Power bogie blues

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Bob Taylor
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Power bogie blues

Postby Bob Taylor » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:33 pm

Been here before I know but I have a problem which I need to resolve before going any further :(

In the past I have made my feelings perfectly clear of what I think of my BEC motor bogie :evil: That was bad enough and to be fair it is, finally, getting better! :shock: Not brilliant but better.

I also have a SPUD unit which was brand new and untouched. I now finding that that is a bad runner as well :( :( This has seriously ticked me off.

I'm using a very old Hammant and Morgan power controller and I'm now wondering if the "fault" lies there. However both my Bachmann Davenport and Kato Tram chassis run very slowly and smoothly with the same controller :? .

So the bottom line. I need to get SPUD unit running to my expectations. I've added weight to no avail, cleaned both wheels and track and still it needs a prod to get it moving most of the time. Very disappointed.

I have also tried running it in, all be it on the bench, both directions. Still the same.

So I find myself with some nice loco's that don't run no were near as well as I would like. ANY thoughts would be helpful.


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Re: Power bogie blues

Postby Steve Bennett » Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:59 pm

Bob Taylor wrote:I'm using a very old Hammant and Morgan power controller and I'm now wondering if the "fault" lies there. However both my Bachmann Davenport and Kato Tram chassis run very slowly and smoothly with the same controller :? .


I have the opposite problem, I'm using an old H&M Clipper for testing the new micro and I'm finding it difficult to get decent running with any of my Bachmann stuff. Go figure :roll:
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Postby Bob Taylor » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:05 pm

Very odd. Not sure how to continue to be honest. The easy answer is to use the Gas Mech. or go total Gnine and use the Kato. I'm very tempted by the later but I like the size of Gn15 rolling stock. The jury is still out regarding Gnine stock. The loco I'm happy with.

Whatever is decided I would still like some verity in what I want to run. Somebody must have an idea.


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Re: Power bogie blues

Postby RichUK » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:10 pm

Bob Taylor wrote:I also have a SPUD unit which was brand new and untouched. I now finding that that is a bad runner as well :( :( This has seriously ticked me off.

I'm using a very old Hammant and Morgan power controller and I'm now wondering if the "fault" lies there.


Hi Bob.
I have a H&M Duette that I have been using for testing and found that the running quality of the 3 spud's and a bachmann 0-4-0 i've got to be erratic to say the least - either they stop and start, or fly round at break neck speed.

I have now wired the layout properly and using a gaugemaster handheld and a T1 transformer, all of them seem to perform a lot better with less "splutter".

It could just be coincidence, but then again it could be that they don't like the H&M!

Richard

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Postby Bob Taylor » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:17 pm

Thanks Richard for that. It makes you wonder.

However what I'm after is No "splutter" at all! :shock: What I could do is take my SPUD down to my local railway club, we have a large "OO" layout with a continuous run and modern controllers.

Just can't see why it would be an issue though.



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Re: Power bogie blues

Postby Steve Bennett » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:21 pm

Bob Taylor wrote:I have also tried running it in, all be it on the bench, both directions. Still the same.


I'm stumped, but I wonder?
Both the Tenshodo and Bec units have coatings on the wheels when new, which can inhibit picking up power. The best way to cut through the coating is to run them around a circle/oval of track continuously for a while. It's the only thing I can think of that might be the problem.
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Postby Bob Taylor » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:35 pm

The BEC did have a coating on the wheels and funnily enough the running qualities did improve once I got it off!

The wheels on the SPUD look spotless.


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Postby SOUTHPASS » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:59 pm

Bob....I know it's a long shot but it has worked for me. Get a short length of track, soak it with WD40 or equivelent, place unit on tack, hold lightly and apply power. Let wheels spin for a minute or two then reverse direction.
Hope this helps in some way.
.....WARNING....
Contains images that anoraks may find disturbing.
1:24 scale 16.5mm gauge.
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Postby bluey1989 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:50 am

I bought my first spud unit off ebay some time ago, tried it and I dont think I have seen something run so bad in a long time. Needless to say thats burried in a draw somewhere now.

After advise on here I purchased a black beetle with the gear ratio for slower running (cant remember what is is now), and wow what a difference, you pay your money you take your choice I suppose.

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Postby Prof Klyzlr » Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:03 pm

Dear Bob,

Just some random thoughts that may be helpful... :wink:

1 - :idea: using a regular 9 volt battery, test each axle of the SPUD to ensure that all 4 wheels are picking up power correctly
(With only 4 wheels to work with,
dropping even 1 "wheel" worth of pickup reduces the loco to effectively "1 pickup point per side",
which ain't great odds in any Modeller's language... :wink: )

2 - Everything else being equalk, The H&M should work fine with a decent mech. (They have a good reputation, and are fairly robust. They also tend to "play nice" with hi-precision motors, which has won them some fans...)

3 - THe SPUD and basic Black Beetle have 14:1 ratio gearing, which is waaay too high for smooth slow running under NG conditions IMHO. The custom 27:1 Black Beetles are a SERIOUS improvement, and are the only valid BB gear ratio for my $$$ :wink:

4 - Black Beetles have nickel silver treads, which aids in pickup behaviour. However, as a result, they should NEVER be "slid",
(either by moving the vehicle down the rails with wheels locked, or by "power sliding"). This will wear away the nickel silver, and create a pitted surface which attracts and holds dust/dirt.

5 - In contrast, SPUDS do NOT have such coatings IIRC. This means their overall pickup is worse, and are Always susceptible to dirt/dust pickup

6 - added weight is GOOD, as long as it is Balanced over the 2 axles of the SPUD. having it "nose or tail heavy", or heavy Left <> right is only going to weight down one wheel/pickup point, and break contact with the other. Ergo, No Go! :roll:

7 - watch for PVA or other scenery adhesives creeping up the rail and creating issues, esp in the days after ballasting!

8 - this one has a number of both fans and naysayers, but I personally use graphite in "stick" form to coat freshly cleaned rails. This helps avoid dust pickup, benefits electrical pickup, and improves overall analog DC layout behaviour. I clean my track maybe twice a year, and do at least 4 shows a year. (I clean my Loco wheels once a year, and have Never needed to clean rollingstock wheels).

I have fairly high reliability and "crawl speed" specifications for my personal layouts and equipment, and graphite allows me to hit or exceed those reqquirements without significant stress mid-show...

NB the only real downside to graphite is that it is a lubricant, and as such WILL affect adhesion on grades. This can be a benefit to those of us using screamingly tight corners, as it helps the gear "slide round" the sub 9" radii curves... :wink:

9 - the Gaugemaster Throttles have already gotten a mention. I'll put my hand up to say that the tiny Gaugemaster model HH handheld throttle is THE test crawling throttle I have ever used. Don't know how it does it, but I could be very happy if it was the only throttle I was permitted to use. It's held up for me under show conditions on N, HO, HOn30, HOn3, HO, On30, and On3 use, even when subjected to "1 sleeper/minute or slower" torture tests such as crawling multiple MDC open-frame-motor-powered Shays, or a pair of seriously worn out brass Tenshodo 0-4-0 locos, (each loco measured out later at 1.2 amps under "crawl" conditions!!!) :shock:

The HH is also very well protected, and has kepth the show going where larger and much more $$$ throttles have crashed and burned.... :twisted:

10 - no-ones asked the question yet, but what track/rail material are you using? Nickel Silver(Peco)? Steel? Brass?

Hope this Helps,
let us know what transpires...
and remember, achieving "Good Reliable Running" is simply a case of methodically working thru the chain from one end to the other...
(try not to get disheartened, we've all been there... :lol: )

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

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and sorely disappointed with their "track holding" behaviour,
somewhere deep in the Aussie Bush..."

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Postby Simon Andrews » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:24 pm

Bob,

If you are happy to buy yet another bogie, and are willing to work round its bulky shape I would recomend using a Halling motor bogie. I use them under my steam tram and cut down Mordred on Black Hall Sidings. It is available in a number of gauges including 16.5mm.

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Postby Bob Taylor » Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:57 pm

Thank you for ALL the replies.

However I may have some news. As soon has I got back from work I set up a very short piece of track then butted it up against something solid. Put said power bogie on track and gave it some power. Then left it while I had my tea etc sliding away on the spot.

Just over an hour later I tried it again. Result - Much better! :D The amount of crud that came off the spotless wheels was amazing.

It's currently back on its "track" sliding away till I go to bed. Adding some weight helps.

Simon I don't want to purchase another power bogie. Knowing my luck it would not fit under the two locomotives which are already built making modification difficult.



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Postby More_Cats_Than_Sense » Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:02 pm

Some wheels have a coating on them to prevent corrosion/tarnishing, sounds like that was what was causing the problems.
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Postby Dallas_M » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:02 pm

Bob Taylor wrote:I set up a very short piece of track then butted it up against something solid. Put said power bogie on track and gave it some power. Then left it while I had my tea etc sliding away on the spot.

Just over an hour later I tried it again. Result - Much better! :D The amount of crud that came off the spotless wheels was amazing.

It's currently back on its "track" sliding away till I go to bed. Adding some weight helps. Bob.


Hi Bob --

This thread peaked my curiosity as I've kept a Gnat kit in perfect "Mint & Boxed" condition (ie unbuilt) for about 6 years ... and a Tenshodo spud stashed away for just as long. Don't tell Steve ( 8) ) but I've been playing with the parts and figuring out how I want to customize and, yes, actually assemble them!

My original impression of the Spud was much like yours ... today, I tested both the Spud and a Black Beetle (also unused) that I've had around just as long ... without weight, the Spud sputtered, the Black Beetle ran reasonably well.

I placed the Spud under the Gnat frame and poured 3 ounces (85g) of lead shot into the compartments of the Gnat body ... and it's creeping around well enough to suggest that a bit of cleaning and running-in will do the trick. Sounds like you're on the way to similar results and, thanks to your post, my Gnat is now cleared for assembly ... which will, of course, destroy it's collector value! :shock: But, what the heck! :lol:

(Shucks, if I'd built this back when I got it, I could be an "old-timer" now! :roll: )
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:19 am

Bob Taylor wrote: Result - Much better! :D The amount of crud that came off the spotless wheels was amazing.


Good news Bob.
Yes those spotless wheels are far from it on a new Tenshodo. They seem to be coated in a kind of clear laquer, which most of the time, gives no problem and wears off after only a little running. There are times though when it is more stubborn and can stop decent electrical connection with the rails.
I have noticed the same thing on some Bachmann wheels aswell, so it isnt just Tenshodo :wink:

Found out why I was getting bad running from one of my Bachmann Davenports, the gear on one axle was split :roll: . Not had time to strip the other one yet, could well be the same thing. I think my next layout will use fishing line :lol:
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:23 am

Dallas_M wrote:Don't tell Steve ( 8) )


:lol: :lol: :lol:
I dont think the Gnat will ever become collectable, so you may aswell use it. In fact the value has probably gone down in real terms, as it is still the same price :lol:
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Postby NICKJW » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:22 am

Bob

I only use SPUD bogies on my exhibition layouts and they all (have to) run at snails pace as required.

The key to smooth running is weight on the bogies but above all, good controller, clean wheels and track. To achieve this, I use the following:

Gaugemaster feedback controller and a Gaugemaster electronic track cleaner.

I clean the bogie wheels and track at the begining of the show and don't touch them for the whole day and they run perfectly.

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Postby More_Cats_Than_Sense » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:11 pm

Steve Bennett wrote:
Found out why I was getting bad running from one of my Bachmann Davenports, the gear on one axle was split :roll: .


One of my Davenports lost a tooth off of one of the main drive cogs :(
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:51 pm

More_Cats_Than_Sense wrote:One of my Davenports lost a tooth off of one of the main drive cogs :(


Turn the wheelsets end over end so that the damaged gear is at the undriven end Barry, or is it one of the gears in the chassis itself :?:
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Postby Bob Taylor » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:14 pm

My SPUD slid away for a couple of hours all in and apart fro getting very warm seemed none the worse for it.

It defiantly getting better, still not as I would like, but a massive improvement.

I wonder Steve what sort of "mileage" has your Davenport done before in broke?

Once again to you all, thank you.


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Postby More_Cats_Than_Sense » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:17 pm

Steve Bennett wrote:
More_Cats_Than_Sense wrote:One of my Davenports lost a tooth off of one of the main drive cogs :(


Turn the wheelsets end over end so that the damaged gear is at the undriven end Barry, or is it one of the gears in the chassis itself :?:


Guess :!: :roll: :(
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:42 pm

Bob Taylor wrote:I wonder Steve what sort of "mileage" has your Davenport done before in broke?


Hardly had any running at all, less than 10 hours I would say, but, it is one of the very first batch produced and been used as a display loco for my cab conversion since they first came out. It is probably the extremes of temperature experienced in the car that is to blame, it has had to suffer freezing temperatures and baking heat, which wont have helped. Having had it stripped down and seen how poor the workmanship is, it's amazing it runs at all :roll: but they do and run well somehow.
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Postby Steve Bennett » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:45 pm

More_Cats_Than_Sense wrote:Guess :!: :roll: :(


Ah, not good.
Not sure where you will find spares either, certainly Bachmann here in the UK dont keep them as far as I'm aware.
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:55 pm

Steve, when I broke one of the gears on my Davenport, I contacted Bachmann and got a spare very easily. I was also amazed how easy the chassis and gear train came apart and went back together.

Funny thing about these locos is that when running on DCC I have found they occasionally don't perform properly. Could be my newly laid track , and also low slung chassis play havoc with attempt to use uncoupling ramps, and inset track which was not as well filled as it should have been done.
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Postby Bob Taylor » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:58 pm

A quick update. Took my SPUD to my railway club this evening and it ran very well indeed! :shock: but only after I cleaned the track It also ran further than It ever had in one go, about twenty feet! Unable to do a complete circuit because of track laying :(

Brought it back home and yes it runs a lot better but..........

With the cubs hand held controllers it was very responsive and I able to get it down to a crawl but back home, with my very old H&M controller it seems to be all or nothing. Not ideal for a small shunting layout!

It does however run better than it has since I've had it so it can on in the success pile and not the bin. It came very close though. Need to look at a new controller it would seem.


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