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Discussion Starter #1
We brought up our version of a christmas train. We have a pretty big room with a fairly large circuit of track probably 12 X 14. We run a Aristo-craft pacific locomotive with 3 coaches. This year we brought it all up and added smoke oil and the train runs as normal. We added the 3 coaches and it blew an inline fuse from the train engineer to the track.

It appears that we only need to have this one coach on the track, not even hooked up to the engine for it to blow the fuse. I believe that eliminates to much draw from the engine to blow the fuse.

The weird thing for us is the switch for the lights is in the off position for this coach. Do we have a short somewhere in this coach?

I'm not very good with electricity so I'm not sure how to even check. I do have a multimeter I could use if I got some explanation.

I'm also out of extra fuses, so I need to run to radio shack to get more before I experiment on the track. :) Right now the train runs great, smokes, the lights on the other coaches are fine.

I do have the train engineer in PWC mode. Our power supply is the Crest CRE-55465.

Please help, not quite Christmas without the observation coach on the end of the train.

Thank you,

New Member - Bill Schickling
 

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One or more of the wheels are installed incorrectly--that's my guess.

Turn the car over. Aristo wheels are designed so one wheel on each axle picks up power and the other doesn't. You can tell which side picks up power, because on the side that doesn't, the wheel is insulated from the axle by a plastic spacer. You need to make sure the wheels that pick up power are oriented correctly.

Now look at the trucks. You'll see a red wire and a black wire, on opposite sides of the truck. The wires are soldered to a brass bushing, and the axle end goes into the bushing. Make sure that the wheel WITHOUT the spacer is oriented so that its axle goes into the bushing that has the wire. Typically, they alternate. You need to make sure that the wheels without the spacer are oriented so that they go to the bushing with the wire on it.

If you look at the wheels they should look like this:

spacer----------------no spacer/wired bushing


wired bushing/nospacer-------------spacer


If there are three wheels on the truck, check to see if the middle axle bushing are wired for power--I don't think they are, but I they might be. Make sure that middle wheel is oriented so the power pickup wheel is on the side with the wired bushing




You can gently pry the wheels out of the trucks and put them in the right way--it's really simple. I'd be willing to bet a significant sum that's your problem
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I flipped the coach over and the wheels are different. These are three wheel trucks. Both sides of the wheels have wires attached to the bushings that the wheel st rides in. On each side of the truck it has wires to the front and back wheel set. Both sides have wired bushings and the both sides have a metal washer between the bushing and the wheel.

No wires are exposed or crossed from one side to the other. Can I take each axle off and see if there is continuity from one side to the other through the axle? I would guess you shouldn't have this if both sides are picking up power, correct?

Everything seems soldered securely.

Thank you,

Bill Schickling
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK - It is running again. I took each axle off and looked them over cleaned some dust and a few cat hairs out from between the bushings and the axles. I broke out my meter and checked contnuity between axle ends, bushings with and without llights switch in on position. There didn;t seem to be a short afterr the cleaning. I admit to not checking before I started pulling things apart. One bushing seemed to be twisted in the plastic, so I moved that to be straight up and down again.

I put it on the track and checked again for a short and it didnt seem to have one. Again I admit to not being an electrical whiz, so I was going a little on faith.

I turned on power supply and the train engineer and everything seemed fine.

The train is now running as before.

Thanks for the help.

Merry Christmas.
 

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Posted By 1960bugeye on 20 Dec 2009 08:30 AM
We brought up our version of a christmas train. We have a pretty big room with a fairly large circuit of track probably 12 X 14. We run a Aristo-craft pacific locomotive with 3 coaches. This year we brought it all up and added smoke oil and the train runs as normal. We added the 3 coaches and it blew an inline fuse from the train engineer to the track.

It appears that we only need to have this one coach on the track, not even hooked up to the engine for it to blow the fuse. I believe that eliminates to much draw from the engine to blow the fuse.

The weird thing for us is the switch for the lights is in the off position for this coach. Do we have a short somewhere in this coach?

I'm not very good with electricity so I'm not sure how to even check. I do have a multimeter I could use if I got some explanation.

I'm also out of extra fuses, so I need to run to radio shack to get more before I experiment on the track. :) Right now the train runs great, smokes, the lights on the other coaches are fine.

I do have the train engineer in PWC mode. Our power supply is the Crest CRE-55465.

Please help, not quite Christmas without the observation coach on the end of the train.

Thank you,

New Member - Bill Schickling
I wrote this before I seen you got it running.. But if it comes up again and can't find the problem you may have to go to this idea...
Have a great Xmas and New Year..
[/b]
If its the Aristo Heavy Wts.pass cars, they do have a problem..We had the same problems as you with three of them, but it didn't short all of the time.

They can short out on the floor wiring sometimes and usually that is where it is.
They have three non- print cir. floor boards with three soldard jumpers to each one. They are bare wires set in a grove, but they get slack and will slide out of the groves and cause a short to each other.. It can short out before the voltage gets to the on and off switch or after the switch...Depends on where the short is located.

We took one coach apart and repaired it on our Fri. night Live show w/ Jerry Hansen in NBR. It's not an easy job to do but can be repaired.
One thing you have to do is to take the 2 screws out on each end of the car that holds the roof on from the bottom access holes in the floor. Then gently push in on the center side of the roof top to release the plastic slots.
You need to un-soldard the wires to the trucks and remove them. Then take out the rest of the bottom floor screws.
Note: Leave the two screws that hold the car doorway & steps on.
The bottom that holds the non- pc board that has the seats on should be ready to come out.. Watch the windows.. Some windows are glued in and have to pop them out slowly on the side the rest room is on. This will let you get one side of the floor up and out by tilting it. This is the only way you can get the floor past the window opening.
Once the floor is out you can see the underside for the wires and groves they lay in. You most likley see the burnt spot on the wire where they were arcing. " Like I said its not an easy job to repair." On one car I just cut the wire loose and rewired it up to a new buss across the top for the roof lights. Might be a good idea to change all of the big amparage drawing incadescent lamps out and put an LED at this time. We show how to do this on one of our Fri. night show also.
Anyway if you don't find the problem in the trucks then this may be what you have to do or get some one that has done one to help you. I have done three now and I think Greg G. has done some also.
Might check his link and see if he has a write up on it. Noel
 

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On my Aristo passenger cars, one power lead went to the metal body and Aristo used the metal body as one wire to the lights as the bulb socket was metal and screwed to the metal body.
So, the lights only had one wire on them.
This also caused a problem where a car can derail and then when 2 bodies touch there is a 50/50 chance of a short!!!!

Some day I will rewire these cars and eliminate the wiring to the metal bodies as it can always cause a problem. If metal couplers were used....this could be a problem!!!
 

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If you have a 1960 Frogeye, I would think that running down electrical gremlins would be second nature. Glad to hear you got it running without too much hassle.
 
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