Pendelläufer and Kreisläufer?

James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,724
349
Warwickshire
#1
Some chums and I recently bought the lot of items below:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/JOB-LOT-14-X-PLAYMOBIL-RC-TRAIN-G-SCALE-MOTOR-BLOCKS-ENGINES-SPARES-OR-REPAIR/183136045761?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

If the link fails please search for: eBay item number: 183136045761

This is a lot of Playmobil shop window display mechanisms from the RC era.

To talk you through them (with lots of help from the legendary Walt Turner), the earliest had the old electric series motor block screwed or glued in and ran on LGB track.

The next type was based on an RC mech but with the RC stuff missing so when the battery was inserted off it went in one direction only until the battery went flat. These have the small circuit board and coil at the front of the underside

The problem with these was that when the battery went flat that would stop where they were, so steps were taken to prolong the battery life by inserting some charging rails in the circuit

The first type had linear PCBs inserted between the rails and those huge bulky spring contacts underneath. As the loco circulated it would dwell and charge on the special rails.

This was fine until the joining clips were improved and lengthened, which clashed with the PCBs built into the rails, so the spring contacts were now built into special rails and long circuit boards were stuck under the chassis instead.

Both these types of units just run continuously in one direction when a battery is inserted

Samples of all these are in this lot, so I hope you are keeping up?

Right, now lets go back to the type with the small circuit boards and the coils underneath.

A couple of those in the lot bear a sticker 'Pendelläufer' when you break this down and translate this it means Pendulum Runner - A shuttle unit perhaps?

Others bear a sticker with the words 'Pendelläufer' and 'Kreisläufer' with a little tick box next to each one and an X where appropriate. if you break the word 'Kreisläufer' down it means Circle Runner. All of ours are marked as Pendelläufer

However the multi choce sticker seems to indicate that the mechanisim could be either and when i opened it up there was a three prong connector spike, with a link over two of the prongs. Maybe this is the selector between the two types?

94188_b24caf22ebe09a302e49f922d7d3ccfa.jpg


The problem for us is that whilst all the others run well, these units barely run at all and are very creaky. They will turn a wheel, just, very feebly, but often just sit there making a faint ticking sound. I have sent a couple off to a knowledgeable chum who will hopefully work out what it all should do and how.........

BUT here are the $64K questions:

Has anyone here had any experience of them?

Does anyone know how the Pendelläufer actually worked? Were there contacts in the track that activated the shuttle, or was it just a timer?

At present we have no idea, and nothing we have tried will make these rise like Lazarus, but we are hopeful that it can eventually all be sorted out...

James
 
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PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
21,275
2,467
Tamworth, Staffs.
#2
Any reed switches, or contacts, on the shuttle-blocks James?
 
James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,724
349
Warwickshire
#3
Any reed switches, or contacts, on the shuttle-blocks James?
Nothing at all!

Can't really work out what the coil undernath does either. Magnets make no difference nor does any kind of touching with a metal object!
 
Last edited:
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
21,275
2,467
Tamworth, Staffs.
#4
I wonder if the coil is for inductive pickup of AC??
 
James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,724
349
Warwickshire
#5
I wonder if the coil is for inductive pickup of AC??
Hello Phil,

I think you may be onto something there:

My knowledgeable chum was suggesting that yesterday. He kept mentioning Victoria Line ATO!

Naturally, the mechanisms have been become conveniently seperated from any track mounted equipment that might make them work, but would we want it any other way?

Experimental archaeology with old toy trains - here we go!

James
 
R

Railway42

LGB, Radio Control Model Boat, Electronics
28 Feb 2013
400
43
Cheddar
#6
Sounds to me that the coil maybe one part of a transformer to charge the battery. if the train stops over the other coil say at a station then it would charge the battery and then keep going forever in a display. This is how the trains run in Lego land.
 
James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,724
349
Warwickshire
#7
Hello there,

That is an interesting idea. Like an electric toothbrush or my Wife's Apple Watch?

From what Walt has told us we know that the later versions charged by physical contacts on the track and chassis.

However from what we have been told it seems the earlier versions were soon found to be inadequate as they just ran until the battery went flat. As the loco could stop anywhere on the circuit this was not convenient to people in the shops and recovery could be difficult/awkward. Also there was a desire to prolong the life of the battery hence the later charging versions.

Obviously we could be wrong, so I am hoping that when my chum has examined the internal PCB he can tell us more.

My real hope is that someone on this group may have some knowledge of these when they were new and being supplied, or even better have some of the accompanying support gear.

There I go, living hopefully again!

James