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Just another modeller
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An interesting "installation repair" experience I thought I'd share as it contains several easy errors by the locomotive owner....

I had a loco dropped into me by a regular who likes to have a go at installation but tends to tangle himself up a little when he does. Sometimes the simplest requests end up taking lots of time, and need some real thinking to fix - this was one of them!

Help he said - I just installed it and "I can't believe its faulty says he - the lights don't work", followed by a commentary on the declines evident in Roco and lenz quality!

Hmmmm.... I never do this sort of thing in front of a customer, so when he left I took a look. It was a lovely newish Roco, Tender Drive, shaft from tender to loco..... Nice clever mechanism. He'd fitted a new Lenz gold, and the loco ran quite well when tested it although it had a funny noise that shouldn't be there....

Off with the tender top. Decoder fitted nicely on top of motor bracket, properly insulated.

Overall the install was sort of Ok but very noisy as the purple wire was rubbing against the flywheel, and the rest of the loom could have been better placed. He was lucky he'd not run it for another few minutes though - the purple wire was almost out of insulation....

Light bulbs tested OK but as the decoder was in the clear above the motor bracket before we went further the decoder outputs were tested - no voltage at all.....

A quick decoder reset just in case he'd fiddled, as this owner has finger trouble with CVs - but no change. (With a Lenz gold, if anything fails, check CV30 - it should be zero, CV30 will become above zero if there is a fault)

Step two....

Noting the way it was oriented in the chassis, out came the motor to access the 8 pin plug.

Aha.... the 8 pin plugs in the wrong way, so I turned it round and in a flash we had working lights....BUT... hang on, they worked but not the way they should have been! VERY strange, as the controller said forward, the loco went forward and the lights were reversed.

There should be NO error there, and reversing via CV29 will not fix that! A little careful though found the problemthough!

Looking closer, the soldering on thise short wires between motor and PB contact strips was never done that badly by Roco.... He'd clearly fiddled there!

Something else nagged at me.... Then it struck me - I'd put it back the way it was when I disassembled it but it lookedsort of wrong.... Then it struck me... the motor was backwards as it had the flywheel on the WRONG END compared to the Roco illustration!.

So....

Swapped the motor end to end and then swapped the two wires back to where Roco had always intended them to be and all was fixed.

What had happenned???? Basically he had just been careless initially - then, to be honest, simply silly!

He had taken the motor out to install the decoder. He'd put the decoder plug in backwards but clearly never checked for that - so it ran in reverse of expectation and of course the lights were dead. He had also put the motor back the wrong way round but never checked that at all.... (its a double neded motor with two shafts and fits easily either way).

The "silly" bit was then swapping the brush wires from correct to incorrect, meaning he had corrected the direction issue but guaranteed he'd never find the lights problem!

***by not following simple common sense and simply checking the plug was in the right way round he started the problem.
***By not looking carefully at the loco OR instructions before pulling the motor out he'd re-installed the motor backwards

he THEN did the really silly thing...

***he thought he knew better than Roco and reversed the motor connections...

So - he ended wup with a loco that ran on DCC as he wanted it with NO lights - and a probem he had no idea he'd made, so no chance of fixing it or the lights! It took me nearly a full hour to fix that problem, he's now happy but probably grumpy it wasn't just a dollar or two. It need never have happenned!

So - the point of this post. Have a go at installation - its NOT hard!

but

Take your time, do it one step at a time, and follow a logical process. For the first few you do, take it slowly, make a sketch or take a snap of the loco's internals before you disassemble it, store parts carefully, check step by step as you do the install and as you reassemble. test and test again as you go.

If there's a problem, suspect something simple first - The "fix" is often under your nose!

regards

Richard
 

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Good advice Richard (as always) - I've often found the motor 180deg out on Roco & other locomotives using the same mech & even refitted them the wrong way myself - now, I make sure I mark the "top" & anything else that could be refitted the wrong way round.

Again, it's very easy to overlook the simple solution.
 

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I cant comment on the loco in that example Richard as i dont do Roco, but as you say 'have a go' its the initiative and get up and go to start fitting decoders whether it be plugins/ boards or hardwired.
Around 12 months ago i wouldnt have atempted to hard wire a decoder, but now still with caution i do regularly ........ follow the rules and check everything before a test and you cant go wrong really.
 

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Hi All
I will go along with Brian , I mark with a black felt pen , connections and orientations of parts
AND--- Photograph dis-assembly with parts in position were they came from
Like an exploded view or service sheet.
Then if I cant remember where something goes , I can view the photo's for a clue

I also photograph the installation , so I have a record of what I have done , for future reference.

Buying second hand loco's you do find some strange things
self tapping screws -normally for holding the body on- holding the motor together , instead of the machine screws (fine threaded )
But The machine screws were holing the body on!

It all can be a challenge -but thats what makes it interesting

Regards Zmil
 

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Nearly everybody nowadays have a small digital camera.
Take pictures step by step as you go along dismantaling.
At our age brain cells are already in the incline so anything forgotten could be easily checked by calling up the photo from your PC screen, well at least thats what I did on my Roco 44.



By the way Richard, what was the class of the Roco Loco? Sounds like either a 44 or 50.

Baykal
 

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Just another modeller
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QUOTE (ebaykal @ 26 Aug 2008, 15:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Nearly everybody nowadays have a small digital camera.
Take pictures step by step as you go along dismantaling.
At our age brain cells are already in the incline so anything forgotten could be easily checked by calling up the photo from your PC screen, well at least thats what I did on my Roco 44.



By the way Richard, what was the class of the Roco Loco? Sounds like either a 44 or 50.

Baykal

***Exactly what is in your photo - and your photo is an excellent example of how to make sureyou get it back together correctly, thanks for posting it!

FYI he'd reassembled it with the flywheel to the front!

Richard
 
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