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    • April 22, 2017 2:15 PM EDT
    • I'll have to do a Zimo diesel, those new sound files sound pretty good, and I think the QSI does not do as good a job with the smoke unit in diesels.

      Have you done a diesel with the new Zimo files yet Dan?



    • April 22, 2017 8:17 AM EDT
    • I do what Greg suggests with Aristo, Trainli and USA trains motorized smoke units.

      Be careful with the heater element voltage.  On some I change the parallel resistors to series which reduces the current by 1/4 but increases the voltage needed by a factor of 4.

      Latest Trainli needs control from 15 volts, Aristo and USA from 10 volts.  Motors only needed around 4 volts.

      This is why a zimo decoder works great (the only one I have used for this operation)  as the decoder reads motor back voltages (BEMF) and controls idle, run, and accelerate for fan speed and heater element temperature.


    • April 21, 2017 3:11 PM EDT
    • DCC decoders... QSI and Zimo would be best..

      dump the electronics in the smoke unit and wire directly to the heater and fan, 4 wires.


    • April 21, 2017 2:17 PM EDT
    • I have a couple of Aristrocraft smoke units from diesel locomotives that I want to use in steam locos I've changed the wadding and inproved the smoke output 100% but I would like to convert them to pulsed smoke units, is there anyone out there that may know how I can convert them, I mean other than just interrupting the fan power with a contact. I'm looking for the fan to run constant when power is on and the loco is not moving. Any info or ideas would be appreciated.

    • April 17, 2017 11:42 AM EDT
    • Maybe you should cut them off flush with the cab front. When reassembling maybe they can be slid rearward. JMHO

    • April 17, 2017 11:41 AM EDT
    • I've got the Hungarian-made version (according to the sticker on the box), and the ends of the handrails on mine were bent at 90-degrees and inserted into the cab so they wouldn't pull out. I don't know if they inserted them first, then slid the hood on, then installed the finials on the handrails or how they did things, but they weren't coming out for love or money. I think the theory was that you'd remove the cab and hood together, then fold the hood up towards the roof, and the bent ends of the handrails would slide out of the cab when you folded the hood upwards.


      Good theory, I guess, but I ended up just cutting the ends off at the cab wall with a pair of wire cutters. Much simpler for reassembly. A small drop of glue on one of the stanchions will hold the handrails in place once reassembled.





    • April 17, 2017 11:14 AM EDT
    • I've disassembled several LGB American Shutting Diesel models to install DCC power and/sound decoders with no problem.  But this LGB 26630 Chinese-assembled unit has stumped me on how to remove the two metal handrails going into the top, front engine compartment.  On the German or Hungry made diesels, these two metal wires just pull out.  But I've tried to pull them out of this model and they do not come out even with trying to leverage them with pliers.  I'm wondering if the Chinese folks crimped the ends of these wires inside the engine compartment, thus making them impossible to pull out without damaging the front of the engine compartment.  Without removing these two metal wires, it's impossible to lift off the engine cover and engineer cabin to then be able to access the enclosed circuit board.  Any suggestions or help would be appreciated for removing these two metal wires.


    • March 19, 2017 11:30 AM EDT
    • Thanks for the help guys. I appreciate it.




    • March 19, 2017 11:08 AM EDT
    • Shane

      Michael has it right I removed the ones on my gp40 same thing as the sd45 but even with patience i broke one but was able to glue it back.



    • March 19, 2017 11:01 AM EDT
    • Shane


      The front intake grilles are brass, and have three small tabs on either vertical segment. The tabs are not bent over, simply pushed in. I remove them with an Xacto #11 on the back side and gently work it into the corners of both horizontal edges. Patience will garner and undamaged grille.



    • March 18, 2017 7:51 PM EDT
    • Some of the Aristo stuff have tabs that are bent over in the shell. You would see that. I have not worked on these.

    • March 18, 2017 7:10 PM EDT
    • Has anyone removed the front vents on an SD45? I think the frame on each side of the vent is metal (green arrows), and I'm guessing it is pressed into the body. Before I wreck something trying to remove it, I'm hoping somebody knows a little more then I do.


    • March 10, 2017 10:00 PM EST
    • Tony, Greg, Stan,
      Great information!
      I think it will run fine w/o replacing that part, hopefully!
      Thanks for explaining it so it could be understood so easily.
      Definitely gives us some reassurance.
      Appreciate all the help!

    • March 10, 2017 6:45 PM EST
    • Nonpolarized caps can blow too, just from being cheap or underrated.

      As Stan and Tony have said, normally once these short circuit, the heat vaporizes the conductive path, and the short is gone for good.


    • March 10, 2017 4:56 PM EST
    • Some (as in a few) of the Spectrum 4-4-0 and 2-6-0 locos had one or more 47 mfd electrolytic caps soldered in the wrong way around on the "noise" suppression pcb mounted on the end of the motor. The locos would run just fine in one direction but not the other. A cap would blow exactly like has happened now. Then, once the magic smoke had been released and the cap was out of the circuit, they would come good and run as per normal.

      However, if that particular loco had at one stage performed properly in both directions, it is a trifle unusual for a cap to blow now.

    • March 10, 2017 4:11 PM EST
    • Stan, Greg,
      Thanks so much!
      I guess my next question is why would that part/s burn out and nothing else? Is it possible they were soldered improperly or just a bad part that overheated?

    • March 10, 2017 1:54 PM EST
    • Look at the end of the motor where the noise caps are soldered, if one blew up (a good guess) it would look burned or exploded.


    • March 10, 2017 10:18 AM EST
    • Ken


      From the location you describe, it is likely the motor area


      I believe there is a set of capacitors and inductors in this area for motor RF suppression.


      My best guess it that you burned up a capacitor  If so you will not see any difference.



    • March 10, 2017 5:12 AM EST
    • Hi,
      In my preparations for the upcoming train show in Helena, Montana in April, I pulled out our Bachmann Spectrum, Eureka And Palisade 4-4-0 to lubricate and test run so kids can operate it at this show. I am using an MRC THROTTLEPACK 9950 on our small one track train layout and had no other cars, engines, switches (12 × 16 foot oval only) or shorts anywhere on the layout.
      I have the regular DC positive and negative wires with a 4 amp (manufacturer suggested) in line fuse on one wire.
      The power pack was set on G scale and has never had any previous issues.
      I decided to test run the locomotive first, however upon application of power it blew the fuse 3 times in a row.
      I then checked and double checked the track, locomotive and wiring to no avail.
      I could not find anything wrong, not even a derailed set of wheels. (The locomotive was the only item on the track)
      After careful inspection and checking all the settings, I attempted to reapply power and heard a very loud pop and observed heavy smoke coming from the bottom and front of the main drive. (especially between the 2 main drive wheels)
      I automatically assumed the worst, that the motor had burned out and the locomotive was a complete loss.
      Now, here's the kicker! I tried reapplying power and the locomotive ran perfectly fine. There was no hesitation, additional amp draw, loss of feature (like lighting and smoke) and no loss of power.
      The locomotive continues to run perfectly without any further issues. There isn't even any electrical smell or melted plastic anywhere.
      I have never experienced anything so odd as this, so I wanted to bring the subject up to the forum and see if anyone here has ever had this experience with this locomotive (or others) or had any technical knowledge of the cause.
      Also why does the engine continues to run and is there a potential for further issues down the road? These engines are a bear to dismantle and I would hope it wouldn't be necessary.
      I don't know if there is a DCC board in that section of the drive that may have burned up or something else that has no direct effect on the operation of the locomotive.
      Maybe someone has taken one of these locomotives apart and knows more about this issue.
      I know a lot of folks who understand electronics may know what happened.
      I have some knowledge but this one is a little beyond me.
      Appreciate any help or info.
      Thanks! Ken
      Imagination Station Kids On Track

    • March 8, 2017 8:30 AM EST
    • Note there is a Trainli section at the ads and announcements that I monitor daily.