Why does my engine screech to a low speed?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by green_elite_cab, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!


    I have an Atlas ALP44 locomotive, and it has an odd problem. while running, it will suddenly slow down (but never stop), make an odd high pitched electrical sound. At the same time, the lights shine even brighter. I have not yet been able to figure out why it does that. It commonly does it on certain sections of track, but it has less frequnetly occured elsewhere on my layout with only this locomotive.

    Additionly, it appears to do this more when it goes in one direction than the other. blue sparks doo appear undert he wheels no matter what, but i think this is just a result of dirt and i'm going to clean it and see what happens. However, this doesn't seem like a dirty wheel problem.

    Its as if less power goes to the motor (which in turn makes this odd noise) and more power goes to the headlights/markers.
  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I would first check to be sure it isn't a dry motor bearing.
    If not.
    If your loco has constant intensity lighting it could have an intermittent short in the commutator. This would cause the motor to draw more current through the constant lighting diodes increasing the brightness of the lights.
    If it doesn't have constant intensity lighting it could have an intermittent open circuit in one of the armature windings (or the commutator connection to the winding)allowing more voltage to the lights.
  3. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Is It hot?

    I agree with Ray check that out and iol it.

    I dont know him, Ray but about anything he may suggest is certainly to be concidered worth a try.

    Had a Ford do that..but only once...:curse:
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    No heat troubles, but then again, it probably doesn't do that long enough to heat up.
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    whats that? my locomotive might have been in storage for quite soem time before i received it, and even though this is a recent problem, i haven't yet done any maitenance on it. I probably should clean and lube everything. How would i fix a dry motor bearing?

    How do i fix this?
  6. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    A dry bearing will just need a little oil.
    If a commutator connection to the winding is bad it will need resoldered.
    If a winding in the armature is bad you would have to replace the armature or complete motor if just the armature is not available seperately.
  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I added some lubricant on what i suppose is the dry bearing, and the problem appears to have stopped after a minute. I still need to test it on the layout, but the electrical outlet thing i was using got stolen by my parents for their automatic sprinkler thing, so i need to get a new outlet.

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