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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone
Has anyone had any problems with Bachmann Deltics or Bachmann A1's (both of the 8-pin socket type). Both my locos were running fine but suddenly they do not respond on the track. They are fitted with TCS MC2 decoders (my system is Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance).
I have tried putting them on the program track and reading back the address, which is fine on both. I have put the "blanking plug" back in and run them on a DC test track, which is fine (nice runners in fact). The wheels and track are clean and all other DCC locos are running OK. I have even tried swapping for a couple of spare decoders (Lenz and Bachmann) and, while they still accept programming on the program track and read back their correct addresses, they do not respond on the main track!
I could try hard-wiring the decoders in and by-pass the socket, but I don't know if this will solve the problem, whatever it is!
Any ideas? Or has anyone had a similar thing happen and resolved it?
Thanks
Keith
 

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QUOTE (Keith Underwood @ 8 Jun 2008, 15:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi everyone
Has anyone had any problems with Bachmann Deltics or Bachmann A1's (both of the 8-pin socket type). Both my locos were running fine but suddenly they do not respond on the track. They are fitted with TCS MC2 decoders (my system is Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance).
I have tried putting them on the program track and reading back the address, which is fine on both. I have put the "blanking plug" back in and run them on a DC test track, which is fine (nice runners in fact). The wheels and track are clean and all other DCC locos are running OK. I have even tried swapping for a couple of spare decoders (Lenz and Bachmann) and, while they still accept programming on the program track and read back their correct addresses, they do not respond on the main track!
I could try hard-wiring the decoders in and by-pass the socket, but I don't know if this will solve the problem, whatever it is!
Any ideas? Or has anyone had a similar thing happen and resolved it?
Thanks
Keith

My next action would be to either deliberately go through the actions of address etc on the programming track, or I would do a factory reset and start again (cv 8 set to 8. It may read 153 as that is TCS's ID number. or on the list I have it also says cv 30 set to 2)
The decoders come with information on the various settings for cv's. I am a novice but have found patience, and trial and error and using this forum gets me there.
Hope this helps
Paul
 

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QUOTE (BromsMods @ 8 Jun 2008, 19:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If these are the latest MC2 decoders with BEMF they should be OK, but you might like to have a look and see if the capacitors are still there - if so it might be better to remove them.

If you want help with TCS CVs then take a look at http://www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/TCSDecod....htm#CVSettings

Regards

John R
Bromsgrove Models

Thanks for the information John, forgive my ignorence but in the table there what is a 'bit' quoted next to the CV settings.

upnick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (Paul Crabtree @ 8 Jun 2008, 18:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>My next action would be to either deliberately go through the actions of address etc on the programming track, or I would do a factory reset and start again (cv 8 set to 8. It may read 153 as that is TCS's ID number. or on the list I have it also says cv 30 set to 2)
The decoders come with information on the various settings for cv's. I am a novice but have found patience, and trial and error and using this forum gets me there.
Hope this helps
Paul

Thanks for the suggestions Paul and John R. I have tried a "factory reset" cv30 set to 2. It had the expected result of setting back to code "0003" when I read the address again, but the loco still did not respond to this address on the main track. But I will keep trying and let you know if I find the answer.
Cheers
Keith
 

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QUOTE (Keith Underwood @ 8 Jun 2008, 15:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi everyone
Has anyone had any problems with Bachmann Deltics or Bachmann A1's (both of the 8-pin socket type). Both my locos were running fine but suddenly they do not respond on the track.

while they still accept programming on the program track and read back their correct addresses, they do not respond on the main track!

Do your other locos respond on the main track?
No other locos? Check connection to main track.
 

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QUOTE (Keith Underwood @ 8 Jun 2008, 21:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for the suggestions Paul and John R. I have tried a "factory reset" cv30 set to 2. It had the expected result of setting back to code "0003" when I read the address again, but the loco still did not respond to this address on the main track. But I will keep trying and let you know if I find the answer.
Cheers
Keith

Hmmm, It may be a 'fluke' that both the A1 and Deltic have apparently developed the same fault. The fact that you replaced the decoders with a Lenz and Bachmann (which I assume you know work) and still got no result...yet they read suggests that may be there is either an open circuit to the motor or a short. Do the lights work? but not the motor? If it were a short then it would probably cause the decoder to cut out anyway as its intended to. John suggestion of removing the capacitor, and I have seen other articles on this site that suggest that...why it would work at first and then not later I don't have the knowledge to say. I've got an A1 and an odd decoder so maybe I'll go and have a play to see what happens.

Paul
 

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QUOTE (Keith Underwood @ 8 Jun 2008, 23:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi everyone
Has anyone had any problems with Bachmann Deltics or Bachmann A1's (both of the 8-pin socket type). Both my locos were running fine but suddenly they do not respond on the track. They are fitted with TCS MC2 decoders (my system is Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance).
I have tried putting them on the program track and reading back the address, which is fine on both. I have put the "blanking plug" back in and run them on a DC test track, which is fine (nice runners in fact). The wheels and track are clean and all other DCC locos are running OK. I have even tried swapping for a couple of spare decoders (Lenz and Bachmann) and, while they still accept programming on the program track and read back their correct addresses, they do not respond on the main track!
I could try hard-wiring the decoders in and by-pass the socket, but I don't know if this will solve the problem, whatever it is!
Any ideas? Or has anyone had a similar thing happen and resolved it?
Thanks
Keith

Hello Keith

To reconfirm:
* these two loco's only will not run, all others are fine.
* both loco's will accept programming track instruction with no problem but will not run on the main track.
* decoder reset tried, after which both loco's re-programmed OK but still will not run on the main track.
* alternative decoders tried, both loco's still OK on programming track but still will not run on the main track.
* Both loco's tried on normal DC, seem to run OK.

The fact that all decoders are OK and will programme OK too would indicate that the problem is between the output side of the decoders and the motors - check the following remote possibilities:

reinstall and programme the decoder, test with controller connected to a separate bit of track - not the layout.

reinstall and programme the decoder, test on another layout with another control system.

put one probe of a meter on orange wires socket position - touch both motor brushes to check for continuity - repeat with Gray wires socket position.

Do any of the pins on the 8 pin plug go very close to the chassis when pushed fully home in the socket. If so when the body is on any added pressure can create a short across pins.

do either of the brush to wire contact points sit very close to metal - ditto

is there any solder bridging between pins on the bachmann sockets, or perhaps a super small strand of copper between the pins of the sockets... this is not uncommon

are the pins loose in the sockets, so one isn't making god contact - unlikely but it can happen: to test, very slightly bend the pins connected to orange and gray and re-insert the decoder in socket...

Check motor impedance. If its less than say 30 ohms its very low and motor may be going bad - this happenned a LOT with bachmann motors at the time of the A1 release as they were badly assembled with the bearings not properly seated.

You could also check motor after a few minutes running on DC with a load on it - if its getting warm, its in need of replacement.

Personally at this point, if nothing obvious pops up then my next step would be to disassemble the loco just in case something obvious is missed, reassemble carefully, test on DC then bypass the socket and hard wire the decoder.

Sorry I cannot be more specific.

Regards
Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 9 Jun 2008, 03:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello Keith

To reconfirm:
* these two loco's only will not run, all others are fine.
* both loco's will accept programming track instruction with no problem but will not run on the main track.
* decoder reset tried, after which both loco's re-programmed OK but still will not run on the main track.
* alternative decoders tried, both loco's still OK on programming track but still will not run on the main track.
* Both loco's tried on normal DC, seem to run OK.

The fact that all decoders are OK and will programme OK too would indicate that the problem is between the output side of the decoders and the motors - check the following remote possibilities:

reinstall and programme the decoder, test with controller connected to a separate bit of track - not the layout.

reinstall and programme the decoder, test on another layout with another control system.

put one probe of a meter on orange wires socket position - touch both motor brushes to check for continuity - repeat with Gray wires socket position.

Do any of the pins on the 8 pin plug go very close to the chassis when pushed fully home in the socket. If so when the body is on any added pressure can create a short across pins.

do either of the brush to wire contact points sit very close to metal - ditto

is there any solder bridging between pins on the bachmann sockets, or perhaps a super small strand of copper between the pins of the sockets... this is not uncommon

are the pins loose in the sockets, so one isn't making god contact - unlikely but it can happen: to test, very slightly bend the pins connected to orange and gray and re-insert the decoder in socket...

Check motor impedance. If its less than say 30 ohms its very low and motor may be going bad - this happenned a LOT with bachmann motors at the time of the A1 release as they were badly assembled with the bearings not properly seated.

You could also check motor after a few minutes running on DC with a load on it - if its getting warm, its in need of replacement.

Personally at this point, if nothing obvious pops up then my next step would be to disassemble the loco just in case something obvious is missed, reassemble carefully, test on DC then bypass the socket and hard wire the decoder.

Sorry I cannot be more specific.

Regards
Richard
DCCconcepts

Hi Richard
Your confirmation of my problem is correct. Thanks for your very comprehensive reply, its given me a lot to work with. I'll "have a go" and let you know if I have any success.
All the best.
Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (Keith Underwood @ 9 Jun 2008, 10:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Richard
Your confirmation of my problem is correct. Thanks for your very comprehensive reply, its given me a lot to work with. I'll "have a go" and let you know if I have any success.
All the best.
Keith

Have spent the day on the Deltic. After finding no obvious fault I decided to be brave and dismantle the beast. The first thing I noticed was a whole cluster of capacitors under the motor (why Bachmann place these in an inaccessable spot in the bowels of the loco is a bit of a mystery). I had already removed some of these from the circuit board when I first installed a decoder, thinking they were the only ones present (I am obviously too trusting!) Anyway, I removed the offending items in the vain hope that they were causing the problem. After nailing everything back together again (Oh for three pairs of hands!) I tested the loco on DC again and it ran perfectly. So I then replaced the TCS decoder which gave the correct address on the programming track. I then tried it on the main track again - no response! So - next drastic step - I removed the circuit board/socket combo and hard-wired a Lenz chip (which I know is sound) directly to the pick up wires and motor wires. On the program track I read the address OK, so I placed it on the main track in anticipation that I had overcome the problem but - no response!
Oh well, at least I have learned how to disassemble and re-assemble a Deltic! It is now back together with circuit board and blanking plug, happily working on DC until I get the heart/enthusiasm/sheer desparation to have another look at it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (Keith Underwood @ 9 Jun 2008, 17:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Have spent the day on the Deltic. After finding no obvious fault I decided to be brave and dismantle the beast. The first thing I noticed was a whole cluster of capacitors under the motor (why Bachmann place these in an inaccessable spot in the bowels of the loco is a bit of a mystery). I had already removed some of these from the circuit board when I first installed a decoder, thinking they were the only ones present (I am obviously too trusting!) Anyway, I removed the offending items in the vain hope that they were causing the problem. After nailing everything back together again (Oh for three pairs of hands!) I tested the loco on DC again and it ran perfectly. So I then replaced the TCS decoder which gave the correct address on the programming track. I then tried it on the main track again - no response! So - next drastic step - I removed the circuit board/socket combo and hard-wired a Lenz chip (which I know is sound) directly to the pick up wires and motor wires. On the program track I read the address OK, so I placed it on the main track in anticipation that I had overcome the problem but - no response!
Oh well, at least I have learned how to disassemble and re-assemble a Deltic! It is now back together with circuit board and blanking plug, happily working on DC until I get the heart/enthusiasm/sheer desparation to have another look at it!
Just an update if anyone is still following this story. I had one last attempt with the Deltic last night - put a Bachmann 36-553 decoder in - coded and confirmed as "21", put it on the main track and it ran perfectly! So I went to bed happy. However, when trying it again this morning, no response again! I then did a factory reset (CV8 - value 08) which set the decoder back to "3", put it on the main track and it ran again on code "3". Switched the system off, came back to it later, tried to run on "3" again - no response! So, I now have an intermittent fault. All other DCC locos are still working fine and the Deltic still runs beautifully when converted back to DC. I have tried everything on Richard's list, taken out the "hidden" capacitors suggested by John, and have now basically run out of ideas. As my locos still perform faultlessly on DC, I am now considering reverting to DC like in the "good old days". It's a shame as I still think DCC has advantages over DC, but I have lost "trust" in the whole thing and would feel happier with the old conventional system. What price "progess" eh!!!!!
 

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When you try running this on the main track do you have any other locos on the track as well?

The only reason I ask, is that I had some very strange things happen to one of my locos that I fitted a decoder into, it was a TCS M1.

Sometimes it wouldn't respond then it would shoot off, all very strange.
What I found was that two of the decoder on board locos still had all the capacitors left inside them.
I removed every loco off the track and tested the problem one, on its own, all ok!
Started putting the other locos back on and when these two were put back on things went very odd.

Took them apart and hey ho a rake of caps hidden away, removed the lot, which seemed to cure everything.

Long shot but worth a try.

Cheers
 

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QUOTE (Keith Underwood @ 10 Jun 2008, 19:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just an update if anyone is still following this story. I had one last attempt with the Deltic last night - put a Bachmann 36-553 decoder in - coded and confirmed as "21", put it on the main track and it ran perfectly! So I went to bed happy. However, when trying it again this morning, no response again! I then did a factory reset (CV8 - value 08) which set the decoder back to "3", put it on the main track and it ran again on code "3". Switched the system off, came back to it later, tried to run on "3" again - no response! So, I now have an intermittent fault. All other DCC locos are still working fine and the Deltic still runs beautifully when converted back to DC. I have tried everything on Richard's list, taken out the "hidden" capacitors suggested by John, and have now basically run out of ideas. As my locos still perform faultlessly on DC, I am now considering reverting to DC like in the "good old days". It's a shame as I still think DCC has advantages over DC, but I have lost "trust" in the whole thing and would feel happier with the old conventional system. What price "progess" eh!!!!!

***Sorry that its still not solved... but I think Ian (wiggy) has some intersting comments in his last post!

We've covered every possible thing that may relate to the obvious, so we need to look elesewhere for an answer.

I've been thinking it through and its quite illogical that two loco's both have failures, and equally illogical that given the variety of decoders tried and the symptoms you've seen that its anything at all to do with locos or decoders at all really.

There only remains trackwork wiring and controller, and its rare for track wiring to create such an issue....

So...

I think you should first try Ians idea of removing all other locos and testing them

and...

Then try running them by connecting the controller to a simple separated test track.

Then...

If the problem goes away on a separate bit of track we need to talk about your layout wiring and configuration

But....

If its not then perfect on a separated bit of track, we do need to try another controller. I have a sneaky feeling that this may end up being a control system that is close to failure or marginal on performance spec... I'm talking individual controller here, not the brand.

So - try either another of the same brand or another brand.... or both.

Either way, stick with DCC - DCC is usually a very low problem technology and very tolerant, and I do feel you've simply hit a worst possible issue early on, and once its fixed, it'll be plain sailing for the rest of your miodelling wit DCC!

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Hi Keath

I have nothing new to add but give you a bit of moral support. I Know the feeling of stripping down a loco and putting it back together only to have the same problem occur again and again.

One little thing to just thought of it, I assume all wheels are driven, if so put a little dot on the wheels when it stops in dcc in bottom dead centre and see if it stops at this point each time. A long shot I know when this problem occurs with 2 loco's but it may just give you something to work from.

Stick with DCC and I really hope this works out for you ASAP.

Best of Luck Keath.

m
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE (Martin71 @ 10 Jun 2008, 15:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Keath

I have nothing new to add but give you a bit of moral support. I Know the feeling of stripping down a loco and putting it back together only to have the same problem occur again and again.

One little thing to just thought of it, I assume all wheels are driven, if so put a little dot on the wheels when it stops in dcc in bottom dead centre and see if it stops at this point each time. A long shot I know when this problem occurs with 2 loco's but it may just give you something to work from.

Stick with DCC and I really hope this works out for you ASAP.

Best of Luck Keath.

m

Thanks guys - its nice to know I'm not alone! Of course I will stick with DCC - just having an off day!
Just to update (again!) - I have now had the same thing happen on FIVE different locos! A bit of a nuisance but the upside is that it is beginning to look like a controller/system issue rather than individual locos or decoders.
I will get onto Gaugemaster next to see if they can throw some light on things. Fortunately, I bought the controller directly from them so I feel confident they will give good service. I don't know if anyone has been to the Engine Shed / Gaugemaster shop in Ford down south. I was in the area last October and could have spent all day in their vast emporium!
Will let you all know what happens.
Cheers all.
Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
QUOTE (wiggy25 @ 10 Jun 2008, 16:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I wonder if they will upgrade it to the prodigy advanced squared?

All Gaugemaster items have a lifetime garuantee I believe so you should be sorted!

Cheers

Thanks again Ian and Richard. I have just tried out your suggestions of taking all locos off the track, and running the main track outputs directly to a test track. In both cases, there is no response from a lone loco (even one that worked before!) - they still read back OK on the program track. So I think Gaugemaster will have to sort it.
As always, I'll let you know if and when its been done.
All the best
Keith
 

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My system is prodigy with their decoders fitted to my Hornby Mallard A4 & my Hornby Cardigan Castle.. The mallard has always operated correctly but the Castle was a bag of bones on DCC from day one. The faults included

Trapped on manufacture the leads from pick up to DCC socket. OK on DC but flakey on DCC.
None running with DCC chip with body in place OK without.
Would run some mornings but noit afternoon

All these wre fixed by replacing the pickup to socket leads and routing away from lead weight and sharpe edges.
Replaced wires from the socket to the motor.
Finally found that the -ve wire from the decoder back to the DCC plug was held in by the insulation and the conductor was thus intermittent. resoldered now OK.

Have also another question about the Castle tender, no one on the Hornby site has replied maybe someone here will.
The tender has a set of copper brushes that would appear to be for making contact with the wheels on one side. However on mine they don't. These brushes are part of a larger copper plate that terminates in a small slot in the front of the tender where the loco draw bar is inserted, The drawbar has a lower copper p[artt that touches the contacts and the disassembly notes go to length to ensure that you put this back together correctly so the copper parts mate. However the drawbar copper is isolated from the main loco wheels and the body. Anyone know if this is to allow more pick up area?
the A4 hasa wired drawbar.
 

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QUOTE (railstimulator @ 11 Jun 2008, 17:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>My system is prodigy with their decoders fitted to my Hornby Mallard A4 & my Hornby Cardigan Castle.. The mallard has always operated correctly but the Castle was a bag of bones on DCC from day one. The faults included

Trapped on manufacture the leads from pick up to DCC socket. OK on DC but flakey on DCC.
None running with DCC chip with body in place OK without.
Would run some mornings but noit afternoon

All these wre fixed by replacing the pickup to socket leads and routing away from lead weight and sharpe edges.
Replaced wires from the socket to the motor.
Finally found that the -ve wire from the decoder back to the DCC plug was held in by the insulation and the conductor was thus intermittent. resoldered now OK.

Have also another question about the Castle tender, no one on the Hornby site has replied maybe someone here will.
The tender has a set of copper brushes that would appear to be for making contact with the wheels on one side. However on mine they don't. These brushes are part of a larger copper plate that terminates in a small slot in the front of the tender where the loco draw bar is inserted, The drawbar has a lower copper p[artt that touches the contacts and the disassembly notes go to length to ensure that you put this back together correctly so the copper parts mate. However the drawbar copper is isolated from the main loco wheels and the body. Anyone know if this is to allow more pick up area?
the A4 hasa wired drawbar.

***Re the castle. they are indeed supposed to be pickups. I wonder if they simply decided not to worry about it on assembly as pickups on just on one set of wheels its such a half-baked approach!

I am just installing a decoder in a similar castle and on this one too they also fail to contact the wheels properly....the easy way is to adjust so they do so and then make sure the power transfers OK to the drawbar. You can then connect the drawbar power to the appropriate side of the loco for pickup.

If you want to really improve running also add a little weight to the tender to improve contact with the rails and then and add new pickups using phosphor bronze wire soldered to a little copperclad, and permanently couple & hard wire the tender to the locomotive... adding "both side" tender pickup to loco pickup will really help performance.

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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I wonder if they will upgrade it to the prodigy advanced squared?

All Gaugemaster items have a lifetime garuantee I believe so you should be sorted!

Hi Keith,

I have the prodigy advance controller from gaugemaster and affter calling them about another item i enquired if the advance could be upgraded to the squared as there is a socket for factory adjustments, and was told it couldnt be upgraded by one of the shop staff and the difference between them was for american locos.
 
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