.  

Chuck
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 10:15:03 AM by Chuck N » Logged
tac

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« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2014, 11:31:09 AM »




Thanks for posting that image, Joe.  A picture etc.......

Best

tac
Ottawa Valley GRS
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trainstrainstrains

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« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2014, 11:48:28 AM »

Tac. The intended meaning of my comment is that it was a mystery to me until  very logical explanations were posted here. Thank you for contributing with  further  clarification.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 12:06:07 PM by trainstrainstrains » Logged
trainstrainstrains

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« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2014, 12:04:23 PM »

Chuck, thanks, using LGB trucks with place for electrical pickups seems like a very interesting and viable solution,  I looked up the pickups you mentioned, they press against the inside of the wheels, I have not found the ball bearing system. I'd like to see what that looks like.  Thanks again.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 02:10:29 PM by trainstrainstrains » Logged
Chuck N

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« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2014, 03:16:36 PM »

I made a partial goof.  Not all LGB freight trucks have sleeves for the pickups.  Trucks on cars that need power for sound or lights do (Mogul tenders, cattle and sheep cars) have them. Regular freight cars don't.  Passenger trucks also have them. 

If you go this route, you will need metal wheels.  Bachmann's metal wheels will fit into the LGB frames and they are my preferred replacements for plastic wheels.

I'm sure most large LGB vendors will have the trucks and power pickups (LGB# 63120).

There is a electrical contact set that might be able to be screwed to a Bachmann truck tongue, LGB part # 63193.


Suggested vendors are: Train-Li, Reindeer Pass Railroad, and RLD Hobbies.  They all have ads in Garden Railways.  Call and talk to them.  They might have a better idea.  Since you already have trucks, going with two ball bearing with power connections and two axles with plain metal wheels might be the most economical.

Chuck

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trainstrainstrains

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« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2014, 05:53:00 PM »

I just bought a Bachmann Big Hauler Pennsylvania Stock train car with metal wheels to use for the sound, it looks real good, the sound will go out easily thru the spaces between the horizontal planks, plenty of space for everything but not very visible from the outside. I wonder if the pickups  for LGB will work on this. I imagine they would with slight adaptation, perhaps Bachmann  also makes them?
 It worries me a bit that with LGB pickups the friction  might act as a brake, also that the contact might be intermittent. Is this worry unfounded? Better contact and less friction with the ball bearing  system? Perhaps  it is best to draw the power tapping it from the loco as recommended while  still having all sound hardware in the Stock car?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 06:30:05 PM by trainstrainstrains » Logged
Chuck N

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« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2014, 07:14:15 PM »

I don't really know if the LGB add on contact will work on a Bachmann truck, but I think that with a little modification it could be made to work, if it doesn't out of the box.  I have a number of LGB's cars with the plunger, I have never noticed a drag problem.  Not like the metal leaf spring that presses against the back of the wheels. Which turn an easily rolling car into a brick.

Adding additional power draw from the engine could ultimately add to intermediate power.  Power draw on wheels can ultimately lead to arcing in the wheels.  This leads to needing to clean the wheels to increase performance.  I have several engines, non Bachmann that have that have excessive arcing that needs the wheels being polished to achieve optimum performance.

In my opinion, the more power pick ups the better.  If I were you I'd use the ball bearing axle/wheel sets.  Less friction.  

It is ultimately your decision.  I can't, won't, tell you what to do.  I/we, can only make suggestions.  It all depends on how much you want to spend and what you are comfortable with.

Chuck
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 07:36:14 PM by Chuck N » Logged
trainstrainstrains

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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2014, 07:35:19 PM »

Only thing left to investigate before deciding is the ball bearing  pickup system, I do not understand how it works, I've  tried to look it up but found nothing, a drawing or photo and prices would help, I'll  keep looking.
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Chuck N

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« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2014, 07:54:41 PM »

Here is a link to a website for an skilled individual who makes "G" scale/gauge wheels sets.  Many of us consider them the Rolls-Royce  of wheel/axle sets.

http://www.audiomobiles.com/trains/trainwheels.html

He has BBs in several configurations.

I think that there are tabs on the axle to which you can solder the leads.  Very simple.  Contact him for more information.

Chuck
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 07:56:13 PM by Chuck N » Logged
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