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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been upgrading my new locomotives with the QSI/Aristo DCC/SOUND boards I bought at the mwlsts this year, and the New version Pacific is up.

I have some questions about the wiring issues, I know I know beating dead horse and all lol.

First off note that I will not be using BATT power so those wires/connectors were removed from the rear of the tender and front of the engine. Second the blue B&O Tender has no backup light so I used that wire set to connect the qsi board in the engine to the speaker in the tender.

I found a simple fix to the track/batt switch position and picking up power from the tender and the engine at the same time here on this website http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips10...ific_tips.html .

Here is quick description of what was done,
I rewired the switch by moving two wires on the switch. Now, the battery bus is always active AND the position of the switch matches the manual. The labels "B1", "T1" and "COM" are the labels on the PWB for the three wires leading to this switch. Since I don't intend to use the front power connector, I left it alone.




I tested for correct opperation and power pick-up, with switch in track position engine draws power from the track and moves in the correct direction, with the loco on a non powered siding I hooked the batt wire plug from the tender to the engine, and with the track/batt switch still in track position the loco now pulls power from tender and moves in correct direction.

Next installed the QSI/ARIsto board and soldered the speaker wire to the former black motor wire and the directly to the speaker in tender, and all seams to work correctly now :).

My questions are do I need to use the PWB in the tender (new big speaker makes it hard to mount) or can I just solder the speaker wires (from the former motor wire now hooked to the speaker out on the sound board) directly to the speaker, and the tender wheel power pickups directly to the polyfuses and then to the batt wire to the engine?, and can you guys see anything wrong with this wiring solution?
 

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I would not do it unless you are dead sure where all the wires are going/power is flowing. I rewired my Pacific so that it would pick up track power from the tender AND the loco at the same time, and took the battery wire out completely, as I never use battery, but whatever I did blew out a decoder. I thought I had everything right, but aristo's wiring is "eccentric." I've been temptted many times to just pull the PnP board and rewire the whole thing by hand
 

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RE: Aristo Blue B&O Pacific + tender wiring question

I have read what you have done, and also it seems you followed George's site well. I also have a extensive writeup on this miswiring, and have similar chages (see the sections under the mallet and the mikado) on my site.

I would go ahead if you feel confident. The board in the tender is only a "connection" place, the only component on it that does anything is the diode that ran the backup light and you are not using that wire pair for that, you are using it for sound, like I did.

Just be careful and check and double check wiring when you do it.

On my locos, I just drilled a new mounting hole in the tender board, and swung it away from the speaker, using only one screw.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Posted By Greg Elmassian on 12/29/2008 7:53 AM
I have read what you have done, and also it seems you followed George's site well. I also have a extensive writeup on this miswiring, and have similar chages (see the sections under the mallet and the mikado) on my site.

I would go ahead if you feel confident. The board in the tender is only a "connection" place, the only component on it that does anything is the diode that ran the backup light and you are not using that wire pair for that, you are using it for sound, like I did.

Just be careful and check and double check wiring when you do it.

On my locos, I just drilled a new mounting hole in the tender board, and swung it away from the speaker, using only one screw.

Regards, Greg



Hey Greg good to hear from you. I did use your tip for using the motor wire for the speaker hook-up , thanks for that tip.

I got confused trying to figure out your fix for the wiring issue though, as my Pacific has the old style pacific/mikado board (the second one in your picture) and the markings on the bottom of the board were different than the way you explained your board so rather than screw it up I went with the way George wired his. George is also using the QSI DCC board like I am so am guessing that if it works on his it should work on mine, lol.

I will use your tips for the mallet though since they are the same and I wont screw it up :).
 

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RE: Aristo Blue B&O Pacific + tender wiring question

Yep, I did not really do a good job explaining a straightforward method and also need to address the older board.

George did a much better job on making the changes simple, so I have room to improve! With 300 pages on my site, I have a backlog ha ha!

I'm glad you have succeeded and things are working, that's the bottom line!

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's all good, there is ton's of helpfull stuff on your site for sure.
I also finished setting up the NCE 10amp system following your tips. Matt at NCE modded it to 24volts, and upgraded it to V3.
I also got that 27v power supply you recommended and I now have about 21 volts to the engines and it made a huge difference in speed, the E-8 really moves now!!!
 

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Sure is a lot easier to follow Gregs tip for rewiring tender than to rip out the plug and play. I have completed four of my AC steam locos and now sport the QSI system using NCE DCC. Later RJD
 

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RE: Aristo Blue B&O Pacific + tender wiring question

Good deal on the higher voltage, my USAT F units would not come close to prototype passenger speeds, only would hit 62 mph, after the mod by NCE, 92 smph on DCC.

Anyway, I started my site inspired by George, and figured what goes around comes around.

Over 300 pages now, and increasing every day!

Regards, Greg
 

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My mikado, which had been running really well, suddenly started running very poorly. It seems like power pickup has just suddenly started failing. So I put it on the bench and low and behold, it gets power from either the tender OR the loco, but not both. This is an engine that had problems after a fall and that I sent back to Aristo with the express request that they wire it so both the tender and the loco contribute power. It came back running well so I never checked it.


So I opened it up to try George's mod, but on my loco the top row of contacts on the top switch are all empty. As I read George's tip page, the wires on HIS loco were connected to the TOP row of contacts on the top switch. On mine, they are connected to the BOTTOm row of contacts on the top switch. Sigh.


So I'm wondering--can I just move the wires to the top row as suggested by George, or should I change the order of the wires, as suggested by George, but keep them on the bottom row?

Why can't aristo get something like this rght? That's another question. I think I'll also take the motor block out and solder the little clips to the wire, as suggested on Greg's page
 

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Posted By lownote on 12/30/2008 9:26 PM
SNIP
Why can't aristo get something like this rght? That's another question. I think I'll also take the motor block out and solder the little clips to the wire, as suggested on Greg's page




Good question Mike.

Part of the reason why I don't do track pick on board ESC's
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Posted By lownote on 12/30/2008 9:26 PM
My mikado, which had been running really well, suddenly started running very poorly. It seems like power pickup has just suddenly started failing. So I put it on the bench and low and behold, it gets power from either the tender OR the loco, but not both. This is an engine that had problems after a fall and that I sent back to Aristo with the express request that they wire it so both the tender and the loco contribute power. It came back running well so I never checked it.


So I opened it up to try George's mod, but on my loco the top row of contacts on the top switch are all empty. As I read George's tip page, the wires on HIS loco were connected to the TOP row of contacts on the top switch. On mine, they are connected to the BOTTOm row of contacts on the top switch. Sigh.


So I'm wondering--can I just move the wires to the top row as suggested by George, or should I change the order of the wires, as suggested by George, but keep them on the bottom row?

Why can't aristo get something like this rght? That's another question. I think I'll also take the motor block out and solder the little clips to the wire, as suggested on Greg's page




mine was the same way, I rotated the switch so the wires were on the top row, before I switched the wires per georges mod, worked perfectly. Dont think it matters really since there are no connections on the other set of contacts. Just makes it easier to solder the connections, is really simple to do.
 

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Well I did it this morning, and all seems well. I wired all the tender wheels for power pickup, and now the loco runs with power pickup from both the tender and the loco.

Power pickup from the Mikado itself is still oddly intermitent. Sometimes it starts to run, then cuts out. I'm thinking it some fault in the power pickup apparatus in the gearbox. Can you get the individual gearboxes apart without taking the wheels off?



Thanks very much to George and to Greg--George's site has been a tremendous help to to me and Greg I check your site all the time. You've both done the whole hobby a great service
 

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RE: Aristo Blue B&O Pacific + tender wiring question

You are welcome!

The problem you may have is the most typical, and unfortunately the most labor-intensive to repair. If you go to my "prime mover basics" (click here) you will see the weak point in the conduction path. I cannot tell you if this is a design flaw or an assembly flaw, but it's very typical in Aristo power "bricks".

The problem is that power is conducted from the wheel to the axle, but from the axle to the rest of the circuitry relies on a single ball bearing (one ball) pressed by a spring on the axle shaft. The main ball bearing DOES NOT conduct electricity. This is because it it a hybrid ball bearing with ceramic balls.

Now, the metal retaining clip has a small finger that SHOULD contact this spring to complete the conduction path. In my experience (and I have tested dozens) an average of 40-50% of these FAIL to conduct properly. This is because the finger does not touch the spring.

There is some speculation that a different assembly technique would ensure this conduction path.

I won't embarrass Aristo further about the circumstances where I demonstrated this, but it's a real problem.

Most people use a simple ohmmeter to measure the continuity to each driver to make sure pickup is/is not happening.

If you take a precision volt-ohmmeter that can read down to just a few ohms, you will find that there is zero ohms between the "pickup wire" and a driver tread on some wheels, but something like 50-70 ohms on others.

That is because the pickup for that axle "half" is not working and voltage is being conducted back through the connecting rod to a "working" driver.

Thus the source of your poor and erratic pickup.

To fix this you have to at least remove the driver, and to do that you have to "split" the motor block to release the brake shoes to get the drivers off.

I can virtually guarantee you that this is your problem. I have explained how people can be fooled with a non-precision meter. The soldering of the bus wires on top is somewhat helpful, but I have not found significant cases of this solving the problem. The problem is at the "heart" of the assembly unfortunately.

Regards, Greg
 

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RE: Aristo Blue B&O Pacific + tender wiring question

I did the complete checkup on my Northern that Rex Ammerman made for me from 2 Pacifics. Unfortunately over 50% of the axles had the problem.

It was a pain, but I used the opportunity to correct another intrinsic problem with Aristo locos, improper back to back spacing. I added the spacers from Outback Turnouts to regauge the wheels properly.

But I ran into another problem! The loco seemed to ride up out of the rails on certain curves. It was then I found that my Aristo 10' diameter track was undergauge.... under the NMRA and G1MRA minimum.

If it isn't one thing it's another. Maybe removing all the screws will help.

Regards, Greg
 

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Well I went ahead and ordered another mikado drive block. I'll install the new one and take the old one apart and see what I can fix. Or maybe 'll take the new one apart. Then I'll have a mikado block for kitbashing


Whatever happened to Outback turnouts? all the links to their website--including the link on your page--are dead
 
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