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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to get a new Pacific to run better on track power.

To begin with, the track/battery switch is wired differently from the manual--it runs on track power when the switch is to the left, while the manual says it should run on track power when set to the right. Ok, no biggie


I just checked to see if it was getting power from the tender. I tested the loco by itself on the track and it ran. Then I put the tender on the track, hooked it to the loco, and took the loco off--nothing. Then I switched the track/battery switch, and the loco ran while off the track.

So basically I can have either the track power pickup from the loco, or track power pickup from the tender, but not both.
Is there an easy way to fix this? I'd like to be able to have both tender and loco picking up power

Oh and I'll be using track power and the onboard 75 mhz TE

Thank you!

PS: I've read Greg Elmassian's very thorough page on this and I had a very hard time following it. The fault is mine, not Greg's. Also I don't have an ohmeter to check continuity, though I do have a basic multimeter. I'm hoping for a simple lunkhead answer like "switch these two wires!"
 

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I'm happy to take suggestions on the page, so email me any corrections or suggestions. Many of these pages I wrote into the computer as I was doing it.

1. Many Aristo locos are wired differently from each other and from the schematic.
2. Many battery/track switches are "backwards"... actually the manual was written from a different perspective, like underneath. For most people it is backwards.
3. the power pickup from the tender is often wrong, sometimes it only works in "battery" mode.

And, no, there is no easy way, because there are too many variations. You need to sort out the track/battery switch, and then probably (note that word) change the wiring in the tender as shown on my site.

You MUST use a voltmeter to make sure of what is happening. If you don't you might melt some stuff down.

That's my best advice.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Greg thank you very kindly for your time and expertise.

I tried switching the tender pickup wires to the "track" leads on the tender, and while that worked with conventional track power it sent power to the motor independently of the TE receiver. I cut the power before any damage was done. Sigh.....


Very strange that Aristo did it this way. Very strange. I think I have to admit defeat on this one
 

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Yeah, it's a mess. Common on all the steamers, except the mallet which uses the 2 plugs differently.

You may just have to do what I did. It DOES make a tremendous difference in running ability.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Greg I looked at your page and it looks to me like after wiring all the tender wheels you just moved the polyfuses and the tender pickup wires to the other end of the battery traces. I'm not sure why that would change anything. It's a naive question--it looks to me like the battery traces are just a straight path across. Am I missing something?
 

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Yep, you need to read and understand the article... you CANNOT skim it.

Basically I set the wires up properly, one pair is the track pickups and the other pair is either the speaker or backup light.... I picked the part of the board that made the most sense, but the big deal is handling the track/battery switch, and making the power pickup from the tender go in parallel with the driver pickups... it's a real mess from the factory.

There is also the section on improving the pickup, you only pick up from 2 wheels, I pick up from 4 (although some aristos are different) I also pickup from each axle twice not just once... better too...

It's not for beginners... sorry... the wiring is too involved for a simple explanation... you do have to read through it completely.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was only looking at the section that referred to the tender--I just read through the section on installing QSI in the board. It looks to me like I could maybe rewire the loco board so that the tender power joins the board with the loco power. I may take a crack at it--thanks
 

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That's the main thing you need to do, get the tender pickups active at the same time as the loco pickups and get these two connected together.

The problem with Tom Ruby's "method" is that it works on DC track power only. Doing what he suggests when using an on board TE or QSI will DESTROY the decoder. This is because his tip hardwires the motor to the tender pickups. You are NOT allowed to do this on "decoders". It is definitely the biggest no-no in decoder installation, and the #1 cause of melted decoders.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Tanks Greg. I skipped lunch to day and took the #[email protected]! thing apart. I spliced the tender power pickup plug wires to the track power leads before they entered the circuit board, then soldered the tack power leads back to the board. Everything works.

Now someday if I do your tender pickup mod. I won't have to fuss with the loco
 

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If you're going to put in a decoder, you just rip the pc board out and wire it the way you want.
 

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Tom:

I want the stuff you are smoking. !!!

Seriously, the FIRST post says he is using a 75 MHz on board Aristo unit.... the one with the pins that go into the Aristo socket in his Aristo Pacific.

So your comment is "rip the pc board out"?????? Why ????? The fix is simple once you understand it.

Lownote:

Congrats! Now you have the loco wired the way it was designed, but unfortunately not assembled the way it was designed.

What you have done will let you use any decoder and will also work with track power.

One thing I did also was to "steal" the second set of wires to the tender, that are now not needed, and used them for a speaker, since I used a QSI in the boiler.

By the way, my pickup mod just enhances the pickups you have, it did make a difference for me, but is not going to make the huge difference in what you did as a first step.

Enjoy your loco, now that you've increased the number of pickup points. Adding the tender pickups even helped my Mallet. This is all related to another problem in the Aristo gearboxes in power pickup (that can be fixed, read my site on Aristo prime mover).

Regards, Greg
 

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Not smoking anything, I'm this way naturally/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif

You're talking about not rewiring the tender board they way I do. That's the one you just want to rip out.
 

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Yep, your rewiring connects the motor leads permanently to the track pickups in the tender.

Connecting motor leads to track pickup DESTROYS onboard Aristo decoders, QSI decoders, and any DCC decoder in general.

This is why I am cautioning to NOT do it this way. Your tip DOES work on track power. The basic problem is wiring in the loco, that the tender pickups are brought to the wrong place in the loco. Removing the tender board does not fix the miswiring in the loco.

Lownote fixed that. This fix works for DC track power, and onboard decoders plugged into the socket.

I started my mods on my Aristo locos following your tip, but then determined the danger to anyone using the socket, because using the socket means a piece of hardware that is DESTROYED if track pickups (or battery power for that matter) are connected to motor pickups. That's why my site has a "different" recommendation.

I'm really not trying to give you a hard time, I'm just trying not to be responsible for a dead TE board!

Regards, Greg
 

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Lownote If you happen to need any replacement 75 with accessory boards I have a few that I'm not any longer. Later RJD
 

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Yep, your rewiring connects the motor leads permanently to the track pickups in the tender.




So that's why I proposed pulling the board out and wiring it the way he wants it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think that would make more sense if I was going to battery, but I like the smoke generator on this loco and I like the ease of the socket (or the theoretical ease of the socket, anyway). If I ever switch to airewire and QSI It'd be nice to drop it in--theoretically nice, anyway!
I have done the rip it all out and start over model, with an LGB Mogul, which was a real ordeal to get wired right though I finally did
 

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I believe you are right lownote. What you have done is correct the factory wiring flaw. The QSI will drop right in now. I have a friend that runs one Aristo loco with track power, QSI, and onboard TE, just pops the shell and puts in the "right" plug.

He can run all 3 technologies in the same loco with a simple change.

Regards, Greg
 

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Yep, I explained my rewiring on the phone to Navin and Lewis. It's actually not bad quality control, it's incorrect assembly at the factory that has been going on for years. A different problem. The quality control is actually pretty good, they assemble it wrong perfectly every time!

It took one person years to get them to put the underframe on in the right direction on box cars. It's a strange situation where it's so hard to correct these things, but if you understand Chinese manufacturing, you will see how the disconnect happens, Aristo stuff is made in a huge factory, but they only "have" the factory for the length of the production run. It takes a Chinese engineer to revise the assembly instructions and then to actually BE THERE at the time of manufacture to change things to the right way.

Regards. Greg
 
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