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Just a silly question from a fella that doesn't use electricity to run his trains, and apologies for tripping this thread off into the light fantastic, but it seems the original question has a good answer (that of returning the unit for the lifetime warranty or simply replace the wires and hope the motor ain't fried too).

Sooo.. my question... have the manufacturers ever thought of putting a FUSE in these things? I realize that adding an end-user replaceable fuse would be an added expense and that expense might be more than the cost of just simply using wires that are capable of handling the currents that might be generated in a stalled motor, but it seems to me that some of the simpler engineering principles are being ignored here... that of designing for high probability accidents that can cause catastrophic results.

Maybe heavier wires would be a problem with flexibility from free floating trucks to the frame, but a simple Slo-Blo cartridge fuse behind a small door or just recessed into the bottom of the frame would save the wires from frying and the motor from letting all the magic smoke out and would be easily replaced by the end user and save on shipping and handling costs and the customer dissatisfaction when the loco gets stalled and draws too much current for a long time.

Do battery powered locos have a fuse to protect the battery from catastrophic electrical short circuits?
 

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Yeah, I figured that the small wires are acting as "fusable links" but is sure seems a silly way of doing things. and I doubt if it is "intentional".

And, yes, I understand that some power supplies are fused and that certainly protects the power supply from a dead short on its output. But I keep seeing comments here on MLS about fried drives in locomotives caused by it being stalled and drawing too much current.

Fusing the power supply at its safety limit may not be protection for the loco. If the power supply limit is below the damage limit of the loco then the loco is protected. But most folk have a supply that can provide much more current than what the loco ever will need or, more importantly, what can damage it. This is because they also run lighted cars, and/or multiple engines, and/or other things that draw power from the same supply...

example:

A loco might draw 5 Amps when starting (or near stall) and, say, 4 (lighted) passenger cars draw 1 Amp each (all estimates for maths simplicity here). This means the supply must be capable of supplying and be fused for at least a wee bit more than the sum of all the current needs, or in this case, about 10 Amps. Now if the passenger cars all derail and the loco traverses the whole system and collides with the derailed consist from the rear (I assume the scenario that started this thread) which causes it to stall and it then draws, say, 9 Amps. At this point, the power supply is perfectly happy to let the loco burn to a crisp.

I have never been a fan of the use of "fusable links" in the automotive world as I have seen the result of one of them setting fire to the engine compartment of the car with the resulting total desctruction of the whole car.

Oh well, mine run on alcohol so I don't really care! :)
 
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