Discussion in 'FAQs' started by cidchase, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi gents,
    Newbie question: So far my only locomotion is an IHC 4-4-0. It's pretty well broken in and it seems to run a little rough (slight chattering) at low speeds. The controller is a Tech II, which may also be the problem. Could also just be a lack of lube, I guess.
    I'm considering a Mogul as well, but I'd like to know if I'm getting into a motor swap or something first. Just wondered if anyone has an idea about this. The search I made indicates that the IHC 4-4-0 is considered a good runner.
    Thanx from Olive Branch

    :D :D
  2. BillD53A

    BillD53A Member

    I have one. It suffers from a problem that is generic to all plastic steam...it isnt heavy enough to pull much. Aside from that the fact that it has few wheels means it has few points of contact with the rail, so it is vulnerable to dirt, and plastic turnout frogs. I took it apart and packed it as much as I could, but it didnt make much difference. The weight has to be located carefully...you want it balanced on the drivers. Any weight the pilot truck supports will detract from tractive effort. I havent been able to do anything about the electrical pickup...somebody makes track sliders..I'll have to try adding them. The loco is exactly what I would want for a 1920s shortline located in the way-far-deep-south, but once I got a Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0, the 4-4-0 became a 'hangar queen'. HTH Bill
  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Guys, Sounds like to me that the "chattering" that you are experiencing is "electrical cogging". These locos may have 3 pole motors which do not respond well to the pluses generated by the Tech II power pack at low speed setting. The Tech II and other similar power packs produce pluses or "spikes" at low voltage to over come the high starting voltage of such motors, this combined with a "tight" mechanism can result in some eratic operation at low speeds as the pulses are trying to overcome the faults of the motor and the mechanism. Probably a can motor or a 5 pole skew wound motor along with better electrical pickup will cure the problem.

    If you can see the armature of the motor count the number of winding segments...if there are only three then its a three pole motor. Just a suggestion:)
  4. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Hi Cid,

    My IHC 4-4-0 is an "old timer" style and is two years old. I don't know whether yours predates mine and is therefore different in it's design.
    Mine picks up from the pilot wheels and drivers on one side and all 4 opposite side wheels on the tender. When new it gave a "kick" at one position of the rotation of the drivers. It took me 3 days to find that the gear driven by the worm gear had one tooth thicker than it should be!... Deft attention to that tooth with a model knife made this loco one of the smoothest runners I have, it's a gem.

    Running over Atlas turnouts has presented no problems despite the wheel flanges appearing to be deeper than NMRA standards.

    Hope this helps you.

  5. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Oh, and the moguls

    I forgot to mention the moguls!
    I have two IHC moguls... they run very nicely straight from the box, a lube job makes a slight improvement.
    All three of my IHC's are extremely quiet and smooth runners.
    Best value HO steamers I've ever come across!

  6. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Thanx so much for the assistance, guys. I will open it up and check the motor poles and drive train.
    I like the little loco a lot but I'd like it to start up and accel more realistically using "momentum".
    I'll let you know...
    :) :D
  7. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    The "cogging" that Vic describes is evidently ia a characteristic of the motor itself. The motor when removed from the loco will not run at all below a setting of 18 on my Tech II. As the controller setting is increased, the motor begins to cog in 60 degree increments before it starts to rotate smoothly. The attraction of the armature cores to the permanent magnets appears to cause 6 rotational positions which will "lock in" as the motor is turned by hand, so as the motor is powered up slowly it rotates in jumps stopping momentarily at those positions. I assume a 5-pole motor would have finer resolution, and a flywheel would help!
    There's not a lot of extra space under the hood. The motor is a flat can 15mm thick x 24mm long.
    I e-mailed IHC about it, don't know whether to expect much help there but you never know.
    We'll get there!!
    :D :D
  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I have an IHC Mogul (can motor), and find it not very powerful. Also not very fast. It tends to really slow down after about 20 mins of running, so much so it grinds to a halt on the slightest incline, with minimal load, even at full power. When runing cold, it seems to be fine. Not sure of the problem with it though. I haven't really looked thoroughly yet.
  9. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Woodie,
    I appreciate the input. I have e-mailed IHC several times asking about this and to date I've had not even an acknowledgement, let alone an answer. Not my idea of how to boost customer confidence.:mad:
    So, I have been searching with limited succes for 5-pole flat can motors which have a chance of fitting. I've looked at Mashima Denshi and Sagami and a UK outfit whose url I misplaced but who supplies motors with reduction gears and driver sets for 4mm scale. That looked the most promising but would take some major surgery :confused: and some fairly touchy installation. It's amazing how many interesting things you come across hunting for something like that!! It's actually be quite enjoyable :) altho frustrating too!!
    I assume the Mogul has a similar 3-pole motor and similar gearing, so similar characteristics. I have not tried the loco with a straight (non-pulsed) DC controller since I don't have one. I should try that.
    From Olive Branch
    :D :D

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