A struggling newbie

B

boogie

Registered
25 Apr 2019
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sutton
Hi
I have decided to enter the world of G scale garden railway.
I've purchase 100 feet / 30 meters of second hand track and gave each piece a good clean and a second hand LGB train #2 off eBay which included a one amp transformer.
My initial test of the train was very disappointing as it hardly moved, I measured the voltage output to only be around 7 volts at full speed so I purchased another 1 amp LGB power transformer which while showing 24 volt without the load of the trian only shows around about 14 volt under load but the train moved at an acceptable speed.
I then layed all the track around the garden and was not expecting the transformer to cope, but to my surprise it worked out well and even backed of the power to slow it down.
I then purchased two passenger carriages and still all was well.
But now even without any carriages the train has slowed right down and will not even make it all the way round.
The train seems to be drawing around about 2 amps. Is this normal?
I have tried a 13.5 volt 10 amp power supply but the trian is still running really slow.
I don't know if the train is on its way out or if I need more power?
Any ideas?
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
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LGB transformers are marginal, most other-than-LGB locos need at least 2 amps.

Yes your loco is not normal, stop running it and start investigating what is wrong... how much does the loco draw on it's back, i.e. wheels in the air, no load.

(continued running will normally destroy something, could be as simple as poor lubrication)

Greg
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,514
61
North Essex
A single-motor LGB loco drawing 2 amps is not good.... an LGB Buhler motor in good order should draw little more than half an amp unless it is working REALLY hard with a long train and/or heavy gradients.....
I assume that the "no.2" loco you mention is the classic Stainz 0-4-0 - do you have any idea of its age? Does it have a little round gold sticker underneath it with a six-digit number on it?
As Greg says above, it really sounds like it needs looking at, as something isn't right.....

Any chance of a picture of your loco, to help identify it?

Jon.

PS: welcome to GSC, and don't get discouraged - most things can be fixed....
 
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B

boogie

Registered
25 Apr 2019
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sutton
Hi Greg
Thanks for your reply.
I done a load test on its back and it started out at 2 amps but then it dropped down to 1.3 amps and spend up.
I then put it back on the track and its back to how a acceptable speed. And measure 16 volts or stopping.
 
Bill Barnwell

Bill Barnwell

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30 Sep 2017
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Ormond Beach, Fl
Take the motor block apart, clean and relubed it.
 
B

boogie

Registered
25 Apr 2019
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51
sutton
After about 3 minutes of good running it slowed down then stopped. The current draw went back up to about 2 amps
 
B

boogie

Registered
25 Apr 2019
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4
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sutton
I've but it back on its side and its back to drawing around about 2 amps.
Does his mean that the motor is on its way out?
 
voodoopenguin

voodoopenguin

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20 Jul 2015
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Blofield, Norfolk
I've but it back on its side and its back to drawing around about 2 amps.
Does his mean that the motor is on its way out?
Do as Bill suggested. Might be all it needs.

Paul
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,514
61
North Essex
Something is most definitely up with the motor - possibly just thoroughly gunged-up with an excess of old, hardened grease, or maybe on the verge of failing. To help you with advice on disassembly, checking and cleaning, we need to identify the approximate age of the loco - hence my suggestion of a photo or two. In the meantime, does it have plastic or metal connecting rods? Does it have a rudimentary sound system (a rather sandpapery "chuff-chuff" sound)?

Worst case scenario is that it might need a new motor, they are fairly easily available at round about 40 quid or so, and quite straightforward to install. Best case, a good clean up and some fresh grease might solve all the problems.

How long since you purchased the loco on eBay, is it recent enough that you could have some recourse if it does prove to be faulty?

Jon.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,436
79
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
As well as the loco you may have issues with the track due to its age and previous condition. When you say you have cleaned the track what have you actually done ? Have you checked where the fishplates, or any other type of track joiner used, connect the rails together. Are all those surfaces between the rail and any joiner all clean and bright ? If not this can be a cause of unpredictable voltage drop outs around your line. It's not just the railhead that needs to be clean and bright. Check around your line with a multimeter to see if there are any obvious problems.

I would suggest you check a sample of your track, the easiest track joiners to remove are the ones on "flexi-track" sections if you have any, to see if those surfaces are badly tarnished. If they are then clean them so all the mating surfaces are clean and bright and reassemble appling a little graphite (LGB/Massoth) or "Copperslip" paste to inhibit any future corrosion and impairment of electrical conductivity.

If you can replace any conventional "fishplate" type joiners with brass rail clamps, say Massoth or similar for example, all the better. Clamps have the added benefit of making track formations more secure than conventional joiners, offer better long term prevention of conductivity issues, if properly prepared as described above and are handy if you need to remove individual track sections if you need to do maintenance You may even need to consider adding a booster cable(s) due to the length of track you have. Max
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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8 Mar 2014
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San Diego
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Let's let him fix the obvious problem first, which is in the loco ;)

So, try stopping the loco (again on it's back, no load) and just slowly increasing the voltage.

Does it always start at the same "speed" on the transformer, or does it sometimes need a much higher "speed" to get started?

(what I am looking for is a bad "segment" in the windings/commutator)

If it passes that test, I'm guessing you might have either worn or sticking brushes, worth a visual inspection.

Sorry you have to take your "new" loco apart, but new brushes are cheaper than the whole motor or new loco.

Greg
 
B

boogie

Registered
25 Apr 2019
18
4
51
sutton
Hi Jon
Thanks for you help.
I'll post some photos
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ntpntpntp

ntpntpntp

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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UK
OK, so that's not a really really old Stainz loco (they go back to the late 60s!), as the sticker indicates it has a socket to fit a DCC decoder. If we could see the "OK" sticker clearly I believe that should have a control number from which the year of manufacture can be read.

Sounds like it just needs a service in the first instance, though that might reveal the motor is indeed the root of the problem. There are ways to disassemble the motor to clean up the commutator (there's a page about it on here somewhere I think).

Can you also post a photo of the underside showing the condition of the wheels and pickup skates? Let's get an idea of how well used it is?
 
B

boogie

Registered
25 Apr 2019
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sutton
I have replaced a lot of the fishplates with screw down brass track contacts, and the train will randomly stop any along the track, so I'm sure it not the track.
It sounds like you guys think it's more like a problem with the train than the power.
 
B

boogie

Registered
25 Apr 2019
18
4
51
sutton
I have replaced a lot of the fishplates with screw down brass track contacts, and the train will randomly stop any along the track, so I'm sure it not the track.
It sounds like you guys think it's more like a problem with the train than the power.
 

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B

boogie

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sutton
123923_cba2d57fef507bafa540f8e4e9571e0d.jpg
 
B

boogie

Registered
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sutton
Happy to replace motor at £40ish if you think it will solve my problems. Any links would be appreciated.
Thanks Chris
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,518
234
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Looking at the wheels and skates it does not appear to have been much abused. I wonder if it has a Chip inside that is drawing a lot of juice? That could be an issue and once the load gets to 2amps the Controller cuts out. Just clutching at straws here guys.
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
27 Oct 2009
6,009
100
65
Hutt Valley, NZ
Happy to replace motor at £40ish if you think it will solve my problems. Any links would be appreciated.
Thanks Chris
MUNS did me a good deal on a motor recently. Similar problem, gunked up motor. Yes, I could have cleaned/refurbished it, but it was less hassle to get a new one from halfway around the world.
 
B

boogie

Registered
25 Apr 2019
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51
sutton
I thought that if it was chipped it would not work on DC power.