An Odd Occurance

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Cannonball, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I just got my Model Power Santa Fe Continental Express set today. The locomotive and the cars look great and run well. (Although the loco could use traction tires) It's a good start into N scale that's really giving me the bug to go further.

    I also won a Bachmann U36-B locomotive on eBay. This engine also runs well. (And has traction tires)

    The problem I'm having is that the engines run in seperate directions. I had the U36 on the track first and had to reverse my wires because it started out going backwards. Then I put the Santa Fe set on the track and I had to reverse the wires again because it started running backwards. No mater which way I put the wires, one unit or the other wants to go backwards. How messed up is this?

    The only solution I can think of is that the U36 is a "B" unit and was made to run backwards behind a forwards running "A" unit???
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Well, I answered part of my own question I think.
    The U36B was not actually a "B" unit.

    So now I have to figure out why the trains want to run in opposite directions.
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I assume these are DC and not DCC? In that case, the direction the locomotive is facing makes no difference to its direction of travel. That is, put an engine on the track and watch which way it goes (relative tot he layout, not itself). Then flip the engine around. It'll go the same way, meaning that if it was going forwards the first time, it'll go backwards the second time.

    If you couple them together, do they always work in concert (as opposed to trying to pull apart or crush together?) Whichever way their cabs are pointed? Then they're working as they should.
  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    If they're both facing the same way, one will go forward and the other will go reverse. If I put an N scale person in between them, he would be ripped in half.

    And yes, they are DC.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I would suggest that one unit was wired backward, but you already said that
    Unfortunately (or I guess I should say fortunately), I've had no experience with this strange phenomenon. It's not news to me, though... I wish I could recall where this has been discussed before.
  6. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Actualy Triplex, when Cannonball 'reversed' his wires, I think he meant the wires from the power pack to the power terminal. Cannonball, to help solve this problem, can u post a pic of the 'B' unit so to speak?
  7. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    You're right that I meant the wires from the transformer.

    Here is a link to the auction I got the BN engine from.

    I was under the impression that U36B might mean a B unit U36 or something but I am pretty sure I was mistaken.
  8. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    I would be under that impresion too, but here's a tip when trying to Identify desiels: B units don't have cabs! Here's a link:

    Plus, if I could, I'd buy you Marx engine:rolleyes: sign1 It would make a great display piece somewhere if I had space to put it!sign1 That and I don't have an E-bay account:rolleyes:
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Cannonball: a U36B has B trucks -- 2 axles, I think a U36C would have 3 axle trucks.

    If you put them on the tracks they should both go the same way. One of them has the internal wiring (or something) reversed.
    Do you have any other locos? that would establish which one is wrong. (I think the official standard is forward when right hand rail is positive.) You then need to take the wrong one apart and switch over the wires or whatever.
    If that's impossible, post a pic of the innards.
    It's not unknown for something to get mixed at the factory -- even putting the magnet into the motor backwards.
  10. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Well, I thought that too but when everything started running in opposite directions, I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on. Still don't have a clue unless there is a wire crossed in one of the engines. If that's the case, the only way to figure out which one it is would be to get a third engine and see which way it runs. (At least now I have an excuse for the wife. :D )
  11. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Unfortunately, I don't have a 3rd N scale engine right now.
    However, as I said in my above post, it gives me a good excuse for the wife. ;)
    I hav a feeling it is the U36 that is cross wired simply because the Santa Fe runs forward when I have the wires from the transformer wired the way I think they should be. I had to reverse them for the U36.
  12. ozzie

    ozzie New Member

    Hi Cannonball,
    I dont model N scale but was foolish enough to fix an N scale Loco for a friend once.
    it had pickup problems which were easy enough to sort, but when i re assembled the Loco I put the motor in upside down ( not being clever enough to mark it before i ripped it out0.
    It ran very well.. but backwards.
    I would drop one of the locos on a test track in your nearest friendly hobby shop, see if it goes the way the shop designates foreward and change the direction of the other loco.
    My bet is the one from E-bay is the culprit, but it should be an easy fix.
    good luck
  13. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    The trick there is finding a local shop that deals in N scale. Almost everyone around here is exclusively HO and none of them actually have a layout or track set up. My best bet would be to drive an hour and a half to find someone in Kansas City which I really don't want to do unless I absolutely have to.

    I really hope my motor isn't upside down though. :D

    BTW- Welcome to The Gauge! :wave:
  14. ozzie

    ozzie New Member

    Being as cheeky as jessy the elephant, this is what I would do in your place.
    Grab your voltmeter, go down to your hobby shop, ask them to demonstrate any HO train running.
    All scales use the same DC convention(which I have of course forgoten, I have DCC at home) but I think it is LH rail + (facing the same direction as the train)then train goes forward.

    Measure the polarity of the tracks with respect to train direction.
    Check at home and choose the loco that responds the same as correct.
    Actually changing the motor over is usually not a problem as long as you are not as old and feeble as I am and can see
    It is wortwhile asking, someone else on the-gauge may know the polarity off hand and save you a trip.
    Good hunting
  15. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    OK. I will check that out as well.
  16. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home

    Stupid engine.
    This morning I set up the track on my table and ran both engines. The Model Power engine ran 2 or 3 laps then stopped. The light stays on but the engine doesn't move.

    Meanwhile, I run the Bachmann U36 and it's tearing up the track.

    I think I need to get ahold of BLW since they sold me the set.
  17. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That doesn't say anything. Whether the Santa Fe engine ran forward or backward when you first tried it depended on how you oriented it on the track relative to the polarity of the rails.
  18. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Actually, I ran the U36 first and switched it according to that.

    Then the Santa Fe went backwards so I switched it again.

    I guess it's a moot point either way now since the Santa Fe is dead. :(

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