Please define, smooth as silk running.

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by takev, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. takev

    takev Member

    Hello, I just got my first second hand engine from the train store. Its a fleischman 7230, which I liked the model of and will be used to pull steel cars.

    It doesn't have a flywheel, but it does have traction on all 4 axels.

    I also got some second hand sectional track, which I made into a weird looking loop, I solderd the track together and also the power feed. Then I cleaned the track (what is the best way to clean it?) and the wheels on the engine.

    I also put a current meter, to see how much current it takes.

    Anyway, the train runs at its slowest on 150mA (5 volt, just after the lights on the engine are fully lit) it then runs its own length in about 1 to 1.5 seconds. at this speed the engine sometimes stalls (while still using the same current) and I feel the motor when I touch the engine. After this the speed increases when the voltage increases and it runs very smooth.

    on 12V and holding the wheels it takes about 320mA, as I would love to run it on DCC.

    So I read from lot of sources that your train should run smooth if you are going to add a decorder, ofcource this is my first train I don't know what smooth means.

    So could anyone share, how good this one is running, or how I could get it better? And if the lowspeed control will be better when using DCC?
  2. WELCOM to the gauge i hope u like it here and will learn much

    first off u realy dont need DCC

    1 ur new

    2 i have been modeling for like 10 years and i love DC

    3 that voltage stuff not needed

    does it run smooth thats all like does it stop go derail a lot take off with out screwing up its farly simple

    now when it stalls at the same voltage its proly ur track I would go out and buy new track like 10 bucks of track mabye 2 pieces of flex track for strait aways or sumthin

    it is a little more work get sum ruff sand paper and sand that track a little (once i used a chain saw file) hehe. then try it only sand on the stall points
  3. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Welcome to the Gauge takev.
    You must get your loco running as well as it can before even thinking of going to DCC. DCC won't improve running ability.
    From what you say about slow running your results aren't too bad but a real slow running loco should take a minute to run it's own length. Sounds like you need some pulse injection on your power pack. Some do some don't. There may even be a pulse switch on your power pack that just needs turning on. This usually causes a buzzing sound at low speed but does give that nudge and prevents stalling.
    I can recommend GOO GONE for cleaning track and loco wheels.
  4. takev

    takev Member


    I am planning a pretty complex diarama, with 4 trains running. And altough it may be fun to fully automate using DC, I thought of using DCC.

    Oh and it stalls at the same current (ampere), which means the power is getting inside the loc and into the motor (that is why I feel the motor pulling), If the track is dirty the contact resistance is increased and the current will go down (this is what happend first, but then I cleaned the track :).
  5. what u clean with ? and if it is second hand then u will proly have to lub it like right were the drive shafts enter the moter and the trucks gears
  6. takev

    takev Member

    Hi again,

    I have a pretty cheap second hand transformer too, So I guess it doesn't do these pulses.

    So how does that work, does it do puls modulation on low voltages (like a DCC decoder does all the time)?

    Interesting. If I could get a power suply which does this I could test how it will hold up under dcc.
  7. takev

    takev Member

    Ok, I'll get some lubrication next week or something.

    Tomorrow is a wedding from a friend of mine, so I should get to that :).
  8. i have a cheap tycopower supply that pulses u can get 1 for like 30-50 dollors at your LHS there MRC tech 4's or 2's
  9. takev

    takev Member

  10. ok, so what size layout??? road names era ect.......
  11. takev

    takev Member


    This is the layout I have designed.
    It will be build on two low tables 85cm x 60cm x 25cm (33.5" x 23.5" x 10")

    The two tables fit on top of each other, so they will not use to much room when stacked (I live in a small small flat in Amsterdam).

    In the bottom you see 4 tracks for a station, the bottom two can't be accessed yet, but is used for expansion with more modules to the right. This station is a city station and will have passenger trains.

    Above this is een loop with two access tracks, one for the top two tracks of the city station to be used by a small passeger train (steam 43' loc and 3 x 34' cars) which will carry passegers from the city to the steel mill, iron ore mine and the town above the tunnel.

    An iron ore train (steam 30' loc and 5 x 30' cars) with small cars will run from the mine to the mill. (as sugested by someone else, there may be a small Z-gauge track for a mine train, running into the mine).

    The steel mill wil receive the iron ore and have a long steel train (diesel 40' loc and 3 x 46' cars) run from the mill to an factory on an yet to be designed module.
    This is where the second access track for the loop is for (oops, I see I have to change that turnout its and S-bend).

    The hardest grade is 3.1% but there are
    some grades with tight corners too, but they are traveld on only with small cars.

    The era would be about 1965 germany (germany is what you get in europa, not much old dutch stuff). That was a time when electric, diesel and steam engines where all still used.
    But I don't specificly model a existing place or date.

    I already got the wood and just build the two module bases, that got me sweating as it was today about 35C (95F) and its not a dry heat.

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  12. sweet!!!!!!! i love that plan very cool u could make a 3rd module and pile that on top 2 u could make it a loggin module or sumthin all i know is that is awsome

    for me i module Great northern 1940-2000 i working on a 12'x8' self layout I just finished the bench work and painting the plywood i will start laying track SOON :D then im ganna start a small layout like 3x4 mabye larcher like 2 module about 3'x8' in all idk yet i want it to be a small GN passanger layout and little bit of frieght.

  13. j/w but is yur steel mill ganna be up in the mountain or is the mountain ganna cut short right after the tunnel?? cause them spurs cum sorta close to ur tunnel
  14. takev

    takev Member

    No, the steel mill wil not be all the way up the moutain. But it is raised about 1cm (0.4") above the city station.
    The town station is raised above the tunnel at 5cm (2").

    We'll just have to see how close it gets, I could make the mountain stop right there and let it look like it is carved out by humans.

    It is kind of busy my layout and it might be difficult to get the scenery in there.
  15. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Getting a loco to run smooth isn't a case of pulse power, or, any amount of lubrication, it's getting the binds out of the mechanism.
    One of the tests of smooth running is to disengage the motor/worm/geartrain, and roll the mechanism on a sheet of glass. If the wheels turn freely with only the friction of the flanges on the glass, then the loco should run smoothly. If not, you have to start removing things till you find where the bind is. it could be side rods, quartering (steam only), a tight bearing surface, a crank pin rubbing, or a pisotn rod binding in the cylinder.
    Gears may have a burr on one or more teeth that will cause hesitation, or motor stalling, or possibly some small piece of debris between the teeth.
    Finally, if worm gear driven, the tightness of the fit of worm to toothed gear may need to be adjusted. Usually this can be done by either filing, or shimming the motor mount.
    Hope this helps,
  16. takev

    takev Member

    hello sumpter250,

    Thanks, I may just take the loc apart.
    It is a diesel, zo I don't have the pistons, only
    wheels gears, worm and motor. From the pictures on the packaging).

    BTW, although it is second hand, the store owner told me they got this in a large batch and haven't been run before.

    It runs smoother then a couple of days ago, I can get it about 2 seconds to travel 2 inches (the size of the loc). Could it be that you need to run-in trains? Or maybe the old lubrication got a bit thick?

    I just orded a DCC set, a digitracks starter kit plus an Zscale decoder (there is only so much room in this diesel). I'm not scared of building this things in myself, cause I used to be an electronics engineer (I'm a bit rusty, but these things are quite simple)

    I am very interested how the inners of this loc look like. And if I can get it running even more smoothly.
  17. takev

    takev Member

    Ok, I have taken the loc apart the motor runs smooth at 2 volts. But the axel of the motor is pushed by the magnets to the side of the brushes, where it pushes against the motor housing. This makes it slow down a lot, if I use my finger nail to push against the axel so the electrodes are not touching the housing it runs much smoother.

    I also taken apart the wheel housing and it seems that most of the friction comes from there, If I take a single wheel housing and place it on the track, you really have to push it to get it moving and doesn't roll further on its own. Should it be able to roll on its own?

    I see two possible three possible friction points:
    - The power pickup is pressed to tight against the wheels.
    - The plastic against metal gears cause friction.
    - The lubrication sticks the wheels and gears.

    There is a lot of grease on the wheel housing, I guess I will have to clean it up with alcohol and redo it.
  18. takev

    takev Member

    Hi, me again.

    I checked it and most of the friction comes from the power pickup which scratches against the wheels.

    The question is can you grease the power pickup? As it would need to guide the electricity.

    Greetings from Amsterdam,
  19. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I wouldn't grease them as that would get onto the track and make wheels slip. See if you can reduce the tension of the pickup as it should just brush against the wheel.
  20. takev

    takev Member

    Ok, I just cleaned the whole loc, except the motor, with alcohol. And I ran it dry on the track (don't have oil yet), it now runs a 5 seconds for its own length (which is 2.5inch).
    Which is much better then before.

    I hope it runs even better after I have oiled it.

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