My disappointing Rugen

KeithT

Hillwalking, chickens and - err - garden railways.
24 Oct 2009
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I have an ancient Zillertal (U Class) with virtually no bullets remaining and yet it runs through points at dead slow with never a hesitation!
 

RH Prague

Central European. the station pub is Czech !!
28 Oct 2009
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I promised to report back once I had followed up some of the suggestions

1. Neil's suggestion about 16mm bullets made perfect sense, however once I finally got some, we discovered that the Rugen already has 16mm bullets

2. I'd already discovered the truth of Tim's point about cleaning the backs of the wheels. So this time we gave them a damn good clean, and sure enough it toddled off very happily...for a while

3. It is incredibly sensitive to the slightest of bit of track which is not sparkling clean. It stops, you clean up with the cleaning pad, and sure enough next time round it happily passes over that point.

We still haven't determined for sure that all eight wheels are picking up current properly. I suppose - but please put me right - that if only some wheels are picking up, a small piece of dirt on the track is more likely to bring it to a halt. We need that digital meter...

And I have decided to take the plunge on the track cleaning loco.
 

HBBahn

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21 Nov 2009
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A small multimeter costs a lot less than a track cleaning loco. Definitely check that power is getting from all wheels to the the motor as your next move. The Mighty Rügens should not stop for a bit of dirty track!
 

Neil Robinson

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24 Oct 2009
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You don't even need a multimeter, just two lengths of wire, one connected to each rail or controller output connection.
Support the loco upside down and touch one wire to one wheel and the other to a wheel on the opposite side. The motor should run. Keep one wire touching one wheel and move the other to each of the wheels on the other side in turn. Then move the first wire to each of the wheels on its side in turn. This should reveal any wheels that aren't picking up properly.
 

RH Prague

Central European. the station pub is Czech !!
28 Oct 2009
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Neil Robinson said:
You don't even need a multimeter, just two lengths of wire, one connected to each rail or controller output connection.
Support the loco upside down and touch one wire to one wheel and the other to a wheel on the opposite side. The motor should run. Keep one wire touching one wheel and move the other to each of the wheels on the other side in turn. Then move the first wire to each of the wheels on its side in turn. This should reveal any wheels that aren't picking up properly.

Hi Neil

Thanks for your excellent walk-through advice, which even I have managed to execute successfully :happy: The result is, that all the wheels picked up.
So I still haven't located anything specific which we can do to improve running. As it stands, it seems that I have a loco which is ultra sensitive to track conditions.

Hmm. I am hoping to visit a very large garden railway in deepest Moravia some time this summer, taking locos with me. It will at least be interesting to see how the Rugen performs there, and what the people make of it.
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Have you cleaned-up the tyres?
I have had the odd loco where they did not look too bad, but a rub-over has had a remarkable effect on 'iffy' running.
 

funandtrains

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I have had LGB locos which for some reason don't pick-up power as well as others and it can be frustrating and hard to work out why. Sometimes I have found stiff sprung axels or pick-up shoes which sometime stick in the up position, other times the bullet pick-ups get stuck or loose wires.

You find that having a more powerful transformer will help combined with more feeds to the tracks and better joints between track sections.
 

RH Prague

Central European. the station pub is Czech !!
28 Oct 2009
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It is running well today, it has to be said, after a very thorough clean up of the wheel backs - that is where it really picks up dirt, and the change in performance after cleaning is significant. I have to do it after every decent run, though.

My brother in law wants to check for voltage drop. I know it can be a general issue, and my railway is a relatively long dumb-bell with just a single feed. On the other hand other locos are nowhere near as fussy as the Rugen.

Also I just got a new LGB cleaning pad, and wow, that certainly cleans things up better. My previous pad was seven years old....
 

funandtrains

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The Rugan uses a special long thin, non standard motor and therefore it may behave differently to voltage drops than your other LGB locos.
 
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RH Prague

Central European. the station pub is Czech !!
28 Oct 2009
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So, it continues to disappoint. I am getting to the point where I will probably sell it, no other loco I have is so temperamental on the track. Specifically today, in perfect running conditions (sunny, and dry for 2 weeks). It keeps on getting stuck on one point. But only when the point is set to straight. I've cleaned the point rails several times now and no other loco has a problem there. Similarly I've cleaned, as always, the backs of the wheels. It's also worth mentioning that it's been on the workbench of a modeller who knows his stuff, and he could not find anything wrong (I don't know him well though and he wasn't running stuff that day so I felt it inappropriate to ask him to run it on his track).

Below should be a short video where you can see exactly where on the point it stops. No other loco from Stainz to Sachsen Meyer or V251 diesels has a problem there. And ironically the Rugen is one of few I bought new. Given that others rave about their reliability, I do suspect I got a dud.

Does anybody have any thoughts on why it happens?



 

Greg Elmassian

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If you have since double checked EACH wheel for pickup, and checked that moving the wheel side to side does not make a pickup brush (bullet) to lose contact with the wheel, the only logical situation is that the movable part of the switch is not supplying power.

Do this, run the loco and let it stop... now CAREFULLY take a wire and touch one end to the rail, and then the other end to the 4 wheel, one by one, on each side... DO NOT BUMP the LOCO.

Repeat for other side/rail.

This will quickly tell you which side is losing power, and which wheel(s) are "needing" power...

Easy to test and solve.

Greg
 
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JimmyB

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Almost certainly poor connection on the left rear wheel, of lack of power to the straight switch blade.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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So, it continues to disappoint. I am getting to the point where I will probably sell it, no other loco I have is so temperamental on the track. Specifically today, in perfect running conditions (sunny, and dry for 2 weeks). It keeps on getting stuck on one point. But only when the point is set to straight. I've cleaned the point rails several times now and no other loco has a problem there. Similarly I've cleaned, as always, the backs of the wheels. It's also worth mentioning that it's been on the workbench of a modeller who knows his stuff, and he could not find anything wrong (I don't know him well though and he wasn't running stuff that day so I felt it inappropriate to ask him to run it on his track).

Below should be a short video where you can see exactly where on the point it stops. No other loco from Stainz to Sachsen Meyer or V251 diesels has a problem there. And ironically the Rugen is one of few I bought new. Given that others rave about their reliability, I do suspect I got a dud.

Does anybody have any thoughts on why it happens?



Many have written about what appears to now be a power to the rail issue. The first bit of the blade relies on power from a piece of metal on the blade moving sleeper. This can get tarnished. The next piece relies on a pressed or screwed in piece of metal that is from the stock rail, this can become dislodges ir the screw comes loose. The first part can also get power from the fishplate but that can be tarnished. I modify all my points by putting in a jumper wire to replace all the potential loss of power. Yes I know it is a pain but outside years of weather do take a toll on these parts and power transfer.
 
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mike

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See above...the track/blade on the point, is at fault...the loco stopping, is a symptom of it..
Fixing a problem is easy..
Finding the problem is the hard bit..
 

Greg Elmassian

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Not sounding my own horn, but what I said back in post #31 will absolutely show which wheel is not picking up power.... then you can determine why... that loco should all wheel pickup according to an earlier posts, but that has not been proven to me yet. Does it indeed have pickup brushes on all 8 wheels?

If the OP cannot verify, can someone post the link to the exploded parts diagram?

Could be wheel pickup, bad brush, wheels lifting on a warped switch, bad power to the moving blade, etc. If you use a deterministic method to figure this out you can get the answer. With all the possibilities (only some of which I have listed), you can flail around with speculation forever.

Since this has been going on since May, may I gently suggest that the "flailing around / speculation" approach has failed thus far?

Greg
 

trammayo

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Not sounding my own horn, but what I said back in post #31 will absolutely show which wheel is not picking up power.... then you can determine why... that loco should all wheel pickup according to an earlier posts, but that has not been proven to me yet. Does it indeed have pickup brushes on all 8 wheels?

If the OP cannot verify, can someone post the link to the exploded parts diagram?

Could be wheel pickup, bad brush, wheels lifting on a warped switch, bad power to the moving blade, etc. If you use a deterministic method to figure this out you can get the answer. With all the possibilities (only some of which I have listed), you can flail around with speculation forever.

Since this has been going on since May, may I gently suggest that the "flailing around / speculation" approach has failed thus far?

Greg

May 2014!
 

Paul M

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I'd get rid of the snail, probably nothing to with stopping your train but you never know.! The top fish plate looks a bit loose.
 

Greg Elmassian

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May 2014!
Yes !!!! 6 years of frustration, but I'd guess this problem has been ignored for 6 years, or it has been sitting on a shelf 6 years.

I stand by my suggestions to make and follow a plan that will find the problem, but it might be another 6 years ha ha!

Greg
 

wandgrudd

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24 Oct 2009
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I am inclined to go with the point being at fault as this loco has full suspension on the wheels and much more movement than the other lgb motor blocks, all the other locos you have mentioned in the other posts above, have similar designs i.e., Stainz to Sachsen Meyer or V251 all have 4-wheel motor blocks. I would bet that the other locos put more weight down per wheel on to the switch blade thus making contact and thus not causing an issue.
 
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RH Prague

Central European. the station pub is Czech !!
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.
 
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