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  • Topic: LGB 23131 Grizzly Flats "Chloe" Soundtraxx Sound Insta

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    • November 6, 2018 11:21 PM EST
      • McLean, VA
         
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      LGB 23131 Grizzly Flats "Chloe" Soundtraxx Install

      Last week I completed the Soundtraxx Tsunami2 power/sound decoder installation in the first of two LGB Chloe locomotives I purchased. Lost count of the hours I dedicated for it, but she sounds beautiful using the Round Top Single-chime "Peanut" whistle, one of 62 whistle options embedded in the Soundtraxx decoder. I have a short video demonstration of her operation and sounds on my Website: https://OldDominionRailways.com and a longer video on my new YouTube site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPJpT2umZBM

       

      I discovered a generic defect, or at least a weakness, in the LGB Chloe and Olomama small locomotives' motor block design by Marklin/LGB. There are four pin connectors for the circuit board for the track power and motor in the small compartment in front of the motor block. Unknown to me, when I connected the four push pins soldered to the wires I installed the go to the decoder, the two track power metal wires inside the motor block get knocked out of alignment and contact with the carbon brushes for the front wheel set. This causes the locomotive to only get track power from two points on each side, the rear wheel set and the slider shoes.

       

      When I tested the locomotive after installation, she worked fine on my test track and my indoor layout. But after it operates for a while forward, it would sometimes "stall" in reverse. I thought it was a problem with the motor or decoder but couldn't isolate the issue. Finally I did an electrical continuity test on each of the three pickup points and then discovered the front wheel set wasn't bringing any power to the decoder and motor. The solution was to wedge some metalic foil between the carbon brushes and the two metal wires to ensure electrical contact. Works fine now, no more stalls!

       

      Chloe is a replica of a Hawaiian sugar cane plantation Baldwin locomotive that operated there from 1893 - 1944. Ward Kimball, Walt Disney's Chief Animator, and his friend and fellow steam buff, Gerald Best, purchased two of these Baldwin tank locomotives in 1948 and restored them at Ward's backyard narrow gauge Grizzly Flats Railroad, in San Gabriel CA. Ward named his Chloe after one of his daughters, and Best named his Olomana. After Ward's death, Chloe was donated to the Orange Empire Railraod Museum in 2007 where they intend to restore her for their excursion railroad. Olomana was donated to the Smithsonian which later loaned her to the PA State Railroad Museum, Strasburg, PA. This LGB Chloe, and her sister locomotive Olomana, both with an installed Soundtraxx Tusnami2 power/sound decoder is available for sell on my Website.

       

      This post was edited by Thomas White at November 7, 2018 9:26 AM EST
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      Tom White

      LGB Railfan - LocomotivesPro

      https://www.olddominionrailways.com/

       

    • November 7, 2018 7:45 AM EST
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      There are now 2 different versions of the chloe in mechanical design.

      Older Chloe has a serpentine belt between the front and rear axle.

      Newer Marklin build has a drive shaft instead of the belt.

      This means many parts are different including the motor and axles!!!

      Same for the Olmana.

    • November 7, 2018 9:16 AM EST
      • McLean, VA
         
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      Hi Dan - Where did you get that information that the new version LGB 23131 Grizzly Flats Chloe has the same type plastic drive shaft as the new version LGB 23130 Olomana?  I had assumed that Marklin/LGB followed the design into their new Chloe using the plastic drive shaft found in their newest LGB 23130 Olomana...….but I was wrong.  I've installed Soundtraxx Tsunami2 decoders into three Olomana locomotives since last May, and last month a Soundtraxx into the new version LGB 23131 Chloe.  I don't need to open these Olomana/Chloe motor blocks for the decoder installs (as you know, a separate front compartment houses the protruding electrical pins), but I found an electrical connectivity issue with the front wheel set on all four units.  This was caused when I attached the soldered wire push pins onto the two track power pins......I didn't realize this had dislodged metal wires inside the motor block from the front carbon brushes.  So I had to go into all the units to fix that issue.  And, to my surprise, the LGB 23131 Chloe has a rubber belt drive! 

      I've encountered a mechanical issue with one LGB 23130 Olomana's plastic drive train in reverse direction, so I'm returning it for Marklin warranty repair/replacement.  It appears that Marklin found the plastic gear drive design less reliable and to reverted back to the rubber belt drive for their latest version Chloe.     

      The Marklin/LGB USA folks were recently at the Orange Empire Railway Museum, Perris, CA, where Ward Kimball's donated Chloe is being restored for its excursion line.  The museum hosted them for celebrating the LGB 50th Anniversary and also touting the LGB Chloe...….apparently they announced at this event that Marklin was going to do another production run on the Chloe.  Must be selling well.

       

      Tom     

      This post was edited by Thomas White at November 7, 2018 9:29 AM EST
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      Tom White

      LGB Railfan - LocomotivesPro

      https://www.olddominionrailways.com/

       

    • November 7, 2018 12:30 PM EST
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      He works with Train-li

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    • November 7, 2018 6:10 PM EST
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Thomas,

      Here is your video embedded...

       

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    • November 8, 2018 7:47 AM EST
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      If you go to Marklin/LGB pdf diagrams you will see the documentation showing parts lists for both Chloe drive systems.  I have worked on both.  Also I had to repair an intermittent issue with a drive shaft Chloe and it was the way power is connected to the new style motor.  The motor has holes in the contact pins where a rod goes through and conducts the power.  It is NOT a tight fir and will cause power issues.  I soldered the lead on the 'bad' connection and the engine ran like a dream come true.

      drive shaft   23130  https://static.maerklin.de/damcontent/f2/9f/f29fd26347dc6f2f4add8bcf1469bd761464883753.pdf

      Original Chloe   20130   https://www.trainli.com/LGB-PDF/LGB%20Engines/20130-1.PDF

      Now there is a 23131    which is was stated Marklin went back to the old way. of the 20130.

       

      Note these motor blocks were used in many small locos  (Olmana, peanuts and FRR engines)

       

       

       

    • November 8, 2018 9:58 PM EST
      • McLean, VA
         
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      Dan - Actually there are two LGB Olomana versions, and two LGB Chloe versions and their associated drive trains.

      1.  LGB 20130 - First produced Chloe, uses rubber belt drive;

      2.  LGB 22130 - First produced Olomana, uses rubber belt drive;

      3.  LGB 23130 - Second produced Olomana, uses plastic gear drive;

      4. LGB 23131 - Second produced Chloe, uses rubber belt drive.

       

      My point is that LGB/Marklin went back to using the rubber belt drive for their latest production model, produced in 2017, for the LGB 23131 Chloe model.  For the prior model, the LGB 23130 Olomana, produced I believe in 2016, they had switched from the rubber belt drive used on the firt Olomana and first Chloe, to using the plastic drive gear.  So, it appears they recognize they had reliability issues with the plastic drive gear, and reverted back to using the rubber belt.

       

      I'm aware of the potential connectivity issues with the motor connectors with the small holes.  I removed and replaced a motor on an LGB 23130 Olomana I was repairing and, your right, it's a heck of a challenge getting the pins out of those two small holes, and also getting a motor back it.  I also soldered one of the leads to ensure connectivity.  The other electrical connectivity issue relates to the track power pickup wires in motor block's front wheel set getting dislodged with the carbon brushes.  I didn't realize that I caused that just by connecting push connectors onto them when I wired the locomotive for the Soundtraxx decoder.......realized later that the front wheel set wasn't providing any power to the decoder.  Solution was to use a couple brass wedges between the carbon brushes and those wires........soldering didn't work for me in that tight space and the plastic interior. 

       

       I've wired three LGB 23130 Olomana locomotives and two LGB 23131 Chloe locomotives with Soundtraxx Tsunami2 decoders using the same install approach.  A customer is shipping his LGB 22130 Olomana to me for both repair and a Soundtraxx sound installation.......he says the headlight comes on but the loco doesn't run so probably motor's dead, or like you stated, could be the motor's connectors.

      This post was edited by Thomas White at November 8, 2018 9:59 PM EST
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      Tom White

      LGB Railfan - LocomotivesPro

      https://www.olddominionrailways.com/

       

    • November 9, 2018 9:53 AM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Also the bevel gear drive is noisier then the belt drive.

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    • November 9, 2018 11:03 AM EST
      • McLean, VA
         
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      David Maynard said:

      Also the bevel gear drive is noisier then the belt drive.

       

      David - Yes, that's my experience too.  For everyone's benefit, I've posted a photo of the pesky little gear along with a new spare one I got from the LGB USA.

       

       

      This post was edited by Thomas White at November 9, 2018 11:09 AM EST
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      Tom White

      LGB Railfan - LocomotivesPro

      https://www.olddominionrailways.com/

       

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